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Off season training: inline skate vs Harb Carver

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Anyone have experience with he Harb Carver? Is it a superior trainer than in line skates. Skate recommendations? I know how to ski. I do not know how to inline. Yet.
Thanks
post #2 of 29
Check out the International Inline Skate Association ....

they certify inline skate instructors...

find a good one near you....

as in skiing - work on good technique - & tell instructor what you want to achieve (they taught me without body rotation into turn initially because it was to aid my skiing - they are now adding it in)

Failing that try a good book - but you know from skiing that nothing beats live feedback.... (Get Rolling is the one I have for 'homework')
post #3 of 29
I have a pair of carvers. I also have some inline skates, but I'm not an inline skater - just have the skates and have used them occasionally.

The difference is there is a sense of release at the transition since there are two rows of wheels.

You also use your ski boots on the carvers so any alignment work you have had done is still intact. I have a lot of boot work on my ski boots, and my inline skates are not set up right at all. So in my case the carvers work much better.

Doing either, if you haven't done either before, is a revelation for fore/aft balance. If you "get in the backseat" you are down.

The movements to get them to turn are the same as in skiing (ie tip the inside foot to initiate lateral tipping and you'll turn). Pivot or twisting movements that might create a skided turn that might work on skis, will make you fall on carvers or inline skates. They are "carving" all the time and don't like and can't slide sideways.

In other words, inline skating or carvers are a great training tool for skiing.

Whichever you do, it's not like falling on snow, use that helmet, get some elbow, wrist, and knee pads. Go slow and be patient.
post #4 of 29
I inline skate and I am fairly experienced at it. I would recommend in-line skating, since it is far more versatile and it is a decent cross-training tool.

Sure the Harb carvers are a little more ski-specific, but I would not put a beginner on these things.
post #5 of 29
I picked up roller blade training in 2003 to add to my dryland training. I am 52 and had never done roller blading until then.....so anyone should be able to start. In addition to John Mason's comments about body armor and helmet I use hockey pads/shorts and so do my daughters....no road rash or black and blue.....we use ski poles with hiking tips on the bottom of the poles and soccer cones for gates. Reliable Racing has some SL break away gates with base if you call and ask. A training partner has these and they are very much like SL race training. Picking roads or parking lots with smooth pavement and no traffic is important. A steady, moderate pitch is desirable....start out with a very moderate pitch until you get the hang of it. 20-25 gates is plenty for race training. I rarely roller blade but prefer to "ski" the blades on moderate pitches for ski race training....think poor man's summer ski camp!

Check out the URL for a coaches review of roller blade training for skiing....http://www.sbst.org/documents/Rollerblading.pdf

Have Fun!
post #6 of 29
I use the Harb Carvers extensively -- for training, teaching, as well as for demo and fun with groups.

The Harb Carvers are very different from in-line skates for the purpose of ski training. I would say that the differences fall into three categories, though there are lots of details that I won't go into:

1) In-line skates don't have a stable flat when going straight and tip far too easily. Skis and Carvers have a definite feeling of a flat with two edges. You feel like you are tipping onto an edge like you do with a ski. This has some big consequences when you get to the issue of reinforcing correct technique.

2) The boots are totally different. On Carvers you use the same boot as in your skis and you get the same actions and feel -- and equipment & alignment issues (or the potential to notice and correct them).

3) In-line skates do not hold at anything approaching the angles that you can get on skis. At this Year's International Congress on Skiing and Science (ICSS) there was a real good presentation by someone from the Austrian team on the limitations of in-line training for racers and they highlighted this issue in particular. Carvers hold at radically higher edge angles.

If you want to see Harald and Diana's Carver presentation at the ICSS, go to:

http://www.harbskisystems.com/carvericss/carvericss.htm

I could say more, but I will leave it at that. If anyone wants to see a bunch of video footage of Carver action, go to my site at:

http://web.pdx.edu/~petersj/HoodCamp/

I would really advise having a fast connection -- lots of large video files.

Hope this helps. Reply or e-mail if you have any other questions.

Jay
post #7 of 29
Harb Carving is a lot like snowboarding!

What do I mean by that? Well, I mean I felt like a total beginner on them. Kind of like the first (or maybe every) time I strapped my feet to a snowboard. It didn't take me long to get going fast enough to make myself nervous; same thing can happen to me on a snowboard. Carving was difficult to get the hang of.

Let's back up a little. Jay (SkierSynergy) let me try out some of his Harb Carvers (the middle level model) a couple nights ago. We went to a pretty steep, curvy road, but I stayed near the bottom of it where there was a long flat runout. Jay gave me a lesson, and he's a great teacher. I was making step turns in no time.

The next phase after step turns is carving (tipping the feet so that each skate has a row of wheels off the ground), and that's where I got stuck. Frankly, it just feels scary to tip like that at slow speeds on pavement (not that I wanted to try it at high speeds). I suppose that means I have some balance issues.

Eventually, though, I did manage to link shallow turns on my shallow little slope. If any wheels were off the ground, it was just barely. I'll need some more practice, for sure.

They do seem like great ski training, and I had a blast. I like the fact that they're not easy, and that you really have to commit to make a turn.

If I had to compare them to rollerblades, I'd say it's like asking "Should I get a mountain bike or a surf board?" They're really two different animals. You can go anywhere on rollerblades, but the Carvers, because they use ski boots, are too bulky and heavy to use for travel. It could be done, but if you just want an aerobic workout, rollerblades would be much more pleasant. But if you want to make turns down a hill and feel like you're skiing, the Carvers are it. And don't think it's not a workout, because you've got to get up the hill, too!

If you have small feet, rollerblades will give you much more fore/aft balance practice. The Carvers only come in one size, and are several inches longer than my boots, so they felt much more stable than blades.

Overall, I like them, and will probably be putting them on my xmas wish list this year.

Sue
post #8 of 29

I've never used Harb Carvers but I would love to buy a pair.  Anyone willing to sell theirs? 

post #9 of 29

I have seen a set built buy someone from RI and they work great. His name is Mike and his # is (401) 529-6043 I think he builds them for 300.00 about half of what I see them sell for on the net

post #10 of 29

Holy 2004 - but I'll add my experience to this.  Take this with a big "IIRC" as it's been a few years.  I was also never nearly as good as the guys on the Harb videos.  On skis, I know how to carve well for a 15-20 time/year guy.

 

Carvers are very different than inline skates - in good and bad ways.  They do feel much more like carving a ski for reasons previously mentioned.  Much more does not mean the same, though.  It's a similar skill but not the same.  Don't expect 100% translation.  It's been to long to put it into words (vague memories of it being like carving a 25m radius ski when I wanted a SL like feel on my narrow street - the guys in the video seemed not to have this issue).  Still, if you can't ski, they're the next best thing that I know of.  They're fun but skating in ski boots gets old fast.  In other words, they're very specific.  Good for making carving-like turns on an empty road or parking lot with a modest slope.  Not good at all for skating a few miles.  Inline skates are much better at that.  Does anyone inline skate anymore?  The "problem" with inlines is that they turn way too easily to emulate skiing - at least carving.

post #11 of 29

I bought a pair (pro model) on ebay.  They're great!  At first, you don't feel so confident, even when you're a good rollerblader...

But then, you begin to really feel the ski "feeling"... And They really do help your skiing technique.  I've only been on them 6 times, but they'r really great!

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsbar View Post

Does anyone inline skate anymore?  The "problem" with inlines is that they turn way too easily to emulate skiing - at least carving.

 

Inline skater population varies by region. Loads in Vancouver. Yet I didn't see a single inline skater on a trip to Portland. It's as if there's an anti-skate culture in some cities?

 

Ease of turning is determined by the inline skate frame and wheel size. A short frame skate with 80mm wheels will turn more like an 11m ski. A semi-race skate with 110mm wheels will turn more like an 18m ski. 

 

Personally I find inline skates to help in uncountable ways with your stance&balance, pivoting, edging, T&C and pressure control. My recommendation for people, based on coaching theory, is they vary the intensity and focus of training throughout their sessions. There's so much more to skating than just skating around a path. I've branched out into downhill skating (with poles, ski-style), slalom (i.e. doing tricks around cones), skate parks, and a bit of speed. My friends have been shocked year over year on snow at the massive performance difference one can achieve without putting on a ski. 

post #13 of 29

Simulating carving on dry surface has been my long time hobby and challenge. I posted it in another thread but I came up with a device which is about 3 foot long and thus has plenty of fore/aft support, has 6 inch pneumatic wheels suitable for mild off road conditions and the wheel assemblies and steering mechanism respond to rolling your knees and simulate a side cut. They also use normal ski boots and have proper ski bindings. When you first ride it you do not have to worry about falling on your face or bum as in in-line skates due to the fore/aft support. It is equipped with a simple braking mechanism which I only had to use once when I got a bit scared of the speed that I was going at. The turning radius can be as low as 5 foot and you can make it either softer or stiffer like different type of skis.

 

Mitch Smith who rides the device in the youtube video is a freestyle coach and he said that it is exactly like carving. He was very skeptical when I first told him about my gear but after trying it he later wrote this to me in his email:

"As with a ski, it took me a couple of turns, literally, to find the balance point and how to close and elongate my trajectory. I was amazed to find that within minutes my natural skiing ability took over and enabled me to use the Roller Carver in a fashion so similar to skiing it was uncanny. After about 15 minutes on a steady slope in a Falls Creek car park, I found myself confident

and wanting to find a larger slope to really give them a go. I went out into the car park/fringes of the main road and headed down. I was elated. Immediately I was able to string turns together, both short and long radius."

 

 

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

Inline skater population varies by region. Loads in Vancouver. Yet I didn't see a single inline skater on a trip to Portland. It's as if there's an anti-skate culture in some cities?

 

Ease of turning is determined by the inline skate frame and wheel size. A short frame skate with 80mm wheels will turn more like an 11m ski. A semi-race skate with 110mm wheels will turn more like an 18m ski. 

 

Personally I find inline skates to help in uncountable ways with your stance&balance, pivoting, edging, T&C and pressure control. My recommendation for people, based on coaching theory, is they vary the intensity and focus of training throughout their sessions. There's so much more to skating than just skating around a path. I've branched out into downhill skating (with poles, ski-style), slalom (i.e. doing tricks around cones), skate parks, and a bit of speed. My friends have been shocked year over year on snow at the massive performance difference one can achieve without putting on a ski. 


Portland is a bike and skateboard town. If anyone wnats to work on their skiing during the summer.....they just go skiing.

post #15 of 29

I'd vote for inline skates. Partly because IMO they're more like ice skates, which are great trainers for skiing. Don't think the issue is to perfectly mimic the skiing sensation, it's to a) get your heart pumping using similar basic leg and trunk movements, and b) to emphasize the biomechanics of staying on your edges, playing with how your muscles feel at different edge angles. 

 

And partly because wearing inlines (which were basically over a half decade ago in straight communities or anyone under the age of 30) is dorky enough; the Harb gismo's will literally injure bystanders from laughing. biggrin.gif And yep, I still inline once or twice a summer. I'm one of those dorks. 

post #16 of 29

  Some rollerblade training.  Fore and aft tricky.  I usually train with helmet and hockey pants. 

post #17 of 29

If you want to do some crud skiing training on dirt with loose stones and sand this is what you do smile.gif

 

post #18 of 29

Where's the dirt/sand/rocks? Your on a paved road. This is a gravel road.

post #19 of 29

Regular roller skates mimic the sensation of skiing more than in-lines.

post #20 of 29

Right.   Put yalls wheels where your keyboards'r at.  

 

3 days.   At least 70 miles of skating  (we don't count the garage ramps, we don't count the dirt).    Some of it even safe for quad skaters  (mimic sensation of skiing or not, we really /don't/ recommend quads on these here downhills)

 

http://www.skatedc.org/schedule-skatedc-weekend-2013

 

Of course, it's not a race. biggrin.gif

 

 

Side note: the asphalt will be over, way over 90 degrees.   Bring hard wheels and watch out for tar snakes. 

 


Edited by cantunamunch - 5/31/13 at 9:16am
post #21 of 29

Carving is a very small part of muscle activity in skiing, and REALLY easy to do - you can do a lot better by developing all the other, more difficult, skills involved.

 

In my opinion, if you're already a decent skier, mountain biking (especially rocky downhill) is the best training:

1) it's lung, lower back, and leg-burning 

2) you manage rough off-piste terrain with a loose lower body, quiet upper body, and micro-rebalancing reactions

3) fore-aft balance is critical to survival when mountain biking, just as it is when skiing

4) split-second line choice decisions can make a difference between being out of control and in control

5) cornering a mountain bike at high speeds is a lot like carving a ski, tilting the bike into the turn, using the shocks like the flex of a ski to rebound, and weighting the outside foot to maintain traction (edgehold)

6) it's really fun!

 

Downsides? It's even more expensive gear-whoring than skiing. Falling hurts... really f'ing bad.

 

If you're a mellow cruiser on skis or a bike, don't have access to rough bike terrain, or stick to groomers, then ignore my advice. But if you're looking to take your skiing to the next level, then it's a good way to get and stay comfortable with that 'out-of-control but in-control' feeling while developing balance manipulating skills and improving your fitness level.

 

Consider the similarities between this video (especially the first downhill), and watching a REALLY good skier on a downhill race course, or perhaps hauling ass down choppy off-piste conditions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM-eNBrxTIk


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 5/31/13 at 2:13pm
post #22 of 29

Where's the dirt/sand/rocks? Your on a paved road. This is a gravel road.

 

 

This is a higher res photo. Only the middle of the road was reasonably smooth. The sides were not much different to what is shown in your photo. 

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

If you're a mellow cruiser on skis or a bike, don't have access to rough bike terrain, or stick to groomers, then ignore my advice. But if you're looking to take your skiing to the next level, then it's a good way to get and stay comfortable with that 'out-of-control but in-control' feeling while developing balance manipulating skills and improving your fitness level.

 

Although I have a mountain bike I long passed the age when I'd try anything other than a regular mountain bike trail. If you are into aerial acrobatics on bikes check this one out. It's in Mitch's (the skier) backyard

 

 

post #24 of 29
Aerial bike tricks and jumps don't do jack for your skiing. I was talking about rocky downhill-like stuff. And no one's too old, just pad up if you can't stand having cuts/scrapes/roadrash.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnowski View Post

Where's the dirt/sand/rocks? Your on a paved road. This is a gravel road.

 

 

This is a higher res photo. Only the middle of the road was reasonably smooth. The sides were not much different to what is shown in your photo. 


That's the point you stay in the middle. A few times you ventured on to the shoulders you bobbled/loss balance and flow. Your skates look like fun but are not designed for off road conditions. Keep it real.

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

Aerial bike tricks and jumps don't do jack for your skiing. I was talking about rocky downhill-like stuff. And no one's too old, just pad up if you can't stand having cuts/scrapes/roadrash.

Not true. I do both. Dirt Jumping and pump tracks require timing and balance. When you don't have the aid of continuous vert, screw-ups are highly evident. The muscles used for pumping transition better than the peddling phase. Plus, its a hell of a lot more social.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post

Not true. I do both. Dirt Jumping and pump tracks require timing and balance. When you don't have the aid of continuous vert, screw-ups are highly evident. The muscles used for pumping transition better than the peddling phase. Plus, its a hell of a lot more social.

Totally agree on pump tracks. Aerial tricks and the actual jump part? Not at all, IMO. Doesn't make them not fun, just not that applicable to ski training.
post #28 of 29

Cool thread, I guess roller blades are more recognized than ice skates for a few reasons.

 

1.) no fees to go out and use them

2.) you don't really need to learn how to skate to use them (coasting down hill) 

3.) easy to keep the flow going, as long as the hill is there you're still going

 

I see there are obvious advantages but as a hockey player having experience on both blades and skates I think ice skating would provide a much better practice scenario. On roller blades you have to be somewhat timid if you are making hard sharp turns. You can never really put load on them without them slipping out. With ice skates you can make much more aggressive and dynamic carves that resemble skiing.

 

Just my .02

post #29 of 29

Your video post was great.  Please tell me what the brand, name, model etc and source of those roller-skis were?

Thank you!

Michael

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