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ThePowerOfLove

Orange/yellow at ice skating, looking for tips on improvement.

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I started ice skating casually after my sister brought me to the local indoor rink last December. I've gotten to the point where I can propel myself along the ice for a reasonable amount of time without falling over, but I can't do much apart from that. The snowplough brake doesn't seem to slow me down much (not that I'm any good at it) and I haven't been able to get the hang of other braking techniques yet.

To any experienced ice skaters, what would you suggest a newbie do to improve? Any techniques I should try to learn in particular, and in what order?

Thanks.

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Um... trial and error I guess.

 

The front brake thing only works if you want to risk breaking your teeth. It's better to bleed speed with sharp turns and brake sharply by snapping the skates (and your legs) horizontal to your direction. Other than that... try to maintain momentum, it's easier that way to balance yourself. You stop, you'll fall. You move, you'll stay up.

 

Seriously, this is like teaching someone how to walk on two legs, it's hard to explain it in words.

 

i am also canuck, pls no bulli

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I don't really think that anything that I can type will be especially helpful - if you ask me it's much easier to teach someone how to skate when you're right there with them, can tell them what they're doing wrong, and demonstrate proper form for them.

I don't know what your skating is like, so this may or may not be helpful, but here's a couple of basic concepst/exercises for you to try.

 

Here are some quick tips:

 

Make sure that you have your skates tied tightly - you want your skates to feel as a part of your feet, so that when you make contact with the ice, your feet aren't wobbling at the ankle.  The most important laces on your skates are the ones closer to the top, as it are really those that root your skate to your foot and leg.

 

I assume that you do not ski, but if you do, then ice skating is pretty much exactly like the duck-walk, or like crosscountry skiing.

 

You mentioned that you've had trouble slowing/stopping.  I'd recommend letting one skate drag behind you perpendicular to your velocity vector as a good simple way of slowing down

 

The whole idea of skating is pushing  yourself across the ice - it's not like walking.  In skating, you're using the blade of your skate to cut into the ice and push you where you want to go.  A good way to start and to get an idea of what pushing yourself should feel like is to just start with pushing from one leg like this:

 

1) While stationary, with your knees slightly bent, position your skates so that you have one foot pointing forward, and your other foot pointing out - perpendicular to the first foot.

2) With the edge of your skate firmly cutting into the ice, push the latter-mentioned foot behind you, propelling yourself forward into a glide.

3) Lower the blade (still perpendicular to your leading foot) so that it's scraping the top of the ice to slow down.  The more contact you make, the more friction, the fast you'll slow down.

4) Switch feet

 

If you're doing it right, it'll look something like this

 

If you're feeling comfortable with that, you can try making multiple pushes while moving to gain more speed, or you could try turning by leaning when you are gliding on your leading foot.

 

This will hopefully help out your balance (very important in skating), and let you really feel how you should be making your strides (once you get to that point).

 

'Actual' skating isn't too far removed from this.  Though you cut out the glide and are changing feet (pushing with one while returning the other to your front) it uses the same principles.  Taking real strides is a little more involved than what I think I can just describe as a list of steps, but what you'll want to do to make some great strides is to get low (knees bent) with your skates wide apart (~shoulder width [unless you got tiny shoulders]) making a 'V' that opens in front of you, and then pushing with alternating feet behind you with long strides.  The longer you can make your strides the better

 

It's 3:30am here and that's all I feel like I can really type out for now, but I hope that you found at least some of this helpful!

 

Most of the youtube videos you'll find on skating are kind-of rubbish, but they get the ideas across, so you might be able to check some of them out, but if you have any mates who are competent skaters, ask them to go with you some time, as I really think nothing is more helpful that to have someone there with you who can demonstrate and critique.

 

Cheers!

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Snow ploughing is borderline useless, You should use the Kewei method to learn Hockey stopping because it's a far more efficient way of stopping and you can actually stop when you're at speed.

You could also try cornering by crossing your skates over the inside leg (i can't describe it but i'm sure you've seen ppl doing it) make sure you have your laces tight for this as it's much harder if your leg is wobbling about.

Also getting the hang of picking up speed quickly by skating like in cross country skiing (angled outwards so you get a flatter surface of the blade to push off)

 

This stuff isn't easy to learn quickly and it's much harder to learn if you're scared of falling over because you really have to commit to them. I learned nearly all skating techniques while playing Ice Hockey because you don't feel like so much of a pleb falling on your face if you know the people there :P

 

You asked what you should learn, not what is reasonable, but with the above skills you should be able to skate fluidly giving you a platform to learn harder things (triple axel next month yeah?) 

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I, too, played hockey and Knobby's advice is about as good as you're going to get. Most people learn how to skate through trial and error -- the walking analogy is quite apt.

 

When you get to learnin' fancy stuff like hockey stops, it helps to have protective gear on like hockey pads. It's really hard to hurt yourself when you're geared up (and it's really fun to plow someone into the boards, too).

 

I definitely recommend trying hockey out. It's an expensive sport unless you can get your equipment secondhand, but it's some of the best fun you can have as an adult. I started playing hockey in my mid twenties in what is colloquially known as the beer league at my rink. It's literally just a bunch of beginners derping around on the ice hoping they can maintain control of the puck long enough to get it to the other end of the ice. Afterwards, everyone goes up to the bar or out to the parking lot to get pissed. Share drinks with the dude you plowed over or the guy that cup-checked you in the second period. It's great fun.

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Take a lesson from someone at the rink.

I skated a couple hours a week when my daughter was in Figure Skate class. The more time you spend on the ice the more comfortable it will get.

Or you can DL this app : Skate Coach

http://youtu.be/eE6NhP9ld5s

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The snow plow is useless as stated before. It'd be harder for me to explain the methods I use to skate cause they've become natural. Also I am a goalie so a goalies style of skating is different cause of the bulky padding. Make sure you are properly tying your skates, get everything exceptional snug. It will likely hurt your feet in the very beginning but the its a mild discomfort compared to not doing them up properly and your ankles hurting for days after. Oddly enough try a pick up game of hockey. Use the stick to help you balance. Things like stopping and turning require a whole lot of upper body movement as well.

 

Learn the hockey stop it really is the only effective way to stop. Make sure your skates are sharp (literally a couple of dollars, most rinks have a pro shop on site). Dull skates will just make it more difficult. DON'T EVER STEP ON CEMENT. stick to rubber, (plasticy surfaces like the dressing rooms) and the ice. Relax when your skating, and try to keep your center of gravity low. It's not so much the faster you go the more balanced you are but definitely keep moving to prevent falling. And don't be afraid to fall if it means learning. Learning is good.

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After years of hockey (and downhill skiing, which was surprisingly easy to pick up after having a hockey background because it is actually very similar). I can concur that it is very, very difficult to tell somebody what they need to learn without being there and skating with them. Also, I'm not Canadian, so at least that chain is broken.

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If your near the rink check the schedule and go watch some minor hockey practices (6-8 years old).  Review what skating drills the coaches are teaching the little kids and pay attention to "how to fall properly" so you don't get into trouble along the boards.

 

Tip #1 wear hockey skates.

Tip #2 proper tying of your skates is important.  Most skate boots are super stiff today so extremely tight skates are not recommended.  Ankle flex is critical and often overlooked in new skaters; so along the foot make it comfortable, where your ankle pivots is where you want it tightest and then the top two can be a little looser.  (I can skate in mine without lacing them up and never do up the top row.)  Your feet should not hurt because your skates are too tight, they may/should hurt/ache from using muscles of the foot/ankle differently.        

 

Good skating comes down to proper body position (posture, knee bend), leg drive and recovery, edge control, and effort.  There are many hockey drills that will help with those techniques so hunt around on coaching sites.

 

As for stopping:  How many edges do your skates have?  The correct answer is 4, the inside and outside of each blade.  Those are the tools that you use to propel yourself, turn, and generate power.  To learn to perform a "hockey stop" you need to use those edges in conjunction with your legs (quad muscle).  Often beginner skaters use their torso as balance rather than keeping their torso upright and using their legs for balance.  That's why the snow plow (which edges are you using?) is poor practice because without well developed muscle memory people will bend at the waist rather than bend at the knee.

 

To get started with the hockey stop:

 

Coast with knees bent (e.g. proper skaking stance),

"unload your skates" by straightening up a little,

then turn you skates perpendicular to your path;

then load your skates by resisting them digging into the ice with your legs while keeping your torso above them.

 

So "coast and down, up (unload and turn), and down..." is a little phrase that may help you.

 

 

If your interested in going it alone find a copy of Laura Stamm's powerskating book (https://www.laurastamm.com/).

 

 

(and downhill skiing, which was surprisingly easy to pick up after having a hockey background because it is actually very similar)

 

 

I concur.  Downhill skiing requires a very similar body position and knee bend in addition to the same 4 edges you need to control to do any maneuvering.   

 

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Hi all, thanks for the tips.

 

I skate in a public rink, they open in 2-hour sessions when they're not occupied by hockey or broomball, and I rent skates from them. No idea what model, but they seem to be plastic on the outside and come in blue or black. The rink tends to get rough quite quickly because of the large number of skaters at any one time, which also means that I often can't try to go as fast as I'd like to.

 

Didn't know that the snowplough was that useless, guess I'll try to Kewei the T-stop and hockey stop tomorrow. I don't really have to option to start playing hockey at the moment. Still fall over once in a while, but at least I know to fall forward.

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Hi all, thanks for the tips.

 

I skate in a public rink, they open in 2-hour sessions when they're not occupied by hockey or broomball, and I rent skates from them. No idea what model, but they seem to be plastic on the outside and come in blue or black. The rink tends to get rough quite quickly because of the large number of skaters at any one time, which also means that I often can't try to go as fast as I'd like to.

 

Didn't know that the snowplough was that useless, guess I'll try to Kewei the T-stop and hockey stop tomorrow. I don't really have to option to start playing hockey at the moment. Still fall over once in a while, but at least I know to fall forward.

Well there are figure skate blades:

titanium-skate-blade-pinnacle.png

 

and Hockey skate blades:

 

tuuk-ii-lspro-ice-hockey-skate-blade-hol

 

Usually they rent figure skates at rinks, but I've seen some hockey skate renting. Its much better to learn and skate on hockey skates as they are more maneuverable and a million times easier to do things like hockey stops.

 

Skate-ins are kind of annoying because everybody just goes in a circle for the most part and talks... I can see how they would be hard to learn at, but once you have a feel for it, and can maneuver somewhat well and know how to reliably stop, it can be fun to fly around the rink several times faster than everybody else :P

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FWIW, my daughter took about 2 years of Figure Skating lessons.  If you want to teach your kids or yourself how to ski, Ice Skating is an excellent start.

 

She was on the 5 Person Chair lift on Day 2 up at Mammoth Mountain (would have been day 1, but a couple kids in her class were scared).

 

Tree Skiing on Day 3 (she is 5 years and 2 months here)

 

L%20Ski_zpsrckphcdw.jpg

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Lots of good advice here.  As a hockey player and coach my best advice is to 'find your edges'.  Everything about skating relies on your edges.  Hockey stop is the only stop, once learned you never forget it.  It is something you have to commit to and accept there will be a few spills learning.  Once you find your edges it is important to learn to skate backwards as easily as forwards (I was a goalie, I'm actually more comfortable skating backwards).

 

I would save learning to step over until you know you can stop decently.

 

Playing hockey is one of the best ways to get very comfortable on your edges.

 

Tips on lacing vary by player.  My advice is tight all the way up at first.  You will get to a point that you are doing all the real work with the balls of your feet and can loosen the upper part of the boot.  Once you are an experienced skater you will find that 8_Hussars advice is spot on, but you will also have learned by then how to keep your feet over your blades and your center of gravity within the rectangle that they control.

 

My favorite drill to coach/most hated drill to do is UCLA's.  Definitely works your edge control.

 

Lace up and enjoy!!!!!

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I notice a lot of new skaters trying to walk. Don't walk. Turn your foot sideways and then push it back, repeat with the other foot. If your feet are mostly parallel and pointing forwards, you aren't going to get anywhere.

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Top kek, im a goalie too

skating backwards > skating forwards ( I can outskate some of my defense backwards, which is kinda sad but W/E)

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After spending 2 hours embarrassing myself on the rink, this is roughly what I've figured out regarding the hockey stop motion (rectangles = feet, circle = centre of mass)

 

RyMDxfI.png

 

Is this how it's supposed to go? I had to figure out that I'd have to bring my leading leg forward in order to start braking, though I'm still far from good at it.

 

Also, I've noticed that when I'm skating, I don't lift my right foot off the ice to bring it back toward me, but I lift my left foot every time. Is this a problem?

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Is this how it's supposed to go? I had to figure out that I'd have to bring my leading leg forward in order to start braking, though I'm still far from good at it.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Basically, you're digging into the ice with the inside edge of your left skate. If you don't need to stop as abruptly, you can balance on one of your feet and drag your other skate's toe-end tip along the ice.

 

 

Also, I've noticed that when I'm skating, I don't lift my right foot off the ice to bring it back toward me, but I lift my left foot every time. Is this a problem?

 

Yes, but you'll probably grow out of it. Once you really get the swing of it and build up some speed, it feels a bit like you're running on the ice. Dragging one skate while lifting the other will feel a bit weird.

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Update: I can finally somewhat hockey stop on my left foot now! It's far from perfect, and I need a bit of space to 'unload' before I stop, but it's nice to have a method of stopping now that doesn't involve a full-speed faceplant into a barrier. :D Now to learn to brake using my right foot. Thanks for the 'coast-unload-turn-load' process, by the way - probably would have taken a lot longer for me to figure out if I hadn't known about that.

 

After I can brake comfortably using both feet, should I learn to skate backwards or cross one foot over the other? I'm guessing crossing feet is supposed to help you gain speed when you're turning, but what's skating backwards supposed to do?

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I taught hockey for 12 years, coached 2 years and won 1 championship.

 

Get a hockey stick and use it  for balance until you improve.

Google "T" pushes for skating. Don't forget at the end of your stride to make sure that you are pushing off with your toe. Full extension, no half assing this.

Practice your glide turns, both left and right. Get used to leaning into the corner (much like leaning a motorcycle).

Practice your crossovers, both left and right. Just go slowly around the rink. Work on technique. Over and over and over. It's repetition.

 

If your local rink is actually marked for hockey, you can practice doing Figure 8's around the faceoff circles at one end of the rink.

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