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Thread: 2 beginner questions

  1. #1
    Spectator
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    2 beginner questions


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    I have been skating now for about 3 months, and now have gotten to the point where I can skate forward laps without feeling like I'm always on the verge of falling. I'm 61, my skates are new Reidell 225 Motions with Astra blades. I was fitted by the manager of the Pro shop at my local rink. My skates feel comfortable now that I think they are broken in and seem to fit well.

    1. Where does skating speed come from?

    I understand training, skill, practice, experience and all that rot, but there are folks flying past me, who don't even appear to be trying, legs hardly moving, eyes glued to their cell phones, not even concentrating on what they are doing, and I'm out there stroking like mad.

    I'm not really interested in skating fast per se, but I'm told the next thing I should work on is trying to glide on one foot. Problem is, at the speed I'm traveling right now, I don't have enough momentum to get very far. My speed drops quickly to the point of imbalance. Is speed something that just naturally comes along?

    2. When I'm gliding along on both blades, feet shoulder width apart, and look down at my skates, the left blade looks perfectly right-angled to the ice. The right however, is leaning a little to the inside. My skates are laced up fairly snug. Is this something I should be concerned about? I don't see this on the other really good skaters - just on the little hockey hooligans who think it's cool not to lace up their skates.

    I'm trying not to pick up any bad habits or form.

    Slowpoke

  2. #2
    On the Ice
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    Welcome Slowpoke!

    Comment to Q1: The faster skaters are probably stoking more efficiently. You say you stroke like mad but are taking a lot of little, light stroking steps? You want to concentrate on getting a good knee bend that lets you connect your pushing blade firmly against the ice and finish the stroke with a solid push.
    If you observe a freestyle session, look how the good skaters stroke.
    And yes, it will be easier to do the one foot glide with more speed. You'll get there.

    Comment to Q2: It is quite possible that the blade on the right skate is not mounted to the boot correctly or is not mounted correctly for YOU. If these blades are screwed into the boot (not riveted) the right blade could be moved by your skate tech / pro, to accommodate your stance.

    Your comment about skaters gliding around while looking at their cell phones makes me shudder; that is unsafe and I'm surprised your rink allows that.

  3. #3
    On the Ice
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    sandraskates has said most of the important things. I'll add a few comments.

    Q1: Good speed happens as a result of proper technique, which includes efficient stroking and understanding of how to use edge pressure to maintain or gain speed. (Yes, you can gain speed even just skating on one foot.) However, as an learner, don't think of "I must skate faster". Instead, focus on learning the correct stroking technique--knee bend, pressing into the ice, solid pushes, etc., as sandraskates mentioned. Speed will come naturally as you begin to master the correct technique. Plus, it could be dangerous to try to go faster than you know how to handle.

    Q2: Yes, the blades should be perpendicular to the ice. Get your skates looked at by a skate technician. He/she may check if you have any pronation, and also ask you questions such as, do you have difficulty with your right outside edges?

    And, welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    On the Ice
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    Some great answers from sandraskates and cl2, but I'd just like to add that the feeling never goes away! I'm a pretty powerful skater myself, but it always blows me away to be on the same ice as elite skaters, where it seems they take one or two pushes and are magically at the other side of the rink. Stroking is something that seems basic, but takes a lifetime to master.

  5. #5
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    Go Ad-Free! Become a GS Supporter! Thank you
    Thank you for all of the excellent replies, I will concentrate more on keeping my knees bent.

    And yes, cell phone usage on the ice is quite common at my rink and is never addressed.

    Slowpoke

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