View Full Version : 7 or 14 Men and Their Skating Skills

07-03-2012, 04:13 PM
Evgeni Plushenko
Daisuke Takahashi
Braien Jobert
Jeffrey Buttle
Evan Lysacek
Stephane Lambiel
Patrick Chan

Takahiko Kozuka
Jeremy Abbott
Florent Amodio
Nobunari Oda
Michal Brezina
Johnny Weir
Javier Fernandez

As you see, this is not a poll. I am asking this mostly out of curiosity. I am very far from expert when it comes to figure skating technique. At this point, I can tell a really good skater skating skills wise from a not so good, or an excellent skater from merely good. And if I pay really close attention to skater's feet while watching them skate, I can tell something about edges. But I rarely do that. Which means that at times I am still unsure about which out of two overall quite equal skaters is/was better. So, I decided to ask people who know better than me. I hope this will be somewhat helpful also to others who are still learning about skating.

As now there's this 'Survivors' game going on, I chose the 7 most current skaters from Men's poll (I didn't include Yagudin, because he skated under a different system, but feel free to mention him) + 7 other current skaters about whom I am curious. I didn't include youngsters like Hanya and Gachinski, though, because I wanted it to be mostly skaters who have skated together at one point or another (with some exceptions :)).

What I am basically asking is to rate all these men skating skills wise. How do they compare to each other? The 7 first (from the poll) are the most important (to me). The rest you can either include in your assesment/rating, or leave them out if it's too much for you - or include just some of them. You can place them in a list from 1. to 7. (or 1. to 14. :D), or evaluate them in 10 points system if it's too unrealistic. I don't care, just as long as they're rated somehow.

But, please, include an explanation. What are each skater's strong points, what are his weak points (skating skills wise), and so on? Just no statements like "this or that gets/got such and such marks for his SS, so he is better/worse than this or that" (the marks I can see for myself), or "he falls more often than others while just skating, so his skating skills are worse than this or that's" (the falls I can also see myself).

Also - those who watch exhibition performances from time to time, feel free to use also show skating as a basis for your evaluation, not just competition programs. I understand that most people here don't take that seriously, but it's not like skating skills are not needed in exhibition performances, even if they're not as complex as competition programs. Thsi kind of assesment can be especially valid if you have seen the particular skater live at some show, but haven't seen him live at a competition (or have seen him more in shows, than in competitions).

You can point to particular performances/competitions if you want, but don't evaluate based just on this one peformance/competition. I really want this to be a rating of each skater's overall skating skills.

Ah, the last one - I'd be really grateful if you wouldn't turn this thread into some skater's bashing fest. Please, just a reasonable exchange of opinions - as much as it's possible here on 'FSU' ;).

I won't do this myself for the reasons I already mentioned, but I hope that at least some people will take part in this. I might do a similar thread about female skaters if this goes well.

07-03-2012, 04:26 PM
Thanks Lauravvv for starting this thread. I wish to be enlightened like you and can't wait what the 'experts' have to say. And I agree... let's do it with rationality and civility. Thoughtful of you to remind.:) Oh I wouldn't mind comments on all 14.

07-04-2012, 11:23 AM
(Sigh) Apparently I am not popular enough to get replies to my thread :lol:. Or is this too difficult? Explanation too long? But I have highlighted the most important parts. Or is the timing wrong, with all those more important threads happening?

Okay, I'd be really glad if you explained your ratings, but you can also rate without explanations if it's too tiresome for you ;).

07-05-2012, 06:01 AM


Maybe users seem to be burdened by explanations or many choices(7~14). :)

07-05-2012, 06:28 AM
I think the topic is pretty difficult. I don't think I know quite enough to really analyze it, especially with so many people. I would have responded if I felt qualified to evaluate them.

07-05-2012, 06:31 AM
1. Patrick Chan
2. Takahiko Kozuka
3. Nobunari Oda
4. Stephane Lambiel
5. Daisuke Takahashi
6. Jeffrey Buttle
7. Evan Lysacek
8. Jeremy Abbott
9. Johnny Weir
10. Michal Brezina
11. Florent Amodio
12. Brian Joubert
13. Evgeni Plushenko
14. Javier Fernandez

And no, I can't explain or defend my choices.

07-05-2012, 07:08 AM
I'm not going to get super detailed into every skater, but I won't leave you hanging :D

1. Chan
2. Lambiel
3. Buttle
4. Takahashi
5. Abbott
6. Kozuka
7. Oda
8. Weir
9. Brezina
12. Fernendez
13 Lysacek
14. Joubert

The top 7 all have excellent knee bend, smooth edges, good form, etc. The only thing that separates them from one another is combing power with agility. Some are more light on their feet and can demonstrate more intricate steps with better control and power than others. I think Chan overall has the best SS of those on the list for those reasons. He just edges out Lambiel on control, and Buttle on power. But I would consider the top 4 or 5 *very* close. All 9.00+ skaters on SS.

The bottom 7 are all excellent skaters, but have various issues that prevent them from being above the rest. Weir needs more power and stronger push to the blade. Plushenko needs deeper and longer held edges. Joubert needs softer knees and more suppleness. The rest have decent power, but need more agility and nimbleness. (Brezina is a perfect example)

Which means that at times I am still unsure about which out of two overall quite equal skaters is/was better.

Honestly, when it gets to this high a level, it can be difficult to separate the best of the best on SS and I've been watching for years. Even before posting my list, I changed my mind and switched a couple of the top 7 skaters around. That's just the nature of the sport. There's never going to be a 100% way of proving who has the best SS.

07-05-2012, 01:31 PM
Patrick Chan
Stephane Lambiel
Jeremy Abbott
Nobunari Oda
Jeffrey Buttle
Daisuke Takahashi
Michal Brezina
Evan Lysacek
Takahiko Kozuka
Florent Amodio
Johnny Weir
Javier Fernandez
Evgeni Plushenko
Brian Joubert

07-05-2012, 02:08 PM
my list is the same as FS fan22.

07-05-2012, 02:41 PM
Don't have a list of 14, but I think Plushenko should be near the top of the list not the bottom. He has powerful , effortless strokes that really command a rink (an I'm not particularily his fan), for me the difference between him and less powerful skaters such as Weir and Buttle is quite marked. I understand he may have unfortunately chosen more easy, non COP programs. But the distinction is the skating skills are still top-notch, even though he's chosen an easier path (probabably because he grew up with 6.0 and still wants to focus on quads).

I do agree that Patrick Chan should be in the #1 position he is quite easily the best.

07-05-2012, 03:22 PM
I'm not going to get super detailed into every skater, but I won't leave you hanging :DThank you :D. Especially for the explanation.

And thanks to everyone else who responded. I realize that this is very difficult, and the explanation is too long. Therefore, I am going to change it a bit, and make a new thread. Of course, you don't have to repost.

07-05-2012, 03:59 PM
I think Plushenko should be near the top of the list not the bottom.


My list
1. Chan
2. Kozuka
3. Lambiel
4. Abbott
5. Buttle
6. Plushenko
7. Takahashi
14. Fernandez

07-05-2012, 05:34 PM
Thank you everyone who took part. This thread is now closed, and a new version is started.