7 or 14 Men and Their Skating Skills (A Remake)

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by lauravvv, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I can't delete the first version anymore. But I hope that I have explained it better than the first time :shuffle:.

    Evgeni Plushenko
    Daisuke Takahashi
    Braien Joubert
    Jeffrey Buttle
    Evan Lysacek
    Stephane Lambiel
    Patrick Chan


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


    What I am basically asking is to rate all these skaters skating skills wise. How do they compare to each other? The first 7 are the most important, the rest you can either include in your rating, or leave them out, if it's too much for you. I included them just out of curiosity.

    1. Rate them in 10 points system. It can be very approximate. You can also try to place them from 1. to 7., or from 1. to 14, but only if you think that you can do it.

    2. It would be wonderful if you could give at least a short explanation, but that's not absolutely necessary. Why did you rate those skaters the way you did? What are each skater's strong points and weak points? It would be interesting if you could write about that, but, again - not absolutely necessary.

    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", or "he falls more often than others while just skating, so his skating skills are worse than this or that's".

    3. You don't have to have seen all of those skaters live to rate. I know that some aspects of SS can be apprized just from watching on TV or video. But if you have some special live experiences, feel free to share them, be it a competition or a show performance. 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. It's not like skating skills are not needed in exhibition performances, even if they're not as complex as competition programs.

    4. But don't rate based just on one competition or performance. I want this to be an evaluation of skater's overall skating skills.

    4. If you suspect that this is a Patrick Chan glorification and promotion thread, then don't worry - it's not :D. I totally appreciate his skating skills and I even like him, but he is not one of my favourite skaters.


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

    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.

    I won't do this myself for reasons that 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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  2. icellist

    icellist Member

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    It's very difficult to put them on a 10 point scale (I would not be a good PCS judge, and people would not agree), but I would first separate the exceptional from the ok on this list.

    Exceptional: 8.5~10
    Patrick Chan
    Takahiko Kozuka
    Stephane Lambiel
    Jeffrey Buttle
    Daisuke Takahashi
    Jeremy Abbott

    Good: 7~8.5
    Nobunari Oda
    Evan Lysacek
    Evgeni Plushenko

    Par: 5.5~7
    Johnny Weir
    Brian Joubert
    Michal Brezina
    Florent Amodio
    Javier Fernandez

    Arguably Evgeni Plushenko, Johnny Weir, Brian Joubert and Michal Brezina can switch between good and par. Nobunari Oda's junior programs really showcased his skating skills and could be exceptional but his recent work just puts him in good.

    The skaters in exceptional look completely at ease when they're skating. They get so much power from each stroke. Their edges are nice arcs in the ice and very deep. Despite their bodies tipping so much because of their deep edges, they don't fall forward or backwards (important for ab muscles). [Ex: Yuzuru Hanyu at Nice, I'm sure if he did more ab workout, he wouldn't have fallen on his step sequence.] They're knees are soft to the ice: working with the ice not against it (Jeffrey Buttle!). With exceptional skating skills, speed is not a problem for these skaters.

    To get a good sense of skating skills, pay attention to the boots of skaters during their step sequences and in-between movements/transitions. I would put Patrick Chan a 10 with Davis/White and Virtue/Moir. Also, a good indicator of skating skills are quiet edges; find videos of practices of Alissa Czisny and Takahiko Kozuka, listen to their quiet edges compared to other skaters and listen to the difference.

    It's quite obvious that Javi needs a lot of work because he can't hold a proper edge for too long or too deep. I remember him stumbling on the entrance to a back-outside spread eagle. Johnny Weir is an anomaly because he started so late but has ok skating skills. He has little power in his strokes but worked very hard on connecting elements. And Evan Lysacek just has average skating skills in comparison to the exceptional group. IIRC he does a series of spread eagles in his EX but they will never be as big, wide, circular as the ones done by the exceptional skaters. Sorry to bring up the Olys but Evan Lysacek and Evgeni Plushenko did not deserve those PCS for SS...
     
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  3. miffy

    miffy Well-Known Member

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    Daisuke Takahashi
    Brian Joubert :p
    Evgeni Plushenko :blah:
    Stephane Lambiel
    Patrick Chan :blah:
    Takahiko Kozuka
    Jeffrey Buttle
    Johnny Weir
    Javier Fernandez
    Jeremy Abbott
    Evan Lysacek
    Florent Amodio
    Nobunari Oda
    Michal Brezina
     
  4. flipforsynchro

    flipforsynchro New Member

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    CHAN UNDER JOUBERT? Seriously? And Michal might not have amazing edges and whatnot, but I don't think his SS is the worst out of this group :shuffle:
     
  5. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this thread (and the one before it too!) I'm not knowledgable about skating skills and usually judge my favorites on overall impression, musicality and artistry, and landing the jumps (with exceptions!)

    Please post more, folks, with more detail about what makes good SS. I'm enjoying the tutorial!
     
  6. vodkashot

    vodkashot New Member

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    I agree with what you said about Javi....love his skating, but he is definitely quite slow and some of his marks for SS this season have been questionably high, especially since they were around the same range as Abbott's and Takahashi's at times.


    And Lysacek's and Plushenko's PCS at the Olympics were just :lynch: especially since Kozuka was getting 7.60 and Abbott had 7.90 in SS.
     
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  7. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I agree with almost everything. Except that Florent Amodio should be in the Good. At least, his SS are better than Lysacek and Plushenko, IMO.
     
  8. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I understand how difficult it is to compare skaters with different skating styles.There are skaters who do level 2, or maximum level 3 step sequences, and very little difficult steps between them even in competition programs, not to mention exhibitions (like Joubert who often uses some effective, but quite simple tricks in his exhibitions), and others who do a lot of more complicated steps, while also doing complex choreo which makes it even more difficult.

    Anyway, after Chan to me Buttle looks like the one who has to put the least effort into gaining speed. I can't say the same about Lambiel. Especially now since he is not competing anymore, he often appears to be quite slow. Even despite his great performances, I sometimes notice that his steps are slow and it takes some effort for him to do them, as well as to gain speed. In his defence, unlike Joubert or even Plushenko, he tends to use actual steps, not just crossovers even in his exhibition programs, which makes him look slower compared to some other skaters. Still, skaters like Chan, Buttle, even Abbott and Takahashi all look faster and more effortless while doing even the most difficult step sequences (although Buttle is not doing much of those now). But I understand that it's not fair to compare competitive skaters to someone like Lambiel, who, while still training and skating a lot, doesn't have to do level 3 or 4 step sequences at high speed anymore.

    As for falling, Lambiel has that problem too. He falls quite often while just skating. At this performance of 'Bring Me To Life' (at around 2:27) he almost lost his balance and fell backwards. Although it seems that he was quite tired at that particular occasion (the many 'Art on Ice' shows, afterparties each night ;)). Also, often his skating is quite emotional and, because of that, he is probably less careful than many other skaters. It's different with skaters like Chan and Carolina Kostner. My guess is that they are often less careful exactly because it comes more easily to them - almost like breathing. All of them tend to get a bit carried away - just for different reasons.
     
  9. miffy

    miffy Well-Known Member

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    I did put :p and I stick by it. :)
     
  10. flipforsynchro

    flipforsynchro New Member

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    To each their own. But can you give me some insight?
     
  11. doctor

    doctor New Member

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    ITA. I was :confused: when I saw Javier’s PCS this past season. He even received higher PCS and higher SS score than Kozuka at the Worlds!

    But Patrick, Carolina, and Daisuke have all fallen/stumbled on their step sequences. Are you suggesting they all need more ab workouts?
     
  12. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'd very much like to get answers to these questions.
     
  13. icellist

    icellist Member

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    It's more of Yuzuru's build. He is stick thin, without a lot of weight. A key to deep edges is also using the body's own weight to dig into the ice to create nice crests. Yuzuru lacks the weight to create deep edges and needs to make up for it with stronger abdominals.
     
  14. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Kozuka has a similar build to Yuzuru though, also very thin, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for him. Brezina is also rather slight. I'm not so sure it has to due with Hanyu's build, he just seems to have really deep edges and throw all he has into his skating, making him a bit more prone to tripping.
     
  15. doctor

    doctor New Member

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    Yes, I agree with you. I’ve seen Hanyu skating live. He does have deep edges as well as great speed. There’s also Mao Asada who’s very thin, but she also has deep edges. OTOH, Javier and Makarova are quite sturdily built and so should have the weight “to dig into the ice,” but they have neither deep edges nor speed.

    I think it’s kind of stereotyping to assume that someone is thin so s/he “lacks the weight/ab muscles to create deep edges.” And to use the fall of Hanyu in Nice as an example of needing ab workout does not do him justice. We all know that he fell primarily because he had an ankle sprain.

    In fact, skaters with better skating skills are more prone to fall/stumble on their step sequences because they’re doing more difficult step sequences. Patrick, Carolina, and Daisuke have all fallen/stumbled on their step sequences, and they did not even have ankle sprain injuries when they fell. Patrick has fallen on his step sequences more than many skaters with weak skating skills; even Javier did not fall as many times as Patrick did. But Javier has never executed any level 4 step sequences, while we can see how many level 4 step sequences Patrick has done—the level of risk increases with the level of difficulty.
     
  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. And Javi stayed upright, or as upright as one can considering the upper body movement requirement for level 4 steps. However, I do feel he has gotten some questionable PCS this past season (maybe to make up for past undermarking?), and that his skating skills are probably the weakest of any of the guys Laura named.

    I don't think difficulty is the only explanation for some skaters' falls; after all, the more difficult step sequences are supposedly within their abilities, just as the upper level for other skaters may be a level 3 - which would presumably be just as difficult for them. Sometimes skaters just get sloppy, or lose concentration. Some more than others.

    Somewhat OT, I looked here and it looks like the following singles skaters have received level 4s in international competition:
    Ladies - Carolina Kostner (first, best scored), Akiko Suzuki, Mao Asada, Rachael Flatt, Alena Leonova, Viktoria Helgesson, Vanessa Lam, Martina Bocek, Alexandra Deeva and Polina Korobeynikova (three of them at the same event, last year's JGP in Brisbane).
    Men - Daisuke Takahashi (first), Patrick Chan, Evan Lysacek, Stephane Lambiel (apparently highest internationally, for a serpentine step sequence!), Takahiko Kozuka, Jeremy Abbott, Jeffrey Buttle, Jason Brown, Denis Ten, Artur Gachinski, Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez, Tomas Verner and Evgeni Plushenko.

    Make of that what you will...
     
  17. flipforsynchro

    flipforsynchro New Member

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    I'm feel like Yuzuru fell on his steps because he caught an edge, not because of a sprain or whatever.
    And Michal Brezina has also gotten a Lvl4 step sequence in intl. competition.
     
  18. doctor

    doctor New Member

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    Oops, my bad! I didn’t pay attention to Javier until last season, and I’ve never seen him executing any level 4 step sequences while Patrick received a bunch of level 4s. I didn’t know Javier did a level 4 step sequence at 2010 Worlds. Thanks for pointing this out. Is that the only time he successfully executed a level 4 step sequence?

    Also thanks for the list of level-4 skaters. However, I don’t think some skaters who have received level 4s only once or twice in their career—Javier, Korobeynikova, etc. should belong in the same league as Patrick, Carolina, and others who have received level 4s several times in one season. I just hope Javier and Korobeynikova will improve since they’re still very young.

    That fall had to do with Hanyu’s ankle sprain. He sprained his right ankle before the comp, and when he skated he tried to protect his right foot and as a result overused his left foot. He fell while he was on his left leg, which was exhausted at that moment. Anyway I just don’t think that fall is a good example of someone is thin so s/he needs ab workout…

    And yes, I’ve also seen Brezina skating live. He has deeper edges than Javier. He also has better ice coverage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012