Technique question: deep edges.

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by krenseby, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    I have a general question about skating technique. I am trying to figure out what skating with deep edges looks like. What skaters programs should I watch as an example?
  2. Indra486

    Indra486 Well-Known Member

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    When I first asked that in other forums years ago, many have recommended watching videos of Trixie Schuba's figures.
  3. acraven

    acraven Active Member

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    Skating on deep edges normally causes the body to lean way off vertical. Watch Patrick Chan or the top ice dancers.
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Here's an example I posted on another forum a while back:

    This is all most obvious in ice dance, especially compulsory dances.


    Here's a typical novice-level team doing the Rocker Foxtrot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFaoOEyOAqo

    That's about the average edge depth and knee softness that you would expect to see for this dance.

    If you search for videos of "Rocker Foxtrot" you'll find examples of a whole range of ability.

    Here are the 1992 Junior World champions performing the same dance:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rbiMGiD3TQ

    Look at the lean over the blades, the size and shape of the curves, how far and how smoothly they bend their knees.
    See the difference?
  5. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    So ice dancers, as a rule, master deep edges, more so than singles skaters? (Do single skaters need to skate with deep edges to win in competition?)
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    On average, definitely.

    It certainly gives them an advantage. Just ask Patrick Chan.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  7. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Well-Known Member

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    Are there any current ladies skaters who are not ice dancers with deep edges? It doesn't seem like ladies skaters are noted for this.
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Patrick Chan has best basic skating out of all the Men out there at the moment.

    Crone/Poirer really struck me at Skate Canada just now. Their basic skating was always strong.

    As for Ladies, Czisny's edges are quite good.

    But you're right there don't seem to be much Ladies who are especially renowned for their SS.

    Yes, Ice Dancers usually have better basic skating because everything they do depends on it.

    As for other disciplines and how it can help them, look at Chan's programs.

    Because his SS are so excellent he can build speed very easily, which means very few crossovers and other speed building moves are needed. So no very long entries into the jumps, which you see from most skaters. It allows him to perform transitional moves and still maintain speed.
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    I remember reading an educational post about edges and depth of edges once (wish I could find it archived online), and one useful point that I hadn't realized before was: the deeper the edge on the ice, the more resistance against the blade (resulting in that lovely "growling" sound!), which actually slows the blade's glide along the ice.
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I would say that all the 21st century Olympic medalists except for Cohen were good in this area. Carolina Kostner is also quite good. So that may leave Asada and Kostner as the best currently competing.

    Historically, Dorothy Hamill and Yuka Sato were especially known for their edges.
  11. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    Are you saying that deep edges mean better ice coverage and speed for skaters?
  12. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Krisiti Yamaguchi had deep edges..

    I thought it was Janet Lynn and Yuka sato who were known for their edges.
  13. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Ice coverage for sure, because each edge covers more ice. Look at the difference between the two teams doing the same sequence of edges in the Rocker Foxtrot I posted above.

    Usually skaters who use deeper edges also have more speed, but the speed is usually a cause of the edge depth (to fit into the limits of the ice surface) more than the effect.

    I said 21st century. ;)

    Yes, Lynn too.
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    If they are stable and secure and you know how to control them, they give you more "bounce."

    I remember the difference on my crossovers once the coach pointed out that it's actually about using deep edges and not quickly scratching in place. :D

    Kostner is definitely the outstanding Lady at present.

    But I can't agree on Asada. She's ok and has improved in that respect in recent years but her edges are neither outstandingly deep, nor outstandingly smooth.

    I would put skaters like Lepisto, Kim and Rochette - at least - above her.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  15. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I don't know if this makes a difference in edges, but I've heard people including other skaters say that Mao's edges are very quiet and you can hardly hear her on the ice. I've also heard this about Gordeeva, whom some have said had great edges.
  16. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    You want to see deep knee bend, but you also want to see ankle flexion. That is the skater can almost move their foot independently of the rest of their leg. So they also have more precision with the way they step on an edge.

    Many skaters look like their boots are made of concrete.
  17. Lainerb

    Lainerb New Member

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    So where do the current top ladies stand on edge quality? I mean I've heard Kostner and Lepisto have great SS, but what about Asada, Ando, Rochette, Nagasu, etc?
  18. burntBREAD

    burntBREAD New Member

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  19. museksk8r

    museksk8r Well-Known Member

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    Kostner, Rochette, Kim, and Lepisto definitely have the best skating skills currently amongst the ladies.
  20. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Yuka's edges are very good but I think she's much more known for her knees. Her soft knees are the best in the business. :)

    Hate to bring up the :lynch: obvious, but Michelle Kwan was fairly renowned for her edges, especially in her change-edge spiral. I don't think anyone currently gets the lean she has on the inside edge. I've heard the following comparison made between Kwan and Cohen - if you threw a brick at Michelle during her spiral, she'd catch it and keep going, while Cohen would fall right over. Good edges look very secure.

    What Patrick does that no other singles skater is able to achieve, is the edge pull. My crossovers felt SO different when the coach pointed out I should be pulling on the edge as I passed the free leg over. Wow, I got a lot more acceleration with a lot less effort!

    It's actually not so much a "pull" as it is pushing down on the outside edge when it's under you. Most people, when they first learn crossovers, only push the edge away from them when they actually switch feet. They don't do anything with the edge until that moment and so it looks choppy. If you watch Patrick stroke, he pushes and pulls on every edge. He's never just sitting on an edge, he's always working it.

    Her edges are serviceable - they're sweeping and not choppy, but her knee work could be better and then her edges could improve even more. Good knees go with good edges. You can't push and pull on your edges with straight legs.
  21. icellist

    icellist New Member

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    dealing with ice coverage, does that mean mirai nagasu has deep edges?
    i know her knees arent the best but i think they're quite soft in jump takeoffs
  22. brina

    brina Well-Known Member

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    Mirai has decent edges. Not as good as an ice dancer (which is to be expected), but deepness of edge doesn't always have to do with speed. It also has to do with just controlling the blade so you don't scratch your toepicks and you stay on the right part of the blade while skating.

    Anyone at the international competitive level has to have pretty good knees. The ice doesn't have spring in itself so you have to create it by having soft knees. I think Nobunari Oda has some of the softest knees in freestyle skating.
  23. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    Matt Savoie - I remember Dick Button praising him saying he was "kind to the ice."

    I personally have incredibly deep edges, which is about the only positive thing I can say about the very limited skating skills that I have. Of course, the only reason they are so deep is because I weigh so much! I went skating twice at Snoopy's Home Ice in Santa Rosa this summer, and as I went back around the rink I was able to spot my own canyon-like tracks. :lol::lol::lol:
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  24. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

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    I have been impressed with the Japanese skater's deep edges -- Kozuka, Takahashi, Asada for example as well as Yuka Sato of course. I've often thought they must have great basic skills training in Japan. In contrast, in the US, some skaters have beautiful deep edges and others do not. Michelle Kwan, for example, has beautiful edges but Sasha Cohen skates on flats.
  25. officialcoach

    officialcoach New Member

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    If you want to see edge skating look at JOHN CURRY. Not only does he have angle of the body(lean) but the body line to show them off!
  26. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Very interesting topic !

    We've heard that some of the best known skaters for edges are also extremely quiet on the ice. Like Gordeeva and Sato who are said as having great SS and edges.
    And at the same time it's said that a deep and strong edge results in the well known "growling" which basically is a noise !

    So I'm wondering how it is possible to have deep and strong edges that are supposed to provoc noise (the growling) while still skating totally silently ?
    I mean if there is no growling doesn't this mean that the edges are too flat and/or to light therefore not efficient enough ?
  27. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between noises. I don't know how to explain it in english.
    A deep edge crunches. While someone with bad skills will scratch.
    I don't know if it's true, but my coach always said to me : "if you hear something during your crossovers, it's because they are bad."

    I don't think Katia Gordeeva has deep edges. She has amazing skating skills, because she has speed without power, and everyhting is clean. But she is very very light.

    Usually, the deepest edges are in North american skating.
  28. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Yes I think it's true about lower level to average skaters. But at the higher level one is not expected to "scratch". However there remains a difference between skaters on the edge side. A deep edge, supposed to be better, is supposed to growl on the ice, while a light edge, not supposed to be expected if one wants to see big curves and powerfull transitions, doesn't make noise.

    I suppose your coach was talking about the "scratch" noise which means your are too much on the toe picks. Of course it's bad, and at that point it's not edge anymore, it's just characteristic of low level skaters who tend to fall on the wrong part of the edge. Higher level skaters don't do this mistake.

    I think this is the right point.
    And I think it's impossible to be deep on the edges and skating silently at the same time.
    But how is it possible to build speed and powerfull overall skating while being light and not powerfull at all on edges ? I agree with you that Gordeeva doesn't seem to be strong or powerfull on her edges, but she for sure maintains high speed and flow / secure edges on the ice.
    So, what is it about her specific skating skill if this is not about deep and powerfull edges ? How can she get speed without it ?

    It leads me to think that there are actually two types of skating that are quite different but still very good :
    - the deep, strong edges that make the growling noise. I think it's more charasteristic of the dance teams.
    - the light type that makes no noise at all and gives the impression of the skater flying accross the ice. Gordeeva is the exemple of that "style".

    Actually these two styles would be two ways of building speed accross the ice. I find it quite surprising indeed since both ways looks totally different and even opposed (strong and deep edges vs light edges).

    Coaches don't seem to differenciate these ways of skating, they explain exercises, and usually request the skater to push hard on edges in order to go as deep as possible.
    But I've red that the deeper the edge is, the more resistance on the ice, resulting to less speed.
    So I'm kind of loss now !! Does the deep edge help to build speed or not ?

    Which skaters are characteristic of it ?
  29. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    I think Amanda Dobbs is another skater with nice edges. Just watch her US nationals SP! She has very clean and crsip edging.
  30. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    Carolina Kostner. Her edges are :swoon:
  31. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    You use your edges to gain speed. If you're doing them right, you build speed with your edges. That "growl" is you pushing correctly, and if you're doing it right, as you go down the ice doing, say, an edge exercise, you're gaining speed as you go, not losing it.
  32. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Edge pulls on one foot is a good example.

    Since we're seeing more one-foot footwork in footwork sequences this year from the elite skaters, it's useful to see who can maintain (or even gain) speed on the edges of one blade versus losing speed.
  33. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    About the deepest edges from North AMerica, I read it in a book about Figure Skating History. that there were different points of view. And that usually, edges were in Great Britain and North America, vs. style, ballet in Russia, and choreography in France, for example.
    Maybe my summary is too small : it's probably much more difficult to explain !!!

    IMO, Kurt Browning is the perfect north american skater. His edges were very good. Joannie Rochette is also a good example.
  34. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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  35. Fallcolor

    Fallcolor New Member

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    Nice deep edging of ice dancers is precisely why IMO, their spins (& footwork for that matter) are far more watchable than pairs skaters. Some pairs nowadays have fairly shallow edges when spinning, centering problems and timing problems (sbs spins).

    Someone not mentioned here that I thought had ncie deep edges, was Kimmie Meissner. One of the only features i admired about her actually. (shame about the arms). While Mao's skating skills are certainly above the average ladies I don't think she's all the way there yet. There are some elements, like spirals for example where she could build a bit more power and skate on a deeper edge to make them faster (esp after the change of edge). But ever since working with Tarasova she doesn't skate on flat edges anymore...same with Cohen in 03.

    Currently someone i always think of with deepest edges, is Savchenko. Deepest, most lilty knees i've ever seen in a pairs lady skater- her forward stroking has a nice lean off the vertical, and the amazingly deep change of edge spread eagle is to die for!
  36. Fallcolor

    Fallcolor New Member

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    Alban preaubert, imo has a bit of this 'scratching' problem.
  37. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Katia seemed to have very good balance on her blades to help her speed. Pushing/pulling on deep edges is one way to BUILD speed, but another way is to not catch the edge on anything that could slow you down - the latter method was how Katia did it, IMO.

    My coach, when he was telling me about pulling the edge, told me that I needed to lean forward more on my forward crossovers. Wait, you say, isn't that how one catches a toepick? Sure, if you lean too much. You'll feel your pick scratch when you hit that point, but right behind the toepick is an area where the blade has the shallowest edges, and when you skate on that area, it'll give you the least resistance on the ice. IMO this was how Katia skated with so much speed and smoothness, but not with a lot of power. Instead of making the speed and working hard to always build it, she was efficient on her feet and kept herself from slowing down.

    It's probably not a coincidence that my coach back then used to be a Russian ice dancer. :lol:

    At any rate, you can either work deep edges all the time a la Patrick Chan to be fast or be efficient and balance on your blades to prevent friction from slowing you down like Katia. Either method works, but you have to do it right each time. Sitting on a deep edge can definitely slow you down!
  38. wonderlen

    wonderlen New Member

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    LOL Skating with so called 'Deep Edges' will give you lots of brownnie points with the judges. Of course most casual viewers will probably be scratching their head, 'what???'
  39. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    It's a summary but it make sense and overall it's close to the reality indeed. :)
    The russian balletic style can explain their approach of edges work.
  40. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    :respec::cheer2:
    I totally get what you mean and it actually confirms what I thought without having any "official" theorical answer.
    This is two methods and I believe it's up to each skater to find the way that works better.
    Coaches (western coaches at least) tend to teach the deep edges work. Wonder why they don't also point the balance option and the need to be on the right part of the blade early in the learning process ...

    Gordeeva's way of maintening the speed allows her to look effortless (since she actually doesn't put too much physical effort pushing on her blades) and gives the impression of her flying since she is very light on the ice.
    I got the same impression from Berheznaya and Sikharulidze, only that they seemed to be a little "heavier" on the edges.