Technique question: deep edges.

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

  1. mishieru07

    mishieru07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    307
    True. Loads of casual viewers don't know the difference between a correct edge take-off or have difficulties spotting under-rotations, unless the commentator actually points it out. Things like speed don't get noticed as well on a screen either. It took me quite some time to learn about the basics and even now I still get confused with the judging at times! :lol:

    We've talked about singles and pairs but which current ice dancer(s) has the best edges?
  2. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    7,900
    Trixi Shuba- The "statuesque" lady in blue.
    - From overhead, it appears as if she is moving with great exactness "across the the ice". However, her mind set is that she is "carving in the ice" exactly what she wants and it is by way of the process of carving that she is taken from here to there.
    - When you look at her body, her body does not change position until she wants to change the blade.
    - When you look at her tracings in the ice, there is only 1 deep clear tracing from 1 edge of a 2 edged blade, not 2 parallel tracings.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  3. fan

    fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    977
    can someone explain the "pushing" and "pulling" of edges on cross-cuts a bit more please? I'd like to try it out tonight but I'm not sure what to try
  4. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,782
    John Curry absolutely had wonderful edge work. Robin Cousins too. I have a DVD of John teaching and his demonstrations are just textbook and he certainly had that growl to his edges when required. When I think of deep edges and power stroking on deep edges then the first name that comes to mind is Irina Rodnina. There's a reason many skaters would go to watch her in practice at competitions; they were in awe of her abilities. Such lean :swoon:
  5. fanof

    fanof New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    88
    Яana Khokhlova is the best skater dance in the history. Hokholova is the best, she would become a winner if she had a polittical support.

    My favorite
    Khokhlova/Novitsky
  6. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,254
    It impresses me so much more that the skater is moving across the ice effortlessly, especially while still maintaining good posture and line. Gordeeva is the queen.

    Kim, Rochette and Phaneuf are recent examples of skaters with solid, powerful edging that still maintain reasonably good posture. (Not like a Slutskaya or an Ando)

    To me, Kwan really is the perfect blend of everything good about moving across the ice. She skates on deep edges yet still moves across the ice effortlessly and gracefully.
  7. Robeye

    Robeye Curiously curious

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    411
    I've only ever been a very occasional, 'recreational' skater (to put the most charitable spin on it ;)), so my comments are based on my familiarity with basic physics, and by analogy to other sports: any speeding object, absent additional forces applied, is going to continue moving in a straight line, and on ice, where friction comes into play, you're inevitably slowing down. In order to change momentum (change of speed and, in this case, direction, since skaters will generally be skating in an arc when they try to build/maintain speed), an external force needs to be applied. In the case of skating, this would be when the edge applies pressure against the ice, creating resistance. Like a ball sliding against a curved barrier, the higher the barrier (ie pressure applied to the ice, creating the deep edge), the greater the speed that can be carried into the turn without disastrously hopping that barrier.

    The implications for the Patrick vs. Katia techniques:

    -Patrick's deep edge technique would be analogous to a Formula-1 car entering a corner at high speed, and applying the brakes in a smooth, controlled manner to increase the resistance against the road (the "crunching" sound as the blade bites the ice). This is correct technique in driving. If the brakes were not used, then the car couldn't safely carry as much speed into the turn to begin with.

    -Katia's technique is analogous to a car entering a corner without applying too much braking, relying primarily on the natural resistance ("stickiness" in motor talk) of the tires to make the turn. From the POV of energy conservation, this is more efficient. Two caveats, however.

    First, this technique is much easier to do if the speed into the turn is relatively slower. Assuming equivalent initial speed, however, it is also easier to accomplish if the object is less heavy (f=ma, which is why sports cars tend to be small). As a general rule, for a male skater to match Katia's efficiency of technique at equivalent speed, he would need to be equipped with a much bigger, sharper blade (which is why larger cars, such as SUVs, have huge tires, all other factors being equal).

    Second, Katia's technique has very little margin for error; it takes only the smallest miscalculation to lose control, particularly at higher speeds and greater weights (imagine trying to swerve around an onrushing signpost without using your brakes).

    While Katia's technique can be seen as elegant, it may not be universally applicable. I would surmise that this may be why deep edges are generally favored in skating.
  8. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Thank you Robeye for your scientific analysis. Skating being about physics as well, it's always interesting to put what is done on the ice under a scientific perspective.

    If I understand well Katia's technique relies more on her body characteristics and natural balance ability than on an edge work, therefore making this technic not easy to teach to everybody.

    It does make sense indeed.
    The deep edge work, ala Chan or ice dancers, is easier to teach because of the simple instruction : "push more on edges". Whereas Katia's technic would be like teaching : "keep a perfect balance and use the perfect combination of resistance vs body weight to maintain the acquired speed". No easy to explain actually ! lol
  9. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,522
    Thanks, Robeye. Your analogy does make sense to me (given that I know even less about the physics of driving than about the physics of skating).

    However,

    On ice, though, the movement almost always starts on a curve, and it's much easier to generate speed by skating on curves (one edge) instead of flats. So, absent additional forces applied, the speeding skater would continue to moving along the same curve . . . except that as the speed decreases the diameter of the curve will steadily decrease.

    In fact, that's where the name of "spiral" for a single sustained edge originally came from.

    Also, skating on single edges instead of flats decreases the friction. Skating on the "sweet spot" of the blade where the blade is more curved decreases the friction compared to skating on a less curved part of the blade or, worse, scratching the toepicks.

    And of course blades on ice have much less friction than most other media such as shoes on wood or even socks on linoleum. :)

    But your description seems to make sense in terms of controlling the resistance by "pushing" the blade against the ice.
  10. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,029
    Actually it is not that simple. You have to make sure your weight is in the right place. With ice dancers much of the technique comes from shoulders being perfectly aligned and also keeping your weight to the outside of your circle. There is the placement of the free leg hip (which also helps with leg extension) and using that to keep the weight over your skate. So much is also affected by how you use your ankle and generating speed by the placement of that.

    Ice dancers in particular spend hours on this stuff and if you talk to any ice dance coach they are used to breaking it down to the endth degree. Because making the slightest adjustment to your technique can help you make big improvements in what you do.
  11. LisaS

    LisaS New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    97
    Just wanted to add that Surya Bonaly probably had the worst edges of any top level skater in history.
  12. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,029
    Yes she was shocking.
  13. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Well, I was not saying it was simple to do the edge work, I was explaining why it is easier for artistic coaches to teach the "deep edge" technic rather than the "Katia's technic", because coaches have easier time to say "push on your edges" than the very subtil and complicated technic used by Gordeeva. And pretty often artistic coaches stick to the same instruction : "push !". They may think it's enough while, as you say, it is more complicated than that for sure. And dance coaches explain it better since it is at first what ice dance is all about technically wise.
  14. officialcoach

    officialcoach New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    54
    I don't think dance teachers have an advantage over the older singles and pairs coaches because they did figures and taught them.
    In the States the reason for the average skater to be lacking in their edge skills is because they never replaced figures!! The moves in the field where the most under developed edge exercises since skating on cement (except the Counters, and Rocker steps).
    The flaw is in the US is its vision and standard of what a passing Moves test should be.
    Dancers, on the othe hand, have been doing edges on their compulsory dances and then with the COP technical demands that edges are edges or the turns and skills get no credit(or very little) has pushed our dancers to a higher level of skating.
    Back in the day, when a skater passed a figure test, that meant the skater would work to perfect those figures for competition. Now when a skater passes a Moves test they may never work on those Moves again.
  15. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Older FS coaches may not be at a disadvantage vs dance coaches but all FS coaches are not "old" enough, many coaches have never done figures, and eventhough they did figures back in the days, they don't have to teach them anymore. You said it yourself "the reason for the average skater to be lacking in their edge skills is because they never replaced figures". And it's been about 20 years that figures have been removed from competitions, so this type of work has disapeared of the teaching method, replaced by a huge work on jumps and spins. On the other hand dance coaches have to teach compulsories and steps since this is what dance is made for.
    That's why the work on steps and edges is more familiar to ice dancers than for free skaters. However under the COP it becomes more important again to work on edges for free skaters.
  16. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    11,062
    Ooh that level of detail sounds fascinating to a nerd like me. If I ever get back into skating, I may have to take up ice dance. :lol:
  17. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,397
    Her back crossovers were good. At least, she pushed on an outside edge, which was not the case of Sasha Cohen ! ;)
  18. Indra486

    Indra486 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,650
    I thought that was said about Amber Corwin? :eek:
  19. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    7,900
    ^ No dear, Amber Corwin is Gay Icon of All-Time.

    While she was not perfect on anything, there is plenty to her skating apart from her elements.
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,029
    One of the reasons I love doing ice dance is because the coaches break it down to the endth degree. I had a lesson with a different coach from my normal one last night and I loved how much detail he went into. Because it actually helps.
  21. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    11,062
    Thanks for the vid! I'd never actually seen figures done in realtime. :eek: The speed at which they skate actually surprised me.

    Although, I think being proficient at figures makes you more balanced over the blades and more efficient with speed a la Katia and Carolina, not necessarily a power stroker and deep leaner like Patrick Chan. I think that leaning a lot in figures might be detrimental. I've heard that blades for figures are sharpened much flatter than for freestyle, is that true?

    Though the speed they do have looks more effortless, for sure.

    WOW the second vid is so cool! I want to learn how to skate like that. :lol: The lean and speed look like fun!

    I went skating for the first time in a LONG time (so I'm already rusty) and paid particular attention to my body positions and blade balance while stroking. Already I was starting to nitpick why holding a forward outside on my right foot was more comfortable than the left. :lol: I can see how one can get really detailed with it.
  22. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,602
    OK, let's imagine you are doing right-over-left back crossovers in a clockwise circle. Once you cross over with the right foot, you transfer all of your weight onto the right foot push against the inside edge of the blade. Then you reach into the circle with your left foot, grab the ice with your left blade and pull it towards you. So basically, the outside foot pushes and the inside foot pulls. In order to keep from falling into the circle while doing this, you need to lean a little outside of the circle and press your outside shoulder down.

    I think silent edges and "growling" (or "ripping") edges are both correct, as long as the skater is on the correct part of the blade and the blade is doing what it's supposed to be doing. I've been on the ice with both Michelle Kwan and Carolina Kostner and I remember noticing that Michelle's blades made a loud ripping sound when she skated down the length of the ice, whereas Carolina's blades were pretty silent. I notice my blades make a ripping sound when I push on the side of the blade and let that foot reach its maximum distance from my body (which I was encouraged to do on the inside slide chasse move), whereas my blades are more silent when I stay aligned over the blade, even if I'm on a deep edge (more typical of figures, where ankle bend and pressing into the ice are essential).
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,398
    I've always admired Arakawa's edges. And of course, Patrick Chan.
  24. Maximillian

    Maximillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    2,039
    Judging by the disparity of opinions about which skaters do and do not have deep edges, I would hedge a bet that your guess OP is about as good as anyone else's on this board.

    The causality of deep edging/speed is obviously disproved by Kwan if one is to believe that she has great edges. Kostner skates fast, like Slutskaya, this does not mean that either have good edges, this means that both skaters skate fast.
  25. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,711
    To me, Kozuka's skating is much more beautiful to watch than Chan. Chan does do more difficult moves but I don't see much lean on his edges. I'd prefer Kozuka's edges. Much more simpler but I just love the way Kozuka shows off his beautiful edges.
    Patrick is more of a school figure type skater and Kozuka is more like a Janet Lynn type, I think.
  26. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,522
    In those cases, I would say both had good edges and they skated fast. But that doesn't disprove your point, which could be supported by saying that Surya Bonaly also skated fast.

    Some speed comes from technique and some comes from athleticism and the amount of muscle power the skater puts into each stroke.

    Fair enough, as a point of personal aesthetic preference.

  27. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,397
    Kozuka has very good edges, so has Chan.
    The impressive thing in Chan's skating is the abitlity to move his feet. He is always on the good part of his blade. Amazing !
  28. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,029
    Well that is the thing I find so mesmorising about watching Chan. His blade is frictionless on the ice and moves with a fluidity that very few skaters have. He certainly is on the right part of the blade. And he can do complicated turns very quickly with the same speed and flow in and out.
  29. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,602
    Mesmerizing is the right word to describe Patrick's stroking. I was ice monitor on practice ice last year at Worlds and that was my first chance to see Patrick's skating up close and see what the big deal was. I have seen Kozuka up close many times and I agree that his skating skills are among the best in the world, but watching Patrick step onto the ice and skate away was like watching a dolphin jump into the water and start swimming. There was just something about the way he moved across the ice that I had never seen before.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    11,062
    Totally. And it's rare that someone that young and relatively new to the scene has such good edge quality. He's always had terrific basics. Even among ice dancers, I've never seen anyone put each edge to use the way Patrick does.
  31. immoimeme

    immoimeme having a nice day

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    8,261
    Following a previous link I came across this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDdLXYNiS9k&feature=related

    Mrs Graftstrom's comments are quite interesting. Watching this video took me way way back!

    But I remember seeing two skaters doing figures during practices: Viacheslav Zagorodniuk, at 1998 Worlds, and Todd Eldredge, 2001 Worlds exhibition. I was so fascinated watching Todd, because I was actually real close to the ice and could see what he was doing, that when my all-time fav Plushenko showed up I was loath to look away!

    Well. LOL. Back to your regularly scheduled discussion... :)
  32. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    222
    As many of the previou posters have metioned dancer have much deeper edges because that majority of their programs are turns and edge work. Much of the basis of dance step come from figures and therefore you need a deep edge to make a figure 8. If you don't work the edges properly you won't get around the circle or you will have flats in you circle. One think that allows dancer to get deeper edges than the other diciplines is the fact that their boots are cut lower. Dance boots generally don't come up as high on the ankle therefore allowing more freedom of movement of the ankle and the ability to create deeper edges.
  33. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,029
    You don't need a deep edge to do a figure 8, unless it is a very tight one. But you do need to be on the correct edge to do it.

    Agree about dance boots though. I love mine because they allow me to get ankle flexion. However even when I had freestyle boots, I never did the top hook up so I could get ankle flexion.
  34. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    222
    You do need a deep edge to do a figure loop, which is probably why I couldn't do them very well. I was constantly getting new skates and my boots were never very broken in. It made it very difficult to work edges with stiff boots.

    You can adjust the stiffness by not doing up the top hook but if you are doing triples and quads you want to hae sufficient ankle support.
  35. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    7,900
    :rofl: Watch Trixie's complusories followed by the 1988 Men's complusories. Trixie would have destroyed them.

    :p ... or school figured them.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  36. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,685
    Was lurking in the archives to read something of interest and found this! :cheer2:
    What a gem. Still don't quite fully comprehend 'deep edges' but getting there. :)
  37. Golightly

    Golightly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,232
    To better "get" deep edges, you might want to look at the Tango Romantica the dancers did at the Olympics, especially the top three. :)
  38. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,158
    The rhumba choctaws in the short dance this season required very deep edges. Check out the knee bend of the top teams and the angle of their bodies in regards to the ice, it is about 45 degrees.
  39. sap5

    sap5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    7,915
    Sergei had the same technique as Katia, and his blades were not unusually big.

    I think you're right in that this style of skating requires extreme precision, as you are essentially skating on only a very small part of the blade all the time.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  40. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,612
    Going back to the question of singles skaters with good edges, I just happened to note during Stars On Ice this year that Joannie Rochette's edges were deeper than the usual singles skater - impressive. I think now that I'm an adult beginner I spend a lot of any live show watching the skaters from the knee down!