Technique question: deep edges.

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

  1. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever New Member

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    Deep edges are simple physics. A motorcycle going 60 mph is going to lean into a curve more than one going 30 mph. Deep edges are a byproduct of speed. In reference to Trixie Schuba, school figures don't move fast enough to generate natural edges. Like all of us ancient figure folks, Trixie contrived the edges by forcing her ankles over.
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Well-Known Member

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    I think this ice dance couple illustrates deep edges very well. At one point, there is a closeup of their feet and you can really see the lean on the edges.

    Bestimianova and Bukin 1988 Olympics Kilian CD

    This is why I miss compulsory dances. They really separated the great from the good.
  3. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorite CD ever. This Killian is amazing.
  4. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever New Member

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    ........and created a level playing field.

    Nice clean Kilian. No frills.
  5. spikydurian

    spikydurian New Member

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    Thanks Pollyanna. Wow.. the close-up was great. I can see the lean you are talking about. Their steps were soooooo in sync and close together too.

    I guess compulsory dances allow apples to be compared with apples hence it's probably easier for non-skaters like me to 'see' the difference? A trained eye and skater won't need compulsories to pick these differences?
  6. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Well-Known Member

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    Someone on here once said that compulsories allowed you to see the boys and girls from the men and women. Watching the compulsories of the greats like B/B or T/D, I can see why that poster said that.
  7. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. In short/original dances and free dances, you can do a lot of...let's say, distractions ;P with your upper body to divert attention away from weak edges, and use choreography to play up your strengths and hide your weaknesses. So even a trained eye can be distracted. But you can't get away with that in the compulsory dances. If the pattern says you do a right outside three-turn on that beat at that point in the pattern...you do it.

    One thing that did change in the CDs across the years, and not for the good IMHO, was allowing more upper body movement during the dance (e.g. changes of holds, arm movements) and more entry and exit steps. If you look at that B/B video, you'll notice that they start in a pose and then go straight into the dance, and don't do much in the upper body beyond the basic Kilian hold. Look at any recent CD on YouTube and you'll see a lot more fancy stuff going on before and after. I think this was an attempt by the ISU to make the CDs more interesting to watch, but IMHO it just let weak dancers distract more from their technical problems.
  8. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan New Member

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    This is a really interesting discussion, and I am learning a lot. Edgework is one of my favourite parts of figure skating, and I would love to become more proficient on my edges when I skate (recreationally). thanks for providing your insights :)

    Your comment reminded me of something I read in a Sports Illustrated article that came out shortly after Sergei died. When describing G&G's skating, John Nicks remarked:

    "They really are what pairs skating ought to be," John Nicks, a prominent U.S. coach, once said in describing Grinkov and Gordeeva at work. "They are the consummate pair. You can't appreciate the capacity of a 180-pound man to move across the ice without a sound until you watch him skate. They are a symphony for the senses. Go to practice one day. Don't watch them; just listen. Not a sound. No matter the ice condition, you hear only the music. They move so freely, their blades don't scratch the ice."

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007500/1/index.htm
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Timely that this topic has been resurrected because I was only thinking today as I was skating about what it is about Patrick Chan that he has such sublime skating technique. It is effortless. What has he done to get it to that level? Or is he just a freak?
    I have not had the pleasure of seeing him live, only just watching the videos. I would love to hear from those who have watched him live as to what they notice when they have seen him live. Or if they know how it has developed.
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Chan was the only skater at 09 Worlds that I could not get a clear photograph of. He is SO fast!

    Watching him live is really a treat. Definitely do it if you get a chance! His speed is evident even during exhibitions. The last time I saw him live was the All That Skate show where he did the Coldplay program. Near the beginning, he does a series of crossovers and it was like watching someone take off and fly. I mean, skating is already kind of like flying, but he's effin' Superman out there. He makes it look so effortless. :swoon:

    Another skater whom I didn't appreciate fully until watching live is Carolina Kostner. She doesn't have the kind of power Patrick has, but her balance on her blade is second to none. I could even see it while she was warming up with three-turns. She exerted a lot less effort on her blades than everyone else, and got more speed out of them. Again, she makes it look very easy.

    I think such superior use of the blade requires some amount of talent. Hard work too of course, but so few skaters show that level of mastery, so I'm pretty sure there's something internal about that as well. :p
  11. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan New Member

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    I was in the audience for his exhibition at SC 2010, and after seeing that I concluded that his technique is divinely bestowed;)
  12. spikydurian

    spikydurian New Member

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    Patrick has openly dedicated his skating skills to his late coach, Mr Colson. He kind of said that without Mr Colson, he wouldn't be where he is today. (I teared on that part :) )

    Why is it that some skaters have great edges and some not? It is due to the different approach and emphasis in early training in the different countries?
  13. jl22aries

    jl22aries Active Member

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    I was in the audience for his 2011 Nationals LP and I second that his technique is divinely bestowed :)

    And thanks for the B/B link! That CD is mind blowing!

    You know, maybe they'll bring the CD's back. It's obviously an ever evolving system that hinges a lot on the feedback of experts and specialists. There must be a pool of individuals in power positions whom also believe in the value of the CD.
  14. jlmart

    jlmart Member

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    I remember reading an interview with Patrick years ago in which he said he was so excited about moving to Mr Colson because he thought he would start learning the big jumps but Mr Colson made him do nothing but patterns on the ice for a long time. I think the suspicion is that he was doing figures which would explain a lot.
  15. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    That's what I've heard, too. Patrick does compulsories(patterns and figures) while training which is why his edges are so deep and fluid.
  16. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

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    And this, in a nutshell, summarizes the issue. And I wonder whether the elimination of CDs will eventually lead to a deterioration of skills in dance as well.

    There was an interview a few years ago in which Patrick said that Mr. Colson was always demanding that Patrick get deeper into his knees (there might have even been a video clip of this), and I think that's at the core of his talent - he has incredibly deep, fluid and rhythmic knees that allow him to really pull his edges. Watch his knee action on a counter or rocker and how he sinks back into the edge after the turn.

    Figures could certainly be a contributing factor, but I think his knee action is much more so.
  17. Robeye

    Robeye Curiously curious

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    Wow, they must still be using dial-up connections in your town. I guess I should be expecting a reply to this post sometime next year :lol:. (I jest :)).

    Having re-acquainted myself with the topic, I'll begin with the quibble that I prefaced my remarks with "as a general rule", and "all other factors being equal" ;). In all seriousness, the example was to illustrate some basic principles of physics as they might apply to skating, so the "male skater" was just a generic cut-out in my mind.

    Nevertheless, as you imply, Sergei was not just any generic male skater, and all factors are not equal, in his particular case. I will roll with you that he may have possessed talents of timing and balance which allowed him to skate much closer to the physical limits of his chosen technique, without crashing over them.

    If you're familiar with golf at all, an example that comes to mind is our newest Masters winner, Bubba Watson. As a passionate golfer, I can tell you that it's a universal truism that there is no way that someone with his swing technique should be able to win at the highest level. But his remarkable natural power, timing and "feel" allow him to overcome the schematic risks of his swing to "create" shots that those with more orthodox technique can't replicate. Doing your own thing is usually frowned upon in the now highly technical world of golf, and so it's quite meaningful and revealing that golf pros and commentators can now only describe Bubba's technical abilities (there is no aesthetically-related scoring in golf), in genuinely admiring tones, as that of "a true artist".

    I would think that maybe Sergei's technique falls into that category.

    But as in the case of Bubba, while Sergei's technique can be a source of wonder, I'm not sure that it is a model that can be successfully replicated by many others.
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Figures I think are a bit more upright and whilst show control, I am not sure contribute to depth of edge.

    The one thing I noticed about Chan (and from video only) is the incredible lean he gets on his crossovers. But it is balanced by his weight keeping to the outside of his circle. So his shoulders are level but underneath that he is leaning to the inside of his circle.

    Also whilst he has great knee bend he cannot do it without ankle flexion. You can tell a skater to bend their knees, but much of the actual control comes from the ankles and keeping them supple.

    I suppose at the end of the day Chan is still a feak.
  19. zilam98

    zilam98 New Member

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    i suppose g/g's early training with zhuk (unconventional as it was like running over rocks) served them really well in the longterm, didnt it?
  20. zilam98

    zilam98 New Member

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    isnt it interesting that in this talk about deep edges, when ice dancers are the supposed standard bearers of such, the discussion gravitates toward gordeeva-grinkov's skating technique instead? ;)
  21. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    In one of Christine Brennan's skating books Elena Valova commented that their training ice was so poor that when they competed at top competitions they just flew on the good ice.
  22. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

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    What figures help you with is getting on the right part of your blade, which is a necessary but not sufficient skill for depth of edge. So it can definitely help, but depth of edge doesn't automatically follow doing figures (otherwise all of us who skated in the era of figures would be mini Chans, LOL). So I think your conclusion is probably right - he's just a freak. :lol:
  23. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    Yes, AFAIK figures aren't about deep edges per se, they're about _control_ of edges from the ankle down and holding an edge mo matter what your upper body is doing.

    So many turns now seem cheated by contorting the body into making the turn happen rather than controlling the edges in and out of the turn. Wrongheaded scoring guidelines don't help here.
  24. smileyskate

    smileyskate New Member

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  25. magnolia

    magnolia New Member

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    This is a great thread, and the explanation that there can be two ways of defining good strokes, one that uses edges and one that uses the flat part of the skate right behind the toe pick, has really clarified things for me.

    As far as Mao's stroke goes, I heard that she is exceptional at doing figure eights, which shows that she may not necessarily be (or have been) the best power stroker, but she is able to control her edges very well.

    I guess Mao is like G/G, and I think this is probably right because you can tell that Mao's posture is really good just by looking at her. Also, I went to a chiropractic for a while and he showed me how to correct my posture, and told me that people whose neck is perfectly aligned with their vertebrae and pelvis will have a double chin even if they are slim. And Mao has always had a slight double chin.

    Since going to Mr. Sato, I think Mao has learnt to generate speed more efficiently, and I heard that what he most corrected was her 'bouncy knees'. He apparently said that Mao had the habit of using her knees to instinctively slow down, and so he instructed her to just keep her body consistently low when stroking.
  26. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Magnolia - thanks for that information. Very interesting.