tips for better edge control?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Margaret, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    Could you please share your tips and secrets to achieve better control of the outside edge? For example outside forward swing rolls - it is really difficult to stay on the outside edge and skate a half circle, because my foot just wants to move straight forward. I guess I don´t lean on the edge enough because I´m afraid of falling.
    Of course I understand that I should just practise, practise, practise, but maybe somebody has had the same problem and has discovered some clever ways to improve edge control. If it matters, I´m an adult beginner, as you have probably realized.
  2. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

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    There is no easy way, really. Hip, shoulder alignment is important. Speed is also a major factor. Without speed, it's very hard to lean without falling over.

    Since you're an adult beginner, please don't rush and speed up. Work on posture first. Make sure your bum is not sticking out to the back (aka breaking at the waist) or to the side. Soft knee bend when you first step on the outside (same for inside) edge to start the lobe. Don't step on a straight knocked knee. It won't work.

    Good luck.
  3. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    Thank you. It is really controversial, that on one hand the speed helps you keep balance, but on the other hand the speed itself is dangerous for a beginner. I guess I am maybe a little bit too cautious.
  4. Hedwig

    Hedwig New Member

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    I have the same problem. Outside edges are so hard.
    People keep telling me to practice as well. It got a bit better in the last months but it is still my weakest spot in skating.
  5. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Push deeply into your heel! The more pressure you can put on the back of the blade (without going too far back, of course) the easier it is to hold the edge. I found this especially true with swing rolls when you have to rise up towards the end. If you are not doing swing rolls, keep that skating knee down the whole time.
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I get what you're saying, but I'm not sure this is good advice for beginners, who may not yet have an accurate sense of how far back on the blade is too far.

    For me, I found it more helpful to think about the lean. Even if you have just a little bit of a lean, you can usually feel the difference. Luenatic's advice about aligning yourself over the foot and thinking of leaning the entire side, not just bits and pieces, is really good.

    Also, if the foot "wants to move straight forward" - well, don't let it :) If your foot is moving straight forward, that's because you're pushing it that way, and doing a curved edge out of that is going to be next to impossible. It might help to imagine a curve on the ice - it doesn't have to be a really deep one, even more like a ) than a really round half-circle. And then before you even start moving, envision yourself travelling on that curve, and push off into it. That could help you travel on a curve, rather than starting on a straight line and trying to bend it into a curve.
  7. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    I agree it may be too much for a real beginner, but since the OP is working on swing rolls, then I think that's far enough along for that bit of advice. Also, I hate to say it, but sooner or later, one learns what is too far back the hard way, or very nearly so.
  8. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Well, at my rink swing rolls are one of the very first things the coaches teach the adults who are learning about edges, so I don't think we can assume the OP is not a "real beginner" just because she's trying swing rolls.
  9. jjane45

    jjane45 New Member

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    Have you ever checked blade alignment? When I first got my skates I had way too much inside edge and zero outside edge (not even flat). Your symptoms differ, just saying it could be an equipment problem...
  10. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    Bend your knees. When you think you have bent them, bend it some more.
    Diane Mars and (deleted member) like this.
  11. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Do School Figures.
  12. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Live and learn! I have never seen swing rolls taught so early. Real swing rolls are fairly difficult and require a degree of edge control first. I have nice deep O edges on cross rolls, both F and B, and can also do them at varying tempos, almost up to Paso Doble rhythm, and found the swing rolls in the Dutch Waltz to be the hardest element in all 3 Preliminary dances. In the Basic Skills (1-8) progression, a FO edge on a circle isn't taught until B4. The measly 4 Adult levels leave a lot out, IMO. Well, we are all different, and without actually seeing someone skate, it's hard to tell what they may really be ready for.
  13. coskater

    coskater New Member

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    Yep, school figures teach edges best!

    So glad to see them on the new moves.:encore:
  14. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    This isn't a beginner exercise at all, but a great edge exercise is to do 3 cross strokes & every 3rd one hold the edge for an entire circle. You can do this w/ both forward & backward, & as you develop your edge strength you start deepening the edge more & more as much as possible while still controlling it. This is a great exercise for building up to figure loops.
  15. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    ITA. And it's great to see your circles get smaller and hear the rip.
  16. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    Thank you everybody, I will try out all of this as soon as I get on the ice:)
  17. Hedwig

    Hedwig New Member

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    What I am always a bit afraid of is that I am trying all these things and might do them wrong (like breaking in the waist instead of in the foot or whatever) and then ingrain the mistake somehow.
    Do you have ideas how to check wether one really was on an outside edge? Sometimes I can see the tracing but more like - is the feel in the body then different or so?
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    If you're on one foot and you're curving in the correct direction, chances are good you're on the correct edge.

    It's possible to steer around a circle on flats or even on the other edge, but that would generally feel like more of a struggle.
  19. Hedwig

    Hedwig New Member

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    Well, everything is a struggle still ;) but thanks - then I seem to be at least on a little bit of an outside edge! :)
  20. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Here is a tip from Carol Rossignol's education article in the most recent PSA magazine:

    In this article, Carol tells about having the skater imagine a city of igloos that they will lean against as they describe edges and circular patterns (such as the 8-step mohawk.) She says "Mold yourself around each igloo, pressing the curved wall with all your parts, from head to fingertips to toes." I used this technique yesterday with a student who was having trouble with her upper body leaning out of her circle and it helped considerably.
  21. drskater

    drskater New Member

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    Sorry to repeat advice, but if you can somehow find a way to learn school figures, like the basic circle eight, you'll learn all kinds of techniques for body posture and edge control to maintain a nice clean outside edge.
  22. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    I love that!! To repeat two things others have said but phrase them differently, I would suggest focusing on:
    (1) *ankle* bend (think of bending your ankles, not just your knees and that will help keep your weight in the right place and make you press into the ice), and
    (2) *alignment* over the side you are skating on. I say "alignment" rather than "lean" because trying to "lean" can make you drop your skating side shoulder, tilt, and get off balance. Let's say you are doing a left forward outside edge. Don't "lean" by dropping your left shoulder and tilting your head sideways to the left. Instead, keep your head level but shift it to the left so that your left ear is aligned over your left shoulder, which stays level. Now lift your right hip. You are now aligned over your left hip without being tilted and off-balance.
    Also, as others have said, the position of your shoulders is important. You want your shoulders lined up over the imaginary circle you are on. For example, if you want to hold a left outside edge, push your right arm/shoulder in front and pull your left arm/shoulder back so that your chest faces inside the imaginary circle you are skating on. For a right outside edge, it would be left arm/shoulder in front and right arm/shoulder pulled back.
  23. icedancer2

    icedancer2 New Member

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    I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned raising the free hip to create the lean.

    I NEVER think about lean, it just happens when you raise that hip and get on the edge.

    I agree that figures training will help of course, but then again I am biased... (big figures enthusiast here).

    Good luck and let us know how it goes with all of this advice!:)
  24. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned it in the post above yours, but it's definitely worth repeating! :)
  25. icedancer2

    icedancer2 New Member

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    Ooops - yes you are right but it was kind of buried in there I guess (and the rest of your post was right-on also!):watch: