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  1. #1
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    Technique question: deep edges.

    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?

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

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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.

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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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by acraven View Post
    Skating on deep edges normally causes the body to lean way off vertical. Watch Patrick Chan or the top ice dancers.
    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?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    So ice dancers, as a rule, master deep edges, more so than singles skaters?
    On average, definitely.

    (Do single skaters need to skate with deep edges to win in competition?)
    It certainly gives them an advantage. Just ask Patrick Chan.
    Last edited by gkelly; 11-01-2010 at 09:04 PM.

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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.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    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?)
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    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.
    I don't think Krisiti Yamaguchi had deep edges..

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Are you saying that deep edges mean better ice coverage and speed for skaters?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    I don't think Krisiti Yamaguchi had deep edges..
    I said 21st century.

    I thought it was Janet Lynn and Yuka sato who were known for their edges.
    Yes, Lynn too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Are you saying that deep edges mean better ice coverage and speed for skaters?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    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.
    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 by Ziggy; 11-01-2010 at 10:18 PM.

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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.

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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.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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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?

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    What about someone like this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHJ5T...eature=related
    I notice that she skates quite fast, but Tony Wheeler (on his blog) calls her speed and skating technique "unrefined", does that mean her edges aren't quite as good?

  19. #19
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    Kostner, Rochette, Kim, and Lepisto definitely have the best skating skills currently amongst the ladies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    I thought it was Janet Lynn and Yuka sato who were known for their edges.
    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 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    What about someone like this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHJ5T...eature=related
    I notice that she skates quite fast, but Tony Wheeler (on his blog) calls her speed and skating technique "unrefined", does that mean her edges aren't quite as good?
    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.

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