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Technique question: deep edges.

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

  1. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    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.
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    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.
  3. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

  5. Fallcolor

    Fallcolor Member

    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!
  6. Fallcolor

    Fallcolor Member

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

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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!
  8. wonderlen

    wonderlen New Member

    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???'
  9. 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.
  10. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    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.
  11. mishieru07

    mishieru07 New Member

    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?
  12. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    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
  13. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    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
  14. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    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:
  15. fanof

    fanof New Member

    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
  16. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Robeye

    Robeye Curiously curious

    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.
  18. 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
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    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).


    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.
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  21. LisaS

    LisaS Member

    Just wanted to add that Surya Bonaly probably had the worst edges of any top level skater in history.
  22. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Yes she was shocking.
  23. 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.
  24. officialcoach

    officialcoach New Member

    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.
  25. 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.
  26. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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:
  27. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Her back crossovers were good. At least, she pushed on an outside edge, which was not the case of Sasha Cohen ! ;)
  28. Indra486

    Indra486 Well-Known Member

    I thought that was said about Amber Corwin? :eek:
  29. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    ^ 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.
  30. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.