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Technique question: deep edges.

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

  1. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    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
  3. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I've always admired Arakawa's edges. And of course, Patrick Chan.
  4. Maximillian

    Maximillian Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    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.

  7. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    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 !
  8. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  9. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

    Following a previous link I came across this


    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... :)
  12. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    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.
  13. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  14. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    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.
  15. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    :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
  16. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  17. Golightly

    Golightly Well-Known Member

    To better "get" deep edges, you might want to look at the Tango Romantica the dancers did at the Olympics, especially the top three. :)
  18. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. sap5

    sap5 Well-Known Member

    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
  20. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

    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!
  21. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

    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.
  22. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    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.
  23. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

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

    Nice clean Kilian. No frills.
  25. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    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?
  26. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

    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.
  27. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    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.
  28. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan Well-Known Member

    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."

  29. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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