Practice Thread

gkelly

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@antmanb, I'm amazed you could lace up your boots all the way and do so much the first time out. How stiff are (or aren't) your boots?

I bought new boots last fall but I haven't had much opportunity to break them in between training for a competition last winter and otherwise continuing lessons that would not be worth paying for in un-broken-in boots, and only getting to the rink a handful of times for break-in skating on public sessions. Last week I was able to stay on the ice stroking around and chatting with friends for more than half an hour without much pain, but really all I can do on them yet is basic two-foot skating (forward or backward) and forward stroking from one foot to the other. They're just too stiff to control anything more complicated yet.

I wanted to go down one level of stiffness from my previous boots because I don't jump any more. Maybe the way Reidell has redesigned their line in the interim it's more like stepping down only half a stiffness level.

Meanwhile, I have one pair of skates that's too stiff to do anything, and the old pair that I left too long to replace and is now too soft. I'll just have to keep getting to more public sessions for break-in purposes, when I can find the time.
 
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antmanb

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@antmanb, I'm amazed you could lace up your boots all the way and do so much the first time out. How stiff are (or aren't) your boots?
The boots are very stiff (they're Riedell Silver Stars - supposedly good for doubles or triples, but i'm a 105kg man so a stiffer boot is a requirement despite not even being close to ever looking at an axel let a alone a double :lol: ), but the padding feels enormous and very soft. When I laced up my boots I felt like there was more "give" left in the laces. I actually got off a couple of times to tighten the laces because they didn't feel quite tight enough. I think I left the left boot looser than the right so actually got very little pain in that foot.

My right foot is the one that does strange things - I think the ankle drops in slightly so the arch support was what was hurting my foot more than anything. If both feet had felt like the left foot then I would have felt comfortable trying to jump.

The padding and lining in the new boot are very different - the tongue seems longer than the old boots and the old design just had exposed padding on the tongue, which meant that over the years I've actually pinched out the foam from the tongue accidentally when pulling the tongue up to lace the boots. The new boots have thicker padding under a proper lining material so that won't happen with these.

The other improvement is a little bar on the tongue that you loop the laces round to keep the tongue in place. On my right foot the tongue would always move and sit at an angle.

Basically everywhere on the new boot is more than adequately padded....probably more a reflection on how bad my old boots were. The outside of my old boots looked like new there wasn't a crease or a crack anywhere...I suspect the inside had been broken down for a very long time, but I didn't really know to think about it.
 
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GarrAarghHrumph

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The advice to not lace up the top notch left me wondering if the weird feeling at the back of the boot was because I hadn't laced them all the way up or because of the boot.

I laced them up to the top and didn't find it an more uncomfortable so went with it.

...I wasn't up to skating fast but eventually braved a Mohawk and back cross overs in both directions....the tongue is so stiff I couldn't bend nearly enough (best excuse ever to throw at the coach now for the next few weeks/months).

...Backwards still feels strange I can't figure out if its the padding and stiffness of the tongue (the tongue padding on my old boots was all but gone), or whether the new boot (exact same model as before) has a slightly lower heel or cut lower down the Achilles but it definitely feels like i'm more on the back of the blade.
Leaving the top hook unlaced is mainly about knee bend. You talked about not being able to bend because the tongue is stiff, and the issue with going backwards. I'd suggest you try again with the top hook unlaced, and see if that feels better. It should allow you the knee bend you need while you're breaking in the boots/tongue. If you do this, let me know how it works for you.
 

misskarne

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Aborted practice today. I've gone and done something to my back on the weekend in my round of vigorous cleaning of walls, kitchen, bathroom, carpets, weeding etc. It bothered me all day. I was hoping that once I got on the ice and got moving and warmed up things would loosen up, but I could feel the pain even just skating forwards. Jumps and spins were out of the question.

T -5 days til competition....maybe. I'm re-reading the announcement tonight about medical withdrawals.
 

treesprite

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I just started back at actually trying to practice things again regularly, after the combination of health issues and new skate problems. I was mostly just guard skating and getting use to the skates for months. Yesterday I went to the skate guy do some stuff with my boots, so now I feel more geared up for practicing. But then last night I couldn't sleep, so I didn't go to the rink before work today.
 
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antmanb

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Leaving the top hook unlaced is mainly about knee bend. You talked about not being able to bend because the tongue is stiff, and the issue with going backwards. I'd suggest you try again with the top hook unlaced, and see if that feels better. It should allow you the knee bend you need while you're breaking in the boots/tongue. If you do this, let me know how it works for you.
I've just realised that I wrote a whole long update and then must have forgotten to post it because I can't find it anywhere!

I did try leaving the top hooks unlaced and it did allow for greater knee bend going backwards, however, skating forwards it felt like I didn't have enough support and felt a little wobbly so I laced them all the way up and persevered.

I managed to work much more quickly doing chasses on a circle, then forward cross overs. Then I did some back cross-overs and holding landing position. Again really focussing on the knee bend and wide step to keep off the toes, but then got a click of death and went sprawling on the ice. No damage done to me though!

In my lesson we did cross overs, then consecutive edges forwards/backwards, inside/outside. The back edges were a little scary, but I did manage to get some good outside ones, the inside ones were a little trickier. We then did change of edge again forwards/backwards, inside-outside/outside-inside. I actually think the better blade positioning has made the forward ones better, and even the backwards ones were ok, albeit a little scrapey at times.

We then did consecutive FO three turns on a circle and then consecutive FI three turns on a circle and they were surprisingly stable. FO turns were better than FI and LFI were the worst, but I managed to get through them, doing the turn a little early and toe-y but I was getting through them.

Coach then asked if i'd like to try back turns or jumping, so I opted for jumps :eek: it was like starting at the very beginning again. I walked through a waltz jump, lifting up on the toe of the take off foot, and turning, putting the land toe in and bending out onto an edge, then did a little hop which felt strange so I decided to just push on a RBO edge and step into the jump which felt much more natural and it was fine. I actually think these new boots are a lot lighter than the old boots because I feel less weight down in my feet now - I did a few waltz jumps in a row and as I progressed they got bigger and better. The last one (I think it was the 5th) actually felt bigger than normal and scared me a bit.

I walked through the salchow and although it took a lot longer to get into the air I managed to eventually get a vaguely passable attempt that was more than a hop.

Toe-loop is my money jump and while the toe pick placement and jump took a while to get going (and my toe pushing into the top of the boot for the pick in was painful) I managed to get two fairly normal toe-loops out.

To finish off I did two upright spins that felt pretty much normal so I was really happy with my second outing of these new skates. I had to miss last week as I was away so I will see how it goes this Thursday when i'm back on the ice.
 

treesprite

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I'm going to start back at lessons when my coach gets back from Romania, in about a week and a half. I was hoping to be back to doing more things before I start back, but stuff keep interferring with practice time.

These boots are causing problems when I step into spins, so 75% of the time the spins fail before they even start. Maybe the coach will see something I can do to overcome the problem, if it is just a matter of changing the technique a little, like maybe the angle of the foot when I put my foot down needs to be different (wish I had thought of this before; I will have to experiment tomorrow).
 

Theoreticalgirl

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The Good: I'm landing an Axel again on the reg after a 25-year hiatus. I am pleased as punch that I can check off "Land Axel again before my 40th birthday" from this year's goals. The landing is all sorts of awful, but it is consistently on one foot, so that's a good place to start. The only casualty of this journey has been a lace hook, which ripped right off on a jump attempt earlier this month. Luckily its replacement was swift.

The Bad: My knee pain is increasing (LOL, it's probably related to the Axel), so I'm off to see a doctor and start working towards a proper diagnosis/course of treatment. For now, at-home PT and extra recovery (stretching, foam rolling, ice baths) have been keeping it at bay. That said, it probably didn't help my case when I landed face down on the ice at the end of a session last week as I was pushing myself through a power three pattern and banged my knee in the process. The bruise is a lovely shade of... something.

@antmanb Not that this will help you right now, but if you are having issues with finding that sweet spot between stability and flexibility, you may want to consider a lower-cut boot model somewhere down the road (if you aren't in one now). Not sure what brands aside from Jackson offer one (which is what I wear), but they have worked out great for me.
 
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antmanb

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@antmanb Not that this will help you right now, but if you are having issues with finding that sweet spot between stability and flexibility, you may want to consider a lower-cut boot model somewhere down the road (if you aren't in one now). Not sure what brands aside from Jackson offer one (which is what I wear), but they have worked out great for me.
I'm sure I will be fine once these boots break in. I have a feeling the redesign of the boot already has a slightly lower cut back than what I was used too. I'm also hoping these boots last me 12 years like the last ones :lol:
 

Per

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Hey all fellow skaters and hard workers, an update here: my muscle tear in the abdominal area (which is really not great to skate with, I tell you) is now under control after almost a month off ice.

Got back to ice last week and have skated seven out of the last eight days, I had both a hockey lesson and a figure skating lesson. Really getting the immense importance of having a super solid and correct 3: my coach is old school, like "if you can't do it on a circle of all kinds, it's not really a 3". But how it teaches your body to control the free hip is amazing.

Also discovering what immense difference there is between my dominant side and the other. Everything with left shoulder forward is weak, basically. I have to put in some effort there to correct that imbalance.
 

GarrAarghHrumph

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I think my current boots are about 10-11 years old. Since I only seem to get new boots once every 10 or so years, each time I do, it's always a good thing, as technology changes, even in skating boots, enough to really notice it. Last time, the big change was heat molding, which I love. I'm looking forward to a lighter pair of boots this time.
 

Willin

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Once I get a job I'll get new boots... Or maybe they'll be a graduation present to myself. My current ones are 7 years old but I love them so so much I'm hesitant to get new ones (also that cost + tuition would've been killer)

I had big splats both times I last skated. I think my sore self should get to the rink more to get back in shape and prevent splats.
 
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antmanb

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No!!! Coach just text to say theirs a problem with the equipment at the ice rink and there's no skating today :(

It'll be three week between sessions when I next get on, and I'm putting off sharpening my blades because I don't want to deal with new boots and overly sharp blades.
 

Willin

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If your boots are still in good shape, no need to get new ones, especially if they work well for you. Are yours broken down?
Not completely, but considering I skated 10 hours/week on them for 3 years and then coached on them for another 3ish years, it's probably time. At the very least I need new laces. I have ankle creases from all the spread eagles/bauers, which tells me they're somewhat broken down.
 
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May has been such a burner month for skating! I'm doing the Adult Weekend in Lake Placid in, like, three weeks and am aiming to only minimally embarass myself there, so I'm determined to get as much ice time as possible between now and then.

This morning's lesson was the first time I've been on the ice in a week and a half, so I wasn't sure how much regression I'd be dealing with. I've been struggling with doing three-turns and mohawks from anything other than a standstill position lately, and actually felt like I made incremental progress in that regard today. I've been putting off refining them for way way waaaaay too long, and now I'm working on the Bronze MITF test so time's up on neglecting my change-of-edge moves.

While I was practicing for my first MITF test, I'd let my scratch spins and loop jumps languish: I totally lost my spins, which were a bear to regain but I'm finally in a good place with those again (expect for sometimes going up on my toepick). My loop jumps, meanwhile, have never gotten past an awkward hop--until today, when I actually got some rotation on a few. It was enough to give me hope that one day, they will look as good on the ice as they do on my living room floor.
 
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antmanb

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No ice at the rink again today. The management at the rink are just completely clueless they always manage to mess up the ice when the weather gets warmer.

So I don't get to skate today :wuzrobbed: it's been three weeks since I've been on the ice, and next week i'm away with work. If my flight lands on time I might be able to get to the rink for a short 45 session, but if it's delayed i'll miss another week.

I'm never going to get these new boots broken in if I can't actually skate in them.
 

Per

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No ice at the rink again today. The management at the rink are just completely clueless they always manage to mess up the ice when the weather gets warmer.

So I don't get to skate today :wuzrobbed: it's been three weeks since I've been on the ice, and next week i'm away with work. If my flight lands on time I might be able to get to the rink for a short 45 session, but if it's delayed i'll miss another week.

I'm never going to get these new boots broken in if I can't actually skate in them.
Is this the only rink in your area? Seems like such a bummer to depend on that management.

I know this sounds crazy, but if you are away for work you could maybe find some ice time where you are going to find some early morning ice. I went to Santa Fe once, brought my skates and there is a gorgeous community rink which has plenty of hours, basically starting at 5am or such.
 

treesprite

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I managed to do a centered scratch spin yesterday, in the next to last minute of the session. The circumference outlines of the circles were all matched up, no overlapping. It was only about 10 revolutions, but was done properly. I had a lot of fails leading up to it. Couldn't try to repeat the correctness, due to the session being over.

My 3-turns have gotten too bad from lack of doing them, to be able to do a salchow jump. I did salchows when the new blades were on my old boots, when the heel sole plate was 1/4" sticking out past the heel of the boot. I only did some toe loops and some waltz jumps.

The coach has to figure out her schedule before I can schedule a lesson. We were looking at the freestyle session schedules tgether, because it changes in a couple weeks, and some of her students are switching times. The rink will be full of summer camp kids during the public sessions that are empty when school is not out, so I need to start using freestyle sessions for lessons (I can do 3 of them a week for free, but they are usually way more crowded than the empty non-summer public sessions, so I avoid them; the rest of my practice time has to be on publics to be free).
 

vesperholly

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I did try leaving the top hooks unlaced and it did allow for greater knee bend going backwards, however, skating forwards it felt like I didn't have enough support and felt a little wobbly so I laced them all the way up and persevered.
I had that same problem with my new boots. Try skipping the first hook and then lacing up to the top.
 

treesprite

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I'm in the ER with a broken arm, so I'm not skating for a while. I was rink guarding, next thing I knew, I flung forward out of control. Was not even going fast.
 

treesprite

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Thanks. I wish it had been the wrist I broke last time, since it is already permanently screwed up.

I did some skating with the cast last time, just edges and little turns, but at least I was able to go on the ice.

I must have looked like I was trying to swim on the ice, the way I was sprawled out on it. I have never fallen that way. I wish I had a picture.

One thing about the adult skaters here, is that they help each other out. One of the skaters drove me to the ER in my car, and another followed us and brought her back to the rink.
 
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antmanb

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At last!!!! I finally made it back to the ice after a month of not skating.

Only the third outing with the new boots which actually weren't so painful. I didn't have to stop and take them off halfway through like last time. I have that awkwardness of feeling like they hurt, but also feeling like they need tightening up to be "right".

Anyway I didn't do any jumps of spins I just tried to get everything going again. I did a lot of chatting with friends I haven't seen in a month and just skating around and then finally knuckled down to some proper skating. I did some warm up laps doing proper stroking, two foot slaloms etc then did all forward and backward edges - the placing of my right blade is definitely better on these new boots as I don't have any of the same issues I used to have on these things.

Worked on cross-overs forwards and backwards with my coach. I have a ploddy forward cross over when I cross left foot over right, and I don't trust the rolling of the ankle on the right foot to get a good push under on that side. It has always been my worst side of cross over but I started to make some progress on the push under, but the cross still plods down quite hard for some reason.

Backward cross overs are much better generally, but the stiff boots means I wasn't getting as low as my coach wanted.

We did consecutive forward outside three turns on a circle that went very well. I have a tendancy to rather aggressively check the shoulder back on the exit of the turn, which coach said she didn't mind, but I felt like I should be able to do it with less of an aggressive slam back of the shoulder. Consecutive inside threes on a circle also went pretty well including the less confident LFI.

Then we did all change of edges too and these are definitely better from the improved blade positioning.

After an hour my toes were numb and I was glad to get the boots off, but today have no residual pain at all. My left boot is starting to feel more or less normal - no pain in the instep, no rubbing or blisters anywhere. The right boot I have a little bit of pain towards the back of the instep but imagine a couple more sessions and that will go.
 

misskarne

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Glad you're back on again, @antmanb ! I'm still written off...though if things go well this weekend, I am allowed to try some normal skating on Monday. Probably still a few weeks off from actual skating practice yet.
 

misskarne

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Don't forget to take things easy @misskarne I find skating does aggravate my back issues so just remember to take things slowly.
I will. 5-10 minutes, I'll even set a timer. :)

In reality, it's really one of those wake-up calls. you know, don't take skating for granted because suddenly you might not be able to do it any more. I know if I don't get this right now, it'll be a problem that might never go away. So I have to get it right now.
 

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