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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:03 AM   #1
ShuffleSkate98
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Default Why does he slip?



[IMG][/IMG]

The first picture is my friend and the second picture is me. I apologize for the poor quality but its all I have . I believe my friend has the better lean form, but he complains of slipping all the time. I could understand before because he was using old lethals, but he complained about the wheels feeling like they're giving out even on my wheels that are still pretty new.

I'm about 6' 1" and 150 lbs and he is 5' 9" 185 lbs. Does anyone have an explanation for his slipping?
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Old October 13th, 2015, 06:02 AM   #2
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The age or wear description of your wheels doesn't tell us much about the wheels. And still pictures of a skater won't tell us a whole lot either, especially that picture.

If this is the same person you posted a video of before, really, talk to the speed coach there. I don't know if their Wednesday or Saturday classes address speed at all, but I'm sure there's someone affiliated with the team that can comment on what to do (be it what to fix or how to get further instruction.)
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Old October 13th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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I'm about 6' 1" and 150 lbs and he is 5' 9" 185 lbs. Does anyone have an explanation for his slipping?
Thats a huge weight difference. No wonder he feels that way. He needs to lose weight for his height anyways. Im currently 6' 1" and weigh at 180 to 185 . If I cut weight for say some more serious stuff like racing, my weight can get to 170 to 175 lb.

If the comparison is you both using the same wheels in the same rink session and he complains it cant be all form obviously. My lighter friends dont understand how good they have it at our rink, sure I can blow them out when we go outdoors, but hard turning in our smaller rink makes me work SOO much harder. Even just 10 lbs makes a huge difference. Not only in the inertial forces you generate that the wheels must hold, but the power to weight ratio that exists in you.

Ill say this, the few times I cut weight down to 170s instead of 185 to 190 area, keeping up in the corners became so much easier.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 10:57 AM   #4
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From those pictures it is not really possible to tell. You are both leaning forward at the waist to touch the ground, which means your weight is further forward than ideal. That can lead to slipping, and it isn't clear if he's doing it more than you. Interestingly from this angle it appears your friend is also leaning out of the corner at the waist (there isn't a straight line from head to toe - he tries to keep his upper body more upright than committing to the lean). I say that's interesting because it would actually be easier to touch the floor properly by committing to the lean. That might be a trick of the camera angle, but if it is true it would be another cause for slipping.

Frame angle might play a role. Frame placement in general is pretty tricky if you don't have an expert walking you through it.

It might be the profile of the wheels. Maybe your weight distribution works well with whatever wheels you are using, but the profile is too sharp for his style.

There's also the question of where he is slipping. You show a still shot with legs together in the middle of the corner. That's a lot different than when the leg is fully extended coming out of the corner. Especially if the problem is kicking back or leaning too much at the waist this picture won't show it.

We might be able to help if you get good quality video, but as matguy points out a better option would be to get local help. If you have a competent coach (s)he can make adjustments quickly instead of waiting 2 days for feedback. Plus seeing things in real life at full size is different than looking at a 6 inch video screen. And there will be the pointers that you won't even think to ask about.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:10 PM   #5
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Usually it's because the skates are not parallel enough going through the corner, so the outside leg skate will slide away.
Of course, there's usually a bit more going on that just "unparallel" skates - they upper body power-box position has usually been compromised and possibly the hips/shoulders twisted.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:37 PM   #6
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Also, while weight will certainly affect how much muscle it takes to make it through the corners it shouldn't affect grip that much (at the weights you mention, since they don't load the wheels beyond extremes). With proper form more weight also means more force into the ground which means more friction.

There are two caveats to this. The first is that weight above the waist will cause extra problems if you do not commit to the lean. In this case the weight tries to tip you over towards the outside of the corner and leverages weight off of your feet. If you keep a straight line between your feet and head the direction of force is through the feet.

The other problem arises when you have a wider stance and your center of gravity is not as far inside your inside foot as it should be. Some people (a lot of them quad skaters use to using the drift) kick their inside foot farther to the inside of the corner when they expect to drift, which changes the location of the center of gravity relative to the contact points of the floor. This works for remaining stable through a slide and allows you to kick out of a slide by stepping. However, it also makes a slide more likely.

Speed will of course affect how much you slip. Is your friend faster than you?
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Old October 13th, 2015, 08:47 PM   #7
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Also, while weight will certainly affect how much muscle it takes to make it through the corners it shouldn't affect grip that much (at the weights you mention, since they don't load the wheels beyond extremes). With proper form more weight also means more force into the ground which means more friction.

There are two caveats to this. The first is that weight above the waist will cause extra problems if you do not commit to the lean. In this case the weight tries to tip you over towards the outside of the corner and leverages weight off of your feet. If you keep a straight line between your feet and head the direction of force is through the feet.

The other problem arises when you have a wider stance and your center of gravity is not as far inside your inside foot as it should be. Some people (a lot of them quad skaters use to using the drift) kick their inside foot farther to the inside of the corner when they expect to drift, which changes the location of the center of gravity relative to the contact points of the floor. This works for remaining stable through a slide and allows you to kick out of a slide by stepping. However, it also makes a slide more likely.

Speed will of course affect how much you slip. Is your friend faster than you?
Last time I checked I was a fair bit faster, but I broke my ankle and I haven't skated since August 22nd. So Im sure he has improved since then and is probably my speed if not faster now. I believe I ran probably around 9.6 second laps or somewhere around there. Not too fast.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 11:06 PM   #8
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Or one or both of you could get some actually grippy wheels while you work on form. There's not much worse on your learning process than falling and the fear of falling from slipping.

I know a few people that have been pretty happy with the Spyder Traction wheels and they're pretty inexpensive for what they are. Or WRW Pink's.

I'm currently running a mix of WRW pink and yellow for practice. I'm about 210 right now (I picked up a bit over the summer) and I've been happy with them.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:24 PM   #9
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Usually it's because the skates are not parallel enough going through the corner, so the outside leg skate will slide away.
Of course, there's usually a bit more going on that just "unparallel" skates - they upper body power-box position has usually been compromised and possibly the hips/shoulders twisted.
In the PICs each of you are skating with both skates down on the floor at a point relative to the curve where you should be doing power strokes.

Speed skaters typically only push on the curve for 3-4 strokes (unless sprinting.), because the curve offers better advantage for getting more power from your push stroke The pushing phase of skating is a one foot down on the floor at a time technique, so it appears that you each have both your skates down as a strategy to anticipate and avoid slipping.

I agree that you both appear to have more weight forward on your skates.
Try finishing your strokes with a deliberate push that concentrates more force to the heel end of your frame. "Feel the heel wheels" is what I call this exercise. Also, keep the push direction as close to exactly 90 from your direction of travel and with no toe flick at end.

I highly recommend doing lots of skating in circles exercises, in a very slow motion fashion, with only one foot down at a time, where you complete the push strokes 3-4 times more slowly and you keep only one foot down for a considerable portion of the circle. This slow motion push cycle forces you to work at improving your ability to have your inline skates carve more to get you through curve of the circles, since you can't do as many crossover strokes per circle as you normally would.

With this much longer push cycle, you can better monitor what you are doing and zero specific technique weaknesses . Start with larger circles and gradually shrink them tighter to reach higher speed, but keep the push cycle time at 3-4 times longer to better sense what is happening with weight distribution, balance, and carving the arc of the circle.

Many toe skaters do not realize how much they favor having more of their weight on the front of their skates, and even by making this exaggerated effort to keep more weight on the rear end of the skate, they can still barely reach the 50% - 50% optimum point.

Poor gripping urethane formulas or poor technique at keeping weight evenly distributed across all wheels are the primary causes of slipping.

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Old October 14th, 2015, 07:39 PM   #10
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In the PICs each of you are skating with both skates down on the floor at a point relative to the curve where you should be doing power strokes.

Speed skaters typically only push on the curve for 3-4 strokes unless sprinting. The pushing phase of skating is a one foot down on the floor at a time technique, so it appears that you each have both down to anticipate and avoid slipping.

I agree that you both appear to have more weight forward on your skates.
Try finishing your strokes with a deliberate push that concentrates more force to the heel end of your stroke. "Feel the heel" is what I call this exercise. Also, keep push as close to exactly 90 to your direction of travel and with no toe flick at end. skate circle exercises doing them in slow motion with only one foot down at a time, where you stay in the 3-4 times slower push cycle with only one foot down for a considerable portion of the circle. With the longer push cycle, you can monitor what you are doing. Start with larger circles and gradually shrink them tighter to reach higher speed, but keep the push cycle time at 3-4 times longer to better sense what is happening with weight distribution, balance, and carving the arc of the circle.

Many toe skaters do not realize how much they favor having more of their weight on the front of their skates, and by making this exaggerated effort to keep more at the rear they can still barely reach the 50% - 50% optimum point.

Poor gripping urethane formulas or poor technique at keeping weight evenly distributed across all wheels are the primary causes of slipping.

-Armadillo
I was slowing down so I was just leaning for a long time, but I definitely need to try doing those circle drills and keeping the weight on my heels. But I see the NSC guys leaning and their upper bodies are crouched down a lot like a tabletop, wouldn't that make it harder to keep the weight on your heels?
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Old October 14th, 2015, 08:15 PM   #11
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I was slowing down so I was just leaning for a long time, but I definitely need to try doing those circle drills and keeping the weight on my heels. But I see the NSC guys leaning and their upper bodies are crouched down a lot like a tabletop, wouldn't that make it harder to keep the weight on your heels?
There's also NSC guys that sit like in a chair. There's multiple ways to skin the apple. Also, NSC isn't the end-all be-all of perfection. The guys are good, don't get me wrong, but there are often times a champion of any sport will do things that some consider wrong.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 07:49 AM   #12
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There's also NSC guys that sit like in a chair. There's multiple ways to skin the apple. Also, NSC isn't the end-all be-all of perfection. The guys are good, don't get me wrong, but there are often times a champion of any sport will do things that some consider wrong.


Right, the best skaters actually keep their butts low too, (like a sitting stance) so that their weight does not get tipped forward as much and overload the front wheels with too much of the shared load.

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Old October 15th, 2015, 09:17 AM   #13
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You can bend at the waist in addition to the knees. The best example I have seen of this is KC Boutiette. If you look closely you will notice he isn't bending as much at the waist as you think. There is an arch to his back. You will also notice that he bends his knees a lot.

What is shown in those pictures, and is very common among speed skaters (especially middling ones) is bending at the waist instead of the knees. The skater will get his or her head down in an attempt to "get low". That doesn't help you extend your power box and it pulls your weight forward. It is possible to skate fast this way, but it takes more work and requires some other changes to your form. It isn't as efficient, and it doesn't have as high a speed ceiling. Plus you're more likely to slip and more likely to pitch forward when you fall, which is a more injury prone position.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 09:29 AM   #14
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Reaching for the ground in itself is bad. If your angled over like they do on ice, the ground is just kind of there, but here is not the case. The shoulders IMO arent turned toward the turn (center of the rink) enough. Honestly as overall positioning goes th3 boy in thenlight blue has a better form than being bent over like that. Although hes more upright, his bending is more proportional.

Getting the right amount of your chest turned toward the center of the rink is essential. The more you turn in, the more forward lean needed, and at some point more lean and turn in is bad.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #15
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The shoulders IMO arent turned toward the turn (center of the rink) enough. <snip>

Getting the right amount of your chest turned toward the center of the rink is essential. The more you turn in, the more forward lean needed, and at some point more lean and turn in is bad.
Your second point is correct. The first point is not as correct as you might think. If you turn your shoulders in you also kick your hips out. That's bad. It affects the extension of the leg. It also means that when you step in with your inside foot you tend to overstep and not set down on edge (or at least less on edge). Then you waste some energy adjusting your edge in the first half of your stride. It is much better to "lead with the hip" and not step as far in, which really isn't intuitive. If you want the step farther in you have to accomplish this by leaning more so the hip is farther inside.

You are right in pointing out that the shoulders are misaligned, but you identified it on the wrong plane. The problem is "correcting" the lean at the waist instead of committing the full body to the lean. Then again, in the particular case it might be a case of the camera angle playing tricks (although I doubt it).
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Old October 15th, 2015, 01:23 PM   #16
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Descriptions of form are fairly subjective, but I think we mean the same thing. I didnt elaborate much on the who what when where why etc.

Turning the shoulders in to the center allows for your hips to become aligned properly for the next step(when the crossing foot leaves the floor) to get the best foothold on the floor without actually turning your toe in/ankle. The underpush leg finishes in a somewhat pigeon toed angle as the crossing leg is being planted.

My normal crossover stance pretty much puts the center of my chest over my left (or right for clockwise) hip with my shoulders squared. My back has a slight arch. The arm to the inside of the rink remains bent at around a 90 deg. Never reaching for the ground (unless I feel like checking my distance from the floor while in the corners for some reason.), with the elbow pretty much staying around my hip and has little swing to it. The arm to the outside echos the inside with just a bit more exaggeration. Its range of motion is about 2 to 3 times the travel. Both hands are bladed, and neither ever comes past center mass, as if the center of my chest is part of a wall that neither hands swing will cross.

If turning the shoulders in to the center disrupts the hip to leg alignment, one will obviously lose power/speed potential. And the overall smoothness of their stepping/form will suffer. Theres no real perfect form so much as the best positioning one can do with their bodys range of motion.

Best description I got for myself right now.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 07:39 PM   #17
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My normal crossover stance pretty much puts the center of my chest over my left (or right for clockwise) hip with my shoulders squared.
I assume you mean the middle of your chest is above your knee if you take away the angle of the lean.

There's a great picture of Christian Keesler at Aurora last year. If you drew a line straight up from the floor through his inside knee both hips and his entire upper body are farther inside the corner because of the exceptional lean. So a better measure is how far your chest would be above your knee if the left leg were straight up from the floor (basically accounting for the angle of lean). Since your head should be leaning with your body this should be roughly what you see when looking down.

From this angle most skaters naturally have about a 1/3 of their chest aligned with the inside knees - not even to the 1/2 you mention - and even that is more than optimal. You actually want your inside shoulder and inside knee just about aligned. That also brings the inside hip into the same line, which is why many coaches parrot the advice to "lead with the hip". The fact that most of them don't realize this applies as much to the hip/shoulder as to the hip/knee is one of the coaching shortcomings that is too common. No, this doesn't feel natural until you practice it for umpteen hours.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 09:12 PM   #18
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Mort, we've had this discussion with the changes between quad skating and inline skating before.

In indoor quad skating the shoulders end up pointing inwards to the corner, in indoor inline we point more out, even if ever so slightly. We need to get our hips inside the corner to set up our pushes more effectively and evenly. To do that most of our body ends up pointing more outward than in so you're not twisting. In quad skating the skater is often fighting slide, so they point in, somewhat like a over-steer slide.

This is the difference we keep talking about that's difficult to get quad skaters to un-learn. While the "unlearning" notion can be called hogwash or other terms, it still needs to change between the two activities. Here, it seems that you're advocating a quad technique for inline skating.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #19
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Mort, we've had this discussion with the changes between quad skating and inline skating before.

Not sure why you bring up quads here. Somehow you attribute me to a quad skater. I'm far better on my inlines. I have skated inlines for over 20 years

In indoor quad skating the shoulders end up pointing inwards to the corner, in indoor inline we point more out, even if ever so slightly. We need to get our hips inside the corner to set up our pushes more effectively and evenly. To do that most of our body ends up pointing more outward than in so you're not twisting. In quad skating the skater is often fighting slide, so they point in, somewhat like a over-steer slide.

This is the difference we keep talking about that's difficult to get quad skaters to un-learn. While the "unlearning" notion can be called hogwash or other terms, it still needs to change between the two activities. Here, it seems that you're advocating a quad technique for inline skating.
Here is your alls problem with that. you dont " unlearn" you learn the differences. I dont expect ones with a closed mind to understand the need of your bodys reaction and your knowledge of an action to be on the same page. It must be a trained habit to fully acknowledge your current positions at all times, be it quads inlines skateboards snowboards safety gear your wearing such as derby pads. The overtraining of derby falls often makes derby players doubke knee slide out of habit. This is because they become over conditioned to a static experience. This is the difference between being good, and being elite. The best people out there train with all things considered, and their performance increases because of their own awareness of situations they are in. Reguardless of what kind of situation it is.


My good friend won NIRA nationals last year in the newcomers, he skated on quads even the day of. The thing is, we switch gear around a lot and further sharpen our skating skills by LEARNING differences and being AWARE of what we have and what needs to be done. Over specializing breeds weakness.

So lets just keep "quads" out of this as I dont feel like getting into this crap again and again. No one wins no one is right,.


Where the chest falls depends on how ones body is built, how tight the turn is, and various other aspects of the skate itself. The same skate with different wheels will require just a bit more or less shoulder turn in. But I am speaking from my experiences comming from hockey wheels to a speed wheel profile. The profile changes the needs of my form alot. Well I call it alot, others may or may not notice it.
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Old October 16th, 2015, 12:28 AM   #20
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Not sure why you bring up quads here. Somehow you attribute me to a quad skater. I'm far better on my inlines. I have skated inlines for over 20 years
Because it's the same discussion about the same people we had here: http://skatelogforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52713

You can call it learning the differences and point out people that do both, but in what appears to be many of our experiences, it takes longer to get a feel for the differences if you're trying to switch back-and-forth between both. The actions are similar enough that when you have the positive reinforcement on quads, rec inlines, or hockey inlines it's harder to not fall back in to it on speed inline.

There is a distinct difference when you have a long inline wheel base and are leaning in to a corner where you lose a lot of stride length and effectiveness if you use your body to steer in to the corner. It feels counter-intuitive to not face where you want to end up, but it seems fairly well recognized that you want your hips swung inward of your legs, almost like a proper lady sitting with her ankles crossed and swung to the right. It's kind of hard to do that well if you're also twisting your body to look inwards towards the center of the arc.

I'm not saying that you're not fast on your skates, just that I still don't think that your recommendation to turn his chest toward the center of the rink is correct for inline speed skating.
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