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Slalom Cone Skating Forum Discussions about slalom cone skating, high-jump, and other freestyle trick skating. (Note that vert, street, and park skating discussions should be posted in our aggressive skating forum.)

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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #1
ChakaKhan
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Default Slalom skater, looking for some trick tips

I've only recently started slalom skating and I"m trying to move on to some harder stuff. Right now I'm trying to get the Crazy down. At the moment I can really only do half of the move. Once I cross my legs, I have a hard time staying on my outside edges. Trying to bend my knees to help is throwing my balance off. Also, when I cross I can't stop my left foot from moving backwards. This all pretty much prevents me from going forward and uncrossing my legs. This seems like a trick where flexibility helps, but I'm guessing it's not necessary.

Basically, I'd like advice on weight transfer or anything else that will help me complete the move. Thanks
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Old April 17th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #2
kev0
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All you need is practice!

Back crosses, forward crosses, and more of them. Learning the crazy is probably, in my opinion (barring top-level tricks) the steepest part of the slalom learning slope
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Old April 17th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #3
BlackLace
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My crazy isn't happening properly yet either, so take this with a handful of salt, but in general whenever I get stuck like this I go back to beginners swizzles, and "rocking horse" (simply alternating a forward and a back swizzle) and a "crossed up rocking horse" (like rocking horse, but with scissored and crossed over feet). Trying to get these happening without any upper body input. i.e. working out methodically exactly where I need to put my weight to have my skates "run away" in the desired direction, without actually having to forcibly "screw" anything around.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #4
GregT
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The keys to crazy, along with most other slalom style tricks are:

1) At any given time, all your weight is on only one foot. It is the transfer of weight from one foot to the other which will generate your momentum and allow you to change direction. In the case of crazy, there a 4 "beats" to the move (distinct phases of foot weighting). Assuming you "lead" with your right foot (crazy moving right to left), these would be:
a) Weight right foot and cross cone forward
b) Weight left foot and cross cone forward
c) Weight right foot and cross cone backward
d) Weight left foot cross cone backward
e) repeat

2) Bend your knees as much as possible. This will help with weight transfer, flexibility, and will allow you to keep your center of gravity at the same height during the move, which will give you a "floating" style.

Other hints for crazy (assuming right lead foot):
=====================================
1) Draw a line at starting cone, start with both feet to right of this start line. The first cone will now be in front of you and to the right
2) Draw a seagull between first 2 cones
3) Draw an upside-down seagull between next 2 cones
4) Repeat for all cones
5) Have your feet trace the seagull outlines during the crazy. Right foot will take the right wing, and left foot will trace the left wing.
6) A good style pointer is to make this a "5-wheel" trick. Whichever foot is the "weighted" foot will be "flat" (4 wheels, or really 2 middle wheels on a rockered setup, are on the ground). The "unweighted" foot will be on only one wheel, either the toe or heel wheel depending on where you are in the trick (heel when you are "above" the cones and toe when you are "below" them). Advantage of doing the trick 5-wheeled is that it will FORCE you to properly weight your skates (can't really weight a skate on only 1 wheel if the other is flat) and also it will look much better stylistically.

Sorry, I know this explanation is all very confusing, but I'm at work and can't really concentrate as I'm typing. These pointers are more useful if you can watch someone actually demonstrate them.

One great opportunity for doing that in the next couple months is here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/116378688495265/?ref=ts

But if you can't learn from someone else, just keep practicing. You will be able to tell when you've got this trick because it will all the sudden feel much easier to perform. If the trick is tiring you, then you are doing it all wrong. Once you have the weight transfer down, then you will practically float through this trick. There aren't many freestyle moves that have the bang-for-the-buck as crazy, as it looks pretty good but is actually quite simple to learn. But until you've absorbed the basic weight transfer principle of slalom, it may be a little difficult at first.

Good luck!
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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Oh yeah. When I mention the beats above, note that they are _distinct_ phases of the trick.

When you are crossing the cones during crazy, be sure to do it one foot at a time. Don't just treat it like a front cross. You want the right foot to complete it cone cross and seagull wing route before the left foot starts crossing the cone. If you try to cross the cone with both feet at the same time, the trick will be harder and not look very good.

In fact, some skaters like to break cone crossing of most style tricks into separate phases (only one foot cross at a time), most notably Sebastien Laffargue, who used this to accentuate his bendy-leg style.

Also note that flexibility plays almost no role in any of these freestyle tricks. So don't worry about that holding you back. Developing a very deep knee bend is way more important for slalom, and, along with some other tricks, give you the bendy leg, floating style.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #6
ChakaKhan
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I wish I could go to that slalom event. Sadly I'm located in New York. I guess I should update that :P

Now I just need to finish this paper so I can actually go skate...
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #7
GregT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChakaKhan View Post
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I wish I could go to that slalom event. Sadly I'm located in New York. I guess I should update that :P

Now I just need to finish this paper so I can actually go skate...
Dude. You should come out the two NY comps we will be having this summer:

East Coast Championships: July 7-8, New York City
Big Apple US Championships: August 11-12, New York City

There should be plenty of people that would be glad to help you out with tricks.

Also, the slalomers in Central Park and the Union Square Crew (who might be skating off Houston now-a-days) should be able to help you a lot.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:06 PM   #8
BorisB
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After reading your post Greg I started trying to do crazy as you suggest. I've never realized it can be done that way (with weight alternating between right and left leg) because everybody around here does the cross-forward/backward thing with hips rotating.

But one can do crazy with crosses fast, fluent and good looking too! Though I agree that if you do it your way it perhaps looks less "obvious" and therefore more interesting.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #9
ChakaKhan
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Well, now it seems like my crazy is coming together - the knee bend was really the issue. Now I'm trying to work on my nelson. I'm starting with the back nelson since I read that it was easier to learn. Not completely sure on the weight distribution for this one.

I do back nelsons with my left foot leading (as in, left foot behind my back, right in front). From practicing, it seems like I need to alternate from inside edge to outside on my right foot. When I bring my left foot down, should my weight be evenly distributed? Right now when I sweep my left leg out and make that kind of v formation with my feet, I can only touch my left heel on the ground very briefly before I feel like I'm going to fall.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 05:27 AM   #10
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This being slalom skating, you almost never weight both feet equally. And Nelson is no exception. There should be a weight transfer when you put the lead foot down, though I admit some people cheat this transfer a little bit on the Nelson. You have to be very careful about placing the foot down, you don't want it to be done heavily/loudly, or it will make your execution very clunky.

Some people make the placement lighter by just putting down the front wheel (but you still weight it when placing it down). You can experiment with whatever works best for you.

Edging wise for Back Nelson, you should use outside edge when pushing your lead foot forward before the lift, and the inside edge when pulling your lead foot back after placing on the ground.

The Nelsons can be very awkward tricks at first, so just stick with it. I'm not sure backward nelson is "easier" to learn than back nelson, but it definitely looks smoother and is more useful once you learn it. However, I think Nelsons in general work better as a component of more complex tricks than standing alone by themselves. I particularly like Nelsons or the Mega (combination of forward and back nelson) for stylish 180-degree turns.

Of course, you can ignore my description of "awkward" of the Nelson when watching Xuan Le execute them as a base skating style with such beauty.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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I could be wrong, but I've always taught back nelson as having all of your weight being distributed on the leg that doesn't leave the ground, making it essentially a backwards one-foot with the other foot just grazing the ground between cones. Ideally, you should be able to transfer between back nelsons and one-foots seamlessly and easily.
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Old June 20th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #12
Metaphor
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Disclaimer: I've been slaloming for 6 months, and have barely started scratching the slalom surface!

In addition to all the skills mentioned above, it's crucial, particularly in the crazy, to be able to skate using your outside edges. My "a-ha" moment for the crazy happened when I started to do the entire move on outside edges.

Everyone has less skill at skating on outside edges initially. Inside edges are easier because our foot's supported by a giant arch. None of that structure exists on the outside of our foot. To develop your outside edge skating skill, try the following:

Outside edge swizzles (do a swizzle but stay on the outside edges on both skates throughout the entire swizzle; stay super-flexed through knees/ankles)
"Tracer turns" (weight on the skate to the inside of the turn, barely touching the outside foot to the ground)
One foot skating (use significant flex through your knees and ankles to help balance/movement)
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