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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 August 15th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #1
Metaphor
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Default Just starting to learn slalom...

Hi guys,

I just started to learn to slalom (well, started learning to skate, but now confident on stride 2 / parallel and a-frame turns/backwards skating / crossovers). It's amazing how much there is to learn! My coach is taking me through some simple stuff now, such as the fish, worm (sloppily), and we started doing cross. The post here on getting to the eagle was helpful and I'll keep stretching: http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/...ad.php?t=12000

My skates are Fusion x5s. Tried getting Twisters but they didn't have any in stock. Meh we'll see how it goes.

Do you guys learn the moves on your own, or do you have a coach or a more experienced buddy who shows you?

Anyway, it's nice to see a forum just for slalom skating!

Edit: oh man, I just realized there's a whole new thread for people to introduce themselves. Oops! sorry!

Last edited by Metaphor; August 15th, 2011 at 10:37 AM.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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A bit of both. I usually practice on my own (not good enough to hang with the big boys yet), but I won't hesitate to ask for advice if I'm having trouble with a particular trick.

The end result of that though is that I usually realize I need to focus more on fundamental, basic tricks. I'm back to practicing backwards crosses at the moment...

You also might want to give www.freestyleskaters.org/forum a visit, although it's fairly dead at the moment.

Last edited by Shaw; August 15th, 2011 at 10:57 AM. Reason: url fix
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Old August 16th, 2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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For me, I find slalom skating most fun with people around your level. I'm fortunate to have a group of friends who started roughly around the same time as I. A good thing about learning with a group of friends is that you can give each other advice and the competitive atmosphere is always healthy in striving to achieve better.

Despite that, I suppose the new tricks can be self-taught, however advice from an experienced skater is invaluable and often makes trick learning a lot easier.

EDIT: hahaha about the Eagle. I still haven't learned the Eagle yet, my legs bend better towards the reverse eagle position :P You don't need to enforce stretching (unless you really cannot bend that way I suppose), as you slalom more your flexibility naturally increases to adjust to the new tricks. When I started off I found rocket/footgun an impossible combination of muscle strength and flexibility, to my surprise recently (I don't really practice rocket at all), I was able to rocket through several cones, I guess I eventually found the correct muscles to use through learning other tricks or naturally become much more flexible
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Old August 16th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #4
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That's cool to hear, kev. I'm a strong believer in diversifying your practice; every discipline in skating is an opportunity to test your balance, pivoting, edging, etc

Wish I knew some other beginner slalom skaters in Vancouver. It seems like slalom skating doesn't get anywhere near as much attention as it deserves. You watch the international competition videos and see a dozen people in the audience - it's as if people don't even know it exists!

Shaw, good luck! I'm also hoping to learn lots of moves really soon.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #5
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I've done some learning on my own, and lots of practice, but it is always nice to have other people to skate with and trade tips and advice. You should come down to Seattle sometime, we have a pretty big group of slalom skaters here! (At least by US standards.)
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Old August 19th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #6
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Stacy, that'd be fun! I was in Seattle recently, brought my skates, but completely freaked out when I discovered the entire city was on a mountain. Where do you guys skate?
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Old January 26th, 2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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Cool upper body usage?

Hey guys ,I've newly started slalom skating too..I don't have a coach,but while practising I've realized it's a lot more easier if we put our upper body more to use rather than our feet alone, but I don't know what's the right technique, righ posture n effective n specific muscle usage.. it would be great if any of you guys can help me out with some tips n tricks with the basics..
Hope there's someone who can guide me here..
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Old January 28th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brennenthomas89 View Post
Hey guys ,I've newly started slalom skating too..I don't have a coach,but while practising I've realized it's a lot more easier if we put our upper body more to use rather than our feet alone, but I don't know what's the right technique, righ posture n effective n specific muscle usage.. it would be great if any of you guys can help me out with some tips n tricks with the basics..
Hope there's someone who can guide me here..
Hmmm. The amount of use of the upper body during slalom really depends on your level and the type of trick you are performing.

In general, however, if you are beginning slalom, and if you are doing "style" (as opposed to technical/advanced) tricks, then the upper body is not really engaged much. In fact, you generally want to relax your arms/shoulders/upper body to increase the style element of your slalom. Keep your posture relatively upright and relaxed. Do NOT bend much at the waste and fold like a knife or stick your butt out. That will make many slalom tricks more difficult and really degrade the quality and appearance of your freestyle.

What you DO want to concentrate on is your feet. In particular, how you weight them.

In general, freestyle slalom is just a process of shifting your weight from one foot or the other. This "falling" from one foot to the other is what generates the momentum that will move you, stylishly, through the cones.

As you look at slalom videos, try to pick out where the skater's weight is shifting from one foot to the other and attempt to copy that to execute the same trick. As you become more adept at slalom, you will start thinking of each trick as a series of steps or weight transfers - ones that you will count in your head just like a dancer would. When you acquire this instinctive rhythm of weight shifts to execute a trick, that's when I consider someone truly a freestyle slalomer. It takes a while to pick up, but you'll get it sooner or later with practice. If you know someone who slaloms or a local instructor, that would definitely help you pick up on how to break up tricks into weight transfers more quickly.

Things get more complex depending on the trick, but a general rule of thumb is to weight your lead foot (regardless of direction you are traveling) when you "cross" your legs (say, when you are approaching a cone) and to weight your trailing foot when you "uncross" your legs (say, just after you have passed a cone). The transfer of weight between leading foot to trailing foot and vice-versa is the transition from cross to uncross or from uncross to cross. You give a count to each transition. So, for forward criss-cross, a basic but very important fundamental trick, you have 2 counts. You can count "1" in your head as you cross, and "2" in your head as you uncross. You then repeat with another "1" and you cross and repeat the whole process over and over.

Other tricks have different counts. For example, "crazy" a popular crowd pleaser has 4 counts. As lead foot is weighted and crosses one side of the cone, count "1". Weight is shifted to trailing foot which crosses other side of cone on count "2". Weight again transferred to "lead" foot which crosses next cone, going backwards, which is count "3". Finally, weight is shifted to trailing foot which crosses backward next cone on other side for count "4". Which returns you to original starting position, but shifted over one cone, where you can repeat process with "1" with weight shift to lead leg.

Crazy is a great example of how important weight shifting is to effortlessly execute a trick. Beginners can sometimes successfully execute Crazy by sheer muscle power, forcing their feet to cross one cone forward then uncross the next cone backwards. But it looks really bad, they grunt like they are lifting heavy weight, and they tire quickly.

However, once you learn to execute Crazy via weight shifts, you glide through the cones effortlessly, not getting tired, and with much higher quality visual style.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. If you are just starting, I suggest you work on your Front Cross. Discover which foot you are more comfortable "leading" with (lead foot is the one in front, the one that will cross the cone first). The do the "1"-"2" count Front cross. Let's say you like to lead with your right foot. Shift weight to your right foot and move your feet together, which will naturally move your forward. Cross oncoming cone with right (lead) foot to the left of the cone and left (trailing) foot to the right side of the cone, and count "1". Once you've crossed the cone with both feet, shift your weight to your trailing leg and move your feet apart. This will cause you to continue to glide forward, uncrossing your legs, with your right (lead) leg crossing the next cone on the right and the left on the left of the cone. Count "2" as you do this. You should end up in the original position, only shifted two cones forward.

Keep practicing this, concentrating on keeping your torso upright (don't fold at the waste, it looks bad!), upper body relaxed, and arms relaxed at your side or maybe up a little bit but still relaxed. Don't swing them like a madman. You should practice this on both your strong and weak sides, meaing also practice with your weak (say left) leg leading. This is where the counting and weight shift REALLY helps.

When you are comfortable with front cross, you can then move onto back cross. Same rules apply - weight your lead foot (the one that reaches the cone first) when crossing your legs and the trailing foot when you uncross. And don't forget to count. With some practice, you'll find back crisscross even easier and more comfortable than front cross. And you'll really impress your friends.

There's a lot more we could talk about regarding style, speed, knee bend, but this is a good starting point.

Good luck!
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Old January 28th, 2014, 04:57 AM   #9
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Oh one more thing.

BEND YOUR KNEES!

Like a lot. Keep them bent when you are not crossed, and this will help with weight transfer and style when you are in the process of crossing/uncrossing. I don't have time to go into why, but I promise you, all these slalom tricks will become much easier and look waaaaaaay better if you learn early on to approach them all with a deep kneebend.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 06:52 AM   #10
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Thanks a ton Greg..will definitely focus on bent knees.. I'm able to do crisscross pretty fine, my main doubts n problems are while going zigzag on 1leg..I have a rockered setup, the middle wheels are larger, I've noticed that if I have major weight on the center wheels n use my hips n hands,it aids the trick a lot more..n a bit on the outside edge too..but I don't know if I'm doing it right..
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 10:52 PM   #11
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Yes, this is good advice, I'm also relatively new to slalom. It's made me aware of some really bad habits. It seems that when I bend my knees (which I haven't been doing) I stop folding at the waist. I've been learning new tricks this winter indoors, but have not had a chance to do them through cones yet (not enough space in my kitchen). I'm sure I will knock them down. How do you stop flailing your arms? Also, in Nov started learning crazy sun, then had to stop when skates broke. I can't figure it out anymore. What moves are involved in what order? Thanks.

(Relying heavily on these posts and treads)
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Old February 4th, 2014, 04:36 AM   #12
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Crazy sun is basically just two cones of double crazy followed by two cones of backwards double crazy, and repeat. The transition from forwards to backwards is basically just half of crazy, and to transition back is the other half. One of those transitions will have to be on the off-side foot though, so it helps if you can do crazy leading with either foot.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 10:38 PM   #13
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Hmmm, can't tell the difference between double crazy and stroll. It doesn't seem like crazy. In any case tonight I'm learning crazy with weak foot.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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they are the same trick, although the usage of the terms stroll and double crazy vary between regions.

some people might say that stroll involves doing two double crazies between each cone interval, and some people insist vice versa.
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