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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old October 8th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #1
azzkabam
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Default newbie question: skating in a pack

Hello. I'm new to derby, about a month. I just have a question about skating in a pack. I know your supposed to skate with all your wheels on the floor, but I can't seem to do that without losing all my speed and then not being able to keep up. Does it just take time and more practice? Any tips would be helpful. It's frustrating because I'm trying so hard, but can't seen to do it.

Thanks!!
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Old October 8th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azzkabam View Post
Hello. I'm new to derby, about a month. I just have a question about skating in a pack. I know your supposed to skate with all your wheels on the floor, but I can't seem to do that without losing all my speed and then not being able to keep up. Does it just take time and more practice? Any tips would be helpful. It's frustrating because I'm trying so hard, but can't seen to do it.

Thanks!!
If your loosing speed sticky skating you're just not here yet. IMO it takes time and experience to sticky skate truly fast. Practice practice practice to get that smooth flow.

It doesn't hurt to have your trucks tuned to be as responsive as possible without sacrificing high-speed stability. My 45s where much better at it than my 15s but I will just have to relearn how to do it on the new more stable plate.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by llama of death View Post
If your loosing speed sticky skating you're just not here yet. IMO it takes time and experience to sticky skate truly fast. Practice practice practice to get that smooth flow.

All of the above and the muscle to move it

It doesn't hurt to have your trucks tuned to be as responsive as possible without sacrificing high-speed stability. My 45s where much better at it than my 15s but I will just have to relearn how to do it on the new more stable plate.
You controlled your 45s. They were not good at anything. You made them good at sticky skating. With some time and cushion changes you will I'm sure be just as accomplished on a 15 degree plate.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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On my team we did drills where the girls would get in a pace line in derby position & we would hold on to the girls hips in front of us. The one in back would push us along by sticky skating on the outside of the track. Right leg between turns 3 & 4 and left leg between 1 & 2. Team can be split if it's too big. After a few minutes of this the girl in back races to the front and the new girl in back takes over. The added resistance will make it seem like a breeze to just sticky skate with your own weight

and don't forget to get low. Trying to sticky skate while standing is awkward and not very effective. Good luck
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Old October 8th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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The more wheels you have on the floor the quicker you slow down. Skating is a one foot at a time deal so if you are rolling your weight should only be on one foot at a time.

If you want to wash off speed then you roll on all 8 wheels.............. in you shift your weight forward and put more weight on the front wheels the speed washes off even quicker.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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There can be more than one right answer to this. And certain right answers may not be right for you.

A 45 degree plate will do this easier than a 10 or 15 degree plate. As llama of Death noted, easier on his 45. Good luck doing it as well with your current plate. Although you are now on a shorter plate, and that could help.

What works for me? Heel push. I skate a short forward DA45 on a Bont Quad Racer boot. 3 things about my setup makes the heel push *MAGICALLY* easy and effective.

1.) The DA45 plate: Very responsive. I can make tiny little arcs to produce power.

2.) The location of my rear axle. Because it is more forward, not waaaay back there, I can easily control it.

3.) The excellent control provided by the stiff Bont heel cup. This makes controlling the rear axle a breeze. Oh, and also a tiny little toe lift as I push the heel.

That is how *I* do it. But my technique is HIGHLY dependent on the setup of my skate. It would not be easy on a 10 degree plate with the rear axle too far back. You could TRY the technique, but I think it would be pretty tough.

I essentially LIVE with 8 wheels down. Forward or backward. So forward, I am ALWAYS heel pushing. I RARELY lift a skate.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cass38a View Post
The more wheels you have on the floor the quicker you slow down. Skating is a one foot at a time deal so if you are rolling your weight should only be on one foot at a time.

If you want to wash off speed then you roll on all 8 wheels.............. in you shift your weight forward and put more weight on the front wheels the speed washes off even quicker.
This is precisely why the 45s where better at sticky-skate. It is not just muscle, if the action lets you turn freely it is easier no? Having skated both and long talks with our most experienced people the technique I used for the 45s is not the same as for the 15s. The 15s do not turn as tight with the same effort, the 45s turn very readily. Means all four can stay down and I get to keep accelerating despite this.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #8
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Regardless of the plates kingpin and the ease of turning its the friction of 8 wheels rolling against the floor v 4 wheels slows you down when you are skating on both feet, the contact patch is doubled. That is why racing bikes have thin wheels and bmx bikes don't.

Your roll (and speed) is increased by having your weight centred over the rolling skate, nose over knee over toe. When you have both feet on the floor your weight is between the skates...............this might be better if you are getting hit but is no good if skating efficiently is on the agenda.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azzkabam View Post
Hello. I'm new to derby, about a month. I just have a question about skating in a pack. I know your supposed to skate with all your wheels on the floor, but I can't seem to do that without losing all my speed and then not being able to keep up. Does it just take time and more practice? Any tips would be helpful. It's frustrating because I'm trying so hard, but can't seen to do it.

Thanks!!
When both feet are down you generate speed by using your legs to push and pull the skates against each other, or more correctly, you work the knees against each other, so if the skates are side by side going straight it would be both knees pushing outward, then inward, so deeply bent knees, so you spread the legs, then bring them together.
That gets old fast, but with practice one learns to push the right leg forward and the left leg to the rear, now speed can be generated with the force one can create with the leg action.
Now the leg going in front crosses the body, as does the leg going to the rear, so you can rip your skates back and forth, you'll be surprised how fast you can go, it's called shuffle skating
Yes, a little time spent practicing ang you'll be looking like a spider and be quite fast.
Not picking a foot up in a pack will keep everyone involved safer.
If you don't visualize what I'm explaining say so, my explanation lacks finess

Works with any action angle, any king pin, any duro, but the correct duro is fastest, even works with inlines, when I was a skier it worked on the flats.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for your post. I got what you were trying to say. Still practicing, but still doesn't seem like I'm getting any better at it :/ keep practicing I guess.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #11
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Check your cushions & truck adjustment. If you're skating on hard cushions and/or your trucks are cranked down tight, sticky skating will be a lot more difficult.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #12
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Check your cushions & truck adjustment. If you're skating on hard cushions and/or your trucks are cranked down tight, sticky skating will be a lot more difficult.
This.

Until recently I was on R3s. When I upgraded the stock cushions and loosened my trucks, sticky skating became easier and almost effortless. Almost.

Try that.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 11:33 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. I just ordered some new cushions today. Hopefully it helps
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Old October 18th, 2013, 03:04 AM   #14
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Default This is a Good Post by cass38

Hi,

cass38 makes some good posts here. Reminds me of Edges when skating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cass38a View Post
The more wheels you have on the floor the quicker you slow down. Skating is a one foot at a time deal so if you are rolling your weight should only be on one foot at a time.

If you want to wash off speed then you roll on all 8 wheels.............. in you shift your weight forward and put more weight on the front wheels the speed washes off even quicker.
First OFF, You are Right on your first post, with experience this starts to come naturally as you compete. You develop the tools you need AND you might not even know what you are doing...

cass to me is saying you need to do edges and stay away from those DA45s that plant all 4 to the floor to slow you down. Now later you might come on back.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old October 18th, 2013, 07:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by azzkabam View Post
Thanks for your post. I got what you were trying to say. Still practicing, but still doesn't seem like I'm getting any better at it :/ keep practicing I guess.
That was a good tip by ursle. In my case, it took a LONG time for those muscles to develop to the point that I got SPEED out of them. For me, it took months. First, I was able to do the motion, but I was not getting anything out of it. Then I was finally able to get some forward motion. Doing this WELL takes some time.

As for the crossing over, you know what a regular crossover is. It is almost the same thing, but your body stays upright and still, the rear foot crosses behind, the front foot crosses in front. It has the same effect as the butterfly movement, but creates more power because each power stroke is LONGER. WHen your feet are wide, you cross over to the feet crossed position. Longer than just bringing them close together. The outward stroke will be longer for the same reason. Typically a person is taught to butterfly, out and in with feet next to each other, before doing the crossover. You could always try doing the crossover now if you wish.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 08:09 AM   #16
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Thanks guys. I just ordered some new cushions today. Hopefully it helps
This will do more to resolve your issue than anything else suggested here so far. Let us know how much a free turning action helps your "sticky skating".

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Old October 18th, 2013, 08:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cass38a View Post
Regardless of the plates kingpin and the ease of turning its the friction of 8 wheels rolling against the floor v 4 wheels slows you down when you are skating on both feet, the contact patch is doubled. That is why racing bikes have thin wheels and bmx bikes don't.

Your roll (and speed) is increased by having your weight centred over the rolling skate, nose over knee over toe. When you have both feet on the floor your weight is between the skates...............this might be better if you are getting hit but is no good if skating efficiently is on the agenda.
There is some contradiction in what you are saying.
If one minute you say only four wheels rolls faster than eight, but elsewhere you say to slow down even more just tip plate up on only two (2) wheels.

You then talk about contact patch as if it merely a one dimensional thing - as in the width of the wheel - but in fact it is also a two dimensional AREA thing relating to the extent that the wheel is squished flat by the weight applied.

The more deeply a wheel gets squished flat where it is in contact with the floor, the more it steals your rolling energy.
Rolling just one wheel gives serious braking. (max. wheel squish)
Roll on just two wheels and you still get slowed down a lot. (too much wheel squish)
Roll one skate with four wheels down and weight evenly distributed between them means good roll.

Now by logical progression we would think that rolling on eight wheels down would give the best roll of all, but there is also a "wheel drag" effect that relates to the cumulative total width of floor contact from all the 8 wheels down and rolling at once, and somewhere between four wheels down and eight wheels down this drag effect seems to trump the "less wheel squish" effect of more wheels down, to begin tip the scales in the slowing direction.

In addition, as cass mentioned, with 8 wheels down we are often misplacing our weight on our skates, so that it is less equally distributed laterally on each skate's wheels, but this can have us still rolling straight, because the both the skates actually turning in slightly against each other and wasting energy that way - like doing a mini plow stop all the time we roll 8 wheels down.

-Armadillo
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Old October 18th, 2013, 09:58 AM   #18
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I have never said to tip the plate and roll on two wheels.

I have said to relax and have more weight carried by the rear axel and less by the front wheels.................when you want to slow down shift your weight forward so that a bit more weight is carried by the front wheels and you slow down.

I am not interested in your theories about why this does or doesn't work. The concept is accepted by all speed skaters that rolling on all 8 wheels slows you down and most would also agree that you can use the front wheels to wash off a bit of speed too.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 04:35 AM   #19
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Default This is Why We need Iggy to think.

Hi ALL,

This is why we need Iggy to think of a way to move these discussions a bit off the Starting Posters post. Yet maybe link them in some way for extended information on the topic.

These discussions get quite technical and get away from what the starting poster needs to know to get better for right now. Yes Yes I see Armadillo defending himself even against information given my Cass. Hey I have been there with 30 plus spins in the middle that I could not believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadillo View Post
There is some contradiction in what you are saying.
If one minute you say only four wheels rolls faster than eight, but elsewhere you say to slow down even more just tip plate up on only two (2) wheels. o-o -Armadillo
I do agree with cass a lot more then Arm, and it seems like Arm is manufacturing disagreements just to support himself. Come On Arm..

Anyway for azzkabam, Derby is fun and some small gals I know have adapted in time and are great jammers plus more. BTW this has surprised me because some of them are little.

Sorry this tread series is NOT more helpful.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old October 19th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cass38a View Post
I have never said to tip the plate and roll on two wheels.

I have said to relax and have more weight carried by the rear axel and less by the front wheels.................when you want to slow down shift your weight forward so that a bit more weight is carried by the front wheels and you slow down.

I am not interested in your theories about why this does or doesn't work. The concept is accepted by all speed skaters that rolling on all 8 wheels slows you down and most would also agree that you can use the front wheels to wash off a bit of speed too.
I did not say or mean LEAN the plate for two "edge" wheels either. I said TIP the plate -- as in FRONT-TO-BACK. "Lean" is for LATERAL & "tip" is for front-to-back, as in tip up on your toes, or tip back toward your heels
More of your weight front-to-back on either axle pair of wheels, versus equal amounts across all four down, will slow you down.

Most people tend to always have more on the front pair, so when they shift rearward it DOES speed them up, but this is because they are getting closer to equal.

The fact remains that 4 wheels seem to roll better than all 8 down or only two down (axle pair or edge pair), as I described above.

-Armadillo
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Last edited by Armadillo; October 20th, 2013 at 01:11 AM.
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