Advanced Figure Skating Stops and Skids – Part 2 (Nick Perna)

In the video below, Nick Perna continues his discussion of figure skating stops and skids and covers a whole range of advanced stops and skids.  He demonstrates a back two foot stop and again recommends that all skaters learn this stop on both feet.  He does not allow his skaters to stop using the toe picks when traveling backwards.  After mastering the two foot back stop, Nick recommends working on the one-foot back stop.  And after mastering that on both feet, he has his skaters start to play around with even more advanced stops.

There’s a good chance that many people watching this video have never even seen a back outside one-foot stop.  Nick says, “I feel like this one is one of the lost stops of skating.”  He proceeds to explain and demonstrate how to safely learn this stop from a backward two-foot hockey stop.  He also likens the feeling to a back bracket or back counter which often helps many skaters learn the proper feeling.

Then Nick takes a moment to explain the physics of skidding and stopping.  The skidding foot must be moving ahead of the skater’s body.  This idea of pushing one foot out away in the direction of travel is very scary for most skaters which explains why so few skaters have mastered these stops that Nick is talking about.

Next Nick shares some nifty advanced stops that almost nobody does.  You’ll see the first of these stops occasionally in comedy numbers.  Nick calls it the “V-stop.”  It’s essentially a reverse snowplow stop where the feet are turned out rather than in and the edge pressure comes from the outside edges rather than the inside edges.  It’s a relatively tricky stop to perfect, especially to get even pressure on both blades.  After mastering the V-stop, Nick proceeds to the “Charlie Chaplin” stop which he demonstrates and describes.  He shows the process for learning this unusual stop which is essentially an alternating V-stop.

Near the end of this video, Nick talks about the basics of stopping.  He discusses where the skater’s weight needs to be and how the skater controls the edge using the ankles.  Both of these concepts are somewhat advanced which explains why so many skaters take so long learning even a basic T-stop.  The need to keep the skater’s weight back and push the skidding foot out in front in the direction of travel is an unbalancing that takes practice to master.  And low level skaters have notoriously poor control of their ankles, as many coaches don’t even bother to mention this critical and important detail.  Ankle control and pressure is just something most skaters learn automatically over time by practicing.  As Nick describes, “I have control of the edge because I’m using my ankle.  I’m leaning my ankle just enough to keep the edge without leaning it too far and catching the opposite edge.”

During this discussion Nick demonstrates exactly how to learn to feel this.  By using a side T-stop and playing with ankle lean and gradual pressure on the ice, skaters can safely and quickly learn to control their stops.

Nick also discusses and demonstrates the forward “heel stop.”  This is a very scary stop to learn and Nick notes that he teaches it at the wall and by holding the skater’s hands until they develop some proficiency and can attempt them unassisted.  He also recommends using a one-foot heel stop with the other skate still gliding on the ice for support.  This simple drill can really accelerate the body’s awareness of what part of the heel to use in the two-foot heel stop.

In the demonstrations at the very end of the video, notice Nick’s alignment and body position.  Also notice where his skaters are with respect to his body and hips.  Great video with tons of important details about stopping!


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