Figure Skating Edges And Turns – Part 1 (Chris Conte)

Chris Conte teaches an edges and turns class in Korea.  This is the first of a multi-part series.  We did not have wireless microphones for this class so at times the audio may be hard to hear.  Throughout these videos, Korean coach “Grace” Eun He Lee is translating Chris’s comments for her skaters and this sometimes makes understanding Chris even more challenging on the video.  However, the overall value of this information is so high that we decided to publish it anyway.  We ask for your understanding regarding the audio and please leave a comment below if something is unclear.   

In this first video, Chris initially takes some time to explain where the skater should be on the blade when they are skating forward and doing turns.  When skating forward, the skater should be in the middle of the blade to improve stability and reduce friction.  When doing forward to backward turns, Chris notes that the skater really doesn’t come as far forward as the toe pick.  In fact, well done turns often don’t rock any further forward on the blade than the middle stanchion.  (If you doubt this, you need to watch this amazing Nick Perna video!)

To help the skaters get the feel for using the middle of their blades, Chris does hopping drills with them.  By hopping up and down and side to side on the middle of the blade without rocking to the toe, it builds control and awareness.  Notice the focus by both Chris and Grace on correcting the skaters natural tendency to simply rock to their toe picks to hop.

Next Chris offers a valuable but almost unknown drill to develop blade control.  By rocking all the way from the toe pick to the heel and then back, the skater learns to control the entire blade.  This drill is initially very challenging for most skaters.  Many skaters who have never walked around on their heels or toes on the ice need to develop a comfort level with that first before mastering the full blade rocking drill.  Chris has the class walk on their heels, both forward and back with various arm positions.  He also has them walk on their toes, with knees straight as well as bent, forward as well as backward.  He then goes back to the full blade rocking drill.  Notice that the blade glides a small distance in the middle of the drill.

These drills are very effective for developing control and awareness for proper blade usage.  They are also a pre-requisite for the drills and skills coming up in later videos in this series.

This is more great information from Chris.  Please leave a comment below.


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