Figure Skating Stops and Skids – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

In the video below, Nick Perna begins a discussion of stops and skids.  Nick starts by noting the importance of learning a variety of stops and skids.  But he also acknowledges that beyond the very basic stops taught at the lowest levels of figure skating, stops and skids get very little formal attention.  Many high level skaters cannot do relatively simple stops, particularly on both feet.

Nick defines a stop as “a sideways motion of the blade.”  He continues, “It sometime can be on an edge and sometimes it can be on a flat.”  He explains in the video.  An edge will skid if you shallow it out enough or put enough force on the edge.

Nick starts by showing snowplow stops.  As with all stops, he makes sure the skater can do it on both feet (snowplow to the left and snowplow to the right).  Nick then proceeds to T-stops.  He explains the importance of T-stops and briefly demonstrates the technique.  He quickly advances to “front T-stops” or “tango stops.”  Many skaters have difficulty with this stop, and Nick shows how he introduces it and improves it.  He shows how the typical way a skater may learn the tango stop is scary and dangerous.  To build confidence and mastery of the tango stop, Nick shows an alternating foot drill that is efficient and effective.

Next, Nick moves to “one foot stops.”  These can be referred to as one foot tango stops, one foot T-stops, and one-foot hockey stops.  He stresses the importance of this stop as a tool for learning axel and double axel.  For
those working on axel, Nick says “This stop is extremely important for take-offs for axels where you have to do a forward outside edge and be able to control the turn of that foot on the ice.  Whether it skids or has a clean edge, it still has to have that same control of the edge.”  Nick goes even further by saying, “Even before you do an axel you should have a good mastery of a forward outside one foot stop.”

Finally, Nick shows how to teach a stop from slaloms or a hockey lunge. Many skaters find it easier to learn this way since they’re on two feet, although as Nick notes, it’s actually slightly more complicated.

This is a great presentation of a very overlooked aspect of figure skating.


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