Forward Cross Strokes and How They Relate to Axel (Douglas Webster)

Professional choreographer Douglas Webster works with a skater on cross strokes, particularly in terms of edge pressure and power generation.  Doug begins the lessons by explaining and demonstrating what he wants for the forward cross strokes (gather, push, reach).  He wants the skater to “bend and extend” on the the first half of the lobe, and then “on the half is the gather and the turning edge and the push.”  Notice that Doug does not want the skater to rise up out of the knees, as this reduces edge pressure.  To maximize the lobe, Doug wants the skater to begin and end each lobe facing either toward or away from the wall.  Notice the focus on the eyes and where the head is actually pointing.  The focus on ankle bend is really on “side bend” of the ankle to get better edge pressure.

Doug mentions that cross strokes done in this manner are helpful for the axel take-off.  He explains how head position and edge pressure and ankle bend are all related to the axel.


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