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How to Tie Your Skates (Chris Conte)

Figure skating coach and choreographer Chris Conte gives a short presentation on how to tie figure skates for jumping (and hence all singles and pair skating!).  Chris covered this on iCoachSkating before, but this updated version is a bit more thorough and he gets to demonstrate the concepts with a skater.  He offers a simple test to see if the skates are tied properly.  If a skater can easily bend the knees and the knees push well past the toe picks (with the bottom of the blade remaining on the ice), the skates should be re-tied.

He explains there are 3 main sections with different requirements: the toe box, the throat, and the upper.  The toe box uses a “pull and release” technique to make the laces snug but not tight (but also not loose!).  The throat needs to be quite tight and is the tightest section.  The laces should go OVER the side hooks because it “locks the laces into place better.”  The laces should go under the “centering peg” on the tongue and then cross over and be pulled “nice and snug.”  Above that the lace is tightened with only the thumb and forefinger (relatively loose).

Common Errors When Tying Skates:

  1. Tying the toe box too tight
  2. Tying the toe box too loose
  3. Tying the throat too loose
  4. Not using the centering peg on the tongue
  5. Not centering the centering peg in the lacing
  6. Not taking the laces OVER the hooks
  7. Tying the top of the skate way too tight

At the end of the video, Chris explains the theory behind this method of tying skates.  The skates should provide some resistance to deep-bending, and this aids in power generation, both for jumping and stroking.


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