Teaching a Bigger Reach on Backward Crossovers (Page Lipe)

International figure skating coach Page Lipe shares a trick for getting beginner skaters to create more “reach” on backward crossovers. The concept is simple, and involves the coach gliding along inside the skater’s circle, and asking the skater to reach out with the skate all the way to the coach, placing the skate onto the ice on an inside edge. This technique then has the skater pull the skate inward at the beginning of the undercut, transitioning from the inside edge briefly to a flat and then to the powerful outside edge. Like many top coaches, Page considers a big reach to be very important for generating maximum power in the back crossover.

[Editor’s note: Many top coaches disagree and do not want skaters to place the undercut foot down on an inside edge. They argue that no real power can be generated by anything except the powerful outside edge. This is a relatively controversial topic in skating and has not been resolved, even after significant discussion and debate.]

Page notes that skaters can generate a small amount of power by pulling the inside edge inward, but the more likely benefit of using this technique is creating a flawless transition while in a powerful position, making the full power stroke on the outside edge even more effective.


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