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Above40

Outside Edge Stops

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For a person that is beginning to try to practice outside edge stops, what sharpening radius would you recommend for a 200lb skater? I started with 9/16" and then went to 5/8" and I still get instant dig into the ice unless I go very slow and put my stopping foot in back of my lead foot in a T with basically no attack angle (just enough to get the outside edge)There's some small details I wonder about like should I let my boot/ankle be slightly relaxed or super stiff? Straight ankle vs letting the ankle lead or letting the edge lead. I feel better when my skates arent cranked down but there's a point where the skate reacts to the pressure from the ice and wants to go a certain way...Is this something I try to control consciously or just let things go how they may? When I watch vids on Youtube it appears some skaters can drift across the ice w slide stop with their skates pretty much perpendicular to the ice. Does it take a shallow hollow to be able to do this? Thanks anyone for any tips. I get super choppy (chatter) from my outside edge when doing two foot stops also. I should probably figure that problem out first. I noticed a different person this happening to as well. Didn't seem to catch the attention of their coach (skating lesson session at rink). I don't recall having this issue when I was younger. Now it seems I'm always fighting that edge as it does not behave in a predictable or smooth way. Catches like crazy. Like stutters and skips along the ice with the Z pattern left on the ice. 

Almost feels like I want the holder moved out a little so I can get my weight on the inside of the runner more.. almost as if the sweet spot in angle my boot won't let me reach.. if that makes any sense. Like by the time I can get on my outside edge the angle is too aggressive. Maybe it's all in my head. I have about 4 public skates under my belt and pond skating over the winter. Been getting my skates to fit properly too. New skates, back to skating again. Two different battles that are interconnected. My skates are bakes and punched, pretty great fit almost past all physical pain of starting over again. All advice appreciated. I'm new to this forum so I hope I posted in the right place!

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One thing is confidence.  The chatter is likely from not really putting weight on that edge.  At 200 lbs (or pretty much any weight), the blade won’t chatter if you actually have weight on it.  Another is make sure that leg isn’t out too far in front of you, it leads to the same problem as my first point.  A lot of times I see younger kids really just doing an inside edge stop and the other leg, while in the right position, is kind of just along for the ride and chatters along the ice.  Lastly, driving through the ball of your foot more may help.

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10 hours ago, Above40 said:

For a person that is beginning to try to practice outside edge stops, what sharpening radius would you recommend for a 200lb skater? I started with 9/16" and then went to 5/8" and I still get instant dig into the ice unless I go very slow and put my stopping foot in back of my lead foot in a T with basically no attack angle (just enough to get the outside edge)

It's not the hollow but your muscle control. Your muscles are struggling to control the boot so you get chatter and drift. Just keep practicing those T stops with the stopping foot behind the lead foot. Try just feathering the ice with the stopping foot and a perpendicular blade, this helps to set your muscle memory. As you get more comfortable with the feathering, increase your speed and the attack angle of the blade (edge leading, ankle trailing, your muscles will control the amount of stiffness you need in the ankle). Then start to put more weight into the stopping foot. Your weight is in the center of the blade. Also as you increase the weight into the stopping foot, try lifting the toe of the lead foot, this helps with your shift of weight balance back onto the stopping foot. Once you get this T stop, then you start to move the stopping foot out to the side of the lead foot. As you master this the stopping foot can then move forward until you can eventually stop with it leading. It's all about muscle control and weight distribution, especially the muscle control of the leading foot as you learn to do this.

As to the 2 foot stop and outside edge chatter, do the above and once you are able to stop with the stopping foot leading your outside edge chatter will have disappeared. 2 foot stops should be driven by the outside edge, not the inside edge. I loath teaching snow plow stops but its a necessary evil to get someone to stop. Once they have the basic idea of a snow plow I never work with that again, it's always outside edge drills like the one above. Not only does it teach you an outside edge but it also works hard on your one foot balance. It takes much longer to master a 2 foot stop this way but once they get there the technique is far superior to someone who started and continued working with just inside edge stopping drills. Once you get the outside edge, then work on your inside edge for stopping.

As to hollow, go with whatever you are comfortable with that suits your style of skating. I doubt anyone can tell you what hollow you should be on without seeing you skate. There is nothing wrong with 9/16" or 5/8", both will work equally well if that is what you are used to.

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Thanks so much for the detailed advice.. super appreciated!! Sounds like this is going to take me a lot longer to learn than I thought. I'm used to figuring things out pretty quickly. So this IS a really a hard skill? Nothing wrong with my skates? lol I suppose I'll just have to just get over myself feeling like a goofball out on the ice. Sometimes there's just a few skaters when I go out during the week and some private lessons happening so I get pretty self-conscious getting out of my comfort zone. I'll keep at it.

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It's not a hard skill, just one that needs lots of parts to come together. Front foot balance, open hips (look at how your body twists over the top of the leading foot), control of the front and stopping foot as they are held in the open hip position, transfer of weight front to back (instead of side to side). Everyone has to start somewhere, just keep at it and after a few sessions you will be getting there, Repetition is key, try not to skate the length of the ice and do one stop, take one or 2 strides and then stop, repeat with the other foot. 30 minutes of this and things improve quickly.

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Follow up: I decided to have my hollows switched up from 5/8 to 7/8.  As far as practicing outside edge stops..made a world of difference..I was actually able to pick up my front foot practicing T stops in about 10 min. Did a few medium speed 2 foot stops w no chatter. The best part is that now it feels more like I'm actually practicing rather than being freaked out by the excercize and barely being able to do it at all. I still get negative feedback with some chatter if I get it wrong but it's not nearly as severe or ultra bitey, or scary. Higher freq chatter more like vibration rather than chop chop like before.  I did notice I slip around a little more when my skates are upright but they bite fine when I get over on edge.. I just had to be more deliberate when turning. I could see trying 3/4 after a few more skates if they get too slippery. And dang  I notice I'm using new muscles for sure. Feels totally odd to open my hips like that but I think I'm on the right track. I'm pretty stoked!  

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Vet88, your advice and steps for progress make a lot more sense after my last skate. I'm going to try to stick with that progression and also bring my weak side along for the ride.

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