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PBH

Ellipse Profiles – The next revolution in skate profiling?

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1 hour ago, flip12 said:

Do McDavid and MacKinnon have short strides? What muscle groups are they activating? Are they skating differently than Niedermayer or Gartner did? Curious if there are any videos or descriptive posts you can point to for illuminating this.

Not short strides, lots of crossovers and crossunders (reactive linear crossovers) as opposed to Ovechkin, Jagr and others who have a much longer traditional stride. There is a ton of info online about this. PEP has a bunch of stuff about it too. 

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35 minutes ago, PBH said:

Not short strides, lots of crossovers and crossunders (reactive linear crossovers) as opposed to Ovechkin, Jagr and others who have a much longer traditional stride. There is a ton of info online about this. PEP has a bunch of stuff about it too. 

Any particular voices you recommend? (Seen some of the PEP stuff and it seems quite fluffy; promotional propaganda.)

"Not short strides...others...have much longer traditional stride(s)." I still don't quite get what you're saying.

Edited by flip12
PEP talk

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6 minutes ago, flip12 said:

Any particular voices you recommend? (Seen some of the PEP stuff and it seems quite fluffy; promotional propaganda.)

"Not short strides...others...have much longer traditional stride(s)." I still don't quite get what you're saying.

Just an example of what I think he's saying.  Lots of quick cross-over strides with the toes pointing up ice.  If you want quicker feet and more agility check out the Ellipse XS.  I've recently been skating on this.  Best way to describe is my feet feel lighter when skating.  You will give up a little glide and stability though going to the XS from the Zero.

 

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On 3/8/2021 at 11:32 AM, kkskate said:

It's possible they're just more in line with the size recommendations.  For example size 254 is a size 5-6 skate.  Based on the Quad recommendations you should go with the Quad XS though many skaters with this size were on a Quad 0 or Quad 1.  Since the Ellipse profiles don't have any real specifications to examine it's possible the (Ellipse) profiles size recommendations are more accurate.

Perhaps.

Either way, the Ellipse just felt like a slight variation of a Zup. I guess I was expecting something different. 

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On 3/8/2021 at 4:13 PM, kkskate said:

Just an example of what I think he's saying.  Lots of quick cross-over strides with the toes pointing up ice.  If you want quicker feet and more agility check out the Ellipse XS.  I've recently been skating on this.  Best way to describe is my feet feel lighter when skating.  You will give up a little glide and stability though going to the XS from the Zero.

 

I actually felt less agile with the Ellipse than the Quad. By a mile. There's definitely more stability, however, so that's really the tradeoff. Just have to decide what you want more. 

Edited by pgeorgan

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2 hours ago, pgeorgan said:

Perhaps.

Either way, the Ellipse just felt like a slight variation of a Zup. I guess I was expecting something different. 

That's interesting and likely why people need to try things for themselves.  I've recently skated an all 3 (Quads, Ellipse, and Zuperior) and the found the Zuperior to be much different than the Quad and Ellipse. 

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2 hours ago, kkskate said:

That's interesting and likely why people need to try things for themselves.  I've recently skated an all 3 (Quads, Ellipse, and Zuperior) and the found the Zuperior to be much different than the Quad and Ellipse. 

And why in reality, profiling isn't really innovative for the general population.  People don't have the money, the time, or the expertise (nor is it being provided by the LHS) to actually find a profile that optimizes their performance.

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26 minutes ago, BenBreeg said:

And why in reality, profiling isn't really innovative for the general population.  People don't have the money, the time, or the expertise (nor is it being provided by the LHS) to actually find a profile that optimizes their performance.

That's a fair opinion.  I've found that many skaters are very interested in the process and more than willing to spend the time and energy.  I dare say that many enjoy the process.  Your point is valid though, it's possible it's not for everyone.  From what I see, those who make the effort to find the correct profile and hollow they're pleased with the end result.

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Warning: slight bend in the thread ahead...

@pgeorgan Thanks for posting that. I was going to say, Ovechkin does have some serious linear crossover chops. He really showed them in his rookie season. Then he got a Backstrom on his summer holiday and got to take it a bit easier ever after. (Note: the next few links are all from the same video, but each instance is cued to a spot showing Ovy's linear crossovers).

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one with commentary by Robbie Glantz is a little more recent, but it captures his puck carrying ability perfectly, and to make it through the neutral zone into the offensive zone without getting suffocated by defensive positioning usually requires fluid linear crossovers.

Is it just me or does he also have a rather short and choppy stride, especially in comparison with McDavid and MacKinnon?

 

The phrase "short stride" is ambiguous because it can refer to a player's normal skating stride not using much ice for the glide-and-push, or it can refer to players with longer strides that deliberately take shorter strides while utilizing a linear crossover attack because it's trickier to defend. Mogilny is the perfect example. He has the longest stride I've ever seen,

 

but he was also a master of the linear crossover attack using abbreviated strides.

I get what a linear crossover is. I'm just wondering, what is it people think they accomplish or should be used for? Because there's a lot of ambiguity in how they are discussed and some of the ideas I've come across just don't make sense. LCs are so revered they almost seem to usurp the forward stride as a necessary component in hockey ability, as though being able to skate well in a straight line isn't necessary.

But I don't see how you can have good linear crossovers or execute them effectively if you don't have an above average forward stride to begin with.

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This should probably be it's own topic...

IMHO linear crossovers just add a layer of deception. It keeps the defender guessing and if he takes the bait it is easy to get around him. Same with any sport, if you can keep them guessing and really sell it, you slow your opponent and make yourself relatively faster. But don't really understand how this is supposed to relate to profiles. You can do LC's on any profile, can't you?

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1 hour ago, Deke said:

This should probably be it's own topic...

IMHO linear crossovers just add a layer of deception. It keeps the defender guessing and if he takes the bait it is easy to get around him. Same with any sport, if you can keep them guessing and really sell it, you slow your opponent and make yourself relatively faster. But don't really understand how this is supposed to relate to profiles. You can do LC's on any profile, can't you?

Yes, this should be its own topic. However, on a very long profile it would be difficult to execute that many linear crossovers while keeping speed.

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1 hour ago, PBH said:

Yes, this should be its own topic. However, on a very long profile it would be difficult to execute that many linear crossovers while keeping speed.

Wouldn’t it be easier on a longer profile than a shorter one, relatively? You want to do it on the surplus of your glide length. A longer radius provides more of a platform for doing that at speed. Everyone has their own pref. and comfort zone, but I would select a longer profile for linear crossovers. Without sufficient glide you get caught by the backcheck.

3 hours ago, Deke said:

This should probably be it's own topic...

IMHO linear crossovers just add a layer of deception. It keeps the defender guessing and if he takes the bait it is easy to get around him. Same with any sport, if you can keep them guessing and really sell it, you slow your opponent and make yourself relatively faster. But don't really understand how this is supposed to relate to profiles. You can do LC's on any profile, can't you?

That’s how I would put it, yet I see NHLers doing sets of linear crossovers in A-to-B race situations, and it makes zero sense unless they’re that uncomfortable with their forward stride.

Edited by flip12

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3 hours ago, flip12 said:

Wouldn’t it be easier on a longer profile than a shorter one, relatively? You want to do it on the surplus of your glide length. A longer radius provides more of a platform for doing that at speed. Everyone has their own pref. and comfort zone, but I would select a longer profile for linear crossovers. Without sufficient glide you get caught by the backcheck.

That’s how I would put it, yet I see NHLers doing sets of linear crossovers in A-to-B race situations, and it makes zero sense unless they’re that uncomfortable with their forward stride.

 

6 hours ago, Deke said:

This should probably be it's own topic...

IMHO linear crossovers just add a layer of deception. It keeps the defender guessing and if he takes the bait it is easy to get around him. Same with any sport, if you can keep them guessing and really sell it, you slow your opponent and make yourself relatively faster. But don't really understand how this is supposed to relate to profiles. You can do LC's on any profile, can't you?

As far as liner crossovers, the main emphasis is on using the outside edge to push and generate speed from a shorter stride.  Of course, forward strides are always going to be the most important for straight aheaad speed.  But a lot of shorter line or fast acceleration skating now is being done using short crossover strides, maximizing the outside edge push.  The thinking is that you can get more strides in a shorter space by doing this.  It's more efficient, and faster.  McDavid and MacKinnon might be the best in the NHL at doing this right now.  They use their outside edges to generate tremendous power and acceleration.  I recently saw a video showing how McDavid will often go a direction away from where he wants to go before receiving a pass or picking up a loose puck, so that he can do a few linear crossovers to generate speed going where he wants when he gets it.  I wish I could find it again.

I'll give you an example that I think many can relate with.  When most of us were growing up and learning to skate, we were taught that to accelerate most quickly from a stop you pulled your heels in, got up on your toes, and took 3 or 4 short, choppy strides.  You'd start with your shoulders, hips, and feet facing the direction you wanted to go.  But that's not how it's being taught anymore.  Now, you start with your body facing sideways.  You inside edge push and throw your back foot as hard as you can crossing over the front foot, then dig as hard as you can on the outside edge of the front foot.  Then one more hard drive off the inside edge of the first foot and you're in your normal stride.  It's the same 3 short strides, but you're generating much more power because you're using those strides to full extension and have better balance/momentum in the process (forwards, not up).  It's also preferred because it's now the same motion to use to accelerate coming out of a stop to change directions.

As far as the profile, It's a happy medium.  Too short, and you can't generate enough force when pushing.  Too long and there's too much steel on the ice slowing you down.  It's probably why CAG One profiles are still seemingly popular with pros.  They're getting a shorter profile to reduce the amount of steel on the ice and therefore drag, but have that flat spot to generate power from.

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22 hours ago, psulion22 said:

 

As far as liner crossovers, the main emphasis is on using the outside edge to push and generate speed from a shorter stride.  Of course, forward strides are always going to be the most important for straight aheaad speed.  But a lot of shorter line or fast acceleration skating now is being done using short crossover strides, maximizing the outside edge push.  The thinking is that you can get more strides in a shorter space by doing this.  It's more efficient, and faster.  McDavid and MacKinnon might be the best in the NHL at doing this right now.  They use their outside edges to generate tremendous power and acceleration.  I recently saw a video showing how McDavid will often go a direction away from where he wants to go before receiving a pass or picking up a loose puck, so that he can do a few linear crossovers to generate speed going where he wants when he gets it.  I wish I could find it again.

I'll give you an example that I think many can relate with.  When most of us were growing up and learning to skate, we were taught that to accelerate most quickly from a stop you pulled your heels in, got up on your toes, and took 3 or 4 short, choppy strides.  You'd start with your shoulders, hips, and feet facing the direction you wanted to go.  But that's not how it's being taught anymore.  Now, you start with your body facing sideways.  You inside edge push and throw your back foot as hard as you can crossing over the front foot, then dig as hard as you can on the outside edge of the front foot.  Then one more hard drive off the inside edge of the first foot and you're in your normal stride.  It's the same 3 short strides, but you're generating much more power because you're using those strides to full extension and have better balance/momentum in the process (forwards, not up).  It's also preferred because it's now the same motion to use to accelerate coming out of a stop to change directions.

As far as the profile, It's a happy medium.  Too short, and you can't generate enough force when pushing.  Too long and there's too much steel on the ice slowing you down.  It's probably why CAG One profiles are still seemingly popular with pros.  They're getting a shorter profile to reduce the amount of steel on the ice and therefore drag, but have that flat spot to generate power from.

The anecdote about how starts are taught today is illuminating. The combination of inside edge and outside edge pushes makes for a promising start in many situations. I've noticed it's a start that's even used in short track speed skating. There has to be some tested merit to it if athletes whose sole full-time job is to skate fast are using it at the highest level.

Here's the most recent example I've come across, watch Erik Gustafsson, #56 for the Flyers:

 

He crosses over the whole way back chasing Sheary and it just doesn't look convincing this is his fastest approach back.

I thought the idea with a CAG One radius was the flat middle section was for gliding and pushing, which would maximize the amount of steel on the ice. I've never tried one though, so maybe I'm missing something.

 

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On 3/12/2021 at 5:15 PM, psulion22 said:

As far as the profile, It's a happy medium.  Too short, and you can't generate enough force when pushing.  Too long and there's too much steel on the ice slowing you down.  It's probably why CAG One profiles are still seemingly popular with pros.  They're getting a shorter profile to reduce the amount of steel on the ice and therefore drag, but have that flat spot to generate power from.

The Prosharp concepts are the same.  Shorter radius/shape in the front of the blade to allow you to move your feet quickly and a longer/flatter radius in the back for glide and stability.  Both profiles seem like they're attempting to accomplish similar things in different ways.

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:37 AM, kkskate said:

That's interesting and likely why people need to try things for themselves.  I've recently skated an all 3 (Quads, Ellipse, and Zuperior) and the found the Zuperior to be much different than the Quad and Ellipse. 

Point being, based on a lot of discussion in this thread, as well as the sort of vague ProSharp marketing, I went in thinking the Ellipse would be basically the Quad with very small, fine transitions and no blending. Like, if you go from 6 in the front and 10 in the back, maybe its 6,6.5,7,7.5,8.... all the way to 10. 

It wasn't that and it's an entirely new and separate profile. 

Some more transparency from ProSharp would be appreciated. It hasn't hurt them in all the years they've been operating and it's not doing anyone any favors. 

But ya, If you like the Quad, chances are you won't like the Ellipse, though I still have to try the XS (tonight) and maybe that opinion will change. I'm not saying don't try it, because that's the only way to know. But, a "paradigm shift" it was not...

P.S. - I'm totally speculating here, but I get the sneaking suspicion this will be released with the new Hyperlites (as in "Hyperlite agility"), combined with a whole lot of marketing guff (like "Power Profile" rather than just "Quad"). This would lend credence to my opinion on it's similarities with a Zup. 

Edited by pgeorgan
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On 3/13/2021 at 4:00 AM, Deke said:

IMHO linear crossovers just add a layer of deception. 

 

On 3/13/2021 at 7:23 AM, flip12 said:

That’s how I would put it, yet I see NHLers doing sets of linear crossovers in A-to-B race situations, and it makes zero sense unless they’re that uncomfortable with their forward stride.

 

I went back to the University research group I have been involved with and asked the question why linear crossovers may be faster. This is only a theory because I for sure as heck am not good enough to test it (and we don't have the tools) but the modelling they did consistently gave the same result, you can skate faster up the rink using linear crossovers but it's very specific.

They analysed dozens of clips of McDavid and others in action. One thing that was consistent is the arc they take when doing the crossovers for speed is very similar and flat. By skating in a flat arc, the skater is able to use the G forces generated from the arc to increase the power they are generating into the skate blade. Like a racing car, the faster you go the more downforce you get. Too much arc and the edge will slip (also see next point), to little arc and you can't generate enough G force. And from analysing the crossover stride they are using, they concluded that it's as close to the mechanics of the way a human runs than any other stride in ice skates. So by mimicking how a human runs they are able to generate maximum power into the crossovers but if the arc is too tight or too flat then the crossover is compromised away from the running motion.

AGAIN - this was all modelling and theory but the maths held up and analysing how McDavid skates when at full speed doing the crossovers supported the theory.

 

Edited by Vet88

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2 hours ago, Vet88 said:

 

 

I went back to the University research group I have been involved with and asked the question why linear crossovers may be faster. This is only a theory because I for sure as heck am not good enough to test it (and we don't have the tools) but the modelling they did consistently gave the same result, you can skate faster up the rink using linear crossovers but it's very specific.

They analysed dozens of clips of McDavid and others in action. One thing that was consistent is the arc they take when doing the crossovers for speed is very similar and flat. By skating in a flat arc, the skater is able to use the G forces generated from the arc to increase the power they are generating into the skate blade. Like a racing car, the faster you go the more downforce you get. Too much arc and the edge will slip (also see next point), to little arc and you can't generate enough G force. And from analysing the crossover stride they are using, they concluded that it's as close to the mechanics of the way a human runs than any other stride in ice skates. So by mimicking how a human runs they are able to generate maximum power into the crossovers but if the arc is too tight or too flat then the crossover is compromised away from the running motion.

AGAIN - this was all modelling and theory but the maths held up and analysing how McDavid skates when at full speed doing the crossovers supported the theory.

 

This makes perfect sense to me. 

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12 hours ago, pgeorgan said:

P.S. - I'm totally speculating here, but I get the sneaking suspicion this will be released with the new Hyperlites, combined with a whole lot of marketing guff (like "Power Profile" rather than just "Quad"). Which would lend credence to my opinion on it's similarities with a Zup. 

Bauer will not be releasing the Ellipse profiles on the new skates. Maybe in 2022 they will, but for 2021 it will not be an option.... though that can change at any time. 

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5 hours ago, Vet88 said:

 

 

I went back to the University research group I have been involved with and asked the question why linear crossovers may be faster. This is only a theory because I for sure as heck am not good enough to test it (and we don't have the tools) but the modelling they did consistently gave the same result, you can skate faster up the rink using linear crossovers but it's very specific.

They analysed dozens of clips of McDavid and others in action. One thing that was consistent is the arc they take when doing the crossovers for speed is very similar and flat. By skating in a flat arc, the skater is able to use the G forces generated from the arc to increase the power they are generating into the skate blade. Like a racing car, the faster you go the more downforce you get. Too much arc and the edge will slip (also see next point), to little arc and you can't generate enough G force. And from analysing the crossover stride they are using, they concluded that it's as close to the mechanics of the way a human runs than any other stride in ice skates. So by mimicking how a human runs they are able to generate maximum power into the crossovers but if the arc is too tight or too flat then the crossover is compromised away from the running motion.

AGAIN - this was all modelling and theory but the maths held up and analysing how McDavid skates when at full speed doing the crossovers supported the theory.

 

Interesting. Thanks for the detailed reply. Is there any chance of seeing this work in more detail?

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2 hours ago, flip12 said:

Interesting. Thanks for the detailed reply. Is there any chance of seeing this work in more detail?

I will ask but I suspect not, a certain large worldwide company (I can't say anymore than that) has paid / paying the University for the rights to the work and I am bound by a pile of nda's. Pissed me off no end especially as I was one of the founders of the research but such is the commercialization by the Uni of research work. I now honestly don't know if anything will ever be published about the pronation, lace free skating, skate mechanics, skate design analysis and a host of other spin offs we studied. 

I now understand why there is very little research about skating openly published, a lot of it is purchased and then taken in house.

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Skated on the Ellipse XS last night.

It's definitely way better than the Ellipse 0 in terms of fit for my holder size (254 and coming from a Quad 0). If you do want to try this profile and you already have a Quad, start with one size lower than what you're used to. I can see why @PBH liked a Quad 1 and now appears to prefer an Ellipse two sizes lower. Our experiences have been similar, and if I continue down his path, I'd probably end up with an Ellipse XXS next. However, I'm not sure I want to go that route. Perhaps just make the toe a little more aggressive? If I knew the specs, I might be able to make that determination ahead of time, rather than having to go in blindly with all this proprietary mumbo jumbo. 

The profile has potential but a) it would be nice to know what I'm skating on and b) armed with that knowledge, begin the process of figuring out how to tweak it and make the toe more aggressive while keeping everything else the same. 

I will reiterate that the Ellipse is nothing like a Quad. And as far as a being a "Paradigm Shift"... I don't think so. You might prefer it coming from a Zup or something, but if you're coming from a Quad, expect to sacrifice all the agility you're used to (which is the exact opposite of the marketing material). Personally, I think they have the profiles backwards. Quad should be the agility profile and Zup, the power one. 

I'll keep it around for now and see if it doesn't grow on me, but I'm not getting rid of my Quad anytime soon.

Edited by pgeorgan

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On 1/25/2021 at 6:25 PM, kkskate said:

I evaluated the Ellipse XS last night and I was impressed.  My skates use a smaller runner 246/254 so keep that in mind.  I used to skate on the Quad 1 though recently converted to the Ellipse 0/1.  I have 2 sets of blades and have been alternating.  Overall my feet felt lighter, more agile, and I was able to turn them over faster.  I didn't not notice the pitch difference between the Ellipse XS and the Ellipse 0/1.  Ellipse XS has slightly less pitch the the 0, 1, and 2.  I did feel a slight loss in stability though the positive gains were enough that I'll probably stick with the XS over the others.

Reevaluating this post after having skated on Ellipse 0 and XS, myself, I think this is going to end up confusing people. 

If you go from a Quad 1, you have to compare it to an Ellipse 1. You will actually experience the opposite of what you described if you do this. However, if you go from a Quad 1 to an Ellipse XS, of course you'll experience more agility, but you would also have a similar experience if you went from your Quad 1 to a Quad XS. So this is not a very fair comparison. 

What I see happening here is that everyone is going down 2 sizes from their Quad and saying they now prefer the Ellipse. That might be the case, but that was clearly not the intent of ProSharp's design. It's more of an accident, if anything. 

I'm now going from a Quad 0 to potentially considering an Ellipse XXS. I mean, that's for a skate sized 3-4! I'll say that I did test out a Zup S a while back and didn't like it, but I remember thinking I might like a smaller size. 

Without a way to quantify the differences between the Ellipse sizes (unless ProSharp decides to share), I'm afraid people are going to be very frustrated during the testing phases and might scrap the thing altogether. 

Edited by pgeorgan

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With my skates size 6.5/254mm I am between the recommendations of ProSharp for the Quad Zero/XS and the Ellipse Zero/XS profile. I had the opportunity to try the Ellipse Zero profile, but I want a little more agility and acceleration without sacrificing speed and stability to much. If I understood properly, both the Quad Zero and the Ellipse XS profile are more agile than the Ellipse Zero. Could someone please tell me his experiences with these three profiles on a similarly sized skate? And what are the major differences between these profiles? I´m coming from single radius profiles and would like to know which profile I should try next.

Edited by hockeydad3

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I've skated on both a Quad 0 and Quad XS on 254 runners and really did not notice any real discernible difference.  I have no desire to try an ellipse.  If I was going to do anything different than a Quad I would just go back to a 35/65 setup. 

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