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dhespelt 05-13-2012 08:42 AM

Tight turns?
Greetings to everyone here on the forum.I have been lurking for a while on these boards gaining what knowledge i can and taking it with me to the ice. Let me start by saying i am 31 years old and have just gotten back into playing the greatest game ever.i skated casually as a kid and played pond hockey on the lakes in the winter,nothing competitively. well i bought some skates and gear and im out at sticktime 3-4 days a week trying to sharpen my skating skills. i am doing alot of edge and balance work. I am having a hard time with getting on my outside edge when performing a tight turn,i can cross over in both directions with my right being my stronger side.when doing crossover i can get on the outside edge no problem. Now when i try to pull off a tight turn it feels like i cant get my weight over the outside edge of my skate and get it to grab. my question is what part of my foot does my weight need to be on when entering the turn? also how close together is your stance when entering the turn? i know to stagger them heel to toe and to have a deep knee bend on the leading leg.are there any tips or drills to practice with until i can get comfortable with these turns? Thanks for the help.:help:

beth 05-13-2012 10:30 AM

Figure 8's around cones or pucks, on one foot, outside edge. Weight in the center of your skate (at least that my coaches always yell at me). Stay low. Lead with your stick if you have one, don't let it fall behind you. Practicing on one foot will make you better on two feet. Push the angle and fall a lot so you learn where the tipping point is. The balance will come, just keep doing this and you'll get it. :D

sdawg1010* 05-13-2012 10:34 AM


If you watch the way he leans into the turns hard...you gotta sit back in your skates almost like your taking a seat and lean on your inside leg heavily...and push with your outside skate to make it happen alot faster but you gotta be leaning back..theres a fine line between leaning perfectly and too much...perfect will get you a tight turn like our good friend in the video, too much you will be on your ass quick

ponder 05-13-2012 12:12 PM

This is an extremely common problem. I personally think the best way to solve it is not by just working on the tight turns themselves, but by first working on your edgework specifically, then progressing to tight turns once you're comfortable on your outside edges. With crossovers you're only on that outside edge for a short period of time, you don't have to have to be truly comfortable on your outside edge to perform crossovers, but you DO have to be very comfortable on your outside edge to perform good tight turns, especially at high speed. Getting truly comfortable on all 4 edges is IMO the best thing you can do for your skating, period, your tight turns will improve tremendously, and you'll also get way more power on both your forwards and backwards crossovers. I posted these tips in another thread awhile back, I'll just re-post them here:

The problem is that you're comfortable on your inside edges, but not your outside edges, and to become a really good skater you have to be comfortable on all 4 edges, going backwards and forwards. You're gonna have to do a bunch of edgework drills to improve on this. This video has some GREAT edgework drills:

My suggested progression through the drills would be:

1) Start with the figure 8s, focusing on really improving on your outside edge figure 8s. Backwards and forwards is good, but if you can only do forwards that's fine for now, you can work on your backward skating later

2) They show "1 leg weaving" next, but I'd actually have this as the last step of your progression, it's quite difficult. Once you have the figure 8s nailed on both inside and outside edges I'd suggest progressing to scissor skating, it's easier and the more natural next step. Again, forwards and backwards if possible, start with the wide/slow/exaggerated scissor skating and progress to the narrow/quick scissor skating

3) Once you've nailed scissor skating you should be decently proficient on your outside edges, and thus ready to learn tight turns, where both feet are really engaged. This is a pretty good video for tight turns:

The key is to lead with your inside foot, get the pressure slightly (but only slightly) towards the heel on your leading/inside foot, and make sure you really sink your weight into the turn, and get a lot of weight into that leading/inside foot. Play around with different ankle angles on that leading/inside foot until you get the angle just right. Then play around with speed, first you'll be performing these turns at low speed, but work up to performing them when skating at higher and higher speeds. Eventually these tight, 2-footed turns will start to feel completely natural. Ultimately your weight should be pretty evenly distributed between both feet, but at first you're gonna be hesitant to put enough weight on your inside foot, so I'd suggest going overkill at first (putting as much weight as possible on your inside foot), then eventually backing off to a roughly 50/50 weight distribution as you improve.

4) Once you've nailed tight turns, start linking them together slalom-style as shown in the last 2 drills of the first video. This will help you learn to generate power through the turn

5) Keep practicing tight turns, but with a puck. You'll probably have difficulty performing tight turns where you're carrying the puck on your backhand at first, but that'll come with time/practice too

6) Finally, try the 1 foot skating drill from the first video, it's quite tough but once you've mastered that, you've pretty much mastered your edges

Follow this progression and you'll become a much better skater. Don't expect it to happen over night, but with enough practice you'll be turning like a pro :)

Stickmata 05-13-2012 12:36 PM

For tight turns, stay low and inside and lead with the inside foot and, most importantly, rock onto the heel of your skates. There are plenty of videos out there demonstrating this technique. Works great for me. If I'm doing a fast, bigger turn I keep my weight mid foot, but if I'm doing a very tight turn, I rock onto the heel.

qmechanic 05-13-2012 02:43 PM

I haven't been skating lately, so I can't go try it out at the rink. But here are some general tips. Lean hard and low into the turn. Try to push your limits when you lean; don't be afraid to fall. Use your stick to guide you so that your upper body twists with the turn. Try to align your feet so they are a single straight line as opposed to being in a normal skating stance. The way I try to do this is to consciously pick up the leading foot and put it in line with the trailing foot. As other people have mentioned, the weight is more on your heels.

dhespelt 05-13-2012 06:13 PM

Thank you for the quick responses,I am getting some great tips on this forum.cant wait to get out to the rink tomorrow and figure this out.

MattB43 05-14-2012 10:20 AM

Are you me? :laugh: Seriously this sounds exactly like me (except I just turned 32).

I've been doing the figure-8 drills, and it seems like it helps, I'm definitely improving. One thing that helped me out was to really commit to it. If you go in harder/faster your edges dig in more and it makes it easier.

Now if I could only figure out how to stop I'd be happy... :p

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