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04-12-2008, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
Well i chose not to go to classes and I've been skating on my own trying to learn some basics. For the life of me, I cannot stop. Today, I went to the rink with a friend who tried teaching me the snowplow stop, but everytime I try it, I just loose balance (or I end up accidentally pulling a pretty bad forward swizzle...and then falling ). So either I try to stop and end up falling or I just use the "crash against the boards" stop technique, which I'm quite good at.

Any advise?
All of what I'm about to say is based solely on my own experience learning to stop on hockey skates. I'm not an expert, just a guy who has gone through the same thing you are. Here is what I recommend you try because it worked well for me.

The hard part about learning to stop is learning how to apply the edges of your skates to the ice. Once you get the feeling of applying your edges in the right way so that you scrape ice instead of cutting into it, you can get better fairly quickly with practice. Until then your practice will be ineffective.

I recommend the one foot snowplow stop. Just like everyone else who ever learned to skate, you will find that you prefer one foot or the other being forward, and it won't take long to figure out which one. Say, for the sake of example, that you find out it's your right foot. The first goal is to learn how to scrape ice with that foot. You can do this standing still, holding on to the boards, but you need to understand how your edges work. The skate blade has a u-shaped hollow in the center, leaving edges on each side. You want to practice scraping ice with the *inside part* of the *inside edge*. When I say scraping ice, I mean you want to be able to stand still and scrape the edge sideways along the ice. If the blade is "catching" in the ice then you are probably using the outside part of the inside edge (doing this while moving will cause you to fall every time). Rotate your ankle so that the blade is flatter on the ice and you are scraping. Once you have a feel for what it's like to scrape ice, you can try it while moving.

While skating forwards, turn one ankle (again, say it's your right) about 45 degrees inwards and start scraping ice with it. Most of your weight will be on your other foot (you'll want to bend your knees a bit). Doing this, you will find that you are hardly even slowing down, never mind stopping, especially if the blade is not very sharp. That's ok, you are just trying to get the feeling of scraping ice with one foot turned inwards while moving. This is a very basic one foot snowplow stop. As you become more comfortable with this, you can put more and more weight on your front foot. You can then start increasing speed.

Beyond that you will want to begin involving your back foot. I won't describe it in detail, because this post is long enough already. Plus if you get that far you can probably figure it out on your own anyway. Good luck.

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