Getting that outside edge
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03-26-2012, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
It's really common for new skaters to let their ankles collapse inwards, and to be unable to use their outside edges at all. It sounds like you're making some progress, and it also sounds like your skates fit well. FWIW, a proper fitting skate means that lengthwise your toes should just feather the inside of your toe caps when standing up straight. In terms of width and volume your foot should feel very snugly held and supported, with no ability to shift around at all inside the skate, even if your laces are only tied moderately tight. You should also not get significant pain, though new skates will often hurt a bit even if they fit well, especially for newer skaters who often skate with really tense feet.
It does sound like you could use a little more arch support, though. A cheap solution would be Superfeet, worth a try (some will tell you that it's not really an "arch support" product, but it still provides much more arch support than the garbage stock insoles). If you need something more substantial, you'll have to get custom orthotics made, but try the much cheaper pre-made retail options first.
With all that being said, given that you're a relatively new skater, chances are that most of your problems are simply related to technique. Virtually all new skaters will be very uncomfortable on their outside edges, and many will let their ankles collapse inwards. This link (previously posted above):
Has terrific edgework drills. I think the best progression would be:
1) Just get comfortable skating in a straight line without your ankles collapsing. You will need skates that fit you properly, and that are properly laced
2) Start with the 1-footed figure 8s, on both your inside and outside edges
3) Progress to scissor skating
4) Progress to crossovers (slow crossovers, really focusing on form). Lateral step drills can help here too (walking along the blueline by crossing your legs over each other, facing the end boards)
5) Progress to 2-footed turns (with basically equal pressure on your inside and outside edges)
6) Try the 1-footed skating drill to really perfect your technique
This whole progression will take a long time, probably months of regular practice if you're a new skater. However, as long as your skates fit well and you don't have seriously strange feet/ankles that require crazy orthotics and shims, you should get there eventually.
One last note, bend ze knees! You'll always see new skaters skating around stiff-legged, like this:
But that's a very unstable position, you'll never make any progress with your skating like that. Your knees and ankles should be bent at all times, you're way more stable in this position and can generate way more power:
Last edited by ponder: 03-26-2012 at
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