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12-20-2012, 02:53 PM
  #6
ponder
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If your skates fit well, I wouldn't be worrying about the gear or taping your ankles, it's almost certainly technique that is holding you back. Everyone feels like the blades are too bitey when first trying to stop, they end up catching edges or doing those super choppy stops. It's very common for beginners to have trouble making the stopping motion even when holding onto the boards. Just keep at it. There's really no secret to learning to stop, just keep trying to scrape the ice while holding onto the boards, then when you have that down keep trying to stop until you get it. Make sure your knees are bent.

As for you spending way too much time on your inside edges, your outside edges are probably just way weaker than you think they are. Even if you can do crossovers, your outside edges can still be super weak. I've posted this before, I think it's a great drill progression for getting truly comfortable on all 4 edges:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
This link has terrific edgework drills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Vyw_X04Y8

The only thing I don't like about it is the order they're presented in, they have the 1-footed skating drill early on, when it's the toughest skill to master. My suggestion would be:

1) Start with the 1-footed figure 8s, on both your inside and outside edges, do these until you're very comfortable on all edges
2) Progress to scissor skating, again until you're very comfortable, doing it both slowly and quickly, and getting lot's of pressure/power out of all 4 edges
3) 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)
4) Progress to 2-footed turns (with basically equal pressure on your inside and outside edges). Start coming into the turn slowly, then practice coming in with more and more speed
5) Try the 1-footed skating drill to really perfect your technique

Ideally you will do this whole progression going both forward and backward, but obviously it's much tougher going backward. One last tip is to keep a nice deep knee/ankle bend, too many newer skaters skate really upright, which hurts your balance and ability to generate power.

By just practising crossovers, you'll eventually get decent at them, but I think to become TRULY comfortable on all 4 edges, so you can really generate a tonne of power on those outside edges, you need other drills to (like the ones listed above).
Once you get truly comfortable on all 4 edges, I think you'll find that a lot of other skating issues will disappear.

In terms of the skates themselves, can you describe the fit in detail? When your skates are laced up and you're in a skating stance, how much room is there between your toes and the end of the toe cap? Through your foot in general, does it feel like it's being held snugly, squeezed really tight, or loose/sloppy? When your skates are laced up, are you able to lift your heel at all within the skate, or does it feel firmly locked in place?

One last question, are you actually skating like a "bender," with your ankles literally bending in? For example, skating like the guy in this picture:

If so, you really just need to concentrate on keeping your ankles straight, it will come with time. That's not to say that your ankles always have to be straight, sometimes to generate power (for example on crossovers) it can be good to bend your ankle to get an even steeper angle with the ice, but your standard "gliding" ankle position should be straight. If you continue to have problems with this even after lots of practice, insoles like Superfeet might help to keep your foot in the proper position.

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