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Skating technique: "light on feet" vs. carving?

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04-22-2009, 03:10 PM
  #1
Tinkeric
 
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Skating technique: "light on feet" vs. carving?

Hey everyone, I've done a lot of "power skating" before, but I'm still not sure about one crucial aspect of skating: is it better to try to stay as "light" on the ice as possible or is it better to "dig in" with the edges?

At one extreme of the spectrum, I could try to skate essentially like a figure skater and be as light on my feet as possible. Or at the other extreme, I could try to really carve up the ice with all my strides, crossovers, etc.

Obviously, each specific game situation determines which style is better. For speed and agility though, doesn't it make more sense to try to have as light contact with the ice as possible? (Less friction, less wasted energy, etc.)

It looks like there's a variety of skating styles in the NHL too. But most of the best players look like they're floating on the ice when they're gliding.

Thanks.

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04-22-2009, 04:57 PM
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Giroux tha Damaja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkeric View Post
Hey everyone, I've done a lot of "power skating" before, but I'm still not sure about one crucial aspect of skating: is it better to try to stay as "light" on the ice as possible or is it better to "dig in" with the edges?

At one extreme of the spectrum, I could try to skate essentially like a figure skater and be as light on my feet as possible. Or at the other extreme, I could try to really carve up the ice with all my strides, crossovers, etc.

Obviously, each specific game situation determines which style is better. For speed and agility though, doesn't it make more sense to try to have as light contact with the ice as possible? (Less friction, less wasted energy, etc.)

It looks like there's a variety of skating styles in the NHL too. But most of the best players look like they're floating on the ice when they're gliding.

Thanks.
I would think the answer is both at once. The pushing foot should be carving while the lead foot should be gliding, no?

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04-22-2009, 08:22 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Whatever gets you to the puck before the guy you are playing against.

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04-22-2009, 08:58 PM
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Jason MacIsaac
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Using edges is by far the best way for power and speed. Light on your feet will get you knocked off the puck and it will only appear like your skating fast.

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04-23-2009, 02:48 AM
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Gallick
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It depends on the situation entirely; I think you answered the question yourself in the OP. The best skaters out there use a combination of both--hard, cutting pushes for that extra burst of speed to blow past defenders or fight for the puck, and light, quick steps for positioning, deking, staying onside etc.

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04-23-2009, 06:56 PM
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The Big Giant Head
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I think you have to identify what type of skater you naturally are. What i mean by that is i that i think some people have an aptitude for skating like some people have an aptitude for math, your naturally better just based on certain aspects (i.e. muscle and body combined with natural posture).

Example, Luc Robitaille was probably one of the slowest crappiest skaters i ever saw in the NHL and his skating was just as bad when he broke into the league, he never got much better than he already was...he hit a ceiling if you will. I've been playing hockey all my life and i've seen people who are very similar in the way that they never seem to get any better as far as skating...I think what you need to do is get on the ice and just skate and play the way you play and find out what works for you. If being light on your skates and being more finesse feels right then stick with it, dont change your skating because that's the way other skaters do it or maybe even the pro's on TV.

You really have to find your nitch and this applies to new skaters. If your just learning you really need to just take your strides as you take them and let your style of skating develop as you go, you dont want to put to much pressure on yourself trying to skate a certain way that doesnt agree with your body. Fighting your body is always a losing fight. Good luck.

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04-24-2009, 10:21 PM
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roast
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Neutral Zone -> Skate like a homo
Offense or D -> Carve it up


From personal experience, I always find myself digging in when driving to the net (to prepare to get knocked around) or to cut away quickly and look to dish it - on D if you're "light on your feet" you'll get blown away in front of the net and won't be able to keep up with the other teams cycle...but you can be light getting to the puck if its loose or maybe to put some pressure on.

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04-25-2009, 01:14 AM
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BadHammy*
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You have to do both, depending on what type of skating you are doing...

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04-25-2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Neutral Zone -> Skate like a homo
Offense or D -> Carve it up


From personal experience, I always find myself digging in when driving to the net (to prepare to get knocked around) or to cut away quickly and look to dish it - on D if you're "light on your feet" you'll get blown away in front of the net and won't be able to keep up with the other teams cycle...but you can be light getting to the puck if its loose or maybe to put some pressure on.

HAHA...skate like a homo......i dont know why but that made me laugh.

Figure skaters are actully hard as **** on there edges. My gf F skates and when i go out with her she digs the **** out of the ice.

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04-25-2009, 09:25 AM
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LarryO
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If you have a really smooth and fluid skating technique you might look like you're light on your skates when you're actually really digging into the ice, getting the maximum power from your stride. Loud crunching noises aren't necessarily a sign of a powerful stride, but rather a waste of power from an inefficient stride. Whatever energy is creating the sound is taken away from the thrust that you can generate.

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04-25-2009, 10:03 AM
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WhipNash27
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Light strides help you get a quick start. Quick choppy strides on the toe of your blades will get you going quicker. However, once you get going, long full strides are the best and most powerful skating strides. You need to be strong on your skates.

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04-25-2009, 01:25 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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I have a very strong power stride and play more of a non-finesse skating game. An honest assessment of myself would say I skate like a goon which is to say not fancy and the style many hockey goons have.

Everyone has their own style really. I would and have been on a checking line for teams worth a crap I have played for and was used to hit people hard.

I can live with that .... hockey has room for everyone. I'm a big guy and hey that is what happens sometimes with big guys.

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04-25-2009, 04:34 PM
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EmptyNetter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkeric View Post
Hey everyone, I've done a lot of "power skating" before, but I'm still not sure about one crucial aspect of skating: is it better to try to stay as "light" on the ice as possible or is it better to "dig in" with the edges?

At one extreme of the spectrum, I could try to skate essentially like a figure skater and be as light on my feet as possible. Or at the other extreme, I could try to really carve up the ice with all my strides, crossovers, etc.

Obviously, each specific game situation determines which style is better.
Your question is a little confusing but Gallick already said pretty much what I would say. Use both styles in different situation. If you need straight ahead speed, either to blow by defenders or to get to a loose puck, you need to dig in with your edges and drive forward with long strides.

Be light on your feet (feet under you and only shoulder width apart) when you need to change direction quickly -- to deke out a goalie or past a defender, or on defense to block their path to check their speed.

Vary your speed when you've got the puck -- light on your feet to make a short pass over the blueline then dig in and sprint toward the net for a tip in. For a forward coming in with speed against you, stay light on your feet so he has to go around you on the outside to go to the net and then dig in making a bee line to the net to cut him off.

Quote:
For speed and agility though, doesn't it make more sense to try to have as light contact with the ice as possible? (Less friction, less wasted energy, etc.)

It looks like there's a variety of skating styles in the NHL too. But most of the best players look like they're floating on the ice when they're gliding.
Don't worry about wasted energy unless you're a long distance runner. There are times you'll need explosive energy and the only way for it to be effective is to plant your skate first and then push off quick and hard through the full range of motion.

If a player is "floating on the ice" chances are they're waiting for something to happen. If waiting for a pass they want to keep their speed fairly constant so the passer knows where to hit him with the puck.

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