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Does being taller make skating harder?

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03-30-2010, 02:58 AM
  #1
Hades
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Does being taller make skating harder?

Just something I've been wondering. It's rare in the NHL to see taller guys that have good speed. Is it because they just weight more than the smaller guys so all that extra weight hinders their skating? Or is there any other reason behind it?

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03-30-2010, 03:22 AM
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In general no, it's doesn't. Just look at Chara and Myers, both are excellent skaters, especially for their size. There are plenty of good skaters 6'3'' and over.

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03-30-2010, 03:39 AM
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For balance it can make a difference because of the whole center of gravity...but for speed I dont think it makes too big of a difference you prob dont notice abnormally tall guys being fast cause they typically just use their reach/size to their advantage and prob never needed to be extremely speedy. Most of that is just my thoughts though.

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03-30-2010, 08:30 AM
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bleedgreen
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absolutely makes a difference overall. little fellas come with a more natural strong center of balance and core, the long trunk and long legs can make for an awkward period of growth where smaller guys are already developed in those areas. takes taller guys longer to grow into their bodies, and agility is definitely effected. they tend to have skinnier legs and have to work a lot harder to get the tree trunks associated with strong skaters. tall guys tend to be more awkward and off balance in general through their teenage years. it can definitely be overcome, and isnt true in all players - but its no coincidence that when prospects are called projects they are typically guys with size who have balance/agility/core skating issues.

for speed alone, i think straight ahead speed isnt so much the issue as long legs mean long stride and more speed, but in terms of lateral quickness and agility in tight spaces i think it matters for the same reasons. chara and myers are exceptions, and chara isnt particularly agile in all areas of the ice.

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03-30-2010, 09:40 AM
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as was said above, chara and myers are great skaters, myers is quick and agile, along with being fast

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03-30-2010, 10:00 AM
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Ragss
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In my opinion, being that I'm 6'5, foot speed and acceleration seem to suffer the most.

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03-30-2010, 10:26 AM
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Rob Brown
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I' m 6'4 and I don't think it has ever affected me that much. I do agree that it makes acceleration suffer the most, but I'm still quite hard to knock off the puck. I used to be a lot smaller and only had a growth spurt in the past few years, and skating has always been my strongest point, so I guess it hasn't hurt me that much.

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03-30-2010, 12:25 PM
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Foot speed is normally slower but the strides are longer and more efficient... They don't look as fast as they are, generally.

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03-30-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragss View Post
In my opinion, being that I'm 6'5, foot speed and acceleration seem to suffer the most.
I was watching a show on NESN about bruins prospects being worked with and being coached by Don Sweeney long time bruins Dman who is small compared to big players.

He pulled one guy aside and he was mic'ed ... he told him that because he was big he didn't have to get his feet going with a quick chop type start foot over foot. he said the time you take to do that you have lost a step, he told him because he was big and had such a big stride that it doesn't take a big guy long to get up to speed.

Smaller guys look faster but they aren't is my point. The big power skaters on a straight away usually skate as fast as the small guys or even faster because of stronger legs and a bigger stride. The small guys are more agile which is the difference there. Think of it as drag racing one car in a different horsepower class than another. The drag race car isn't going to win a race on a dirt track off=road type race. People need to know what they are driving and work it into their style of play.

the biggest difference maker in speed is using the correct hollow for your weight and height in your skate blade. Drag will slow you down from a hollow that is too deep.

Mike Gartner won the first speed contest at the all-star skills comp, he was a big guy over 6ft, Bill Guerin too ... etc.

have any small guys won that? I do not recall any honestly. Not syaing none did I just do not remember anyone standing out that was small.

Mike gartner by the way used a very shallow hollow which allows for more glide and speed but takes away from agility.

I use a shallow hollow and I am as fast as the small players much younger than I am. However they are more agile than I am with footspeed. Footspeed doesn't make you a faster skater by the way.

Anyway themz my thoughts on it.

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03-31-2010, 02:15 PM
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Joe Cole
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My 2 cents, the difference is coordination. Smaller guys move their limbs less distance away from their bodies, this keeps them balanced. Balanced skating = good skating, less time trying to regain equilibrium and more time moving towards where they want to be.

While there are great tall skaters on the NHL, they are exceptions. We have to remember, these are the top 700 or so players in the world.

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03-31-2010, 02:57 PM
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It's a tradeoff.

A taller guy has long legs, and will take longer to execute full leg extension and return in his skating stride. He will use fewer strides over a set period of time, but in turn is expected to generate more power with each stride.

I always like using Boyd Devereaux as an example in his situation... he can skate like the wind, but when you look at his legs move they always seem slow. He has a long, slow stride, and he can generate a lot of power with his legs when accelerating (2-3 strides to top speed)

Agility and turning are the big ones. A taller guy will naturally make wider turns, and might not be able to change directions as quickly as a smaller player.

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03-31-2010, 03:10 PM
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I would say that it makes skating harder in terms of balance (higher center of gravity) but having longer legs will make you a faster skater simply because your stride will be longer.

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03-31-2010, 04:20 PM
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I think HockeyFan is pretty much right, if this is what he's trying to say:

Small guys look much faster because they have quicker strides, but taller people take extra long strides which makes it look like they are going slower.

That is what I'm getting at, but I could be completely wrong...

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03-31-2010, 04:31 PM
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Size does not matter in skating, what makes someone a good skater is co-ordination.. Yes muscle strength and practice are big parts, with could muscle co-ordination it is hard to form the stride, hold balance and pick up the feet all with timing. Taller people generally seem to have less co-ordination though

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Stall View Post
In general no, it's doesn't. Just look at Chara and Myers, both are excellent skaters, especially for their size. There are plenty of good skaters 6'3'' and over.
Chara is not an excellent skater.. I would say he is above average... Myers is definitely an excellent skater

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03-31-2010, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon View Post
I think HockeyFan is pretty much right, if this is what he's trying to say:

Small guys look much faster because they have quicker strides, but taller people take extra long strides which makes it look like they are going slower.

That is what I'm getting at, but I could be completely wrong...
That's a Bingo!


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03-31-2010, 07:51 PM
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Ajax02
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Tyler Myers is pretty gangster.

It's all about the individual if u ask me.

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04-01-2010, 01:27 PM
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Well, partially right. Taller people, in general, are less coordinated. As much as I hate basketball... How many people consider Dwight Howard a freak because he can do stuff only the "shorter" guys can do in his larger frame?

BUT, like I said in my earlier post, taller guys have longer strides. Which makes them faster than they appear.

Also look at guys like Ovechkin, they look like they're going a ton faster than everyone else but it's their choppy stride. North American trained players have a smoother skating style which doesn't make them look as fast as the Russians. The choppy stride looks a lot like a smaller guy skate because they're trying to use their foot speed to beat you instead of using their strength.

With long fluid strides, the springing of the deep knee bend to the outreached toe... Along with the longer runner all help enhance speed with consistent, powerful strides.

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04-01-2010, 01:46 PM
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Ragss
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You are all making good points, but all the fastest NHLers are either short or average, all the speed skaters are the same. You all compliment Meyers on his skating, but how would he fair in a lap with Gaborik or Cogliano?

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04-01-2010, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragss View Post
You are all making good points, but all the fastest NHLers are either short or average, all the speed skaters are the same. You all compliment Meyers on his skating, but how would he fair in a lap with Gaborik or Cogliano?
There's also another point to made, skater hollow. Gaborik was last reported to have a 1" hollow and gets his skates sharpened 1-2 times a season, at least in Minnesota. Cogliano is sick, fast but I'm not sure of his sharpening statistics so I will not comment.

Patrick Marleau is probably the fastest "mainstream" guy in the NHL right now. I also believe he is on FBV, although I have not confirmed. I will shoot an email and hopefully get an answer for you guys.

I do agree with you on top end speed, an average sized guy will have faster foot speed than a bigger guy but stronger/longer strides than a small guy. The agility is best as a small guy, big guys are straight line fast. Artyukhin in Atlanta is probably the best example of a fast, relatively agile big man. When he was in Tampa, I promise you he'd keep up with St Louis until they started changing direction.

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