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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Hard or Soft Ice
« Last post by lutefisk on Today at 08:56:35 AM »
What I like is consistent ice.  By that I mean-- what I'm used to!  I always have an adjustment period whenever I go to a different rink than my home ice.  This is particularly so if I'm testing rather than just being an ice tourist.  Hard ice seems faster to me.  The sensation is similar to when I stop midway through a session and retie my boots.  Returning to the ice, home or away after a retie, makes me think that someone has tied rockets onto my skates when I wasn't looking!  Anyway, after a familiarization period of about 10 to 15 minutes my legs adapt to either hard ice or retied skates.  Getting back to your question, I can't say as to whether or not I have a preference--either is fine so long as it's smooth.  What I don't like is "brittle" ice.  I can't seem to hold an edge on that kind of surface.
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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Hard or Soft Ice
« Last post by tstop4me on Today at 08:33:30 AM »
Most of what I've read boils down to hockey players prefer hard ice because it's faster and figure skaters prefer soft ice because it gives them deeper edges.  Exceptions apply, of course.  One rink manager I spoke to years ago told me that one well-known figure skater was a rare exception.  Whenever rinks hosted shows in which he was the star attraction, he would always insist on hard ice.

During the summer, the ice at my rink is noticeably softer than during the winter.  But it's difficult to do an A/B comparison, because there are other problems during the summer:  the dehumidifers can't keep up, it drizzles in the rink, and mounds and holes form in the ice.  During the past month+, however, there have been problems with the refrigeration system, and the ice has varied from hard to soft routinely, without the other attendant changes:  so I've been able to get a fair comparison. 

I seem to be an exception; I definitely prefer hard ice.  I don't do jumps; I concentrate on edge work and spins.  On hard ice, my consecutive edges flow, I complete the lobes on my figure 8's without effort, and I make passable attempts at a 1-ft spin.  On soft ice, my consecutive edges stumble, I struggle to complete the lobes on my figure 8's, and my blade grinds into the ice when I attempt a 1-ft spin.  I know that soft ice per se is not limiting, because little girls are jumping and spinning like mad on the same ice.

I'd like to hear from others:  Do you like hard ice or soft ice all the time?  Do you have a preference for hard or soft ice for certain maneuvers, such as figures, jumps, spins, or dance?  If so, please specify which maneuvers.
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Good for you, Hedwig!
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If I could get more ice time, I would. But with me, it's an issue of both money and time. Sometimes, if I'm really tired, I don't skate anymore, because I wouldn't be able to do what I usually am, and would just end up frustrated. This means not a lot of learning and not a lot of happiness, so that's wasted money. I'd rather practice efficiently, because I really can't afford not to.

Off-ice practice helps with posture and body position. I practice stroking, three turns, mohawks, off-ice, each time paying attention to how my body feels and mentally recreating what it would feel like if I were on the ice. The best thing about it -- it's free, and you don't need any equipment other than a mirror in your bedroom.
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Or at least, where does the vast majority know how to skate? Canada is on the top of my list, being a hockey country -- any comments? Other answers?
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I've been assembling an inexpensive home gym so I don't need to waste time and money driving to a real gym, with an emphasis on strengthening core muscles.

I recently bought this balance board

  https://www.amazon.com/Series-8-Fitness-Series-8-Balance/dp/B01N9NPAZN

for $5 at the local Five Below store. It looks a bit flimsy, and probably isn't for heavy people, but it's light, compact, and, unlike most balance boards, when it tips too far, the edge touches the floor (or fitness mat, if you want to avoid scratching your floor), and stops it before you fall off. It isn't on their website any more, but it was still in our local store.

A good ab workout to try to keep it balanced as you move.

I also bought their $5 Ab roller. Also a bit flimsy, but after buying and returning another ab wheel, the ACF Ab Roller, from Amazon, because they had jammed the handles on so far that I couldn't get them off to mount the wheels, this seemed like a good deal. Seems to work.

And a book, Anatomy of Fitness: Core for $5 too. Also no longer on five below's website. Very clear pictures, something many exercise books lack.

I also got a bunch of dumbell weights there, at prices below those available from Target and Amazon.

From Amazon, I got an inexpensive 55 cm exercise ball, a smaller ball I can squeeze while exercising (an idea I got from an exercise class) and a good quality stretch cord set. All look great. I considered getting pull-up assistance straps too, but I'm not sure my indoor door is strong enough to hang them off of.

I got someones 21 speed hybrid bike for free from http://freecycle.org, though it needed new tires and some work. It fits me much better than my old 10 speed road bike, and is much more comfortable. And I found a park near where I live where I can jog. This is more of an option now that it is getting warmer.

Together with the free exercise video websites linked to from

  http://makeyourbodywork.com/how-to-exercise-at-home

that I've already mentioned on another thread, these are a good start.

One thing I cannot emulate cheaply at home that I would love: a nice long soak in the aquatic center's whirlpool bath (equivalent to a hot tub). Together with a high protein drink, this is fairly effective for getting rid of muscle soreness from exercise. There ought to be something like a sauna suit that holds in a bit of warm water to do the same thing, but I don't know where to look. (I don't have a bathtub where I live.) Anyone know of something along those lines?

And have I missed anything important?
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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Last post by AgnesNitt on March 22, 2017, 06:39:59 PM »
I'm back in the class with the 11 year old girls. I leave the boards ahead of them to stay ahead during stroking, and when we're doing individual work I stay at the other end of the lane.  Compared to them I'm a giant.
One of these days one of the kids in the other lane is going to crash into me and take me down when they're doing their jumps and glide out into my lane. Nobody friggin' cares about this, until there's a bad crash then lane discipline gets enforced for a few months.
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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Last post by Query on March 22, 2017, 02:19:08 PM »
It isn't always the case that, in a collision or fall affecting an adult and child, the child is the one seriously injured. Maybe not even usually.

Anyway, as long as you are willing to understand that, relative to most kids, most adults are learning disabled, I really don't see a problem being in the same class.

I'm much faster than the 11 year olds who have no technique in my Basic 6 class. I can even skate backwards faster than they can. The coach didn't like the fact that I was using a more advanced stroking technique (like for back edges), she wanted me to use c-cuts. Next lesson I show up, I'm going to do back serpentines  with c cuts, just so I can slow myself down. (Of course next to a younger adult with technique, I'm painfully slow.)

From a coach's perspective, students who purposefully diverge from what the coach teaches is being disruptive, whether or not what they do is more "advanced". Are you setting a good example for the kids?

If you try your best to do what the teacher teaches, then you can fit well into the class, regardless of age. If you choose to do something else, then you interfere with the other students' learning process.

If by "C-cuts" you mean half-swizzle pushes, they aren't just a beginner move that you need disdain. The ice dance coaches I have taken from never stop practicing them. In other words, don't be bored because you have done it before. Do it better this time around.

Why not use C-cut time to practice doing them in a deeper leaned and bent-knee position, and getting the body alignment exactly right for greater power and balance? The extended leg can go all the way straight, and if you do it really deeply, in a full side-lunge position, it will push the limits of your strength, flexibility and balance. (That position is a classic Yoga pose. A gal at my rink who does triple jumps loves warming up in that position. I haven't the strength to go nearly as deep.) If you want to slow your average speed over the ice, hold the side lunge position as long as you can.

Or a different drill: do them very quickly, one after another; strengthens a somewhat different set of muscle fibers.

These alternatives don't disrupt the class for other students, yet they help you work on muscle development, balance and flexibility.
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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Last post by AgnesNitt on March 21, 2017, 08:22:45 PM »
Tried a stroking class that was sometimes kids and adults, and sometimes kids next to adults, depending of if they had a spare coach. Terrifying to do spirals in a pack when you are just so much bigger and the kids pay no attention to anything around them.  Too many tightly packed bodies in LTS space for me to feel like I can do it in full grownup power/size.

Adult to Kid: "You know what will happen to me if I fall on you? .... Nothing at all."
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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Last post by Meli on March 21, 2017, 08:09:20 PM »
Tried a stroking class that was sometimes kids and adults, and sometimes kids next to adults, depending of if they had a spare coach. Terrifying to do spirals in a pack when you are just so much bigger and the kids pay no attention to anything around them.  Too many tightly packed bodies in LTS space for me to feel like I can do it in full grownup power/size.
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