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Author Topic: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice  (Read 2373 times)

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Offline riley876

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Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« on: August 28, 2015, 10:24:41 PM »
So, I practice figures on inline skates a bit.   Because ice time is rare these days and I appear to be slightly insane.   Have been just using chalk to mark out my circles, but it's less than optimal.   In particular every time it rains (or even gets damp overnight), my circles totally disappear.    And even when, miracle of miracles, I actually skate on top of them, that erases them pretty effectively too.  After a half a dozen or so rounds they're indistinct enough to need remarking.   Plus when I mistrack I make false trails with the chalk, which confuses the situation no end.

So I'm thinking of marking them in a bit more durable manner.   The surface in question is my hardwood deck.  Kwila I believe.   I'm looking for something I can mark/paint it with, that wont be permanent,  but will survive maybe a month of (NZ's typically) soggy weathering.    But needs to be able to be totally removable with either a good scrubbing, water blasting, some commonly available chemical or just waiting a few months.

Suggestions?

Offline aussieskater

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 11:12:52 PM »
Maybe stick down some electrical tape or similar?

Offline Loops

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2015, 02:52:57 AM »
Masking or painters tape?  I did this on our tile floors to emulate some montessori type activities.  It came up with no problem.  It was walked on (by little toddler feet), but not that heavily, and it didn't stay down for months.  It's less sticky than electrical tape, so should leave less residue (if you change it out often), but I dunno how it will withstand the climate.....

Could you also put a tarp or something over it, to protect? 

But I'm also curious, what kind of inlines do you have?  I've been toying with the idea of getting some, pretty much exactly for doing figures in the garage.....except that I'm not sure there's enough space for my circles.  Snowwhites I can get from italy, PicSkates seem to be near non-existent on this continent....or poorly marketed.....

Offline fsk8r

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2015, 06:14:40 AM »
Masking or painters tape?  I did this on our tile floors to emulate some montessori type activities.  It came up with no problem.  It was walked on (by little toddler feet), but not that heavily, and it didn't stay down for months.  It's less sticky than electrical tape, so should leave less residue (if you change it out often), but I dunno how it will withstand the climate.....

Could you also put a tarp or something over it, to protect? 

But I'm also curious, what kind of inlines do you have?  I've been toying with the idea of getting some, pretty much exactly for doing figures in the garage.....except that I'm not sure there's enough space for my circles.  Snowwhites I can get from italy, PicSkates seem to be near non-existent on this continent....or poorly marketed.....

PicSkates can be obtained from spikey pete in the UK. I've got a pair. I've just not worked out where I should use them! Although, I should be sorted when the rink shuts for an extended period to fix the roof, which will happen at some point in the next couple of years.

Offline riley876

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 06:34:41 AM »
Masking or painters tape?  I did this on our tile floors to emulate some montessori type activities.  It came up with no problem.  It was walked on (by little toddler feet), but not that heavily, and it didn't stay down for months.  It's less sticky than electrical tape, so should leave less residue (if you change it out often), but I dunno how it will withstand the climate.....

Mmm, I'm considering this.  I think it would do better than electrical tape, which almost certainly wouldn't like the sun heating it up.  I think the edges of electrical tape might be prone to lifting, especially during turns.  I will do some tests with both when the weather clears up.

Could you also put a tarp or something over it, to protect? 

This is another plan in the works.   Daily rain is a feature of winter here, and most of the area doesn't get direct sun, so that limits its use in winter quite a bit.  If I had a tarp it would certainly solve that problem too.   Actually thinking about it, a better plan would be to just skate directly on the tarp, complete with premarked circles on this.   Hmmm.  Thinking.

But I'm also curious, what kind of inlines do you have?  I've been toying with the idea of getting some, pretty much exactly for doing figures in the garage.....except that I'm not sure there's enough space for my circles.  Snowwhites I can get from italy, PicSkates seem to be near non-existent on this continent....or poorly marketed.....

Nothing artistic I'm afraid.   Inline slalom skates ("Seba High" would be a rough equivalent http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/Seba_High_Light_Freestyle_Inline_Skates/descpage-HL13.html),  with a rockered wheel setup.   Inline slalom is my first love, so figures are a bit of an interesting deviation/learning experience for me.   Though really when it comes down to it,  I consider slalom and figures to be not really all that different in concept.

To be honest, the roll/glide on inlines isn't great compared to ice, so I'm not sure if it's a sensible thing to be doing (hence my earlier quip about my own sanity).   Slalom kind of developed within this limitation, where you get some sort of push at every cone, so it's much more active experience, lots of power pulls, power turns, dynamically unstable spins on front wheels, etc.    But traditional figures certain seem possible,  as long as you don't expect to be able to do more than about a whole circle at a time without another push off.   And much less on rough surfaces.   Smooth concrete is optimal.   Wooden slat decks are certainly not.   Quality of wheels makes a HUGE difference to glide too.  An utterly GINORMOUS difference.   Crappy wheels are 3x the drag of good wheels. (I measured them!).    Still even the best wheels aren't nearly as good as ice.

I've never tried actual artistic inlines, but I can't imagine they'd be much different in glide.  Three turns etc I imagine would be much easier though i.e. you wouldn't have to rock so far forward to find the sweet spot.   I've toyed with the idea of getting some, but I'm just starting to work on some really nice slalom front wheel spins (google: "swan" if you care) that simply aren't possible with a toe stop.   But for if/when I do I remember Jason Sutcliffe (see youtube videos of him doing triple flips on ice, roller AND inlines),  writing somewhere that he considered SnowWhites to be a major step up in quality vs PicSkates.   But that was written a few years ago, so who knows if anything has changed.   There's also a British? brand called "Off Ice Skates" that might be worth researching.

Or you could ebay some cheap regular inlines, rocker them i.e. replace the front and rear wheels with 4mm smaller ones, so they feel roughly like ice skates, and simply have a play.   


Offline beginner skater

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 04:30:13 PM »
How about builders line marker/survey marking spray paint? It's described as semi-permanent, for temporary marking to lots of surfaces, including wood.
Lots of colours, and easier to make a circle cf tape

Offline Query

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 05:09:20 PM »
If you make yourself a device to let you trace a circle fast (say, draw around a circular template, or create something with a string), you could re-chalk it in a minute.

But how about something more artistic:

Sand off the finish, apply a dark wood stain along a set of circles, and re-finish the deck. Done right, it would leave a distinctive and beautiful pattern, that can stay forever.


Offline riley876

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 12:16:39 AM »
Cheers everyone for your great ideas.

If you make yourself a device to let you trace a circle fast (say, draw around a circular template, or create something with a string), you could re-chalk it in a minute.

Already have a wire and spike contraption that works like this, and yes, it's not too bad to rechalk it.  Though it's a bit awkward whilst wearing skates.  However the false trails issue remains.   If I had no other option than chalking,  I'd made a rigid wooden version with integral spike and chalk holder.   It might come to that yet.

But how about something more artistic:

Sand off the finish, apply a dark wood stain along a set of circles, and re-finish the deck. Done right, it would leave a distinctive and beautiful pattern, that can stay forever.

Must say it's tempting, but I'm not sure how many potential buyers would be interesting in such a quirk.   I'm also a bit concerned that I'm going to need to move the pattern around by a few inches periodically, in order to prevent cumulative damage to the edges of the boards.   i.e. from the repeated stresses.   Not that I have to worry currently.   My skating is like lightning at present, i.e.  Never strikes the same place twice!

So, anyway I was talking to an artist friend of mine, who talked me through the basics of paint.   He suggested paints using pigments rather than dyes (since dyes soak in, but pigments are solid particles that stay on top),  though apparently red azo dyes fade really quickly,  so they might be worth a test.

But the magic is going to come down to finding a binder that's sufficiently but not overly water soluble.   Egg tempera has a reputation for being really long lasting (i.e. centuries), so that might be a problem.   Ditto casein ("milk paint").   Non acrylic based gouache paints are generally gum arabic based,  so they're going to be worth a try.   Ditto gelatin.   Watercolours are not going to survive even getting vaguely damp.

So, I've set up a bunch of test strips in a hidden corner
- Electrical tape
- Masking tape
- Spray on building marker (seems to be a chalk pigment, not sure what the binder is)
- Gouache (purple!)
- A "washable poster paint", that's effectively a gouache by the looks, but with an even more soluble binder.
- Gelatin with red food colouring (azo dye #124).  aka red jelly :)
- PVA glue with same red food colouring
- Correction fluid (i.e. "whiteout"/"twink" or whatever else it's called...)
- Simply sand the mark in (i.e. remove the surface silvering).   It's not obvious enough though.

Haven't done an egg tempera test yet, as I'm currently out of eggs.

Anyway, all layed down and it's raining for the next 2 days, so we'll see what traces remain...

Offline Loops

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2015, 06:03:35 AM »
Interesting test!  Keep us posted.  While it's probably not the best solution for you, I do think if done well (key word there) you could incorporate the figures design into the deck floor, and not have resale issues.  You could do several eights.  Well laid-out patch ice can be really pretty, and since you're not leaving tracings, you wouldn't need to have the figures set up as dense. 

I actually have some inlines in the garage somewhere.  They do have good wheels and good bearings (or did....it's been 8 or 9 years...).  While I can skate just fine in them, they are really such a different feel from blades that I can't consider them a replacement, although I might try doing some figures in them, just for kicks.

The boot is just so different though, and I like the rockered aspect of the pic/snowhite/etc frames, along with the fact that I can mount them on my old boots.  Fsk8r- I'll check out the spikey Pete site!

Sounds like I've got some fun investigating to do!

Offline riley876

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 07:28:17 AM »
I actually have some inlines in the garage somewhere.  They do have good wheels and good bearings (or did....it's been 8 or 9 years...).  While I can skate just fine in them, they are really such a different feel from blades that I can't consider them a replacement, although I might try doing some figures in them, just for kicks.

The difference between a rockered and an un-rockered setup is just so unbelievably huge.   The last time I had the "privilege" of trying to skate un-rockered skates, it filled me with such a sense of disgust I vowed never again!    There is no way I could make them even do simple edges or basic slaloms or even forward crossovers.  Totally useless.   And very hard on the knees.   I promise that rockering your inlines will utterly transform their feel.  Not to be exactly like figure skates, but at least in a way that they're controllable with the same set of instincts.

Personally I found going from rockered inlines to ice not all that challenging.     I'm very interested to hear what it's like going in the other direction.  Do give us a report!

BTW If you want cheap wheels for rockering purposes (or simply for replacements, or as disposable wheels for use on asphalt),  aliexpress has lots of extremely cheap knock-offs (i.e. fakes), that are perfectly serviceable,  though with average roll.  e.g. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-8-wheels-Pinheadedness-hyper-g-wheel-skates-skating-shoes-skate-wheels/227452_1017310714.html.   Also the place to get spare too-cheap-to-bother-cleaning bearings, spacers etc for anyone willing to wait a few weeks.   Almost everything with a Euro/US/UK brand name on aliexpress is fake,  but don't let that stop you.    If you want the real things http://www.proskatersplace.com are reliable (based in canada, but dropship direct from china for most stuff). 

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 04:20:51 PM »
Off topic, but do you find that if you order through AliExpress, it usually gets delivered? One thing I love about eBay is that sellers get rated.

Offline riley876

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 05:15:02 PM »
Off topic, but do you find that if you order through AliExpress, it usually gets delivered? One thing I love about eBay is that sellers get rated.

Of the 30 or so orders I've put through, all but one turned up, and that was refunded without question.    The sellers do seem very concerned about their ratings.    Honestly I had expected to cop a certain amount of "lossage", but it's never happened.     The big danger is product quality.   As I said, western branded stuff is almost always a knockoff (but not absolutely *always*),  but Chinese brands (Xiaomi, Yuandao etc) are likely to be legit, if advertised specially as "original",  unless the price is too good to be true.    Knockoff stuff serves a valid market segment in China, so it's not really nefarious,  but it's up to the consumer to be savvy.

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2015, 06:12:41 PM »
western branded stuff is almost always a knockoff

OTOH, "legit" western branded stuff, including cheaper end skates and blades from certain well known skate and blade manufacturers, are often re-branded Chinese and Vietnamese made. I think sometimes the same foreign manufacturers sell something fairly similar under their own brand names that they make and re-brand for western companies too.

Back to the original topic - you can find deck finishes that are supposed to last 20 - 30 years. I wonder if those, with an extra layer or two couldn't last at least 6 - 12  months of circle skating. And with many different figure 8 and interlocking circles (Olympic style?) you could extend that.

But maybe not. I haven't tried it.

Maybe the best thing would be to set up a real ice surface on your deck?  :angel: Or "synthetic ice".

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2015, 06:32:55 PM »
you can find deck finishes that are supposed to last 20 - 30 years. I wonder if those, with an extra layer or two couldn't last at least 6 - 12  months of circle skating. And with many different figure 8 and interlocking circles (Olympic style?) you could extend that.

Maybe the best thing would be to set up a real ice surface on your deck?  :angel: Or "synthetic ice".

Ha, it's (almost still) winter and it's 19C (60F) here today.  Real ice is going to be a problem ;)   

But the synthetic ice is an intriguing idea.   I always wondered though, how long they last, i.e. do they need sanding/shaving periodically to "zamboni" them?   Also, it is going to be treacherous to walk on when wet?

But really, I have wheels, what do I need expensive synthetic ice for?   If I was going doing that route,  I may as well just lay down plywood or thick plastic sheeting or sportscourt and paint that up as wildly as needed.   Though I would worry about drainage and rot setting underneath it it.    But seriously most of these ideas are out of my budget.  If I could afford those, I could just afford to hit the ice rink multi-weekly anyway.

But the interlocking circles is a good idea. I do only have space for one reasonably sized figure 8, but I do want a bigger single circle too.   LOL, so I can make it only 3/4 of the way around it before running out of steam ;)   Maybe a bunch of big interlocking half circles might be useful too.

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2015, 07:23:21 PM »
And it's finally dried up enough to judge the results:

Electrical tape

Lifted totally

- Masking tape

Lifting

- Spray on building marker (seems to be a chalk pigment, not sure what the binder is)

Vaguely still there, but very blurred.  Also not very stable.

- Gouache (purple!)

Vaguely still there, but very blurred, and now a dusky red.   Tried green as well, which is entirely gone.

- Gelatin with red food colouring (azo dye #124).  aka red jelly :)

Gone.

- PVA glue with same red food colouring

Goneburger! (To use the local vernacular)

- Correction fluid (i.e. "whiteout"/"twink" or whatever else it's called...)

Still there.  So, workable, but not cheap.

- Simply sand the mark in (i.e. remove the surface silvering).   It's not obvious enough though.

Still there.  Possibly useful as an addition to another marking method.

- A "washable poster paint", that's effectively a gouache by the looks, but with an even more soluble binder.

Red:   Gone without a trace
Blue:   Still there, with original hard edges even.   Seems easily erased when wet too.  So we have a WINNER!

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2015, 08:57:22 PM »
Cool! Is your deck covered - if not, what if it rains?

Maybe you could spray on a light coating of an art "fixative" or "clear coat" - and sand it off if and when you want to remove the circles.

BTW, some synthetic ice surfaces just need to be sweeped. Others need to be cleaned, and new grease (or equivalent) applied.

I once estimated that for skaters at a particular synthetic rink in Delaware, the biggest costs was sharpening (maybe every 20-60 minutes of "ice time") and blade replacement. But someone on this board implied that synthetic ice provided its own strength training, because of the increased resistance.

OTOH, my personal (very limited) experience has been that inline and quad roller basic skating involves much less effort than ice (i.e., bearings and rubber wheels are remarkably efficient), and you go faster - but turning, spinning and stopping are substantially harder on wheels than ice. I've never tried Pic skates.

I don't know your geometry, but if appropriate, you may wish to pad the walls around the deck, because you can go super fast on wheels so easily, and do something so you don't run into a glass door or fall down the steps. At first, until you've learned to fall gently on the deck, it wouldn't hurt to wear a bit of padding.

Hope your deck doesn't become an "attractive nuisance" to neighborhood kids.

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 03:48:01 PM »
Cool! Is your deck covered - if not, what if it rains?

No it's not.   When I rains the usual procedure is me to stare longingly at it, willing it to dry up. 

Maybe you could spray on a light coating of an art "fixative" or "clear coat" - and sand it off if and when you want to remove the circles.

Not a bad idea, I might have an experiment with that.

BTW, some synthetic ice surfaces just need to be sweeped. Others need to be cleaned, and new grease (or equivalent) applied.

I once estimated that for skaters at a particular synthetic rink in Delaware, the biggest costs was sharpening (maybe every 20-60 minutes of "ice time") and blade replacement. But someone on this board implied that synthetic ice provided its own strength training, because of the increased resistance.

OTOH, my personal (very limited) experience has been that inline and quad roller basic skating involves much less effort than ice (i.e., bearings and rubber wheels are remarkably efficient), and you go faster - but turning, spinning and stopping are substantially harder on wheels than ice. I've never tried Pic skates.

Glide in a straight line is OK with inlines, not quite up to ice, but OK.  The trouble is any sort of edge tends to suck down the speed.  The deeper the edge the worst the effect.  I'm assuming due to having 2 wheels on the ground at all times, there's a little bit of scrubbing happening.   Quad skates seem much better in this regard,  but there is no way I can skate those on a wooden slat deck.  Quad school figures are definitely a real thing though.   Inline school figures, I've never heard of, probably for very good reasons.    To  be honest, I'm questioning why I'm even bothering, it's a LOT harder than on ice. 

Actually thinking of laying out a line of very small circles (0.8m diameter), as a formalised slalom path (i.e. imagine drawing touching circles around slalom cones) .   i.e. the basic idea is to power pull through it, rather than try to glide around like in figures.   Can still do turns at the apexes and intersections, so it's still sort of good for working on those.   Could be much more useful for training slalom stuff.   Plus get a turn every 2 seconds, rather than every 20 seconds.

I don't know your geometry, but if appropriate, you may wish to pad the walls around the deck, because you can go super fast on wheels so easily, and do something so you don't run into a glass door or fall down the steps. At first, until you've learned to fall gently on the deck, it wouldn't hurt to wear a bit of padding.

The deck has a combo of wood lattice and concrete block walls, and I've already boarded up my glass doors.  It's an enclosed space already.   I wear padding+helmet always when skating (skating is supposed to be fun, and injuries are decidedly the opposite of that).   Certainly lots of things to smash one's head, knees and elbows on in this environment.   And one certainly would not want to fall outside without plastic sliders on knees/elbows/wrists.  Most skateable outdoor surfaces are cheesegraters.   

But I do fall regularly, and it's not been an issue so far.   Falling gently is a nice aim.  Reality however usually presents only less palatable options.

Don't worry!  Going fast isn't an issue.   I never out-skate my stopping ability (which is reasonably well developed after years of skating weekend public sessions)

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2015, 08:51:01 PM »
So, was trawling youtube for example of proper posture* on non-artistic inlines, and came across this amazing footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPrKB3SG7oM

It's of Harry Wing, circa 1995 doing various stuff including an axel!    Freeze frame it and count the wheels!  Those look for all the world to me like (almost certainly rockered) regular inlines, i.e. not artistic inlines.  Which weren't even invented at that point I believe.

Of course, a man of incredible talents, but still:  Look ma! No toe stops!   No spins of course, but that's a whole other story...

Also this cute one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Phpuoe3DdE

Struggling a little on a slippery waxed dance floor, but real nice...

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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2015, 01:25:31 AM »


OK, things may have gotten a little out of hand.

9 sheets of downgrade plywood, 10L of white paint and 1 large sheet of thick polyethylene later.  I finally have a marked weather resistant skating surface. 

Two oddities I never considered:
- Snow blindness.   It's white.  It's VERY VERY white.  Literally painfully white. It's like being on snow.  Luckily I own sunglasses.
- Bees.    The bees seem to be attracted to the presumably huge amounts of UV being reflected off this.

Anyway. I have been figuring.  And slaloming.   But mostly figuring.   And it's so much fun!   Here's my thoughts on figures on inlines:

1. Don't even bother unless you can arrange at least 8mm of rocker.

Artistic inlines I believe have about this built into the frame, but any old inlines will be fine with a 72-80-80-72 wheel setup.

Any less rocker and you can't get enough torque from the cornering rotation to overcome the "lets go straight ahead!" nature of inlines.   Or at least I couldn't.   Going from 4mm rocker to 8mm rocker instantly fixed many things for me.

2. Shoulder rotation need to be opposite on inlines vs ice.
 
It comes down to this:   
- Inline skates want to go in a straight line
- Ice skates want to go in ever diminishing circles

So, when doing an edge on a 3 meter diameter,  on ice you have to force the edge to be straighter than it wants to be, and on inlines you have to force the edge to be tighter than it wants to be.

i.e. So, on ice, it's natural that you twist shoulders (with matching arm positions) to face outside the circle when going forwards, and twist shoulders inside when going backwards.   Because this is the easiest way to get the hip torque needs to straighten up the curve of an edge.

On inlines however, it's easier if you twist shoulders to face INSIDE the circle when going forwards, and OUTSIDE when going backwards.   i.e. the same twist you'd do when executing a 3turn.   Which makes sense, given that a 3turn hook is a tightening of the edge.    This does mean you're already all pre-twisted up when it comes to actually doing a 3turn,  but that seems to be not the end of the world.   A quick little untwist before the hook twist seems to be workable.

Don't get me wrong, the muscles employed to tighten a curve are more or less the same ice vs inline,  so your instincts aren't going to lead you astray here,  it's just that tracing the same curve, on ice you need to straighten it up to hold it and on inlines you needed to tighten it up to hold it.   

3. Opposite shoulder twists mean opposite hip positions, which typically mean opposite free foot positions.

How good are your foot-in-front FO3s?  You don't have to do these, but they do end up with the free foot in a more useful position for the BI exit curve.

4. Loops are possible, but not nearly as tightly or effortlessly as on ice.

They're definitely not going to happen accidentally, like they seem to on ice.  Need to be deliberate and strong.

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So, if you're looking for an off-ice training tool, I wouldn't recommend it as a direct replacement,  body positions are quite different, generally the exact opposite of what you'd want to do on ice.   That said,  the differences are highly enlightening.   And it's lots of fun.   At least at much fun as figures on ice.   Can't beat figures in the warm sunshine, sunglasses on, music playing.  Ah what bliss.








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Re: Marking Out Figure Circles Off Ice
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2015, 08:02:01 PM »
The bees seem to be attracted to the presumably huge amounts of UV being reflected off this.

From kayak experience, white clothing is extremely attractive to mosquitoes. True to some extant with all bright colors. Dark colors, not so much.

I once wore a white tee shirt and black pants. While we ate lunch next to the river, parts of the shirt turned blood red. :( For complicated reasons, I rarely wear white anymore in wet outdoor environments.

Tell us the results of the similar experiment you are so eager to perform!