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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old April 14th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #1
40SumTing
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Default Quad Skills Progression

First post after (finally) getting my account approved. My question deals with skill progressions in skating.

I took up quad skating recently and have the good fortune of having a rink relatively nearby. I just bought a pair of Reidell R3s (w/ hybrid wheels) since they seem to be regarded as a decent starter skate. My only other experience is with inlines but that was more than a decade ago and nothing more fancy than straightaways, wide turns, and heel stops.

I was moderately proud of the fact that I didn't have to do the "wall crawl" my first time out but there was one bad fall (equal parts embarrassment and physical pain) and more than a few arm-waving moments when I lost my balance - particularly if my skates touched.

I'm still light years from being like the veterans who move around like they're not even on skates but I can now get around the rink without falling/losing my balance unless a person falls/cuts in front of me or otherwise catches me off guard, I'm trying something new, or I'm tired.

I can do crossovers on turns and skate on one foot for short periods of time. I can T-stop fairly smoothly if I'm given time (i.e. I have to think about it). But my movement is still limited to push, push (lifting foot), coast, push, crossover, crossover,...repeat. And when I follow a competent skater I feel like I'm laboring to keep up while they seem to move without trying.

I'm working to get to the level where I can do some of what the other skaters can do - glide effortlessly, backwards, hockey stops, seemingly never lift their feet, and generally move around like they're not even on skates.

My problem is that I don't know what should be next for me. Backwards? Hockey stop? Mohawk turn? Spins? Triple Lutz? (kidding on those last two) Maybe I'm being too anal retentive but it seems to be that there must be a generally accepted you-should-know-this-before-you-try-this path of progression. What I mean is, I don't want to jump straight from 2+2=4 to Calculus. Can someone suggest a progression of skills to learn? I have yet to see one online.
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Old April 14th, 2014, 04:15 PM   #2
WJCIV
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The RSA skills test would be the closest thing to an "accepted progression" I can think of. Other than that it is just deciding what you want to do and mapping out the steps to get there. As a speed guy I have different expectations than a session skater. Backwards or side skating skills are nice for me, but they really aren't a focus. Not that I don't have plenty of those skills from years of being on skates, but there are people who are much better at backwards skating than I am whom I would smoke in a race.
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Old April 14th, 2014, 08:07 PM   #3
40SumTing
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It's the mapping out part that I seem to be missing. I've watched a lot of videos but, with a few exceptions, most approach it as "here's how to do it" and leave out the prerequisite part(s).

Maybe skating doesn't really need a laddered learning method (e.g. basic math -> algebra -> geometry...) outside of being able to roll unassisted. Might explain why I see some very good skaters who don't know how to go backward or guys who can skate fwd/bkwd/side but have never slalomed. Not an issue of not being capable, just hadn't tried it before.
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Old April 14th, 2014, 10:12 PM   #4
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Default usual progression in a rink environment.

Forwards /w crossovers and a proficient stop. Ccw direction
Backwards /w crossovers in the cw direction.
Transitions from forwards to backwards and backwards to forwards in the straights.
Forward skating with crossovers in the cw direction.
Backwards skating with crossovers in the ccw direction
Transitions from forwards to backwards and backwards to forwards while in a turn either cw or ccw direction.

That covers basics. While thats a small list theres a lot of skills to learn that I didnt highlight. Maybe I'll edit some details in later.

EDITED
Forwards Inside and outside edging.
CRAZY 8/scissors: Doing a figure 8 pattern with your skates traveling in a straight line. Then stepping up to figure 8's. You will want to push and pull your legs in/out during this exercise. Learning this skill is extremely important. It carrys over into virtually every aspect of skating other than gliding straight. During the inward motion drawing your feet back together youll be standing with more weight on the inside edges (your arches), and pulling your toes toward each other. During the outward motion you'll transfer your weight toward the outside edges(blades of your feet) and push your toes away from each other just to snap them back inward and repeat.

Modifications- you can choose to keep your feet side by side or criss cross(which a little more difficult) them during this skill. Just start by putting say the left foot in front first and the right foot behind. When you bring your feet together the next time alternate your cross to right foot in front left foot behind. Your torso should remain centered between your feet as you cross them, but you can mix it up and start learning to have oddball body positioning doing this drill. You never know when you will be needing the extra balance. You should also be able to accelerate and slow down with this drill at any time.

Forwards front/rear axle control.
Heel/toe(riding a single axle on each foot) tricks can be very easy, or very hard. It all depends on the distance you separate your legs infront of and behind you, with your torso centered between your axle spread. The smaller the gap getween your axles the harder it will become. When one can get their feet close to side by side its time to try single axle one foot balance. You can really stretch out this way too if you got plugs and a forward mount, or inlines. They call it "hawking" in inline speed skating.

Slalom like a skier does on downhill runs after you got edges and rolling up on your heels and toes under control. Since slaloming left and right requires a little edging and axle control as you will be shifting your weight alot its good to have those 2 as a prerequisite if you will.
Try the above mentioned skills backwards once you have them down forwards.
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Last edited by Mort; April 15th, 2014 at 05:31 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 02:32 AM   #5
MANY_SkatingDave
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Default Jumping Around Mort

Hi 40SumT

Geez a GREAT Question, I don't remember seeing this question before. We should codify the correct answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort View Post
o -o
The Progression

1>Forwards with confidence (just before UnderPush Learning)
2>Fast Forwards (Don't really care how you do the corners)
^ You got a lazy foot so what, at least you are skating.
3>Crossovers Phase 1 (Underpushes more accurately) 'Armadillo'
^ You still can't get a good underpush yet are trying
4>Backwards minimally (you can't do it right yet, yet you are starting
5>A Mohawk try (Transitions in Derby terms)
5.1. OK you can do a jump turn, yet not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort View Post
Forwards /w crossovers and a proficient stop. Ccw direction
Backwards /w crossovers in the cw direction.
Transitions from forwards to backwards and backwards to forwards in the straights.
Forward skating with crossovers in the cw direction.
Backwards skating with crossovers in the ccw direction
Transitions from forwards to backwards and backwards to forwards while in a turn either cw or ccw direction. o - o .
Geez I love Mort...

Too much fun... Let me know when you have the Progression. Hey here is Joe http://www.youtube.com/user/JoeEnthor

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old April 24th, 2014, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default Progress Thus Far

Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
The Progression

1>Forwards with confidence (just before UnderPush Learning)
I think I've got this one down.

2>Fast Forwards (Don't really care how you do the corners)
Got this one too. Plus I can turn & stop comfortably.

3>Crossovers Phase 1 (Underpushes more accurately) 'Armadillo'
I've got the crossovers on turns - not 100% sure what the underpush is and googling points mainly to inlining. Assume it's pushing with the leg that isn't crossing over. If so, I can do that minimally.

4>Backwards minimally (you can't do it right yet, yet you are starting
Very minimally. I can do scissors but I'm really struggling with lifting my foot and pushing UNLESS I do the marching thing and I'm NOT doing that at the rink...feels so lame. I do work on it at home.

5>A Mohawk try (Transitions in Derby terms)
I've been playing with this off/on for a week or so. I can't get a good 180 deg alignment on my skates. Add to (or because of that) I can't put my weight down on the turned foot so it ends up being a stabilizer as the dominant foot turns/slides around (looks sloppy)

5.1. OK you can do a jump turn, yet not correct
No jumping.
I think my backwards problem is that my muscles are geared toward the push back when I'm going forward. So brain is trying to fight muscle memory as I go backward - BRAIN: Push forward! LEGS: No, I must push back!

I've tabled the spin thing until I can go backwards comfortably. For me, that seems like an advanced move that I just don't have the stability to do yet.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40SumTing View Post
I can do crossovers on turns and skate on one foot for short periods of time. I can T-stop fairly smoothly if I'm given time (i.e. I have to think about it). But my movement is still limited to push, push (lifting foot), coast, push, crossover, crossover,...repeat. And when I follow a competent skater I feel like I'm laboring to keep up while they seem to move without trying.

Well, you are not wrong there. When you muscles get trained up, it is pretty effortless. And very cool when you reach that point.

My problem is that I don't know what should be next for me. Backwards? Hockey stop? Mohawk turn? Spins? Triple Lutz? (kidding on those last two) Maybe I'm being too anal retentive but it seems to be that there must be a generally accepted you-should-know-this-before-you-try-this path of progression. What I mean is, I don't want to jump straight from 2+2=4 to Calculus. Can someone suggest a progression of skills to learn? I have yet to see one online.
There are a lots of ways you could go. Your direction is largely a personal choice: What interests you?

An odd and not hard little thing you can mess with is spins. You do this heel and toe. One foot on the heel, one foot on the toe. The heel pushes forward, the toe sweeps around. Now, obviously, you won't spin right away. You will likely get only a tiny bit of rotation. Don't worry about it. But just keep practicing it every time you skate. You'll get better little by little. This skill will feed into other skills down the line. I won't even tell you what. It will click down the line when it clicks. When you feel a bit comfortable with it, take a stride, be MOVING, and take that little energy and put it into a spin. (the beginnings of a spin stop??? )

A word of caution: don't try to progress too fast, and be very wary of slow or no speed falls. They are often worse than moving falls. They are straight up and down and are a big temptation to put a hand down, or hit your tailbone or head. Take it easy, build some skill, and this will apply to stuff later, whatever direction you choose to take.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Don't often get to go cw since I'm only doing rink skating at the moment.

Surprised about the spin Rufus...seems like an advanced move. I tried it a couple of times, I don't have the muscle strength to keep it steady (yet) but I'll keep at it.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 40SumTing View Post
Surprised about the spin Rufus...seems like an advanced move. I tried it a couple of times, I don't have the muscle strength to keep it steady (yet) but I'll keep at it.
You aren't really going for a spin. Don't throw your momentum into it hard and hang on for dear life. It is about getting the feel of it in your feet, legs and body. Little quarter turns. Then half, 3/4, then full. Get a feel for lifting the toe and heel. Pushing the heel, sweeping the toe around. Do it in both directions. Do little tiny 1/4 turns, and string them together until you have rotated around 4 or 5 time. Then go the other way. Just do it casually and regularly, staying within you current ability level, and as you get better at it, you will get your own ideas on what to do with the skill.

When I was taking my daughter to lessons, we'd take lessons, then skate session after, then get a snack and hang out. There was a long bench along the rink side of the snack bar area with like a hockey wall behind. Solid on bottom, glass on top. There was ample room along the bench to skate, or practice. Sometimes beginners would not even go on the floor, but stay in this side line area. We would alternately sit and get up and do little spins as we were too tired to really want to skate more laps. After a while, I could not believe how good and secure I got in doing that stuff. I then applied it to others skating skills. It was a big plus for me. It was just casual goofing around that turned into a good learning tool. 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. It is a great building block move.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 02:19 PM   #10
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spinning is fun
Another thing I can add to the spin learning process is to "zip yourself up"
What I mean by this is to use your core to keep you up and centered in your spin. My dad always told me to look up, so pick a reference that you can look at as you spin. my rink has neon that runs around the top of the walls, that's what I look at.

Also, in general keep your knees bent a bit especially in the corners. Crossovers with a straight leg is just funny to watch and not very effective.

Watch what people do at your rink, if you see something you like try to do it. Just skating will help you progress in skating.
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