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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
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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
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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 15th, 2014, 12:09 AM   #5
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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   #6
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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   #7
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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   #8
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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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Old April 24th, 2014, 02:32 AM   #9
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Hi 40SumT

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

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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   #10
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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 24th, 2014, 05:37 PM   #11
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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!.
Well there's part of the problem. Unless your duck starting pushes should be out to the sides not back.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 06:01 PM   #12
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Well there's part of the problem. Unless your duck starting pushes should be out to the sides not back.
Going forward my skate pushes sideward and ends up behind me.

Hmmm, maybe going backwards I'm trying to accentuate the forward motion rather than the sideward motion.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #13
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Going forward my skate pushes sideward and ends up behind me.

Hmmm, maybe going backwards I'm trying to accentuate the forward motion rather than the sideward motion.
Want some off skate practice? Find some stairs. Preferably a wide set, where you can walk up them in a diagonal fashion. You can litterally teach yourself crossovers on them with mininal adjustment once on skates. As stated earlier ccw forwards direction and next progressions as backwards goes is crossovers in the cw direction.

Heres the skinny:

Crossover leg movement is near identical when comparing forwards(ccw direction) to backwards (cw direction). You will be stepping right leg over your left. A slight difference in foot positioning is needed for best form, but its not dramatic.
Forwards ccw practice/backwards cw practice.
Start at the bottom of the stairs, turn to the right so your left side will be infront/going up the stairs first. walking up sideways(crossing over) and traveling ever so slightly in a diagonal direction forwards or backwards.

For forward crossovers cw direction/ backwards ccw direction simply put your right leg up the stairs first.

This closely mimics the body positioning needed. A somewhat steep hillside will also work(better in fact) but there is a higher chance of falling because the hill is less stable than stairs.


You can also walk backwards, or run up a hill backwards to help build some muscle memory for backward directions. Since it will teach you to push away with your leg going forward of your body. And really if you dont walk backwards ever, how will you easily learn to skate bakwards?

Ya know, backpeddeling im good at it! (Ask rufus! just Jones'n with ya bro)
EDIT
Just a lil take on things,
Honestly i would bet money that my backwards crossover skating is faster than my forwards crossover skating. Not acceleration mind you, but if you think of kick speed there is more potential for higher kick velocity when skating backwards. One can argue the usefulness/ lack there of, of toe flicking, but if you know how to do it right you can see and feel why its like that.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 10:07 PM   #14
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Want some off skate practice? Find some stairs.
You're hilarious! My wife would have a heart attack! She doesn't like me skating on the hardwood floors in my house.

Quote:
Preferably a wide set, where you can walk up them in a diagonal fashion.

Start at the bottom of the stairs, turn to the right so your left side will be infront/going up the stairs first. walking up sideways(crossing over) and traveling ever so slightly in a diagonal direction forwards or backwards.
Okay, something to try when the spouse isn't home and I've upped my life insurance. I'll leave a phone at the bottom of the stairs just in case...assuming my broken body can still dial. I'll see if I can scope out some easy outdoor type steps that are both wide and not too steep.

Quote:
You can also walk backwards, or run up a hill backwards to help build some muscle memory for backward directions. Since it will teach you to push away with your leg going forward of your body. And really if you dont walk backwards ever, how will you easily learn to skate bakwards?
Funny. Check out these two videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RdsgtRIxAk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZxFvpSzZMc

Notice the girl in the first one says to walk while the second one very explicitly says, "Don't walk." And both of these two are accomplished skaters. I've tried the marching technique Candice shows and it does work. I just feel like a spazmoid when I do it. I think I'll try the walking backward approach just to see how it feels (i.e. less spazmoidal).
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Old April 24th, 2014, 11:20 PM   #15
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Funny. Check out these two videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RdsgtRIxAk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZxFvpSzZMc

Notice the girl in the first one says to walk while the second one very explicitly says, "Don't walk." And both of these two are accomplished skaters. I've tried the marching technique Candice shows and it does work. I just feel like a spazmoid when I do it. I think I'll try the walking backward approach just to see how it feels (i.e. less spazmoidal).
The words are different, but the motions are essentially the same.

The tight small step marching is good because you go back, but don't pick up a lot of speed. The motion is too low powered. This lets you spend time going backward without freaking out over speed. The 2nd vid near the end show the more powerful push. It is a lean/push/step back-side motion. It will produce more power and speed. You could do that motion for a couple of strides, and when you reach an uncomfortable speed, straddle your feet and coast until you slow down. Specifically, straddle left foot front, right back, and then twist and look over your right shoulder to see where you are going.

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Ya know, backpeddeling im good at it! (Ask rufus! just Jones'n with ya bro)
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Old April 25th, 2014, 12:51 AM   #16
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40, that exercise is OFF SKATES I dont think youd hurt yourself on foot
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Old April 25th, 2014, 03:46 AM   #17
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Default Yes Up Stairs Crossovering 'OFF' Skates

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40, that exercise is OFF SKATES I dont think youd hurt yourself on foot
As Mort says. We got this years ago from a Speed Skater that was training Derby in NC at the very beginning Derby days. His SLF Handle was XLRacer.

It actually gets you kind of tired, yet helps with learning balance. You can grab a railing or a wall to begin with.

You go up Right over left making sure you push the left leg hard as you plant the Right on the step above. Do it several times.

Then you go up Left over Right pushing hard on the right leg as you Cross. OK You can do this later after you learn the Normal Direction Crossover.

Armadillo noted to us years ago that the power in a Crossover comes from the foot that is left behind as you place the right foot. It looks like an 'UnderPush' which was apparently common knowledge to speed skating where he lives in Chicago.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave

P.S. OK you are progressing nicely. Slow but sure with lots of good questions to ask. I didn't add the scissors since although a good training tool not many self learners use it.

6> Was going to be Stopping
Most progression skaters do the wall hit, just slow down,, or some other stop to begin with yet as they get better they start to play with different stops. BTW the Toe Stop Drag should not be used... Unless you are an Art Skater and are on your Good Wheels and are afraid of a flat spot. You have a lot of stops to play with from the angled T-Stop, to Spin Stops, to SnowPlows and then maybe the flashy hockey stop. I like the Spin and Slide on the Seat stop, or the roll on the rug slow down stop.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 03:29 AM   #18
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40, that exercise is OFF SKATES I dont think youd hurt yourself on foot
Jeez Mort, you might want to lead with that next time! Had I been more gungho/stupid, my next post might have been from a body cast. I felt pretty stupid when I read that but in my defense I did see a few videos of people on skates on stairs recently. (And to be honest, I have stumbled going up stairs before.)

Quote:
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6> Was going to be Stopping
Most progression skaters do the wall hit, just slow down,, or some other stop to begin with yet as they get better they start to play with different stops. BTW the Toe Stop Drag should not be used... Unless you are an Art Skater and are on your Good Wheels and are afraid of a flat spot. You have a lot of stops to play with from the angled T-Stop, to Spin Stops, to SnowPlows and then maybe the flashy hockey stop. I like the Spin and Slide on the Seat stop, or the roll on the rug slow down stop.
You forgot one other way to stop: running into someone. Happened to me when I first started. Guy skated right in front of me and had plenty of time to stop but he caught me off guard so it was like a slomo collision. No one fell or anything but mucho embarasso. After that I focused on the T-Stop. Can also do the Toe drag. Use those two for slowing down when I'm going fast. I save the spin stop for when I'm going at a slow to moderate speed.

I'm surprised none of you mentioned skating on 1 skate in your lists. It seems to me that once I started getting comfortable on 1 skate, a lot of other things either opened up for me or got easier.

BACKWARDS

I had a great session the other night - not a lot of people there when the session started so I figured it was now or never. I finally made some progress going backward that night. Shifting my weight, scissoring with one foot, etc. Actually was able to get going pretty smoothly BUT my enthusiasm made me want to go faster (maybe a "guy" thing?) which is when the wipeouts started occurring. I need to force myself to take it slow until I get more control. I did take some time to practice stopping while going backwards (just use the toe stops). I can also transition fwd - bwd using a spin (can't get the hang of a mohawk yet). I think I'm going to start working on backwards crossovers/crosspulls next though.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 03:34 AM   #19
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Specifically, straddle left foot front, right back, and then twist and look over your right shoulder to see where you are going.
The whole looking over my shoulder thing still feels odd. I'm okay looking every now and then but I end up turning around...it just feels weird even though I'm looking in the direction that I'm travelling.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 05:20 AM   #20
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Posts: 4,607
Default One Foot Skating is Kind of Advanced/or Truck Adjustment

Hi 40SumTing,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40SumTing View Post
Jeez Mort, you might want to lead with o - o
I'm surprised none of you mentioned skating on 1 skate in your lists. It seems to me that once I started getting comfortable on 1 skate, a lot of other things either opened up for me or got easier. o-o.
I mean one foot is good, yet kind of advanced. Now if you want to adjust your trucks as I have done one foot skating is key to making sure each skate is adjusted and performing like you like. Forwards and Backwards.

I do one foot each session, on a couple of stuff like the art circles, swizzling, and more, yet I don't normally see anyone copying me. So it is odd to recommend it.

Again it is kind of advanced, or a truck adjustment technique, or normal for Art Skating.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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