>In searching rssir archives, I knew I'd come across an earlier post of
>mine. I *had* this change edge spiral, from LFI to LFO. I haven't
>practiced it since, what, April? Now I can no longer get it.
>I was in a contorted position, making me wonder how someone could
>actually move on a blade in that position.....on the LFI portion. Then
>of course, I lost all power and speed so that the LFO portion was at a
>crawl. Many swimming motions with my arms, which didn't increase my
Here's how an "old guy" used to do it and found them very easy.
They didn't take tremendous speed but to get a long one took a fair
amount. The change edge was basically effortless.
>I have forgotten the feeling of this move, and the "flick" of the edge
There was no flick of the edge for me.
>to change, rather than forcing the edge change. U saw myself in the
>glass and immediately burst out laughing.
>In experimenting with this today, which probably looked pretty funny, I
>found my R leg was not behind me, but*** like a broken rudder out
>to the side, and I seemed to be trying to turn the sprial with my
>shoulders! It's almost like I was resisting the move, unable to rely
>on the edge with proper body position to get me there.
Like many men I lay my arm on the free leg side back on the leg. That
gives me good feedback as to the leg position. It has to be back, or
it is going to shift your weight in that direction. One thing that
helped me was to "push and point" that free foot as if I were using my
toes to push against something. I had good extension, but not a lot
of height...Maybe a foot above my butt.
Once the weight and balance are solved, it's basically "for me"
looking in one direction or the other just as we did when first
learning to glide and change direction by changing the direction we
were looking. Some need to rotate the entire body to get the weight
shift, but with practice you can get a nice spiral to follow the
hockey circles. It took me about 2 weeks to really get comfortable
doing spirals, but it took a lot longer to get the change edge. I
used to practice 4 edges RFI, RFO, LFI, and LFO until I could easily
trace the edge of the circle all the way around. Once around I'd bring
the free leg down and forward so it became the skating leg and raised
the other for another circle with no stroking en between. It was all
At a reasonable speed I finally reached the point where I could start
in the middle and do a figure 8 using most of the arena.
>Am trying to come up with ways to combat these various blocks and
>forces.......I am going back to simply an arabesque position, rather
Just work on the free leg extension and height as far as or a bit
above your back side. The work on the balance. Once you reach the
point where you can more your hands and arms around and turn your head
from left to right it should become as easy as gliding on one foot.
I used to like to do spirals for two reasons. One, it seemed to
impress most of the skaters <:-)) and two, it really helped my bad
back. I really didn't have a lot of back strength.
>than a high spiral, and trying to get the feeling that way again. I
>noticed it improved when my skating foot made a complete large half
>circle, with the edge change "flick" occurring perpindicular to the
>long axis. I hardly scraped. Looking for more of these!
Try gliding on one foot in an upright position and changing direction
by only shifting your weight. Do not try to move the skate. Just let
it ride on which ever edge is natural. To begin you may need to turn
your shoulders, then only your head and neck. Eventually you should
reach a point where you only lean slightly to change edge and
direction at will. It's a really good feeling.
Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)