XX-ploring continued from previous page The New Skate In last year’s SnowPro Spring/Summer issue, Randy French and I wrote an article on this subject. Since most Nordic skiers watched the Olympics at Soldier Field in Utah this past winter we all noticed some subtle differences in skating technique compared to years past. In the article in the spring we organized movements from: 1) What do the feet do? 2) What does the body do? 3) What is the timing of feet, poles and body? Overall, the angle of the ankle and knee is far more bent and stays in that position most of the time. Yes, now, like in Alpine skiing, the racers are even more forward than they ever were before, starting at the ankle. To keep the momentum moving forward, the ankle never opens up. It stays in this bent forward position. See Hal in figure 1. He is doing it in a recreational fashion as opposed to a race pace. If the ankle came up to straighten, forward momentum would be lost and an extra movement would be needed to gain the momentum back again. It is kind of like falling forward and never catching up with your feet to stand up. This allows the tempo to be faster, not by pushing or skating motions of the legs, but by the body falling forward and the legs and feet recovering underneath to catch us from falling. Here are a few activities that can be linked together to perform the “New Skate”. This is very appropriate to make someone more efficient, as well as showing it to a new skier.
1) With no poles and no skis, fall forward and at the last second bring your foot under you to catch yourself. See Hal in figure 2-3. Do this several times until you get used to your ankle closing or falling forward so your body falls in a forward direction - like the leaning tower. This could also be done with a partner, catching you as you fall forward. 2) Do the same thing, but fall forward and keep stumbling forward by letting your legs and feet recover under you - like baby steps, with your ankle bent or closed so you feel like you’re stumbling and your feet are not catching up with you. See Hal in figure 4-5. 3) Now, with skis on and no poles, point your feet out, roll ankles/ knees in, and push both heels out at the same time - just like you would do in a split. Of course, catch yourself before you fall by letting one of your legs come under you. See Hal in figure 6-7. 4) Now, perform the same movement, but add a falling forward from the ankles as you push feet or heels out. Try to get the stumbling, awkward feeling going. See Hal in figure8-10. 5) Now, put it together. Fall or lean forward as you push out and recover, but only enough that your forward momentum (body) is still ahead of your feet. See Hal in figure 11-12. I would like to thank Hal Westwood and Randy French for the shots and technical components. ◆◆
SnowPro ◆ Winter 2003 ◆ Page 18
Volume 29, Number 4