Exercise 5 – Edges
The Outer Forward
After getting your balance and stability forwards. Next, it’s time to work on edges on one foot. Start with the outer forward edge. Start skating at a moderate speed. Skate the outer forward edge on the figure circle on the left foot. The shoulder still gets set first for control and then lean on the edge. Now when you lean, you want to make sure you lean your shoulder, body, and hips as one unit as if you were trying to fall over on your side. Do not worry about pressing your ankle alone for making the edge. Just think about leaning the shoulder to the inside center of a circle. Many people think they will fall over. You’ll only fall over if you come to a complete stop! The wheels grip the floor when skating forwards (or backwards) and momentum keeps you from falling over. Your shoulder controls the balance and your free foot only acts as a counterbalance.
Think about a motorcycle or bicycle on a turn. It’s the same thing! The bike does not fall over because its moving forward momentum. It naturally wants to stay upright when moving forward. The lean will cause the wheels to dig into and grip the ground. The handle bars control the turn and lean of the bike. The handlebars are the shoulders of a motorcycle or bike. They are the control just like the shoulders are the control for us!
Now switch feet and do the same thing.
The Inner Forward
Now the inner forward edge seems like it’s different but yet is still the same. For example, skating on the left foot on an inner forward edge. One would think the right shoulder (the one on the inside of the circle) is the one that is controlling the edge and the free side. Guess what, it’s not! The left shoulder is still controlling the lean and edge while still skating on the left foot. The free foot, arm and shoulder are only there for counterbalance not control. Work on the inside edge on a figure circle and when skating on the left foot concentrate on the left shoulder for the balance control. When skating on the right foot inside edge concentrate on the right shoulder for the balance control.
Once you have great balance and control skating forwards in a straight line, one foot, on your left and right edge if you haven’t already done so learn to skate backwards using the same principles! After you’ve mastered these things, you’ve learned the fundamentals of balance that will apply to everything else you do in skating.