Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Who misses figures? (any older skaters?)

  1. #1
    4th Time Around
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    165

    Who misses figures? (any older skaters?)

    (To note first: basically only middle-aged and older skaters would really know what I'm talking about enough to understand where I'm coming from.... I'm not sure how many people in that age group are here.)

    Call me crazy if you wish, but I have always been disappointed that figures were eliminated from requirements. Figures are a true demonstration of precision skating, and gave the perfectionists among skaters an outlet for demonstrating their skills. I can understand eliminating it from competition, but I wish it hadn't been eliminated from the sport entirely. Rinks don't have patch sessions anymore, so there is very little in the way of opportunity to practice figures without being constantly interrupted or in other people's ways (each skater got assigned a personal patch of ice to practice without interruptions).

    People try to say that MITF is just as good because it incorporates figures, but people can get away with being much less precise and there is nowhere near the level of challenge involved. Testing judges got on the ice to check for "flats" on figures circles, not just watch from a seat - it was scary, but a fantastic skills challenge that MITF doesn't present.

    So can any older skaters relate to what I'm saying? Or are there any younger skaters who would have any interest in figures at all, in spite of figures being eliminated from requirements?

  2. #2
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    626
    OH man I feel 'old' now :P

    Figures were fun.... drawing the circles with the back of the blade, then enjoying the 20 or so minutes of quiet enjoyable patch sessions :P

    In Canada after figures were eliminated, we did skillz? (which felt like footwork)? And everybody around Juvenile was pretty much able to pass level 1 right away.

    Figures just had so much more to offer.

  3. #3
    4th Time Around
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by bibi24 View Post
    OH man I feel 'old' now :P

    Figures were fun.... drawing the circles with the back of the blade, then enjoying the 20 or so minutes of quiet enjoyable patch sessions :P

    In Canada after figures were eliminated, we did skillz? (which felt like footwork)? And everybody around Juvenile was pretty much able to pass level 1 right away.

    Figures just had so much more to offer.
    I take it you didn't have a scribe? A scribe lets you adjust to make the circle ideal for your own body height, circles which are perfectly round at every point. I didn't have one, but there was always someone with one I could borrow during patch.

  4. #4
    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    1,415
    I miss the edges and flow it would translate into regular programs.
    I mean, look at Kurt Browning with his footwork. He might not have gotten that snazzy without having to do figures. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    4th Time Around
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    165
    My old coach was really obsessed with precision and refined basic skills, and I'm really grateful for it because it led me to embrace skating as a true art form. Figures teaches a person to move like fluid over the ice, taking every single body position and motion just as seriously as jumps and spins. Figures separated skaters who were serious about skating from skaters who were serious about being skaters.

  6. #6
    Spending too much time at the arena CdnSkateWatcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    279
    You don't have to be old to a) know what figures are b) appreciate them c) wish they were still a focus. You just need to have a coach who still believes in the value of teaching figures, and who posseses a scribe and ice time to use it. There are some out there who are still teaching figures, and whose skaters are benefitting from it.

    Canadian skills are not the same as figures - they are just, like noted above, patterns of various footwork that used to be done to music, but now aren't. IIRC, people with figures were grandfathered under the new skills requirements - yes? However, "snakes and ladders" are really the barrier for people who have been just treating skills as footwork! Which is why so many get stuck on Junior Silver Skills ... whereas the skaters with the coach with the scribe in their backpocket are happy little campers on test day

  7. #7
    Spending too much time at the arena CdnSkateWatcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by CzarinaAnya View Post
    I miss the edges and flow it would translate into regular programs.
    I mean, look at Kurt Browning with his footwork. He might not have gotten that snazzy without having to do figures. Just a thought.
    I am firmly convinced, and would quite like to know if it is true, that Patrick Chan's original coach, Ozzy Colborne (sp?) taught him figures. Given his incredible age at the time he was coaching Patrick, and given the eras he coached in, he would have been more than aware of figures, and would have certainly taught them! If we could find that out,and if it is true that Patrick was schooled in figures, then, it would certainly lend credibility to the benefit that figures have for edge development. I find that the older coaches ARE the ones who are still doing figures ... particularly the competitive track ones.

  8. #8
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL USA
    Posts
    189
    I am so lucky. I have a coach that believes in figures. I own a scribe and think figures are a wonderful, rewarding thing to do. I did not think so when I was a child and they were compulsory, but I have an appreciation for them now. Of course, I have more patience and worse eyesight now.

  9. #9
    Rinkside
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    18
    I miss figures...even though the intensity (training, difficulty, $) pushed me out of the sport as a young teenager. Those advanced figures were way beyond me, but I did enjoy being part of the early risers club, practising school figures in the quiet rink.

    Testing, though, was difficult - I recall getting SO nervous before various judges.


    Now I'm glad I did them. As I've come back to skating, I know that that early training - edge control, patience - helps my body remember how to do things.

  10. #10
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    206
    Osbourne Coulsen was most definitely from the age of figures and a big believer in basics. Unfornately, figures went out of the test sytem in Canada by the time Patrick was about 5 years old --pre-Ozzie - when he was still in learn-to-skate classes and few clubs kept figure ice for sheer practice after that. However, like any good coach, I know Osbourne made Patrick work on edges, loops, brackets, counters etc.. in order to provide the on-ice core strength that figures gave.

  11. #11
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Watching the sunset
    Posts
    2,793
    I think that Japan has used figures as a requirement to pass the tests for lower-level skaters.
    To be honest, I hated figures. I thought it a nerdy thing to do --- to look down on the ice, studying the trace. But I may find the current system that picks on slight URs and wrong edges in slow-mo even more nerdy ;p

  12. #12
    Always Believed! Sk8n Mama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    520
    Osbourne Coulsen was most definitely from the age of figures and a big believer in basics.
    And never was I more nervous than when, at a skating seminar, Mr. Coulson asked me to demonstrate one of the loops figures to all the other skaters! LOL I'll never forget it! I hated them, was terrible at them, at it's the one "hole" in my skating credentials as I quit them before I passed my 8th.

    I think all of those "old school" coaches understood why basic edges and turns were so important even when the sport moved away from them for awhile to jumps.

  13. #13
    4th Time Around
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    165
    "Nerdy" huh? That might explain why I liked doing them so much.

  14. #14
    Spending too much time at the arena CdnSkateWatcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    279
    I missed the start of it, sadly, but, did not Patrick being his Olympic Gala skate, which was supposed to be a tribute to Ozzie, with school figures? I heard the commentators as I was coming back into the room, but, missed the skate, thus, not sure if that is entirely accurate. If so, then, I would think that he would have included this portion for a good reason (and it would be nice, if true, to show that videotape of him performing the figures when having that discussion on edges/figures with reluctant skaters (and coaches )

  15. #15
    On the Ice
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by CdnSkateWatcher View Post
    I missed the start of it, sadly, but, did not Patrick being his Olympic Gala skate, which was supposed to be a tribute to Ozzie, with school figures? I heard the commentators as I was coming back into the room, but, missed the skate, thus, not sure if that is entirely accurate. If so, then, I would think that he would have included this portion for a good reason (and it would be nice, if true, to show that videotape of him performing the figures when having that discussion on edges/figures with reluctant skaters (and coaches )
    He did appear to be doing some figure eights, brackets and other turns that looked like patch - it was wonderful to watch. I too miss figures and still have my old patch boots with the toe lopped off the blade for cleaner turns! I only made it to my 5th, but I do miss them a lot. I still have my scribe and when coaching we have made a row of circles and done some figure eight type of exercises. Kids tend to rush through, so we have to get them to slow down and really feel the edges and turns.

    I once went to a seminar where the course conductor said that even without knowing anything about us, he could tell which skaters had done figures and which had not - although perhaps he was trying to flatter us older skaters ;-)

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •