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Thread: Average Height of Male and Female Skaters

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    Average Height of Male and Female Skaters

    I used to think all figure skaters were small. INCLUDING men.

    Lysacek's height. Is it normal? Seems most men are around 5'8-5'10''

    Women around 5'3" (I always thought Rochette was taller than 5'2. She seems much taller).

    Height doesn't make too much of a difference does it? Presence on the ice? Spins?

    Reason I thought men were shorter was because I know Hamilton is like 5'4. Figured that was the norm since I don't watch men's really that carefully.
    Last edited by MrBerkeley; 08-29-2010 at 12:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBerkeley View Post
    I used to think all figure skaters were small. INCLUDING men.

    Lysacek's height. Is it normal? Seems most men are around 5'8-5'10''

    Women around 5'3" (I always thought Rochette was taller than 5'2. She seems much taller).

    Height doesn't make too much of a difference does it? Presence on the ice? Spins?

    Reason I thought men were shorter was because I know Hamilton is like 5'4. Figured that was the norm since I don't watch men's really that carefully.
    Actually, height does make a difference. Taller skaters tend to have more trouble jumping--centre of gravity's different, plus there's more weight to heave up into the air. Lysacek is considered tall for a singles skater, and I've even heard some people attribute his jumping problems to his height. But then again, Ilia Kulik is quite tall (though not as tall as Lysacek) but he has some of the most beautiful jumps I've ever seen.

    Male pairs skaters tend to be taller, though--they need sufficient height and weight to lift and throw their female partners, who on average tend to be the smallest skaters across all disciplines (hence the 'gorilla and the flea' expression when it comes to pairs). Ice dancers (both male and female) also tend to be taller as well, as jumping isn't involved in their discipline.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Lysacek, like Boitano, is tall for a singles skater. Most seem to range in the 5'6 - 5'8 range

    Ladies are lucky to be an inch or two over five foot.

    Scott Hamilton isn't even five four, neither is Paul Wylie. They are dinky even by mens figure skaters standards.

    expand your horizon and watch the other disiplines, you'll be presently surprised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    Actually, height does make a difference. Taller skaters tend to have more trouble jumping--centre of gravity's different, plus there's more weight to heave up into the air. Lysacek is considered tall for a singles skater, and I've even heard some people attribute his jumping problems to his height. But then again, Ilia Kulik is quite tall (though not as tall as Lysacek) but he has some of the most beautiful jumps I've ever seen.
    Yes, Ilia´s jumps looked very beautiful indeed... I especially loved his triple axel!!! He was though a very inconsistent jumper, although he was nearly 3 inches shorter than Lysacek. Mostly the men singles skaters are short, but most do not look quite as short as Japanese skaters like Takahashi and Kozuka. The most consitent jumpers Stojko and Yagudin were also on the short side.

    From the Olympic champions also Robin Cousins and Alexei Urmanov were really tall. Being tall does not affect just jumping, it also affects the way the skater´s moving looks on the ice and perhaps spinning, I´d think?
    Last edited by Jaana; 08-29-2010 at 03:07 AM.

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Maybe it is not only height but body mass and how it is distributed. By the way, Kozuka is not short, I dont know his height but maybe it is because he has long limps, he doesnt look as small comparing to Dai and Oda. Yagudin is not small either (from live) and Stoijko is rather small for skating or not skating standars and too compact, but Plush and Joub(Joub is little bigger) that are both tall also(not as Lysacek but still on the tall side) were consistent jumpers. Verner also regardless of this season..Urmanov seemed to me not tooooo tall, as tall as Plush or Joub.
    Last edited by seniorita; 08-29-2010 at 04:36 AM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I'm probably going to make a hash of putting this into English, but I'll give it a try.

    The issue with getting the rotation in jumping is only partially how high you can jump, it's how fast you can spin in the air. This is governed by the moment of inertia of the skater about the axis of rotation. Basically, the closer the skater can get all his body parts to the axis of rotation, the faster he can rotate. That would seem at first glance to be governed solely by how wide the skater is (and taller skaters tend to have wider shoulders), and secondarily, how tightly he can pull his arms and legs in. And in the ideal world where the skater jumps straight up, that's true. However, if the skater goes up with any tilt, his problems are worse if he is taller. He develops a moment of inertia off axis-and the taller he is, the worse it is, and the harder to land the jump.

    There is a reason Boitano's jump technique was so excellent. It had to be, or he would have spent more time on his butt.

    There is a plus to height though. It's easier to have a dominating presence on the ice if you're tall. And the long lines in spirals look much, much better.

    The plus to being short, aside from jump issues, is it can be easier to do faster footwork moves. (cf. Scott Hamilton).
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 08-29-2010 at 05:12 AM.

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    He develops a moment of inertia off axis-and the taller he is, the worse it is, and the harder to land the jump.

    Thats because it matters if they are too tall, because for the same angle off axis, the biggest the radius (taller skater) the biigest the arc that is formed between him and the ideal vertical axis.

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    Spending too much time at the arena CdnSkateWatcher's Avatar
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    Height also makes any "errors" more apparent as there is simply more skater to see.

    A good point was made earlier though, about body type in conjunction with height; a tall small boned skater is at an advantage over a tall large boned skater. You have injury issues, as the taller skater can be heavier, meaning more repetitive impact on a knee, hip, ankle - again, worse with a heavier boned skater than with a smaller boned skater. The heavier weight can also contribute to the skater being "tossed" off of the axis and making it harder to recover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnSkateWatcher View Post
    Height also makes any "errors" more apparent as there is simply more skater to see.

    A good point was made earlier though, about body type in conjunction with height; a tall small boned skater is at an advantage over a tall large boned skater. You have injury issues, as the taller skater can be heavier, meaning more repetitive impact on a knee, hip, ankle - again, worse with a heavier boned skater than with a smaller boned skater. The heavier weight can also contribute to the skater being "tossed" off of the axis and making it harder to recover.
    I don't know how tall Tim Goebel is, but he seemed to have unusually narrow shoulders, and I think that gave him an advantage in jumps. I remember when Robin Cousins skated how commanding he looked on the ice because of his long limbs. Curry seems to have been pretty tall. Evan is of above average height even for the general population, though. On Dancing with the Stars, this was pointed out.

    Interestingly, because so many women skaters are so tiny, the ones who are slightly bigger look very tall by comparison, so that I'm always shocked when I see Slutskaya off the ice and realize how small she is. On the ice, she looks large and muscular. Kerrigan was famous for looking tall, because at five-four or so, she was tall for a skater, but that's not really tall for a "civilian."

    Years ago there was a beautiful skater named Lisa-Marie Allen, who was a national silver medalist several times; she was five-eight. And I think Lucinda Ruh is even taller. Ruh is known to have had trouble with jumps.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't know how tall Tim Goebel is, but he seemed to have unusually narrow shoulders, and I think that gave him an advantage in jumps.
    actually he just had bad posture and I believe he is something like 5'8?

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    I remember Lisa-Marie Allen! Jennifer Robinson was also tall for a skater at 5'7 or 8.

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    I feel like the average height of a female skater is now 5'4", which is taller than it used to be.

    Yuna Kim
    Mao Asada
    Laura Lepisto
    Miki Ando
    Mirai Nagasu
    Akiko Suzuki
    Julia Sebestyen
    Sarah Meier

    Are all 5'4" (approximately). Alissa Czisny is also listed as 5'4" though I think she's now taller than that more like 5'6" maybe, and Caroline Zhang is also listed as 5'4" though she looks more 5'2"-5'3". Polina Shelepen and Anna Ovcharova are both 5'4" and probably still growing. Samantha Cesario and Amanda Dobbs are both listed 5'4" but look taller (maybe they have grown?). Christina Gao and Min-Jung Kwak are both about 5'3" now but will likely end up 5'4" when they are done growing. 5'4"-5'5" seems fine for a female skater, it's the 5'6"+s that seem to be inconsistent with jumps. Off the top of my head the female skaters who are 5'6"+ are:

    Zawadzki 5'6"
    Makarova 5'6"
    Korpi 5'6"
    Phanuef 5'7"
    Gilles 5'7"
    Kostner 5'7"

    Seems like there are very few top ladies above 5'7", and 5'6" seems to be where the inconsistency sets in. Zawadzki and Makarova are both 167 cm so more like 5'5.5" - and still young - so that may be why they are still pretty consistent.

    As for men, a lot of the men that do quads are actually pretty tall. Abbott is 5'10", Joubert is 5'10', Verner is 5'11", Bradley is 6'. I'm not convinced height matters all that much. That being said, Oda is 5'4", Takahashi is 5'5", Chan, Kozuka, Rippon, Brezina are all 5'7", and they are successful too.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 08-29-2010 at 11:32 AM.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    I feel like the average height of a female skater is now 5'4", which is taller than it used to be.

    Yuna Kim
    Mao Asada
    Laura Lepisto
    Miki Ando
    Mirai Nagasu
    Akiko Suzuki

    Are all 5'4" (approximately). Alissa Czisny is also listed as 5'4" though I think she's now taller than that more like 5'6" maybe, and Caroline Zhang is also listed as 5'4" though she looks more 5'2"-5'3". Polina Shelepen and Anna Ovcharova are both 5'4" and probably still growing. Samantha Cesario and Amanda Dobbs are both listed 5'4" but look taller (maybe they have grown?). Christina Gao and Min-Jung Kwak are both about 5'3" now but will likely end up 5'4" when they are done growing.

    As for men, a lot of the men that do quads are actually pretty tall. Abbott is 5'10", Joubert is 5'10', Verner is 5'11", Bradley is 6'. I'm not convinced height matters all that much.
    I knew you could not resist this thread -
    but it might help if you had your heights right. Caroline is taller than Mirai last time I saw a photo of them standing side by side.
    And if Joubert - aka peewee - is 5'10 then Tom Crusie is 6'4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I knew you could not resist this thread -
    but it might help if you had your heights right. Caroline is taller than Mirai last time I saw a photo of them standing side by side.
    And if Joubert - aka peewee - is 5'10 then Tom Crusie is 6'4.
    Joubert has been listed as 179 cm (5'10.5") for the past several years. I trust the stat listed by the ISU. And Mirai always looks about an inch taller than Caroline in recent photos, and Mirai's not even a full 5'4", as in an article before the Olympics it said she was 5'3.5", and at the small medal ceremonies at worlds, she looked about an inch shorter than Mao and Laura, who are both about 5'4.5".

    I'm still not convinced Yuna isn't 5'6"/5'7" though...she looks really tall in a lot of pictures.

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Joubert is around 1.79 to 1.80m, but does Tom Cruise jump quads?

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