Safety first, definitely. What about "walking thru" the lifts and throws, just do sbs jumps and sbs spins? That will still count as something right? But if it becomes an issue of fed reputation then too bad
On the one hand I agree they don't have much to lose, but on the other hand - what a pressure cooker of a situation to be making your debut as a brand new pairs team. It might be better for them to develop under the radar instead of inviting buzz and speculations about their progress.
Since I don't have much knowlege in pairs skating, please allow me in advance if I am wrong on what I am writing below.
When skaters want to try pair skating, do they have to start their career specifically as a pair skater from the begining, so that means they have to start in their early career, say, 6 y.o. or 7 y.o?
Aren't there a couple of pairs skaters among top teams who once were single skaters at some point of their career? Robin Szolkowy, Ondrej Hotarek, both of Pang and Tong come to mind, for instance.
IIRC, Narumi herself was a single skater when she got started. She decided to switch to pair skating when she moved to China due to her fathers job because she was so impressed with the level of Chinese pair skaters who were dominant; Shen/Zhao, Pang/Tong and Zhangs! and she fell in love with pair skating back then. Isn't Mervin once a single skater? When Narumi and Mervin made a team, it was so hard for him to get used to how to lift her, I heard.
If you are not from countries that are powerhouse in figure skating; e.g. Russia, Canada and US, it must be so hard for any skaters to start their career as pair skaters and/or even ice dancers from the beginning, I think.
Is it a bit late and risky for Ryuichi to switch to pair skater at the age of 20/21? Probably yes. Then is it worthy for trying it? ABSOLUTELY! Gooo, Narumi & Ryuichi!
Last edited by deedee1; 02-15-2013 at 12:17 PM.
It's a good question. I've been checking a lot of skaters I thought were single skaters before pairs, only to find out that they had competed pairs & singles simultaneously. What is the oldest a skater switched to pairs and had some success (say top 10 Euros or Worlds)?
I thought John Baldwin would be my best guess, but he had actually competed pairs as a Junior with Tristan Coleil.
Who started pairs for the first time at over 20?
There is no rule you have to start skating at a specific age but it takes time to develop pairs skills and not only coordinating, timing and matching lines, spins, jumps but some of the pair moves take time ie lefts, throws, pair spins. If you do things later in life well you just don't have the practice and instead of building yourself up to lift say 65lb girl you are lifting now 115lbs right away without building up (or more). You've been used to controlling the speed of your spins and now you have to coordinate it with someone - not easy - position, distance, centred and change of position, speed etc. In some cases you may have two single skaters and they skated pairs but in the case of Dube and Davison - though they were both singles skaters their jumps did not align so they could not take advantage of their singles abilities. Ie. it isn't much help if the guy does the triple lutz well but the woman can't but does the flip well but he sucks at the flip. Being a big hulking guy can be somewhat a help in the lifts but if the coordination and timing isn't there, or he doesn't know how to use those muscles to do a lift - balance, form etc. well you just have a muscular guy. I don't think Takahashi's new partner is all that gigantic or muscular anyways. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes....oy.
They need to learn how to skate before they can start doing pairs tricks.
Pair skating at the lowest levels is mainly about stroking in unison and holding onto each other, and doing side-by-side moves in unison. That's all that 6 year olds would really be capable of. Sure, it helps with their eventual unison as a team if they've been skating together like that from an early age, but it's not necessary.
At a little bit older and more advanced, they start doing skills like basic pair spins, pivot spirals as precursor to death spirals, Group 1 (armpit) and Group 2 (waist) lifts that don't go all the way overhead, single throw jumps, as well as side-by-side moves.
Boys generally aren't physically ready to lift girls overhead until they've had their first major growth spurt -- generally midteens -- and also have the skating skills to be stable on the ice and the emotional maturity to be responsible about safety.
Some skaters do start doing pairs as preteens and continue all the way through. At the lower levels, they're doing lower-level skills. Others don't start until they're teenagers or older. Depending on age and level of singles skills, and how long it takes them to pick up pair skills, they might start competing at novice level or above and skip the lower developmental levels.
Pretty much all pair skaters were single skaters to begin with, for the reasons described above. Not all competed in singles, especially at the middle and higher levels, though.Aren't there a couple of pairs skaters among top teams who once were single skaters at some point of their career? Robin Szolkowy, Ondrej Hotarek, both of Pang and Tong come to mind, for instance.
For one example, I see Todd Sand first started pairs with his first partner at about age 22, after competing in singles for Denmark in his late teens. He later went on to win world medals with his second and third partners in his late 20s and 30s.
Doris, Skater Boy, Ziggy and gkelly, thank you SO MUCH for all your posts for explaining me more on pair skaters/skating into such details! As always, without any information, knowle'd'ge, opinions and/or thoughts from you, I never could have known that well about this sport that I love.
Morgan Cipres started pairs when he was 19.
If I were Narumi, I feel like I'd be worried. I mean, this guy's going to be lifting her 7 feet off the ice and throwing her up that high for triple twists. I'd feel pretty darn nervous even thinking about trying those tricks with someone who's never skated pairs and doesn't know what he's doing. In The Second Mark, Joy Goodwin mentions how much work it is for a pairs guy just to develop really good, fluent footwork for lifts. And then there's the whole issue of physical strength and learning the proper timing and leverage.
I'm sure that Sato/Dungjen have a plan for his training and development, though. They're obviously good, responsible coaches. It will be interesting to see how fast they can bring him along.
Certainly Sato took up pairs with Dungjen after her singles career. It's when the guy swaps disciplines that I worry. But at least, they have the vision of both singles & pairs experience.
Here's Kihara's SP from this past nationals... he certainly looks strong and capable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpnPep-ENhg
According to their bios, Kihara is about 5'8.5" and Tran is about 5'9".
Isn't there another Japanese pairs team that could skate th ough probably not make world tes for world team?