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Thread: Harness - helps jumps or not worth it?

  1. #1
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    Question Harness - helps jumps or not worth it?

    I'm working on my axel, double salchow, and double toe loop, and am starting prep for later doubles also. However, I have a huge problem with crossing my legs in the air. Sometimes I do, but not all the time.

    So, I was thinking of getting a few lessons in a harness (going to talk about it with my coach first) to help with the 'feel' of the jumps. Do you think this is a good idea or is it not worth it?

    I've never tried the harness before, have any of you tried it, and did it help?

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    I really don't know about the harness, but I think that practicing your jumps a lot off-ice could help you...

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    The harness was instrumental in getting me to finally land my axel and double salchow on the ice. First, I got my axel consistent on the floor, in sneakers. Then I did them with my coach on the harness, and finally, off the harness. If you can't land an axel on the floor yet, you might benefit from some off-ice lessons with your coach so you can get the techinque and timing down before trying them on the harness. From my own experience and what I've seen from others, working on the axel on the harness before you can land them on the floor does not tend to accomplish much. Also, you want your coach to refrain from pulling unless he sees you starting to fall. If your coach helps lift you, you won't develop the quick timing you need to do it on your own.

    Incidentally, you don't need to cross your legs in the air on the axel. However, you DO need to get your weight balanced over your landing side in order to get the rotation and land on one foot. That means bringing your landing hip around and getting backward over it, straightening the landing leg and lifting the thigh of the takeoff leg as you do so. Only then do you pull your arms and free leg in. If you are doing that transition correctly, the calf of your free leg should automatically end up in front of the knee of your landing leg. Floor axels are perfect for getting this technique and timing down.

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    There's no harness at our rink, and the skaters seem to do just fine.

    During the time it was closed, one of the girls went to another city to have a lesson or two, and they used the harness on her because she's working on her Axel. It destroyed what technique she had gained for the jump. After those lessons in the harness she said she couldn't "feel" the jump anymore. They practically had to start from scratch.

    Personally I'm inclined to think it's a safety blanket. I'm also of the view that Mishin's students have the best jumps in the world...and he sure doesn't use a harness.

  5. #5
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    Thank you very much to all of you

    I can do all doubles up to an underrotated double axel off ice, so that's not the problem. I think I'm going to work on height a bit so hopefully that should help.

    I can do axels without crossing my feet, but when I don't cross my feet I land on a completely flat blade, which I know isn't good..I think I'm just going to keep practicing and forget about the harness for now!

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    Sitting Here on Blue Jay Way silver.blades's Avatar
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    The harness is really only helpful if there's a confidence issue or possibly a chronic two foot problem. The harness can allow a little more time in the air to sort out the timing of the free foot or take the fear associated with falling out of the jump. I know coaches who swear by it, but it really it depends on the skater. My coach used the harness with me once and I lost everything I tried with it. I know other skaters who after a week on the harness had the jump consistent, so there's really no right answer.

  7. #7
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    The Harness is helpful in certain situations, I wouldnt advise anyone learning axels and the first doubles to use it as you really just have to start getting the feeling of rotating more on those jumps and they come. I had a student who was really struggling on her double axel where she would always land just a little short on 2 feet as she would open up early, she had some lessons on the pole harness, and that helped her to get the feeling of staying in until she was fully round and she got the jump the next week. If possible I would use a pole harness and not the pulley type one as this does not replicate the feeling of a real jump unless used very well

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    Ok great, thank you very much!

    I think I'll see how my jumps go without the harness for a bit, and then maybe give it a try for 30mins or so if I'm having major difficulties.

  9. #9
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    There are lots of private lesson coaches at the rink here and yet I have only ever seen one using a harness with a student. What that tells me is that the majority of coaches do not consider it particularly helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by treesprite View Post
    There are lots of private lesson coaches at the rink here and yet I have only ever seen one using a harness with a student. What that tells me is that the majority of coaches do not consider it particularly helpful.
    Another possible explanation is that not all coaches know how to use the harness. There is a lot of skill involved in operating the harness and if the coach is not good at it, the student will find the process difficult and frustrating.

  11. #11
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    There are two different harnesses: handheld "fishing pole" harness and traditional "track" harness.

    Some skaters strongly prefer the handheld version and this article describes it nicely:

    Now, one of the advantages that the pole has over a traditional “track harness” system is that the skater can skate across the entire rink and use their own preferred set-up, or even their program entrance, for the jump they are working on. They are not “tied-down” to doing the jump “on a line” at one end of the rink. They can also skate full-out and enter the jump with as much speed as they need or want. Another advantage is that the pole harness does NOT allow a coach to lift a student and basically HANG them up in the air like you sometimes see people doing with the track system. There is no “artificial” feeling of being hoisted up into the air by the coach, as the pole does not allow for this. The skater truly feels what it is like to execute the jump on their own.
    Of course, the heavier the skater, the more difficult to "pole".

  12. #12
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffionhanathomas View Post
    I'm working on my axel, double salchow, and double toe loop, and am starting prep for later doubles also. However, I have a huge problem with crossing my legs in the air. Sometimes I do, but not all the time.
    Getting in that backspin position will not really be helped by a harness lesson. Basically, you need to work on that transition. The best things to work on for that are Axel+loop as you need to be in the correct position to be able to do the loop and Axel+backspin or multi-twizzle (double or triple) with free foot in front/crossed where that backspin has to start almost as soon as you land. If you are landing flat, you are probably also under rotated which will also be fixed (typically) by getting in that backspin position. A non-jumping exercise for this is forward outside take off edge (with free foot coming through)-hop to forward inside edge on the other foot (no rotation)-snap to backspin.

  13. #13
    Rinkside
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    I think it really depends on how you learn. I sometimes get scared of jumping to the point that it's holding me back from trying at all, in which case the harness is quite helpful. And I've seen other skaters who have benefited greatly from it. Mostly, it helps to build confidence when trying new jumps, and also to 'slow down' the timing a bit so you can think about what to do a bit more.

    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    I'm also of the view that Mishin's students have the best jumps in the world...and he sure doesn't use a harness.
    Uh, in that case, what is this mysterious device that Gachinski appears to be using here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofahFa7T--M ? Looks like a harness to me...

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