Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: ? about tall skaters and jumping

  1. #1
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    769

    ? about tall skaters and jumping

    I was just watching some Karen Kwan videos. I love the way she moved. She had/has? a very unique type of grace. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have had the jumps. From my reading, I gather she didn't have a flip or a lutz. Quite frankly, she didn't seem to have approached her triple loop attempts with any confidence either. I was wondering if her height made jumping more difficult. She's 5' 7''. Also, could that have been the problem for Lucinda Ruh?

    I have researched it a bit and get several different answers. This being figure skating, it came as no suprise. I would love to have more opinions. So, are taller figure skaters at a disadvantage when it comes to jumping and why?

    I realize that greater height usually means greater weight, which mght be a factor. That can't be the case for Karen Kwan.

    TIA
    Last edited by SusanBeth; 07-04-2004 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    801
    I also loved to watch Karen Skate!!! She was so lanky that certain movements looked like she was underwater if that makes any sense... she was just very very gracefull in a different way than we usually see. I liked her program to The Mission a lot, I felt that the music really suited her.

    I dont know anything about if her height hurt her jumps, because I have no skating experience myself... maybe some of the folks who hang out in the lutz corner could be of more help.

  3. #3
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    3,570
    I have understood that jumping is more difficult for tall skaters, and from men I believe about 5´7" is seen as an ideal height. On the other hand there are much taller skaters that have won the Olympic gold (John Curry, Robin Cousins, Alexei Urmanov and Ilia Kulik), so the talent also comes into the picture...

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 07-04-2004 at 09:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    355
    Yes, generally tall skaters may have more problems with the jumps, it's a matter of physics. There is a reason why in men and ladies disciplines the skaters are shorter than in dance or pairs, where jumps don't count as much (or don't count at all in dance).

    The strength-to-weight ratio and the fact that there's more body mass distant from the rotational axis of the body when the skaters are tall are some of the reasons. Also the skaters' technique has to be sharper because for example, if the skater tilts a jump while in the air, this will be accentuated by the height, so there's a smaller margin of error.

    None of this means a tall skater can't jump, as some great jumpers are tall (Plushenko, Sabovcik...) but in general tall skaters have more trouble with the jumps because of physics reasons.

  5. #5
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,529
    Quote Originally Posted by RIskatingfan
    and the fact that there's more body mass distant from the rotational axis of the body when the skaters are tall are some of the reasons. Also the skaters' technique has to be sharper because for example, if the skater tilts a jump while in the air, this will be accentuated by the height, so there's a smaller margin of error.
    Suppose the rotaional axis is vertical, how is there particularly more boy weight "distant from it" on a tall skater? And if the skater's body weight is rather proportional to his height, I can't really see why a lean in the air would be accentuated by the height. However, it'd probably be a different case if the skater is tall AND very thin (Tobel comes to mind...).

  6. #6
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    355
    The position of your body doesn't matter to determine how much body weight it's distant from it, it's the length. The taller you are, the more distant your feet and your hair are from the center of rotation. It's like a train. It's easier to "drive" and control a train with two compartments than a train with 5 or 6, it's longer and heavier. Same goes for the skater. And the lean in the air would also be accentuated by this. Try to imagine a 2ft stick and how it would look if it was leaning and then try to imagine another stick, same lean, but with 4ft. The extremities of the body are further from its center.

    Let's put it this way - when you're taller, you have more "body" (LOL) to control.

    It was told to me like this and it made sense, sorry if I can't explain it the same way it was explained to me

  7. #7
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,094
    It's no accident that there aren't that many really tall skaters who've made it to the top. I think it may have something to do with the fact that taller people have a different body ratio where the legs are longer in proportion to the torso.

    There is always the exception, of course. But Ruh, Volchkova and Robinson have never achieved the same success as Ito, Yamaguchi or Lipinski. Oksana Baiul had great success as a tiny 15-year-old, but the 5'6" Baiul has never been the same skater. I wonder if Kostner will run into problems, especially if she grows any taller.

    I often attend the ballet and have also noticed that most of the male dancers aren't overly tall. There have been a few really tall top male ballet dancers, but like the skaters, they are few and far between.

  8. #8
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,207
    I think Dick Button once used Tobel as an example of why it's harder for someone taller to jump well. As someone else said, there's a lot more body to control. The stick example is a good example of how it accentuates the lean. Also, consider the difference when trying to twirl a 2 foot sitck vs a 4 ft stick. The 4ft stick is more likely to show bend at the ends than the 2 ft stick made of the same wood.

  9. #9
    average opinionated skate fan
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Reston, VA
    Posts
    930
    Another reason for the difficulty for taller skaters is that they tend to have more upper body strength (usually because of larger body mass) where a shorter skater can "even out" the proportions by weight/strength training. We've had a smiliar discussion about why women skaters tend not to "bulk up" too much when skating...Naturally, most women are stronger in the lower part of their bodies, when you overbuild the top, it throws off the ratio and therefore changes the center of gravity. This also includes spinning, in general, the lower the center of gravity, the faster and more centered the spin, however there is always Lucinda Ruh that proves that there is an exception to every rule.

    As someone metioned, this is why many taller men do better as pairs skaters. They can carry more substantial sums of body mass above the waist and in the arms to do the carries and throws, and even then, they can be so developed that they lose their ability to turn triple combos. These jumps are becoming increasingly the standard for pairs in elite competion.

  10. #10
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, Ca.
    Posts
    3,208
    Then there's Sabovck, as was mentioned earlier, whose vertical leap defies gravity. His tuck axel is beyond compare and was able to land triple-triple jumps and a quad back in 1996 during a pro competition........talk about tall, lean and lanky........42

  11. #11
    Skating Freak Barbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    1,489
    I think it has more to do with where your center of gravity is, instead of the increased weight factor. The taller you are, the higher your center of gravity, and, I assume, the more difficult to get off the ice high enough to complete triple/quad jumps. I think Laurent Tobel had difficulty with that as well. Probably why you don't see hardly any male single skaters over 6'0", and not too many near that height.

    Kasey

    Edited to add: Yep, and Jumpin Joe is definitely an exception to the rule! But remember, even he is only about 5'9".
    Last edited by Kasey; 07-04-2004 at 05:33 PM.

  12. #12
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185
    Quote Originally Posted by show 42
    Then there's Sabovck, as was mentioned earlier, whose vertical leap defies gravity. His tuck axel is beyond compare and was able to land triple-triple jumps and a quad back in 1996 during a pro competition........talk about tall, lean and lanky........42
    I believe that individuals are blessed with natural abilitites. One of those abilities in figure skating is to easily rotate in the air. Whatever the reason, be it center of gravity or something else, those skaters are blessed.

    Not unlike those jumpers in the Summer Olympics. They have natural spring in the their legs. Center of gravity? or just plain gentically blessed?

    Joe

  13. #13
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,434
    I don't understand why a man, say 5'8" would be able to pull off jumps a woman of the same height would find difficult. If I think of that stick analogy posted by Rlskatingfan, wouldn't both people have the same amount of "stick" to rotate?

    I admit it: I never took Physics in high school or college.
    :o

  14. #14
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    355
    Don't forget that the differences between a man's and a woman's body go far beyond those first one or two things you immediately think about

  15. #15
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,207
    Men can generally pull off more difficult jumps than the ladies because of their upper body strength and general body shape. Breasts and Hips slow down rotation. I think Discovery had a special that involved the physics of skating. Tim Goebal apparently has a perfect physique for being able to do quads - broad shoulders and slim hips. Most of the ladies that do quads are either somewhat pre-pubescent or are genetically fortunate to not be overly endowed in this sport.

    It also 'explains' why most successful male skaters are older and why the young female phenoms seem to be impacted more by growth spurts.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. In Celebration of Phenomenal TECHNICAL Single Skaters! (;^D
    By Nadine in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 04-25-2004, 11:05 PM
  2. Naomi Nari Nam
    By Longhornliz in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 04-19-2004, 08:20 AM
  3. Skaters' biggest contributions
    By lulu in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-01-2004, 01:45 PM
  4. Why Kwan won't go pro...ever
    By Kwanisqueen81 in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 09-16-2003, 11:18 PM
  5. Underrated Skaters
    By lulu in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-24-2003, 08:36 PM

Posting Permissions

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