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Thread: ? about tall skaters and jumping

  1. #16
    I keep on fallin' for Kwan
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    I think Discovery had a special that involved the physics of skating.
    Really? I would love to see that the next time it airs. I'm not one who is interested in physics (or any other scientific subjects) but I guess this topic here would definitely get me interested.

    Speaking of tall male single skaters, Jordan Brauninger himself is 6'1". From what I'm reading here, it seems he'll be having some trouble in the future with his jumps because of his height. I hope he's an exception. :(

  2. #17
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote:
    I think Discovery had a special that involved the physics of skating.

    If I remember correctly the Discovery Channel's examples were Tim and Sasha both of whom have slim hips. Although Sasha has not landed a quad, I believe she has made the 4 air rotations. So maybe the physics involved there are correct as far as rotations go (landing a jump is one of technique not physics).

    However, as to the slim hips, Midori Ito was not slim hipped, and for her she was a powerful jumper. Irina, too, is not slim hipped.

    As to height. I do believe there is a physical law about a more concise body can spin faster in the air than a large body. But laws can be broken

    Joe

  3. #18
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Sasha's landed a quad, but only in practice (it was shown during one of the GP events a couple years ago). As for the physics of rotational speed, I remember Cathy Casey commenting on this in the early/mid 90s. She said she helped with a study of jumps and what it takes to go from doubles to triples, etc. They found it took a quicker snap with the arms at pulling in rather than a higher leap....meaning, you need stronger arms, not necessarily stronger legs.

    As for the tall issue, I can attest to that. I'm 6'5" and used to compete in pairs. I trained up through 3 of my doubles (loop, toe and Sal) before 'retiring'. My coach really worked with me on getting my jumps as near to vertical each time because yes, any deviation from that resulted in greater lean in the air.

  4. #19
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    Sasha's Quad

    Joe - Here's a video clip of Sasha landing her quad sow in practice.

  5. #20
    SkateFan4Life
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    I also enjoyed watching Karen Kwan as a competitive figure skater. She was elegant and musical; however, she did not have the technical content to challenge for a top spot at US Nationals. If I recall this correctly, her highest placement at Nationals was fifth in 1996, the year her younger sister Michelle won her first of eight national titles. Michelle had the lutz, loop, flip, etc - everything but the triple axel - while her sister Karen did not have a consistent lutz or loop.

    As far as being a "tall" skater is concerned, Karen was actually not "tall" - she is around 5'4" I believe. Compared to her sister, of course, she looked "tall".

    There have been a number of "tall" women skaters who have achieved success - Lisa-Marie Allen of the US comes to mind - the leggy, California skater who won three US silver medals behind Linda Fratianne. Sarah Hughes, who won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics, looked "tall" on the ice, but that did not prevent her from being the first woman to land two triple/triples at the Olympics.

    Overall, being tall places a burden of achieving the quick rotation that is needed to complete the triples. And female figure skaters who have quick growth spurts often have problems in restoring their rotation, timing, and completion of their triples.

    IMHO, I would rather see women reach the top in their twenties, when they have grown into mature young women, rather than reach the top at 15 or 16, when, in many cases, they are still maturing and have not yet developed an adult body.
    Just my own opinion, of course.

  6. #21
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    IMHO, I would rather see women reach the top in their twenties, when they have grown into mature young women, rather than reach the top at 15 or 16, when, in many cases, they are still maturing and have not yet developed an adult body.
    Just my own opinion, of course.
    ITA. I for one prefer watching a woman skate, instead of a prepubescent girl. It doesn't help the sport knowing that these girls may no longer be competitive once they've gone through puberty. Tara is a prime example - her hip was too damaged to allow her to continue to compete and develop as an artist. Michelle is lucky to have avoided these types of injuries, and I personally think that Sasha may risk reinjuring her back if she works too hard for a consistent quad. I hope all of the young jumping beans out there thinking that a quad is the surest way to win are lucky enough to not suffer permanent injury. It may be a shock, but there is life after a skating competition.

  7. #22
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    As far as being a "tall" skater is concerned, Karen was actually not "tall" - she is around 5'4" I believe. Compared to her sister, of course, she looked "tall".
    I just looked it up to be sure and Karen is listed as being 5' 7'' in several sources. That wouldn't be tall for a woman, but it is for a skater. In pictures with Michelle, she is taller by a head. So, I believe 5' 7'' is accurate.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug
    Joe - Here's a video clip of Sasha landing her quad sow in practice.
    Hi Bitty Bug - I never thought that Sasha did not land a quad in practice. A close friend of mine saw Todd Eldridge land a few and I watched Johnny Weir land one in practice I've only seen Miki Ando's in competition and she underroted the jump but I can believe she lands it in practice. Practice and Performance are really two different things. Sometimes Performance wins out.

    Hi Spinner - Nice to know we have a former skater in the Forum. I believe your description of Cathy Casey explaining the technique used to execute a quad is more than likely the way it goes. But I think that technique will work only for those who are blessed with natural rotation. It]s the genetic thing. Some people can jump high because of the natural spring in the legs and other can rotate in the air because of the innate ability to do so. I really believe the only quads we will see are from those who have the natural talent to rotate together with the technique as taught by someone like Cathy Casey.

    I do not see everyone executing quads in future as we saw with double axels. Just my thoughts.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 07-05-2004 at 04:25 PM.

  9. #24
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    Sarah Hughes wasn't all that tall when she won her OGM. She was about 5'3", only an inch taller than Kwan, and Sarah probably looked taller because she was very thin during her Olympic season. During the 2002-2003 season, it was mentioned that she had grown an inch and her USFSA bio showed her at 5'4". She is even taller than that now.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Hi Spinner - Nice to know we have a former skater in the Forum.
    Thanks! A bit more background on me...I competed against John Zimmerman once in novice pairs.

  11. #26
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner
    Thanks! A bit more background on me...I competed against John Zimmerman once in novice pairs.
    You're modest you should say you competed against a Worlds bronze medalist!! Hope you are still skating and learning to be a judge. We need them.

    Joe

  12. #27
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Don't forget National champ! LOL Yup, I still skate when I can, but not as much as I'd like to. Not sure if I want to be a judge though--lots of time involved (which I don't have) and I don't know if I could take the pressure!
    Last edited by Spinner; 07-07-2004 at 08:57 AM.

  13. #28
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    "compact" skaters do have the advantage over taller skaters; however, being a good jumper really has not much to do with height as it does with ability. One has to have lots of "spring." I am short (5' 1") and jumping was not my strength in skating. I just did not possess enough "spring" and it does take some real courage at times to go into a jump.

    I think tall skaters look better as ice dancers (especially the men); a bit of a cliche, but they do look better than shorter skaters in this discipline.

    As was mentioned "jumping Joe" is quite tall and there have been other champions over the years who fall into the "tall" category for figure skating. So really it depends mostly on ones abilities in the end.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe
    Sarah Hughes wasn't all that tall when she won her OGM. She was about 5'3", only an inch taller than Kwan, and Sarah probably looked taller because she was very thin during her Olympic season. During the 2002-2003 season, it was mentioned that she had grown an inch and her USFSA bio showed her at 5'4". She is even taller than that now.
    The stats in dianesrink.com put her as 5'5". The Sports Illustrated for Kids trading card of her put her as 5'6". So now I'm confused. *lolz*

  15. #30
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    It always seemed to me that the perfect shape for rotating is a sphere. Quad? the earth can do a quadrillion, and is training for a quint. It seems like the physics ought to favor skaters who have as much of their mass as possible in the plane through their center of gravity perpendicular to the axis of rotation. Like a gyroscope, which can spin virtually forever.

    I just checked it out on my desk. The short, round top is still spinning. But when I tried to spin a pencil on its point he only managed a double.

    Maybe jumps are different from spins. I don't see how long, tall, beautiful Lucinda Ruh can spin at all!

    Mathman

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