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Thread: "un"pointed toes

  1. #16
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Country: United States of America

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    Originally posted by nthuz
    It is impossible to point one's toes in figure skating boots in the way that a dancer points toes. The foot that is laced into a boot cannot arch due to the stiff sole. The "illusion" of pointed toes [in skaters] comes from the bending the ankle.

    The extent to which the ankle can bend depends on the boot (and of course the skater's determination). Usova and other dancers have better "point" becuase the top of a dance boot is cut much lower-especially in the back, allowing for greater flexibility of the ankle. Freestyle boots need to be higher and stiffer for the skater doing jumps...

    I always wondered about Butyrskya's (sp?) back--seemed like her knees never bent when she landed.
    That is interesting information about toes and boots, Nthuz.

    OT about Maria Butyrskaya, I read in Spotlight on Skating magazine that Maria has just landed an endorsement contract in Japan for Fuji Film for a fee "in the middle 6 figures."


  2. #17
    On the Ice
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    Aug 2003

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    I heard that Sasha left the gym because she tried skating with a friend from the gym. She wanted both but her mom told her to pick one. She chose skating. Her mom was happy because Galina didnt like the idea of her 7 y/o daughter doing backflips on the beam because if she made an error, she wouldnt just fall and slide like in skating, she would fall to the ground from the height of the beam....

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

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    Right on, Nthuz, re boots, ankle range of motion, bending the knees, etc. in your post. Slightly OT, but all this reminds me of one of the main reasons behind the design of the figure skating hinged boot, which was developed by sports medicine/figure skating specialists of the American College of Sports Medicine. BTW, iif you look up "hinged figure skating boot" or any variation thereof on Google, all you'll get is the "clap boot" for speed skaters, which is totally different. I got my info from a TV news report prior tot he '02 Olympics on the FS hinged boot. Anyway, the FS hinged boot has a metal hinge at the ankle so that the skater still has stability but can also both plantar extend (point) and plantar flex (pull the toe up) the ankle more than in current skate boots. According to computerized biomechanical analysis, this allows for the shock absorption from jump landings to be more evenly spread out among the ankle, knee, hip, and lower back. With current skate boots, most of the landing force from a jump is absorbed by the hip. Don't know why there hasn't been more interest in the FS hinged boot other than to invoke the following quotation:
    "The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it." -- P. B. Medawar.

    Sasha had a stress fracture in one of the vertebra in her lower back when she withdrew from Nationals in '01. Lots of possible reasons for a vertebral stress fracture.

    Oksana Baiul had beautiful toe point, especially from '94 through '97. Just saw her live recently with SOI. She looked very fit and "together" as a performer, though a bit shaky on a few things. Landed all her jumps, but tended to rake the toe of the free leg--an old habit of hers. Toes pointed but not as much as back in the day. But when Oksana hits a good 2Axel, it's still one of the best in the biz, I must say. I hope she continues skating as I'd be interested to see how she looks after another year of training and performing.

    An interesting lack of toe point belongs to Elena Berezhnaya. I have no idea why in Lena's case, but I do know that some people have a bony extension on the calcaneus (heel bone) that prevents them from having a full "toe point" ie, ankle extension (plantar extension). Some dancers have surgery to file down that part of the calcaneus so they can point their toes, but unless it's really bad, I can't see the need for a figure skater to do it.


  4. #19
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    Aug 2003

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    I always thought Jenni Meno had a beautiful toe point.

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