Compulsory figures info?

FSGMT

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Figures fascinate me, and I would like to learn how to do the easiest one with my skates, but I don't really understand a lot of things (I wasn't watching skating in the figures era), like which is the correct position, how many repetitions you have to do for each figure, which are the criteria for which the figure is well done etc... Do you know where I can find some stuff (a book, video, DVD, anything) that can explain me how to do them? Or is there any former figures coach/competitor/fan that can give me some advices? Thank you! :)
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
There were plenty of books published during the figures era that gave detailed verbal instruction for executing figures and other skating moves, along with drawings or photographs. Not as useful as videos or on-ice lessons, but better than nothing.

Most of them are out of print now -- you can try to find them online, through used bookstores, or maybe public libraries.

Authors that come to mind are Willy Boeckl, Maribel Vinson Owen, T.D. Richardson, Tina Noyes. The earlier in the 20th century they were published, the more time they would have spent on school figures technique. But try to look inside the books first -- e.g., Vinson Owen published several books and I don't recall offhand which had the most figures instruction.

This looks like it might be a useful video:
http://www.eturama.com/videos/figure-eights-dvd-6EE1bZ3jewc
 

FSGMT

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Today I went to the rink and tried doing some figures: I can do all the one-revolution jumps and both upright and sit spins, but I found it extremely difficult even to trace a clean circle that actually looked like a circle... My circles were actually eggs-like! :laugh: I discovered how difficult it is to keep a good flow for a circle that has a diameter that is three times your height without putting your free foot down, I didn't even attempt a Serpentine or putting a Three turn in it! Now I really admire those skaters who were able to trace clean circles and performing loops and brackets in it correctly...
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
It starts with a scribe, so that you learn how to set the circles. Only after you're good at doing a figure on scribed circles, are you likely to get a nice, round, correct-sized, on axis circles on a clean patch of ice.

Another good way to start is on roller skates, where they used to have the figures painted on the floor. Since they still compete figures on quad skates, I suspect some rinks still have them.

A photo of a kid with a scribe:
http://0.tqn.com/d/figureskating/1/0/1/e/-/-/kidsscribe2.jpg

A girl doing quad roller skate figures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et_vK3rbMBk
 

FSGMT

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
It starts with a scribe, so that you learn how to set the circles. Only after you're good at doing a figure on scribed circles, are you likely to get a nice, round, correct-sized, on axis circles on a clean patch of ice.

Another good way to start is on roller skates, where they used to have the figures painted on the floor. Since they still compete figures on quad skates, I suspect some rinks still have them.

A photo of a kid with a scribe:
http://0.tqn.com/d/figureskating/1/0/1/e/-/-/kidsscribe2.jpg

A girl doing quad roller skate figures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et_vK3rbMBk
I'm actually a roller figure skater so I know how to do figures on roller skates (yes, we have the tracing painted on the floor because we don't leave a "trace" on it), I do ice-skating just because I'm a fan and figures on ice are (better: used to be) really different from roller skating: our judging is mostly about posture and the technique in the turns, I understand that in ice skating figures were judged mostly basing on how precise the skaters were in tracing the circles and placing the turns (in the document that Kypma posted the rule says "Above all the skater should demonstrate a feeling for the general geometry of the figure"). And, since I go ice skating just for fun in a public (and often crowded) rink, I think they wouldn't allow me to use a scribe! ;)
(I could do a comprison thread one day, to explain the differences and maybe post some links of our best roller skaters: this forum is about "figure skating" in general, right, not specifically "ice figure skating"?)
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
Many GSers are interested in roller skating.

I learned figures on rollers, and moved them to pond ice-no one cared what you drew on the duck pond near my house when I was a girl ;)
 

Ladskater

~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
My advice as a former figure skater who spent hours tracing school figures, join a figure skating club and take lessons from a skating coach. Learning to trace figures from a book or video just won't cut it.
 

leafygreens

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
My coach tested her 8th figure, and she is soooo talented! I have pondered asking her if there's anyway she can teach me the first figure test. I guess I'm afraid she will say "No! Of course you can't!" Time is limited, with no one teaching them anymore, and the judges getting older.
 

mskater93

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
leafy, you mean preliminary? (That IS the first test). The entirety of the preliminary figure test shows up in the moves in the field structure: edges on the line, outside 8, inside 8, waltz 8, but not to the same required quality level. You can learn them patch style and any judges who received their Bronze appointment before 1991 can judge Prelim-2nd (or Adult Bronze).

Both of my coaches passed their 8th and my secondary coach is HUGE on edge quality when working on skating skills and choreography. We've patched a variety of different flavors of turns to get familiar with them for MIF: the prejuvenile 3's, juvenile and intermediate double 3's, intermediate brackets, forward loops, counters and rockers so far. I am currently working on Novice MIF, so we've been focusing on the counters and forward loops when we get super-clean ice.
 
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