Questions for a beginner skater (14 yo)

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Being a beginner and all, I have a lot of questions that I think can be answered if I provide specific details with my experience. I've been reading a lot of threads with the same questions as me, but each individual skater has different factors so I can't really get a certain answer that applies to me.
Here are the details about me that might help you answer my questions:
- 14 years old, 58kg, 164 cm in height.
- When I say I'm a beginner, I'm not like a single-jumps beginner. I'm a true, real beginner. 2 months ago I was clinging to the barrier lol. I can skate forwards at a pretty fast pace but on the risk of looking like a hockey player, forwards/backwards swizzles, one foot glides (except me relying on inside edges makes me turn in a curve), can do backwards c pushes, snowplow stop on right foot.
- Did kickboxing prior for 2 years, so I have pretty strong legs. NOT flexible at all however.
- I own Edea Overtures.
- I live in New Zealand so the learn to skate program, I think, is pretty different from other countries.
- I used to skate around 3 - 4 hours a week. Now its school holidays, Im skating 10 hours a week which I know doesn't sound like much (but I've only a 2 week holiday, so that's 20 hours total for the holidays). Planning to bump it up when next school term starts, so I'll be skating at least 5 - 7 hours. That is, if I am successful in not procrastinating my school work ahahah.

Okay, time for the questions that you're probably tired of hearing:
- What's a realistic goal for me? Still not certain if I want to compete or become a confident recreational figure skater, but would double jumps be a good possibility for me? For someone who starts at 14, could they later on achieve triples? (I would say I have some drive, but this could be because I haven't been fully exposed to the difficult elements of figure skating yet).
- What is talent in figure skating? What is considered raw, natural potential in a skater? What makes you go 'Hey, this person might go far.'
- Am I skating enough for my level? Will I progress at this rate with the hours I've been spending on ice?
- Are my feet supposed to hurt for the first 15 - 30 mins of being in my skates? I've owned my Overtures for a month now. For the first parts of when I skate I feel like I'm getting Kerriganned in the foot arch. I need to hop of the ice or hold the barrier or do high knees to ease the arch pain.
- When will I need to get new skates? The lady where I got them from said her Overtures lasted her for 5 years.
- Tips for one foot glides? I'm totally stumped. Skating backwards came pretty easily but skating on one leg was just horrendous.
- I've realised after 2 hours of attempting one foot glides, my blades/ankles are bent in, I'm always on my inside edge. When I skate, I skate pretty fast to the point I'm almost sprinting like a hockey player, but I realise I burn up so much energy doing this. I'm ALWAYS on my inside edge. Will this go away when I progress further and learn how to balance on my flat edge? This question, I'm concerned about because I don't want to spend hours and my parent's money for ice time only to worsen my technique. My ankles are always bending inwards.:confused::confused:

Anyways... that's all of my questions (for now. whoops). I genuinely appreciate it if you've read through all this and have taken the time to answer. Thanks! Also, I live in NZ which sometimes have different terms for basic moves (we still call salchows, salchows, dont worry) so if there's a bit of confusion, blame that.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Being a beginner and all, I have a lot of questions that I think can be answered if I provide specific details with my experience. I've been reading a lot of threads with the same questions as me, but each individual skater has different factors so I can't really get a certain answer that applies to me.
Here are the details about me that might help you answer my questions:
- 14 years old, 58kg, 164 cm in height.
- When I say I'm a beginner, I'm not like a single-jumps beginner. I'm a true, real beginner. 2 months ago I was clinging to the barrier lol. I can skate forwards at a pretty fast pace but on the risk of looking like a hockey player, forwards/backwards swizzles, one foot glides (except me relying on inside edges makes me turn in a curve), can do backwards c pushes, snowplow stop on right foot.
- Did kickboxing prior for 2 years, so I have pretty strong legs. NOT flexible at all however.
- I own Edea Overtures.
- I live in New Zealand so the learn to skate program, I think, is pretty different from other countries.
- I used to skate around 3 - 4 hours a week. Now its school holidays, Im skating 10 hours a week which I know doesn't sound like much (but I've only a 2 week holiday, so that's 20 hours total for the holidays). Planning to bump it up when next school term starts, so I'll be skating at least 5 - 7 hours. That is, if I am successful in not procrastinating my school work ahahah.

Okay, time for the questions that you're probably tired of hearing:
- What's a realistic goal for me? Still not certain if I want to compete or become a confident recreational figure skater, but would double jumps be a good possibility for me? For someone who starts at 14, could they later on achieve triples? (I would say I have some drive, but this could be because I haven't been fully exposed to the difficult elements of figure skating yet).
- What is talent in figure skating? What is considered raw, natural potential in a skater? What makes you go 'Hey, this person might go far.'
- Am I skating enough for my level? Will I progress at this rate with the hours I've been spending on ice?
- Are my feet supposed to hurt for the first 15 - 30 mins of being in my skates? I've owned my Overtures for a month now. For the first parts of when I skate I feel like I'm getting Kerriganned in the foot arch. I need to hop of the ice or hold the barrier or do high knees to ease the arch pain.
- When will I need to get new skates? The lady where I got them from said her Overtures lasted her for 5 years.
- Tips for one foot glides? I'm totally stumped. Skating backwards came pretty easily but skating on one leg was just horrendous.
- I've realised after 2 hours of attempting one foot glides, my blades/ankles are bent in, I'm always on my inside edge. When I skate, I skate pretty fast to the point I'm almost sprinting like a hockey player, but I realise I burn up so much energy doing this. I'm ALWAYS on my inside edge. Will this go away when I progress further and learn how to balance on my flat edge? This question, I'm concerned about because I don't want to spend hours and my parent's money for ice time only to worsen my technique. My ankles are always bending inwards.:confused::confused:

Anyways... that's all of my questions (for now. whoops). I genuinely appreciate it if you've read through all this and have taken the time to answer. Thanks! Also, I live in NZ which sometimes have different terms for basic moves (we still call salchows, salchows, dont worry) so if there's a bit of confusion, blame that.

Here's advice from a former elite/now pro: You will probably NOT get triples at this point. There are people that start long before you and don't achieve that goal.
You are skating too much for your level and really need to get a good coach and learn the proper way to do things or you are just hurting yourself in the longrun.
One of the things you need to do is learn to use all of your edges front inside, front outside, back inside, back outside, and the proper way to use your rocker and picks.

You will need a new pair of skates when those break down. For the pair that you are wearing right now, did you get a professional figure skating fitter to fit you? Did they take tracings and measurements of your foot? If not then you don't even know if those are the proper skates for your foot.

You need to start working on exercises off-ice that improve your flexibility even somewhat.

Realistic goals for you currently is to get a coach and learn the proper basics. Then see where you progress from there.

Good luck!
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
You definitely need a coach, and possibly less ice time. 3 hours a week doing things right is better than 7 hours doing things incorrectly.

I had similar issues with backwards 1 foot glides - my ankles naturally roll inwards. My coach explained I needed to fight my body, focus on staying on that flat and gliding. I have similar issues with my hips dropping and turning in.

Who knows what the future holds, I'm 29 and visually impaired - I never thought I'd jump and now I have a fairly nice waltz jump, and salchow and toe loop attempts. Never thought I'd spin on 1 foot either, and I'm working on that too.

Get a coach, get those basics solid and go from there. My coach had me doing forwards crossovers this morning, because he feels they need to be stronger.

Also try and get to a good skate fitter - I had arch pain and cramping issues in my old Edeas, they were totally wrong for me and now I'm happily skating in Jacksons :)
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
- I've realised after 2 hours of attempting one foot glides, my blades/ankles are bent in, I'm always on my inside edge. When I skate, I skate pretty fast to the point I'm almost sprinting like a hockey player, but I realise I burn up so much energy doing this. I'm ALWAYS on my inside edge. Will this go away when I progress further and learn how to balance on my flat edge? This question, I'm concerned about because I don't want to spend hours and my parent's money for ice time only to worsen my technique. My ankles are always bending inwards.:confused::confused:
You need to have a competent skate tech or coach look at your skates and feet. If your ankles are constantly flopping over to the inside, there are several likely causes:

(1) The boots are too big.

(2) The boots are broken down.

(3) You aren't lacing the boots properly.

(4) Your feet strongly pronate. If this is the case, you need: (a) corrective footbeds, (b) remounting the blades to the inside, or (c) shimming the blades to raise the outside edges. You may need one or more of the above corrective actions.
 

tothepointe

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
At your stage of skating falling on the inside edges is common. It's not normal but your not supposed to but it is a common error. In addition to the suggests from tstop4me I would suggest ankle strengthening and balance exercises.

I wouldn't rule out your falling on an inside being related to your balance and not getting your weight up and over your supporting leg. I was an ultra slow progressing beginner for years until I actually started to work on my balance off ice every day. Now it's something I'm constantly complimented on.

The good news is you can work on your balance almost anywhere and it's free to do so.

I'm a fellow kiwi btw. Though I've lived in the US for the last 20 years.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Thanks! And yes, I did get my foot measured and such. I emailed the skate technician and she said it was normal, but I just wondered if anybody else had the same experience.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Boots are NOT broken down, got them brand new. They were fitted properly, they fit like a glove. I remember tying laces too tightly that my shin would hurt a LOT. Turns out in Edeas you need to tie them softer at the top which significantly reduced my shin pain and leaved more room for ankle bend. but I definitely need to work on strengthening my ankle.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Good point. Except basics are all taught in groups, and the instructors don't pay attention to you unless you're really struggling. Even then, my current instructor just showed us backwards swizzles once and I had to figure it out from there. :/ So it's going to be a really long time till I get my own coach.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Ay! Did you learn how to skate in NZ?
I'm practicing now by standing on one foot when I do generic stuff like brushing my teeth. Really hope I stop relying on inside edges as I progress.
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
Do your ankles turn in off the ice as well? If so, that's a posture problem called overpronation. If that's the case, consider yourself very lucky that you caught it so young! :) If you have access to a gym, maybe a personal trainer or a good PE teacher could help you with your balance and flexibility. There are definitely useful skate modifications for overpronation if you actually have that and it isn't the skates, but in some cases, it's caused by muscle weaknesses or imbalances that can be fixed so you don't need modifications.

Can you get private lessons? I don't know for sure how it works in New Zealand, but in the US, getting your own coach is a matter of being able to pay for private lessons, not anything to do with your level.

As for your skates, skates might hurt while breaking them in, but they shouldn't after a month.

At this point, it's impossible to tell how far you might progress. Triples are highly unlikely for anyone who starts at 14, although you never know. There are skaters who start much older than 14 and get doubles, but there isn't really any way that I know of to tell whether or not any individual beginner will be one of them.
 

tothepointe

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Ay! Did you learn how to skate in NZ?
I'm practicing now by standing on one foot when I do generic stuff like brushing my teeth. Really hope I stop relying on inside edges as I progress.

No I didn't there weren't any ice rinks even remotely close to where I lived. Not that my parents would have been able to afford it anyways.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Do your ankles turn in off the ice as well? If so, that's a posture problem called overpronation. If that's the case, consider yourself very lucky that you caught it so young! :) If you have access to a gym, maybe a personal trainer or a good PE teacher could help you with your balance and flexibility. There are definitely useful skate modifications for overpronation if you actually have that and it isn't the skates, but in some cases, it's caused by muscle weaknesses or imbalances that can be fixed so you don't need modifications.

Can you get private lessons? I don't know for sure how it works in New Zealand, but in the US, getting your own coach is a matter of being able to pay for private lessons, not anything to do with your level.

As for your skates, skates might hurt while breaking them in, but they shouldn't after a month.

At this point, it's impossible to tell how far you might progress. Triples are highly unlikely for anyone who starts at 14, although you never know. There are skaters who start much older than 14 and get doubles, but there isn't really any way that I know of to tell whether or not any individual beginner will be one of them.

Wow, thanks! Just stood in front of a mirror and realised that my ankles bend inwards in a little. Asked my mum if I had flat feet for confirmation, and she said a little bit. I'm doing stretches now before and after skating sessions.
In NZ, you need to complete basics in group lessons before moving onto private lessons and coaching. (Pretty normal, I assume). Max 15 people per instructor, so you only get attention from the instructor if you're realllly struggling, which can give you the impression you're doing things correct when you're actually making minor errors that can really impact your progress later on. :( I had to figure things out by watching videos and other people at the rink, which is a bit of a struggle when some of the terms we use for basics are different from country to country I think.
And yeah, since I've only skated for 2 months I have no idea how far I'll go. Didn't want to sound unrealistic, because I did read a couple of threads where there were skaters who started in teens/adults who were able to complete triple jumps. Then again, that's a 1 in a million.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Do your ankles turn in off the ice as well? If so, that's a posture problem called overpronation. If that's the case, consider yourself very lucky that you caught it so young! :) If you have access to a gym, maybe a personal trainer or a good PE teacher could help you with your balance and flexibility. There are definitely useful skate modifications for overpronation if you actually have that and it isn't the skates, but in some cases, it's caused by muscle weaknesses or imbalances that can be fixed so you don't need modifications.

Can you get private lessons? I don't know for sure how it works in New Zealand, but in the US, getting your own coach is a matter of being able to pay for private lessons, not anything to do with your level.

As for your skates, skates might hurt while breaking them in, but they shouldn't after a month.

At this point, it's impossible to tell how far you might progress. Triples are highly unlikely for anyone who starts at 14, although you never know. There are skaters who start much older than 14 and get doubles, but there isn't really any way that I know of to tell whether or not any individual beginner will be one of them.

Also, what makes it highly unlikely? Is it the fear or that your body is too mature or weak as you age?
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Also, what makes it highly unlikely? Is it the fear or that your body is too mature or weak as you age?

It's unlikely that anyone will master triple jumps, because they require both high skill levels that take years of focused training to achieve, and also conducive body type: small, light, muscular with high proportion of fast-twitch muscles.

Also it seems that broader shoulders and narrower hips (i.e., a more typically male body type) are more conducive to generating quick rotation. Typical mature female curves tend to work against quick rotation.

Long legs can also be a problem.

It's easier for skaters who aren't full grown to rotate quickly because of size. But they still need to have put in the years of work to have developed the necessary skating and jumping skills.

It seems that skaters who start as young children get a better feel for balance and ease of movement on the ice into their nervous systems and muscle memory while those systems are still developing. Older starters have to work against years of ingrained movement patterns that don't translate to skating movement.

And yes, by early middle age if not before even small athletic adults will start to lose muscular elasticity and explosivity etc. "Aging" per se is not a problem for teenagers, but changes in body shape and size might work against the ability to jump high or rotate quickly.

Finally, the skaters who master triple jumps tend to have put in years of skating almost every day for several hours. Most adults, and teens who are serious about their education or other priorities, just don't usually have that amount of time to devote to skating training.

And even for young children as well as for teens and adults, it's rare to have the money and the proximity to an ice rink with that much figure skating practice time available.

So there are factors working against the chances of anybody mastering triple jumps, but more adverse factors for older starters.

Those who do succeed are exceptions, not the norm. If you get further into a figure skating career and start spending more time on freestyle practice sessions, you'll see a lot of children and teens working on double jumps and you probably won't see many triple jump attempts on a regular basis, or even double axels. The skaters you see on TV are not representative of what you would see at local rinks.

If you can put in the time and find a good private coach when the time comes, you probably would be able at least to work on some double jumps someday and hopefully land most kinds successfully. No guarantee, but they could be a reasonable long-term goal to aim for. If you have your heart set on triple jumps, you're likely to be disappointed.
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
It's unlikely that anyone will master triple jumps, because they require both high skill levels that take years of focused training to achieve, and also conducive body type: small, light, muscular with high proportion of fast-twitch muscles.

Also it seems that broader shoulders and narrower hips (i.e., a more typically male body type) are more conducive to generating quick rotation. Typical mature female curves tend to work against quick rotation.

Long legs can also be a problem.

It's easier for skaters who aren't full grown to rotate quickly because of size. But they still need to have put in the years of work to have developed the necessary skating and jumping skills.

It seems that skaters who start as young children get a better feel for balance and ease of movement on the ice into their nervous systems and muscle memory while those systems are still developing. Older starters have to work against years of ingrained movement patterns that don't translate to skating movement.

And yes, by early middle age if not before even small athletic adults will start to lose muscular elasticity and explosivity etc. "Aging" per se is not a problem for teenagers, but changes in body shape and size might work against the ability to jump high or rotate quickly.

Finally, the skaters who master triple jumps tend to have put in years of skating almost every day for several hours. Most adults, and teens who are serious about their education or other priorities, just don't usually have that amount of time to devote to skating training.

And even for young children as well as for teens and adults, it's rare to have the money and the proximity to an ice rink with that much figure skating practice time available.

So there are factors working against the chances of anybody mastering triple jumps, but more adverse factors for older starters.

Those who do succeed are exceptions, not the norm. If you get further into a figure skating career and start spending more time on freestyle practice sessions, you'll see a lot of children and teens working on double jumps and you probably won't see many triple jump attempts on a regular basis, or even double axels. The skaters you see on TV are not representative of what you would see at local rinks.

If you can put in the time and find a good private coach when the time comes, you probably would be able at least to work on some double jumps someday and hopefully land most kinds successfully. No guarantee, but they could be a reasonable long-term goal to aim for. If you have your heart set on triple jumps, you're likely to be disappointed.

Ahh, I see. I'm beginning to set some sort of realistic goals for me, and even then just single jumps seem so far away now that I think about it. Thank you!
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
Finally, the skaters who master triple jumps tend to have put in years of skating almost every day for several hours. Most adults, and teens who are serious about their education or other priorities, just don't usually have that amount of time to devote to skating training.

And even for young children as well as for teens and adults, it's rare to have the money and the proximity to an ice rink with that much figure skating practice time available.

This is a big one. I have triple jumps as a goal, but they're my big, possibly unattainable reach goal. I definitely have childhood skating and miniscule body size on my side, but... time, money, and coaches with enough experience. Yeah. If you don't have those, no triples.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
This is a big one. I have triple jumps as a goal, but they're my big, possibly unattainable reach goal. I definitely have childhood skating and miniscule body size on my side, but... time, money, and coaches with enough experience. Yeah. If you don't have those, no triples.

It's not all time, money and coaches with enough experience.
 

khi

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Woo, fellow kiwi :) I took some NZ LTS classes last year for a bit. I agree that it's hard to get much individual attention in them. Private lessons would be awesome but for me the timing just doesn't work at all unless I want to get up at 5am haha, plus the cost :( Good luck on your skating journey!! Also consider corrective insoles e.g superfeet, I need them both in my current skates and in my old edea chorus because otherwise my feet pronate inwards a lot.

Also re: ankle strengthening, standing on one foot is good, try to make sure you're not rolling to the inside of your foot while doing so. You can do it with your eyes closed as a further challenge which will improve proprioception, and raising up onto your toes. There's a bunch of stuff you can do with a light theraband too! You can also get a wobble board or balance cushion (kmart sells them cheap) and practice standing on that with two feet or one foot!
 

pocky

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Woo, fellow kiwi :) I took some NZ LTS classes last year for a bit. I agree that it's hard to get much individual attention in them. Private lessons would be awesome but for me the timing just doesn't work at all unless I want to get up at 5am haha, plus the cost :( Good luck on your skating journey!! Also consider corrective insoles e.g superfeet, I need them both in my current skates and in my old edea chorus because otherwise my feet pronate inwards a lot.

Also re: ankle strengthening, standing on one foot is good, try to make sure you're not rolling to the inside of your foot while doing so. You can do it with your eyes closed as a further challenge which will improve proprioception, and raising up onto your toes. There's a bunch of stuff you can do with a light theraband too! You can also get a wobble board or balance cushion (kmart sells them cheap) and practice standing on that with two feet or one foot!

Hahahah, yay!! Great to know other Kiwis doing the sport :)
Haven't checked the costs for private coaches but I would need to get all my basics polished before I even think about that lol. Yes, I think I might need some sort of corrective insoles for my skates, the skate technician also commented on my wide arch. Don't know what feet Edeas are suited for, but she only sold that brand specifically, so it was either brick-like rentals or those. The resistance band and balance cushion idea sounds clever. I'll try that out. Thank you!
 
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