T-stop and outside edge

Snorlax

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Country
United-Kingdom
Hi everyone,

"T-stop" in its various different ways of writing is a pain to search for in this forum - if this question has been asked before, please feel free to give me a link! (Although I'm always happy to read new comments!)

Now, my actual question:

You should use the outside edge of the blade of the back foot to stop, correct?

I've always struggled with stopping, never learned it properly for years, and now that different people have given me their insight, I struggle a lot with using the outside edge properly.

I know that I have to unlearn bad technique because I did the t-stop wrong for a long time (purely using the inside of my blade, dragging it behind me).

In many tutorials and from what I've seen in competition videos, I can tell that you kinda lean backwards a bit and then...press(?) the outside edge into the ice, but I don't seem to be able to do this.
Do I understand something totally wrong?

After I started practising techniques and improved the muscle strength on the insides of my legs, I noticed that my stops had become more powerful, and that the weight distribution is shifting a bit, but I think I'm still mostly on the inside or maybe using a mix of both edges, but never the outside edge alone. Whenever I try to lean back or get some grip with the outside edge, I just tend to get stuck in the ice and then loose my balance, so I'm not very brave with my attempts to learn it further.

Am I too sheepish with this? Is the sweet spot for this just really hard to find or why am I 'stuttering' over the ice?
Any advice you guys have? Also, if I get something totally wrong, please tell me!

A very frustrated and unstoppable Snorlax
 

bunnybarista

If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~
On the Ice
Joined
May 27, 2018
Do you have a coach / take group lessons? If not, I would strongly recommend this! Trying to learn any element solely through online videos / descriptions from random people online can be dangerous and hinder your progress. A coach will also be able to see what you are doing wrong, which we obviously cannot see from an online post. That being said, a few replies to your queries... yes, t-stops are done on an outside edge. If you are on an inside edge, you will not stop and/or may even fall over. (I've seen it happen.) You want to apply pressure slowly so you don't stop too abruptly and lose your balance. Ultimately your weight will be basically entirely on the back foot (on that outside edge). If you're stalling, you may not be applying enough pressure, but it's very hard to say without seeing it. Good luck! Oleg Altukov has a good tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69ijRmYsZ94 (The demonstration part starts around 1:22)
 

Snorlax

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Country
United-Kingdom
Thanks for the advice!

I actually just finished a 5-week group course and got Skate UK Level 4, however these levels don't seem super meaningful in my case as I can't do the t-stop properly still and on the other hand I can do some elements from higher levels (e.g. forward crossovers).

I will have my first 1-1 coaching session next Sunday and hope that my coach will enlighten me with further input, specific to me as an individual :D

If you're stalling, you may not be applying enough pressure, but it's very hard to say without seeing it.
Yeah, I was thinking I should apply more pressure but then I ended up getting stuck and falling over :( I wonder if I should start lighter to get a feeling of how my outside edge in that position scrapes over the ice?

Oleg Altukov has a good tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69ijRmYsZ94 (The demonstration part starts around 1:22)
This is actually one of the tutorials I had watched. I can totally see in his video how the t-stop is supposed to work, but then again I can't seem to apply even pressure onto the outside edge.

I think there must be something wrong with the way I transition force into the direction I'm going. It's not smooth at all, I feel like someone trying to slice the skin off a cucumber and instead of scraping the skin off, I cut to deep and then get stuck. Sorry for the weird example, it's the only comparison I can think of at the moment. :unsure:
 

bunnybarista

If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~
On the Ice
Joined
May 27, 2018
Thanks for the advice!

I actually just finished a 5-week group course and got Skate UK Level 4, however these levels don't seem super meaningful in my case as I can't do the t-stop properly still and on the other hand I can do some elements from higher levels (e.g. forward crossovers).

I will have my first 1-1 coaching session next Sunday and hope that my coach will enlighten me with further input, specific to me as an individual :D

If it makes you feel any better, in America we don't typically teach a T-stop until Basic 6, whereas crossovers are in Basic 3 or 4. When I was learning the t-stop, I had been doing crossovers for quite a while and still found the t-stop terrifying. It is harder than it looks.

Great to hear that you will have a private lesson soon! I'm sure your coach will be able to help you improve this skill :)
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
I'm sure you were also taught the snowplow stop, right? The snowplow stop is done on an inside edge, with the edge digging into the ice in the same direction of motion. If you can feel how the inside edge brings you to a stop for a snowplow stop, then transfer that feeling to the T-stop and you should also be able to understand how the outside edge brings you to a stop on a T-stop.

Interestingly, using the inside edge on the T-stop is a very common error, but I've never heard of anyone using the outside edge for the snowplow stop!
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Just as you will have learned the snowplough stop by starting off literally just moving a little bit of snow with the gentlest of pressure, as cl2 says above, that's what you need to feel when you start to drag that outside edge to just move a little bit of snow for the t-stop. And as you get used to that feeling, you can increase the pressure very slightly. The trick is to do this really, really gently and build up that pressure very, very slowly. If you suddenly just try to dig that outside edge in, then you will come to grief. It's all about "moving snow" to create the resistance and make you stop. Feel that you're turning your ankle outwards and over to use the outside edge to move that snow but do not dig the blade in.
 

Snorlax

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Country
United-Kingdom
Quick happy update! I think I manage to do T-stops the right way consistently now!

All of your comments helped, however this bit of advice was the most useful because it stuck to my mind like nothing else:
(*pulls out a shiny golden best-teacher-of-bloody-newbies 2020 award*)

Just as you will have learned the snowplough stop by starting off literally just moving a little bit of snow with the gentlest of pressure, as cl2 says above, that's what you need to feel when you start to drag that outside edge to just move a little bit of snow for the t-stop. And as you get used to that feeling, you can increase the pressure very slightly. The trick is to do this really, really gently and build up that pressure very, very slowly. If you suddenly just try to dig that outside edge in, then you will come to grief. It's all about "moving snow" to create the resistance and make you stop. Feel that you're turning your ankle outwards and over to use the outside edge to move that snow but do not dig the blade in.

Getting into that feeling slowly but steadily has helped me to finally achieve stops when and where I want them, and I was already able to utilize them for various tricky situations - managed to maneuver out of potential crashes in a much cooler way than I used to before! Now I'm working on increasing the speed levels for doing prompt stops and I have to say, it feels really pretty cool to shift all the momentum and energy into a nice and snowy clean stop!

Thanks so much guys :)
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Quick happy update! I think I manage to do T-stops the right way consistently now!

All of your comments helped, however this bit of advice was the most useful because it stuck to my mind like nothing else:
(*pulls out a shiny golden best-teacher-of-bloody-newbies 2020 award*)



Getting into that feeling slowly but steadily has helped me to finally achieve stops when and where I want them, and I was already able to utilize them for various tricky situations - managed to maneuver out of potential crashes in a much cooler way than I used to before! Now I'm working on increasing the speed levels for doing prompt stops and I have to say, it feels really pretty cool to shift all the momentum and energy into a nice and snowy clean stop!

Thanks so much guys :)

*sniffs, dabs eyes with handkerchief* Oh, well done! It's always lovely when somebody makes a concerted effort to actually learn to do the T-stop properly. I am faced week after week with people who look evasive and say, "Oh, yes, well I do try..." but still have obviously not really applied their attention to learning even a snowplough...
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
*sniffs, dabs eyes with handkerchief* Oh, well done! It's always lovely when somebody makes a concerted effort to actually learn to do the T-stop properly. I am faced week after week with people who look evasive and say, "Oh, yes, well I do try..." but still have obviously not really applied their attention to learning even a snowplough...

I had a good laugh the other day when I found out that one of my skater friends who's close to landing her 2A could not do a left foot T-stop. :p
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I had a good laugh the other day when I found out that one of my skater friends who's close to landing her 2A could not do a left foot T-stop. :p

Oh glory. Seriously?! What is her coaching thinking??? Obviously not about basics... Oh dear, I feel a rant coming on. Better go and lie down in a darkened room for a while until the urge to rant subsides.

I have a tactic to deal with skaters who shy away from learning stops on both feet. "You'll never get into Holiday on Ice if you can't do all the stops on all the feet." Makes adult learners hoot with laughter at the thought of auditioning for HOI but also distracts them from the fear that stopping can induce and younger skaters who may well harbour dreams of skating for a living one day definitely take it on board. Sneaky? Moi? Oh yes.
 

Snorlax

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Country
United-Kingdom
Random uneducated guess: Stops are somewhat unpleasant to learn and they usually aren't perceived as elegant and fancy like spins or jumps. This only refers to figure skaters though - for hockey skaters stops seem to be much more popular, which makes sense because it is a) needed to maneuver in a match on a heavily reactive basis, and b) the whole image of hockey tends to be a bit rougher and more based on a "looking real cool style" than figure skating, where elegance and smooth transitions are much more in focus.

For myself, stopping was the whole reason why I started taking group lessons. I was annoyed at the fact that I couldn't maneuver safely and even though I went quite speedy and secure at times, I never felt like I could take 100% responsibility for the 'risks' associated when skating faster. Not being able to stop made me feel like an irresponsible tryhard so I wanted that to be sorted so much. In my eyes, everyone should only go up to a speed where they can still handle tricky situations and avoid crashes.

I have actually met a few skaters now who do nicely looking singles and doubles but struggle with proper stops, seems to be a commonly spread problem maybe?
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Random uneducated guess: Stops are somewhat unpleasant to learn and they usually aren't perceived as elegant and fancy like spins or jumps. This only refers to figure skaters though - for hockey skaters stops seem to be much more popular, which makes sense because it is a) needed to maneuver in a match on a heavily reactive basis, and b) the whole image of hockey tends to be a bit rougher and more based on a "looking real cool style" than figure skating, where elegance and smooth transitions are much more in focus.

Stops can be elegant and fancy! I get more comments along the lines of, "Show off!" for my show stops than anything else I do on the rink. After you've mastered that T-Stop, you can try lifting the front foot or slide the foot forward to end with the snow-moving foot at the front... There are many variations. And you'll need them for your Holiday on Ice audition. ;)
 

Snorlax

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Country
United-Kingdom
Stops can be elegant and fancy!

Yeah, but for that you'd have to invest time and patience which could use to learn fancy...whatevs instead! Or go and grab a coffee. Or meet the president of Timbuktu. The list of things people do to avoid learning stops is long. 8)

After you've mastered that T-Stop, you can try lifting the front foot or slide the foot forward to end with the snow-moving foot at the front... There are many variations. And you'll need them for your Holiday on Ice audition.
Don't give me too many ideas or I'll end up with a holiday off-ice :c :biggrin:

But seriously, I'll give these variations a try once I feel very comfy with the normal versions!
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Oh glory. Seriously?! What is her coaching thinking??? Obviously not about basics... Oh dear, I feel a rant coming on. Better go and lie down in a darkened room for a while until the urge to rant subsides.

I have a tactic to deal with skaters who shy away from learning stops on both feet. "You'll never get into Holiday on Ice if you can't do all the stops on all the feet." Makes adult learners hoot with laughter at the thought of auditioning for HOI but also distracts them from the fear that stopping can induce and younger skaters who may well harbour dreams of skating for a living one day definitely take it on board. Sneaky? Moi? Oh yes.

Oh, she has glorious skating skills to boot, no worries about that! Just not the left foot T-stop.

To be fair, she just recently graduated with an Engineering Masters degree from MIT, so evidently HOI was not her dream... lol...
 
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