- end of new posts
L.A. SkateDad
by
1y ago
You know, I've always enjoyed watching figure skating... something about the graceful athleticisim combined with art just won me over. Then when one of my daughters started to skate I reached a whole new appreciation for the effort involved. It's no wonder figure skating has captivated the hearts of millions of people around the world. So as a blogger who has written extensively about figure skating over the years, it is with sincere gratefulness and humility that I must announce my retirement from this blog. When I first started writing this, my goal was simple -- to educate skaters and pare ..read more
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- novice spectators
L.A. SkateDad
by
1y ago
Yay, I am once again attending occasional local competitions, now that Covid has sufficiently subsided (although I'm still masking). Since returning however I'm dismayed to find that audience attendance is still rather dismal, just the mom's and some local skating club members, as usual. So in a effort to boost the sport, I wrote an essay titled: How to Watch, Enjoy and Understand a Skating Competition Yeah yeah I know this doesn't apply to my regular blog readers (who are mostly skaters and their moms) but consider for a moment how nice it would be to have a full audience that might help pa ..read more
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- blogging
L.A. SkateDad
by
3y ago
Just so you're not worried, L.A. SkateDad is still here in the sunshine doing fine. Semi-retirement dispenses plenty of boredom and traipse; under normal circumstances I'd be watching more skating. With the pandemic raging though, skate watchings seem to be out of the question. It's certainly one of the tougher things I've missed. It's difficult for me to write about skating though without frequently seeing it in person. An occasional YouTube videos is a drop of glycerin I suppose, but a video doesn't hold my interest nearly as much as in-person spectating. So for now my blogging is quiescing ..read more
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- stroking
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
Although it would seem to be one of the most basic aspects of skating, the mechanics of stroking -- progressing forward and backward across the ice between moves -- shows a lot about your polish, and also has a sublime influence on your elements. Plus it's a pleasure to watch. When you see a skater with smooth gentle strokes it is like chinchilla fur on silk. Every push kisses the ice with such gentleness you can hardly tell exactly when the blade makes contact. It is soundless, rhythmic, and magical. It is fully controlled all the way down. Just like specialty jump classes, some rinks do ha ..read more
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- dedication
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
When I'm in the general vicinity of one of my rink hangouts the sense of skating is palpable, although I have a tough time explaining why my heart quickens. Nearby skaters are constantly working very hard and seriously with perceivable bodily risk. It's a similar flavor to hanging out near a hospital: it's the sense that extraordinary people are doing incredible things to make the world better, in small ordinary ways. Part of it is the aura from the class of people, some of it is the relief and change they make in the world. The reason a gal becomes a figure skater feels obtusely parallel to ..read more
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- meaning
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
I like to see skaters who understand and imbue the sport with more than just "it's a contest to get a trophy medal." I want to see something much grander. In your own mind, what's the highest spiritual purpose you could possibly ascribe to your skating? Make your skating about that ..read more
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- jump
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
In an earlier post I squirmed over watching skaters pop their jumps. I got some pushback so let me try restating my position with a bit more nuance. Obligatory disclaimer: personally I don't skate; this impression is just from inference (and thousands of hours of watching skating). When you're up mid-spin in your Axel, the muscular work consists of fighting off the centrifugal force that wants you to extend your arms and thighs. This effort consists of squeezing "in." All you have to do is relax and the centrifugal force will automatically take over and "pop" you: your arms go out and your ..read more
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- styling
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
How do you go about composing your program's elements so that you can skate with style? Which of your moves are more conducive to expressing your style? A pancake spin is a pancake spin is a pancake spin: since the posture determines the position of your legs and one arm (unless you can somehow hold the position without grabbing an ankle) this leaves only one limb free for embellishments, and how can you be gracefully stylish from a pancake? Well I suppose you can be a tad bit expressive, see for example this video. Also some transitions clearly allow for greater styleability: a move that is ..read more
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- jump practice
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
I spent a couple hours on Sunday at the Toyota Sports Center freestyles past the Airport, and either by reputation (or because Culver Ice is now closed or both) it was a bit too busy, really. It seems they run "open" freestyles whereĀ  anyone can show up with any skill level, so some national caliber juniors were practicing triples along with novices trying to hold a steady spiral. The city power cut off around 9:00 with 10 seconds of total blackout until the emergency lights came on -- talk about a scary situation during a freestyle! Rink designers please pay heed: this makes an excellent argu ..read more
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- applauding growth
L.A. SkateDad
by
4y ago
At local events one encounters a huge variety of participants. When I visit a competition to watch my daughter skate my role is mostly to cheer for these other skaters. When the little kids hit the ice -- the ones that are six through eight -- they have only been competing for maybe two years. While their parents, grandparents, and extended family cheer in the stands, they are still intently working on their own self-esteem. No matter the quality of their performance, once they finish I gently clap courteously. Even at starting levels I can tell which kids have natural ability, which are just ..read more
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