By Miguel Jose
Some skaters believe that the only way to get better is to focus on technique. But sometimes it's the skate, not the skater, that is slowing you down.
A frequent source of problems is the alignment of the frame on the bottom of the skate boot. Misaligned frames can cause various problems, including pronation and lack of power.
Frame alignment is an individual matter. What's good for one skater won't work for the next. But there's no mystery to optimal frame alignment. The secret is to align your frames directly beneath the pressure points on the bottom of your feet.
Follow these steps to position your skate frames for maximum control and power:
1) Identify your pressure points
The goal is to feel as stable on your skates as you do in your street shoes. To accomplish this, you must find the places on the bottom of your feet — your pressure points — where you apply the greatest force to the ground.
To find these points, do a little jumping and get a feel for where you push off the hardest. Identify one point on the balls of your feet (behind your toes) and one point beneath your heels.
2) Position your frames
Center your frames directly below your pressure points. Bolt them in place and put your skates on.
3) Test your edges
Stand up on your skates. You should feel your full weight over your pressure points. Now, shift your weight from side to side, mimicking the motion of a slalom skier. As you do this, you should be on your outside edges (the side of the wheels facing away from your opposite leg) on one skate while you are on the inside edge on the other.
Your motion should feel comfortable and your transition from outside to inside edges should be smooth without any jerkiness.
If your frames are not in the right place, you will feel unstable and your ankles will buckle when moving from edge to edge. In that case, reposition your frames and try again. A little is a lot when it comes to frame alignment, so try slight changes rather than radical moves.
Once you've got your frames in the right place, you will find it much easier to work on your technique.
July 10, 2009
Miguel Jose started speed skating when he was six in Seattle, WA. "Back then we raced on quad skates," he says. "I was very mediocre on quads — dead last at JO Nationals. But in the 1991-92 season, inline skates were introduced and — wow! — did that change things. I went from being the worst kid on quads to being a national champion in one year." Miguel went on to win three national championships before hanging up his skates in 2004 to focus on his career as a mortgage broker. "I went about three years of not skating before I had to put my skates back on. Now I skate to get away from work, stay in shape, and enjoy my friends. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy competing at the pro level, but that is not what keeps me in the sport." Miguel is a member of the Luigino Racing team and the Pattison's West indoor club in Federal Way, WA.
Copyright © 2009 Inline Planet