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This week's column:

Carve or Straighten?

Sept. 26, 2012




QHi, Bill. I have a double-push question. Immediately after planting the lead leg should the focus be to carve the heel slightly or to straighten the leg forward or something else? I'm caught between what's faster versus what's the least effort. Thanks. Michael in El Segundo, California.

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Michael: None of the top skaters I know straighten their lead leg after the setdown. However, most carve with their heels. Some carve only slightly while others carve more to get added thrust.

But it’s an individual matter that depends on your body shape (Q-factor) and strength.

Chad Hedrick’s famous double push was based on his abnormal body shape. On the other hand, Joey Mantia’s was based on his abnormal muscular development.

Both were great double pushers. But they didn't share the same double-push technique. They developed techniques that matched their unique physical characteristics.

And that's what all skaters have to do.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t get hung up on double push. It's important. But it develops naturally as you learn to push your edges.

The truth is the world’s top skaters hardly mention double push anymore. In fact at this year's World Championships in Italy, I didn't hear double push mentioned once.

What a change from five years ago when “D.P.” was all anyone was talking about.

Cheers, Bill

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