Planet review:

Chad Hedrick's Push DVD: Short But Sweet

Skate Basics, Technique and Laughs From the Double-Push Master

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Chad Hedrick is a great skater. ... Everybody (at least in the skate world) knows that.

But did you know he also has a sense of humor?

You will if you watch his first instructional DVD, Push: Volume 1.

While primarily devoted to skate technique and double-push, the short DVD (runtime 15:45 minutes) also displays Hedrick's goofy side.

Sucking on the Helium Again?

It opens with a semi-comic sequence: Hedrick talking via cell phone with his sponsor, Powerslide-USA president Doug Glass.

Hedrick is telling Glass why he wants to make the DVD. "I just want people to see the real me and not just me in spandex," he says.

When it's Glass' turn to speak, we see a photo of him and hear a cartoonish voice repeating "la-la, la-la" over and over.

When Hedrick hangs up, someone off screen asks him what Glass said.

"Like I know!" he answers.

It's the first of several humorous moments on the DVD.

After this setup, Hedrick, a 50-time world champion, gives us a tour of his family's roller rink in Plains, Texas. (At one point, we see him behind the cotton candy machine wearing a pink apron.)

Still Prefers 84mm Wheels

After the tour, Hedrick gets down to business. He starts with an overview of inline speed skating equipment. In the process, he shares his equipment preferences: boots that come up over the ankle, 84mm wheels with a hardness of 83a, spandex and sunglasses.

Next, he gives an overview of basic skate technique. He explains proper form, stressing a low body position with knees bent at nearly a 90-degree angle. He also talks about arm swing and cornering.

Finally, he provides a compact (two minute) primer on his signature technique: the double-push.

Instead of a step-by-step tutorial, Hedrick explains and demonstrates the stroke with the help of freeze-frame and slow-motion video.

Double-Push In a Nutshell

"The whole concept of the double push is pushing in the same direction with both feet simultaneously," he says.

But when you watch him on the DVD, it appears (am I wrong?) that his underpush starts when his regular push ends.

But not to worry. No verbal explanation of the double-push can compete with a good demonstration. And Push provides plenty of Hedrick doing what he probably does better than any other skater in the world.

The DVD alone may not be enough to teach you the double-push. But it will certainly give you a good start — and aside from that, it may give you a few laughs.

(posted on Dec. 8, 2005)

Push, Volume 1, DVD ($15.95)

Negatives: Very short

Positives: Funny. Personal. Good overview of skate technique. ... You get to watch the master doing the double-push.


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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