Ice events like ice hockey and figure skating in Hong Kong have fast become national favorites, with several Olympic representatives in figure skating, and a Hong Kong ice hockey team that is building in strength and momentum.
So many children in the region have heroes in both sports, and in this article, we look at how you can use inline skating techniques to become just as good on the ice as Hong Kong's figure skating and ice hockey champions.
Inline skating and ice skating are quite similar in the physics of how they occur. Both disciplines use the edges of their blades to push backwards against the ground, whether that be ice or concrete. Stopping is done with the edges of the blades also, and coasting occurs in both disciplines on the flats of the blades or wheels.
Also, turning in public skating, ice hockey, figure skating and inline skating uses the edge of the blade or the sides of the wheels, and both inline skating and speed ice skating use the same bodily position and muscle groups. So it makes sense that traditionally inline skating techniques, such as the T-stop, will also be applicable to ice hockey players and Hong Kong figure skaters.
The T-stop is especially useful in ice hockey, a game where bursts of speed, and then extremely fast stops, make all the difference to the outcome of a game. To perform a T-stop, Hong Kong ice skaters use exactly the same technique as inline skaters all over the world.
Move from the ready position into a staggered stance, and take a few strides to pick up speed. Right footers will leave their right skate on the ice rink or the ground and raise their left skate a few inches, while left-footers will leave their left skate in contact with the ice rink.
You will then move your back skate about a foot behind you and out to the side, tilting it so that it makes a 90 degree angle with the skate you are balancing on. Hong Kong ice hockey players can then put their left skate back on the surface, half a foot to one foot straight behind them, tilting it as it touches to make a 15 degree angle.
The drag of the skate on the ice rink makes for quite a quick stop, and unlike in inline skating, does little to wear out the surface of your skate.
Paying attention to the length of your strides and glides is another technique for building up speed in Hong Kong public skating, ice hockey and figure skating.
In order to build up speed faster, with less effort, Hong Kong ice skaters as well as inline skaters try to maximize the time that only one skate is in contact with the ice rink for. This reduces the friction of the skate against the ice rink, and ensures that the power from a skater's legs is spent more on forward motion than friction.
To employ longer strides and glides in Hong Kong public skating, Hong Kong ice hockey and Hong Kong figure skating, first take a few normal strides to pick up speed. You will them balance and glide on one skate on the ice rink for about two to three seconds, holding your opposite foot in the air.
Remember to hold it close to your body for balance, and not too far from the ice rink, for speed. Then circle that skate until it returns to the home position, and alternate feet.
If you can practice this technique for long enough during Hong Kong public skating, it will soon translate into an automatic movement during ice hockey or figure skating, helping you conserve energy and skate faster.
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