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How to Stroke Forward On Figure Skates

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A Skater Strokes Forward

A Skater Strokes Forward

Photo Copyright © Jo Ann Schneider Farris
Once gliding on one foot is mastered, a new figure skater can begin to learn forward stroking. Stroking in figure skating means moving from one skate to the other. This is what everyone does when they skate around an ice arena.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Mastering forward stroking takes practice and may take several hours, days, or weeks.

Here's How:

  1. Once the gliding on one foot is mastered, the skater can begin to learn how to stroke.
  2. Begin by standing with the feet in a "T" or "V" position.
  3. Do an extended one foot glide.
  4. Move from one foot to the other.
  5. Remember to not use the toe picks to make the blades go.
  6. The free leg should be extended back, the free toe should be pointed, and the skating knee should be bent as the skater performs each stroke.

Tips:

  1. Control is a key to moving forward on the ice safely. Do not let the arms swing around. The arms should be extended out to the side slightly above waist level.
  2. The toe picks on figure skates are not meant to help with pushing. Use the entire blade to make the skates move. Using the blade rather than the toe pick, does take practice and concentration.
  3. Tuck the stomach in and keep the head up.
  4. It is impossible to do an extended one foot glide on flats. A skater must glide on either outside and inside edges as he or she strokes and glides.

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