Friday, November 2, 2012

"Some day, Orville, man too will fly"--in which your diarist reacquaints himself with aviation.

Last night was lesson night for your diarist and diaristdaughter.  Oh, and one other young fem about the same age as dd joined us.  Interestingly, adults other than the pair of us tend to come and go and to my way of thinking don't get their money's worth from a series of lessons.  But I guess that's their business and when they don't show dd and I get a semi-private lesson at a deep discount. 

Anyway, while Kelly was working with the two young lassies, your diarist was assigned to continue working on his consecutive back inside edges.  That quickly got boring and so I started thinking about the remaining unexplored elements in freestyle-one that need mastering to pass the test: specifically the waltz and the half-flip jumps.  For the non-skaters in the audience, both of these jumps are half rotational jumps.  The waltz jump is initiated from a forward outside edge like the related, but much more difficult Axel jump and lands on a back outside edge, while the half-flip takes off from a back inside edge, is toe-pick assisted and lands on a forward inside edge.

I have past experience with the waltz jump.  It was part of this level back in my early days on skates.  Envision for a moment one of those old cartoons on tv where the hero is contemplating a sinfully tempting act and has his angle-self on one shoulder and his devil-self on the other: 

Angel-self--You need to keep working on those back edges to the line.

Devil-self--Those are strictly bores-ville man!

AS--You should wait until Kelly can guide you; it's been a long time since you've jumped.

DS--What is this? The nanny state?! Go on--just do it, you've been there before.

AS--If you "biff" the landing this is gonna hurt.

DS--it's just like a bunny hop with just a little rotation.

AS--Well, that and there is the small matter of landing and controlling that back outside edge...

DS--Aaaa, Shad-Uppp!

Now, I'm basically my momma's good boy but I'm always open to suggestion, so I went and tried a little exploratory jump; here's the drill--get up a bit of forward speed, head up, back straight, skating knee bent, nice outside forward edge, arms and free leg back; then swing through with the arms and free leg while at the same time springing up from the skating leg's bent knee. The rotational momentum set up by the forward outside edge should carry you around for the rotational part of the jump.  The landing demands a good checked position to control the rotation as one sets down on the free leg's back outside edge.  Got all that?  Good!

I was gratified that (1) I cleared the ice (by oh, maybe a couple inches--the take off is always the easy part) and (2) controlled the landing (the part that can get a bit fraught with bother).  Encouraged by my initial success I quickly did a half dozen more at ever increasing heights off the ice.  Kelly looked up in time to watch the last few and said "Well then, since you've got the waltz jump under control why not try the half flip?"  Why not indeed?  She talked me through the set up (my choice of entries, the back inside edge from either a left forward outside 3 or from a right forward inside Mohawk).  Since my left 3 is unreliable I opted for the Mohawk entry for this toe-pick assisted jump.  Long story short, I didn't like the feel of flow between making the turn and planting the toe pick and before I could resolve that the half hour of lesson time was up.  So the half-flip will have to wait until next week--or maybe the next public session when no one is looking (at least no one with a clip board).

AS:  if you'd continued to refine those back inside edges (or at least worked on your wonky left 3 turn) you could have probably pulled off that half-flip.  After all, it lands on an inside forward edge which you have under control.

DS: Aaaa, Shad-Uppp!

Although I got away with the waltz jump I think I'd better invest in some gel hip pads--it could be a long winter if I bust something (again)...

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