Thursday, February 2, 2017

Carlo Fassi: my latest coach (sort of...)

Ah, another skating book with a 1980 publication date.  How can I resist?  1980 must have been a magical year.  This time the book in question is Figure Skating with Carlo Fassi.

Fassi was a well know coach as can be gleaned from the list of high level skaters listed on the cover.  He was however, not without controversy:
One of the things that attracted me to this book is its extensive coverage of compulsory figures.

Almost 50 pages devoted to compulsory figures!

Having said that, Carlo himself states that while figures were important in terms of teaching skaters about precise edges,  free skating was more important than figures in terms of what the public wanted to watch.  It's a rare book, ancient or modern, that sticks its neck out far enough to describe the mechanics of double and triple jumps.  That sounds like a law suit waiting to happen...
While your old diarist will never do double or triple jumps he is intrigued by the simpler of the Compulsory Figures.
The Forward outside and inside 8s are the first and easiest of the figures described.
Can one teach one's self from a book?  Worth a try:

 This is a pitiful excuse for a Forward Outside 8, but somehow I got around.  No one will confuse these videos with those of Kseniya and Oleg!

This attempt at the Forward Inside 8 is worse. I'm way off center for the repeats and the missized circles are a joke.  If anything I think the two kids pushing the EZ-skater thingies actually helped by forcing me to go back to the center of my figure more consistently towards the end!  Perhaps I should look into hiring some young people to harass me during practice.


  1. Hey, I have that book! I think a friend gave it to me years ago. Great illustrations. I like how you are zipping along on your eights--very impressive size on those circles (speaking as someone with puny eights!) Good luck on your dance test!

  2. Thanks Jo. I don't have a scribe so I just use one of the logos in the ice as a reference point to judge my center and circle size. If Trixi Schuba ever sees those videos she'll probably shake her head in dismay over the obvious decline in edge control demonstrated by a certain geezer skater; ("Oh, my eyes, my eyes--it burns it burns!"

  3. Good luck on your dance test today George! It's nice to get to see you on your video, you have good speed and stability on that outside edge. With all your posts about those '80's books, you're making me regret not taking my dad up when he asked whether I wanted our figure skating how-to book from that same era. By this point I even just enjoy seeing those old typefaces.

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. Spoiler alert: I'm just back from the test; (lowering voice to a whisper: I passed both dances). Full report to come.

  4. Congratulations !

    I am envious of your figure 8's.

  5. Thanks Accordion 3. My 8s, especially the inside 8, need help!