10. Outside Forward Spiral

Next on our list is the outside forward spiral (Illus. 13)—in my opinion, the most important edge in skating. Once you have mastered its sideways body lean, all skating will seem easier to you.

Again stand in T-position, right foot leading so that you will progress around a circle clockwise. Stand with your back to the center of the circle you are about to skate, with your skating hip and shoulder leading and your free hip and shoulder di­rectly behind. Curve your right arm in front of your body, with the right hand a foot or so in front of your stomach toward the outside of the projected circle. Turn your head over your right shoulder. Again without changing position at all, skate five strong strokes, ROF, LIF, ROF, LIF, and hold the fifth on a deep-leaning ROF edge. Lean your whole body to the right from the side of your blade, back straight, hips tight, and eyes turned over the skating shoulder so that you are fully conscious of the angle of lean.

To maintain control, constantly press back your free hip and leg as well as your free shoulder and arm. In this way both your shoulders and your hips will be in line with (or parallel to) the line of the circle (or your skating foot). The free foot, as always well turned out and pointed, should be carried directly over the tracing on the ice behind your skating foot. The free hip, too, should be turned out in its socket so that the inside of the free knee is toward the ice. Contrary to the inside edge position, this free knee should be rigidly straight for maximum control. Your shoulder line should be about level, skating shoulder feeling the weight and perhaps a shade lower. The hips should be defi­nitely level, with downward pressure on the free hip to main­tain your balance on the back center of your blade where it belongs. Raising the free hip is a common fault. True, it will press in your skating side and give you a strong feeling of edge but it will, by the same token, pitch you forward and off bal­ance. Keeping the skating hip pressed in is, of course, vital to control, perhaps most of all to this edge, but you must acquire this control through the correct forward position of the pelvis, the tightening of the buttocks, and the strengthening of the upper thigh muscles of the skating leg.


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