Tag Archives: Ice Skating

How to skate Mabrouk: 4 slalom components

This is part 2 of a series on Mabrouk. In this part I describe in excruciating details the four slalom components of Mabrouk previously summarized in What is Mabrouk: a slalom variant of Grapevine. I learned to skate a sustained Mabrouk by first practicing the four slalom components, and by connecting them with rudimentary transitions. I later refined these transitions to make the entire Mabrouk sequence flow, but that is for part 3 and beyond of this series.

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What is Mabrouk: a slalom variant of Grapevine

Mabrouk is a slalom variant of the figure skating move called Grapevine. The Grapevine skating pattern is described and diagramed as early as 1880 by Vandervell and Cox in “A System of Figure-skating”. The slalom version is presumably named after Swiss slalomer Eddy Mabrouk. Both Mabrouk and Grapevine employ the same exact 4 components, namely forward/backward criss-cross, and forward/reverse eagle.

While Mabrouk emphasizes curved patterns traced around equal-spaced cones forming a straight line, Grapevine strives to have the skater move in a streamline without giving explicit thoughts to slalom components. The difference can be seen in patterns they trace on the ground as presented below. Continue reading

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Asian-fit helmets are a lot of hot air

Asian Americans who bike or skate know that helmets sold in America are generally not shaped properly for Asian heads. This is a phenomenon alien to most non-Asian people. Lately some brands have come out with so-called “Asian Fit” models. After an extensive research, I think these are just hot air, except for possibly a few exceptions. Continue reading

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Winter Ice Skating at Mohonk Mountain House

The Mohonk rink is comparable in size to the Winter Village rink at Bryant Park in NYC. This rink does expand greatly the variety of possible winter activities, at the mountain resort where TVs are conspicuously absent in guest rooms. A single rink alone provides three different types of activities. There is the traditional “I just want to skate” type of activity. More inspired folks try the role of chariot horses. But in this case they are more like mules than horses, and push chariots from behind. Less mobile folks may play chariot drivers, except they have little control over their destiny, and must rely on verbal signals which mules may or may not honor.
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Learn to Skate the Two-foot Grapevine Analytically

Here is my account of how I (almost) learned to skate a two-foot move such as the Grapevine. I am going to describe the learning process in a new language of moment of balance, falling and recovery, unlike how most tutorials explain the move. Perhaps I can provide fresh ideas on learning this move, on two-foot skating and on skating in general, from the perspective of a newbie. I have watched and re-watched countless number of tutorial videos, and have bought and read great books on ice skating written at the turn of the last century. And in analyzing skating and the Grapevine move for this article, I found that I now understand what I was doing wrong, and perhaps can finally learn to Grapevine gracefully.
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Ice Skating as a Sequence of Falling and Recovery Steps

This article captures the insight I acquired in this process. Perhaps I can provide fresh ideas on learning to skate, from the perspective of a former outsider. The main thesis of this article is that unlike traditional narratives that describes skating moves in terms of strokes, I think skating can be equally and maybe even better explained as a sequence of falling steps and recovery steps.
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