Welcome to the Technical Figure Skating Page! The purpose of this page is to provide multimedia resources to give a better understanding of the technical aspects of figure skating. This is accomplished in several ways. The first way is by providing AVI movie clips and multi frame GIF images of all the major jumps, spins, jump spins, and extras. The second way is by providing links to other sources of technical information, such as books, magazines, and videos. There is a page dedicated to a discussion on skating equipment and where to find it on the net. The last way is by sharing my own observations and insights based on many years of skating experience.


My main motivation for putting the Technical Figure Skating page together is to share some of the same digitized video clips that I use to improve my own skating. If you know how to use a computer and how to apply what you see to your own skating, then they are as valuable as having a top notch coach. And, unlike a real coach, they don't get upset when you dump them for a new set of video clips from Lake Arrowhead.

The other reason for putting these pages together is to provide brilliant commentary, insight, and unusual material that you wouldn't normally get to see. In other words, if you want to make it through these pages then you have to put up with my desire to inflict creative writing on you. Parents may want to screen these pages first before turning your kids loose. Things can get mildly ribald at times, which is why TFS is primarily for adults. That's why this is the best darn skating page on the web. If you take any of this too seriously, then you will be condemned to buff Dick Button's head between periods at Tonya Harding's next minor league hockey appearence.


Who Are These Pages For?

Skaters: You can use the media player that comes with your computer to play these files forwards, backwards, slow motion, fast motion, or a frame at a time. In addition to having complete control over the way you study these clips, they are much better than video tape because you can organize the files on your computer and call them up instantly rather than having to do a cumbersome search through a tape. You can also open multiple video players to view different clips side by side at the same time.

I have found it extrordinarily useful to put up a clip of, say, Kurt Browning doing a toe loop right next to one of me doing the same jump and playing them simultaneously. I can see every minor difference and nuance in technique. Seeing a professional do the same thing right next to yourself makes your mistakes as obvious as a Peggy Fleming bad hair day. If you are a techno geek it is well worth your time investing a couple hundred dollars in a video digitizer and making your own clips of the skater in your family. The cost is insignificant compared to other skating expenses and well worth it.


The value of these clips can be seen readily just by studying the animated gif sequence at the beginning of this home page. The gif sequence was created from the Scott Hamilton waltz jump clip in the jumps page. You can see a lot of what goes into a waltz jump just by staring at it in a repeated loop. Imagine what you could learn from the clip itself. And if you stare at it long enough without moving or blinking you can work yourself into a hallucinogenic stupor.

Neophytes: People new to skating are often confused by different jumps and spins. These files will help you to identify the major skating elements by sight. You can impress your friends by knowing a death drop is not a form of capital punishment in Texas. Read all about Nancy Kerrigan's Foot. Find out what Spinface is. If you've ever wondered how a camel can fly or why we shoot ducks then this is the place to be.


Skate Fans: All jumps and spins are performed by well known professional and amateur skaters. Maybe your favorite is in here somewhere. Skating aficionados will appreciate the virtuosity of the skating. This is also cool stuff to have on your computer at work when nobody is looking. Some people have used the jump sequence gifs as wallpaper and screensavers.


Did you know Dick Button was the only North American man to ever win the European championship? Impress your friends and prove you have no life with this and other bits of useless knowledge by taking the Technical Figure Skating Pop Quiz. There's no math so you don't need your calculator. Actually, there isn't much about technical skating either.



Viewing The Movie Clips

To view the AVI movie clips you can use the media player that comes with windows 3.1 or windows 95. I'm not sure if you can view AVI clips with a Quicktime viewer on a MacIntosh, but I've sucessfully viewed them using Quicktime v2.0.3 (or later) on a PC running windows 95. I would assume it would also work on a Mac. If you don't already have it, you can find Quicktime for the MAC and PCs at this site. This site contains links to all sorts of viewers and converters. If you have a SUN sparc station, xanim is a good viewer. If you have a VIC 20, TI 99, Atari, Commodore Pet, Apple II, PDP 11, or Univac then it's probably about time you got an upgrade.


It has come to my attention that some people spend 10 minutes downloading a clip just to watch it disappear after viewing it for 4 seconds. Yikes! The concept is to save the clips on your hard drive and organize them so you can watch them whenever you want. To do this select, "save as", from the file menu. When prompted for a file name, be sure to give it an ".avi" extension. If you download a couple clips each time you visit these pages you can get the whole collection relatively painlessly. If you have a T1 link it only takes a minute to get even the biggest clip.


Links

No skating page would be complete without a link to the Queen of skating pages, frogaphile, and all around swell person Sandra Loosemore. I've actually met Sandra and can verify that she really exists and is not a CIA mole.


If you are a serious figure skater, then you're probably a glutton for punishment. In this case you'll need a link to first aid classes. Becoming a great skater means learning to say, "Ouch!"


If you like to buy skating stuff, Rainbow Sports (1-800-752-8370) sells equipment and offers one of the largest selection of knick knacks anywhere. I got a pair of blades and a pewter pairs figurine from them. The pairs figurine is staring at me from the top of my terminal as I write this. It's kinda spooky if you think about it. It's a good place to go if you want to buy stuff for yourself or a friend. They also have a full color catalog.


Finally, Don Kortes has a good skating page for people who like to actually skate rather than watch it on tv between Depends commercials. It has well organized links to just about everything coaches and skaters of all ages could be interested in. My second biggest dream in life is to be Don's "Featured Skater". My biggest dream involves Katerina Witt, Natalia Annenko, Sylvia Fontana, and myself. But that's another page.


Geek Talk

This page is best viewed with Navigator 3.0. I have no idea what it looks like on other browsers. Hopefully it doesn't look crappy. If it does then I completely disavow myself of the Technical Figure Skating page. If it doesn't look crappy then I take full credit and would appreciate some ego stroking at the address at the bottom.


I recommend using 600x800 video mode to view these pages. If you use something smaller you might be cutting off the text in this particular window. If you see a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom then you need to widen the browser either by going to full screen or switching to a higher video resolution. If you can't see the pair skaters on the right side of the title at the top of this page, then your browser isn't wide enough. The browser should cover the whole screen vertically to make sure you don't miss any of the buttons in the window on the left.


I made these pages un-scaleable for artistic reasons because I am an ahr-teest. Not the kind of ahr-teest that cuts off ears or other body parts, but the kind that wants it his way or he'll hold his breath to make you sorry.


Wanted

All of the clips in these pages were reduced and compressed from very high quality 320 by 240 images. Although I tried to make the clips as good looking as possible, the compressed files are considerably lower quality than the originals. To make matters worse, I had to reduce most of the spins from 320 by 240 to 160 by 120 or else the file size would have been too unruly.


The original clips are big and beautiful and it's a shame there isn't enough space for them at this website. I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who would like to see them. The file sizes are typically 5 to 8 megabytes. The largest one is a combination spin that is 20 megabytes! If there are any webmasters reading this who would like to donate disk space and host the original files drop me a line and we'll see if we can work something out. The disk space required would be around a half gigabyte.


If you actually made it this far I'm greatly flattered and moderately concerned that you spend too much time on the net. Go outside and play. Build something. Give somebody a hug. Send me money.

Complaints should be entered here. All other inquires and offers of marriage should be sent to:

Kevin Anderson / kander@ix.netcom.com

Click your heels together three times and say, "There's no place like home"




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