A series of power turns on hockey skates is like pumping a flat surface on a mountain bike

I’ve not played hockey in a couple of decades or more but a conversation with fellow Northfielders Corey Butler (@CoreyButlerJr) and Brenton Balvin (@BrentonBalvin) after last week’s NCO annual meeting convinced me that I should get back into it and join them.

Jake and Christopher at a Northfield hockey rink

I got my old hockey skates sharpened on Friday and instead of going someplace to ride my mountain bike this afternoon (zero degrees and very windy), I decided to head to the outdoor hockey rink next to the Northfield Ice Arena because it has a warming house. A couple of hearty 12 year-olds (Christopher and Jake) were there so I felt right at home.

I started getting the rust out with a series of figure 8s and Mohawk turns when I shifted into doing a series of perpetual mini power turns (heel turns) that we used to do as kids, just for fun. The idea is go back and forth across the rink, never lifting your skates off the ice, trying to go faster and faster.  I used to be good at it but as you’ll see, I now mostly suck.

It suddenly occurred to me that the motion was much like pumping flat ground on a bike that I learned last summer. Even the hip motion seemed similar.  I asked Christopher and Jake to take a video of me doing the turns and when I explained why, Christopher told me he knew all about pump tracks and wondered whether I’d ridden any downhill like at Spirit Mountain.  I’ve been there once, Christopher.

So here’s a 30-second video clip of me and Christopher giving it a go, with Jake doing the video. (Compare it to my pumping a flat surface video.) Of course, practicing this will not improve my mountain biking but making the connection seems fun and interesting nonetheless.


One Comment

  1. Jeremy said:

    Hey Griff, cool blog. I love mountain biking when I’m not playing hockey, and looks like you play hockey when you’re not mountain biking! I’m glad my Mohawk video helped give you a drill to do at the rink. It’s nice to have a little routine to do when you get free ice.

    January 30, 2014

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