The Forward Outside Edge

So far, so good. Having mastered the ordinary walk round, the skater should next commence to learn the forward outside edge, which is a most important movement, in that it plays a leading part in the performance of the figures with which I shall deal later on.

To learn the forward outside edge it is first of all necessary to " get an edge," by which I mean that, although one is skating on all four wheels, all the pressure must be applied to the outside wheels of the skate.

In learning the outside forward edge particular pains should be taken to make the edges "curly" and not straight. It is important, too, to hold the body erect, and to keep the head up and the back arched. The arms also must not be held too stiffly to the side, and the beginner should be particularly careful not to fall into the habit of holding the arms too high.

It is well, also, always to remember to keep the unemployed leg well behind with the toe pointed down. When taking off on the right foot, the right arm should be at an angle of 45? across the body, slightly above the waist, while the left arm must be held parallel with the unemployed leg, and the head and shoulder should be gradually turned in the direction in which the skater is going.

Once having acquired these points, the wheelist will have laid the foundation-stone of good and graceful roller skating. The rest is merely a question of practice - and patience. After mastering the forward outside edge, the forward outside eight, otherwise the forward outside edge to a centre, is the next movement to be 1earnt. To do this, first make a small mark on the floor with chalk. Then start from that mark with the right foot, make an even circle, and remain on the same foot until you return to the centre spot. In performing this movement the arms must be held in the manner already described in my remarks on the outside forward edge, though the arms and shoulders should gradually be brought round so as to be in the correct position to take off with the left foot. When first taking off the knee should be bent, but I would point out that it must always be gradually straightened again.

The position after the outward forward bracket turn, just after the turn

The position after the outward forward bracket turn, just after the turn

Outside back edge. Second position

Outside back edge. Second position

The Inside Edge

When doing the forward inside edge the arms should be held in the same position as in the outside eight, with the unemployed leg well behind, and with the pressure on the two inside wheels. When nearly opposite the spot marked on the floor of the rink, the unemployed leg should be brought in front of the skating leg with the toe pointed down, while at the same time the position of the hands should be gradually reversed, and the shoulders, too, should be brought round, particular care being taken to keep the foot in front until the centre spot is reached once more. Here, of course, the skater will be in the proper position to start off on the other leg. In performing the forward inside eight care should be taken to keep the circles even and each circle the same size.

Now let me pass on to a more difficult edge - the outside back edge.

Like the previous movements which I have described, this, too, should be well curved. When going back on the right foot bring the left slightly forward, and then take it slowly behind, but do not swing it. The head must be looking over the left shoulder. Which reminds me that a good plan to assist a beginner to keep the head in the correct position is to remember always that in this edge the head must be always looking over the shoulder on the same side as the unemployed leg. When going back on the right foot, I would mention that the right arm should be held at an angle of 45° across the body slightly above the waist, while the left should be held parallel with the unemployed foot. A good plan is to do this edge to a centre, so forming a backward eight.

Inside back edge. Returning to the spot after the turn in the three

Inside back edge. Returning to the spot after the turn in the three

First position of the outside back edge Photos, Martin facolette

First position of the outside back edge Photos, Martin facolette

The Three Figure

Another important figure is the three.

The outside forward three is a figure performed by a curve of outside forward, followed by a curve of inside back. In order to pass from the outside forward to the inside back it is necessary to make a turn. This turn is made on the four wheels of the skate, and not on the two front wheels, as I have remarked so many skaters seem to imagine, while, when turning, the pressure should be on the heel.

In learning this figure I should advise my readers again to practise from the spot.

Let them start taking an outside forward edge, and when they are nearly opposite to the spot, commence to turn the body and the shoulder well round. I would here mention that the turn on the foot must not be made until the skater is immediately opposite the spot, while it is well to bear in mind always to keep the circles even and round, and also always to return right to the spot before taking off with the other leg.

When commencing to learn the three, the beginner must be prepared for a few falls ; and, on this account, and having reached this stage of proficiency, I would advise lady enthusiasts to wear knee - pads.

These can be made at home, and are quite inexpensive. And many bruises and cuts would at least be alleviated if they were worn more commonly. To be continued.