Most of you know that a hand full of the master skaters make a yearly pilgrimage to SLC for Derek Parra’s Master’s Camp.. Personally I enjoy trying to stay current in the sport, doing something different for a few days and also meeting and hanging out with very cool and accomplished folks.
One of the skaters at the camp is Jack Schram. He comes to speedskating from a different path than most. He’s a Crashed Ice skater. This is an extreme winter sport where skaters race downhill. Jack’s skating skills are amazing, most speedskaters are happy if they can figure out how to turn to the right!!!
Check out this video of what Jack can do!!: Crashed Ice
Mary and I have had slideboards for years. Although it is not a substitute for actually being on ice or wheels, they are a great tool for simulating skating and working on some of the components of your skating technique.
Traditional slideboards are bulky, take up a lot of room and are not very portable. A slideboard can be build for a relatively low cost from components available at your local Home Depot.
Our old slideboard only comes out a few times per year because it was inconvenient to set up and usually spent most of it’s time being a coat hanger in a corner of the garage.
Recently I picked up a NSC Slideboard: NSC Slide Board , This board rolls up into something about the size of a yoga mat. It’s probably the best sliding board that I’ve ever been on. Also, the board comes with booties that you can put on easily that will make this one of the slipperiest boards around. It’s portable and has a covering on the backside to keep it from slipping on smooth surfaces.
When I purchased the slideboard, it was $140. It came in 5,6,7 and 8ft lengths. It also came with 1 pair of booties. I bought 2 spare pair for $15 each.
When we were at the Master’s camp last year, they recommended the 6′ length because you could get a faster cadence. Also, I’m able to maintain form better on the shorter board.