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Derek Parra Helping Inline Skaters Take to Ice...plus High Point NC Skater Heather Richardson

roadskater's picture

Derek Parra was among the early adopters switching from inline to ice, and now he seems ready to switch to coaching and recruiting to help the USA continue its improvements in speedskating. As part of a Wheels on Ice initiative, Parra recently hosted a group of inliners, including Heather Lynn Richardson of High Point NC and Chad Horne of nearby Danville VA.

The article is not much because it is transcripted from the video. It's worth the time to install a player to see this if you like inline or ice, or if you're a fan of Parra. Richardson makes a brief comment and the video features some roadskating double push along with the fun on ice. It's good stuff all the way around, and I'd like to say thank you to KSL TV for sharing this with the world. A little DP for us shut-ins on a winter's night!

Check out some double push roadskating and some inliners on ice with Derek Parra


profjb2000's picture

Top Inline Skaters Switching to Ice

    I don't see how the US can build a great national inline team capable of winning globally and attracting positive attention to the sport when the best skaters are converting to ice. The trend from inline to ice seems to be a 'one-way' transition. Now, the new USS head is promoting an aggressive inline skater recruitment effort that could grab even more inline skaters.

    The ice skating community including USS does not actively promote inline skating as a training option for ice skaters during the off-season. I have personally witnessed ice skaters being discourages against inline skating. I hear a negative remark about inline skating at ice practices at least once every couple weeks.

    The exception is one of our coaches who is a former short track ice Olympian. She includes inline workouts in our summer training program and has one of the best skating techniques that you will ever witness. Our most talented Olympic hopeful added inline skating to his training last summer and just won the U.S. Junior Long Track Championships last week. One can only hope that positive results will slowly get the two sports working together.


eebee's picture

Is it the risk of falling?

Do the ice coaches discourage inline skating, you think, because of injury risk? I don't really know much about this, but I know that when I've plodded about on those painful, rented figure skates at the local rink, and fallen, I haven't sustained any injuries. At least nothing other than big divots in my shins from those skates! On dry land there's that whole friction thing, and injuries are probably worse than on the ice.


I hope your hope comes true, about an ice-to-inline awakening! I guess I was optimistic back when Derek Parra did so well in the Olympics, that young fans would hear 'former inline-skater' and jump on that if they didn't at least have any ice speed teams nearby. Thanks for sharing what you're seeing, now.

profjb2000's picture

Concerned about technique

     One of the most commonly expressed beliefs is that inline techniques, especially double-push, will interfere with ice technique. I can double-push on the ice, but it is not practical for short track. Double pushing, even during our summer inline track workouts, can start the grumbling. I will agree that my ice technique is not perfect and never will be, which is fine with me. It is my way to stay in condition and compete during the winter months.

     Regarding falls, I have sustained more serious injuries on short track ice than ever on inlines. A crash last year fractured three ribs, damaged the girdle around my right shoulder that was almost dislocated, bruised my rotator cuff, and caused a spiral compression fracture of a vertebrae. It took nearly six months to heal. A simple fall this year caused a partial tear of a ligament in my knee, which put me off skates for two months. My worst inline injuries are some terrible road rash and bruised pride. 

     I believe the inline skaters have really gotten the attention of the pure ice skaters. I am hoping we will get some converts as a result of the skaters interacting. I am a little worried about some animosity that exists. USS has been allowing the good inline skaters to come in as Level 1 skaters instead of earning it in meets like the ice skaters.

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