There are several important skating characteristics of fast hockey players. One of the most important is the width of the stride. This means a wide stride, not a long stride. The reason stride width is important for speed in hockey skating is because a fast player needs to quickly get his or her skate back on the ice (after pushing off) to start the next push-off.
Stride Width Research and Observation of Fast Players
Pierre Page was the first person/researcher to find that fast hockey players have a wide stride. Page compared fast to slow hockey players and found the faster players had the following to indicate they had a wider stride:
- a wider left stride
- a wider right stride
- greater width between strides
- greater hip abduction angle (hip abduction is when the leg is pushing to the side)
You can read about Page’s research in a pervious article, Investigation: Biomechanical differences between Fast and Slow skaters.
Wayne Marino (University of Windsor) found that velocity in hockey skating is dependent on the number of strides taken over a certain distance. He also found the faster a hockey player skated, the quicker they got the skate back on the ice after push-off. This means fast hockey skaters have quick, wide strides, and get their skate on the ice quickly after push-off.
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