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Hearing a Smooth Skate on the Ice

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Hearing a Smooth Skate on the Ice

Hearing a Smooth Skate on the Ice

Hearing a Smooth Skate on the Ice

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  • Transcript

Listener and figure skater Felicia Reynolds tells us how the sounds of her skates tell her how she is performing.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Today's installment of our SoundClip series is appropriate as we head into the holiday season. It's from a professional ice skater.

Ms. FELICIA REYNOLDS: My name's Felicia Reynolds and we are here at the Burbank Ice Arena in Reading, Massachusetts. When figure skaters are just skating around it's called stroking. That grinding sound you hear is actually the bite of your blades in the ice. And you should hear that sound, because if you don't then you're not even trying. The hissing sound that you heard is actually a band sound. It means that I'm not properly aligned and my blade is skidding slightly. Ideally you should hear nothing but the grinding sound, but I'm working on it.

(Soundbite of skating)

Ms. REYNOLDS: That was a rip, and that is the sound of a blade on a hard curve. Again, if you hear that high pitched scrape, which you heard a little bit because I'm not that good, it tells you that your body is aligned properly and you've gone too far forward and you're scraping your toe pick.

(Soundbite of grinding)

Ms. REYNOLDS: That is the sound of what's called a clean run of edge and it should be almost completely silent. The better the skater, the quieter that is, the faster they can do it. Sounds easy, looks easy and really isn't easy.

(Soundbite of grinding)

NORRIS: Figure skater Felicia Reynolds. You can find out how you can contribute to the SoundClip series at NPR.org.

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