The Math in Figure Skating Essay

1636 Words Dec 18th, 2013 7 Pages
MATH AND FIGURE SKATING

Alexis Dillon
I. Introduction
This paper will be discussing the involvement of math in figure skating. There are three parts of skating that will be discussed in the essay; jumps and moves in the field. Jumps require a lot of power, strength and knee bend in order for the jump to be successful. I will be looking at the appropriate angle of knee bend a skater needs to successfully land a jump. Moves in the field are series of test that include certain turns and moves that are tested in front of judges. Moves in the field require grace, knee bend, speed and strength. This essay will discuss the correct angle of the knee bend required to correctly complete specific turns, including counters, rockers
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The photos were separated into two groups, turn with a perfect edge and turn with imperfect edge. The angle of the knee was measured for each photo and then averaged. The average angle for a turn with perfect edge quality was 109° (refer to figure 3 for what the edge is supposed to look like). The average angle for a turn with imperfect edge quality was about 123°. Below are the pictures of a person doing the turn and what the turn looked like on the ice.
RFI Rocker- 123°

RFI Rocker 109°

VI. How does math relate to this turn?
Although, the differences between the two angles may have seemed small, it made a huge difference. I’ve been working on these types turns for about a year, and from experience, I know there are some many things that need to be perfect in order for the turn to be on the correct edge and successful. One of the most important and influential part of the turn is the amount of knee bend the skater has. So, how does the angle of the knee make the turn have good or bad edge quality? When you bend your knee, you are doing what’s called, “pressing your edge”. This means you are on the correct edge because of your knee bend. So, how much knee bend is enough? Is there a certain angle needed to perfect the turns? The answer is yes. This experiment has shown that a very large angle and a very low angle will disrupt the turn.
VII. What is an axel?
Axel is one of the most difficult jumps. The axel takes

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