Romme Power & Glide

Sorry I’ve been out of touch for a few days… Very work busy, & I had some good personal stuff this past weekend (see my next post) that deserved my time.

I’ve had a lot of fun recently mixing ice and inline skating, and it’s highlighted to me the vast technical & physical differences between the sports.

However It’s all still skating, and no matter if I am gliding on ice or asphalt, I’m still smiling.

Here is a great example of the differences between ice & inline. This is brilliant ice technique, but done on inlines:

This YouTube is originally from Dutch TV, and shows long track legend Gianni Romme training on inlines. (thanks Eric Kraan, for posting this).

I keep watching this over and over, and seeing more technical gems every time.

Romme is a phenomenally strong skater, I was in the stands during his 10k silver medal in the 2002 Olympic games, and even though Romme did not win that day, his power was breathtaking.

In this video you can really see his visible snap and extended glide control during each stroke, and especially right at the end, his absolutely solid hips in the turns & during the turn exit into the straight.

The extended glide phase, especially in the straights, just looks WRONG on inline, but is perfect for ice. The solid hips, whereas in an inline double push you can rock them to add more power…

Romme is solid, solid, solid.

One of only times I ever spoke to Canadian uber-sprinter Jeremy Wotherspoon, after doing some warm-up laps behind him, I remarked how smooth he was, he grinned & said “well, that is the trick ya’know.”

How many Augusts ago was this video taken? Romme is now retired, it’s August again, new people have power & glide of their own, and ice racing begins two months from now.

8 Responses to “Romme Power & Glide”

  1. Wow–that’s some mighty impressive inlining! And, I might add, perfect timing in posting this video…I’ve just been watching some video that my coach took of me inlining on the Oval Monday night; now I can truly say that I know what it’s SUPPOSED to look like! As always, thanks Andrew for finding these gems and getting them out where we can see them…

  2. Andrew,

    Back in August of 96′ I spent 10 days in Holland…9 of them were at The Skeelerbaan (roller skate track) Wolvaga (pronounced vool-vaa-ga) in Friesland. One of those days, I was skating with friend and 2 time Junior World Champion Falko Zandstra. I could not believe how long his glide phase was, prior to the short yet hard push off in the straight away.

    Also had the pleasure of skating some faster laps with Andries Kramer. His curve was super powerful and stable hips much like Gianni.

    The dutch skate very much the same way on skeelers as on the Ice.

    We need some more Skeelerbaans here in the US like Wolvaga.

    Ask Bart Veldkamp about that track….Special asphalt, What I mean is it was Pouring Rain one day, and the people there at the track tell me we can still skate. O.K. now I am skating in the hard rain fast, yet wheels don’t slip/slide out….Special materials/asphalt that drain. Very amazing!

    The Dutch are lucky!!!

  3. Not only can you skate when it rains, in winter in can freeze (i it gets cold enough) and you have a perfectly good 300m oval to play around in your old viking specials.

    Pete, did you stay at the old people’s home near the track in Wolvega. Wonderful little one horse (and a whole lot of cows) town near Heerenveen.

  4. Eric,

    I stayed at a small home in Sexbierum near the sea dike. Thats where my dad was born and raised. While my dad, mom and sister were touring through France and Germany, I choose to stay near the sea, and drive the hour to Wolvega, because to me that was a great holiday!

    Next summer I will visit there again :)


  5. I met stephanie in ST practice and she’s very nice and cool. Def. want to go skating with her again.

  6. don’be historical ringo starr in the magical mystery tour

    wow there is really a lot of fryslan going on in these posts - i like that. Falco was the best of all. Maybe some of you remember one of his (senior!) victories in Heerenveen - his buddy Rintje R. as a close second. After our national hymn there sounded the frysian national hymn - a summit in the good old fryslan feeling. Sure you know how all the skate fans have a big arsenal of national hymns.From german to american to whatever: they just singshout along even if they don’t know the words…
    BTW: talking about gliding, Falco was and is still called a”flyer”. He didn’t bend so far down and his legs would never have dreamed of the size of for example Romme’s. Another nickname was de “spijker” , the “nail*. Well he certainly knew how to hit the ice. His gliding was not at all much supported by enormous almost blown up upperlegs but his speed was “as if flying” Not deep yet selfpropelled high speed.
    What do you think andrew and everybody: how could he do that? Position of pelvis in his - of course -perfectly trained core-powerhouse?

    My old tai chi teacher once told me to move as if being pushed from the back forward through my pelvis. And yes, adequate focus into pelvis and surrounding area plus smiling would certainly prevent going too much down (risk of digging into the ice) and making skating heavy instead of subtly smoothly seemingly effortless, highly efficient. Don’t fight, follow the flow. How to fly without trying - ask falco.

    (most of the dutch marathonskaters participate in the inline marathon competition in the summer. Most of them do the DP and you’ll recognize the DP in the ice-skating thechnique of quite a few in ice-marathons. Its my humble opinion that the efficiency of inlining could/should/would be very usefull on the ice - look at Chad H. and others… But don’t tell the dutch.)


  7. Jules,

    Falco was a nail…very thin legs for sure. But I can tell you as many others that knew Falko to be VERY STRONG when peforming weight training like Leg Press. He could use his amazing power to weight ratio and use it with little wasted.

    He too had the best curve acceleration I have ever wittnessed of an All Arounder, when I would watch him do 800 and 1200 meter tempo’s on Fryslan Selection Training in Heerenveen. No pause of the armswing, and VERY EARLY pressure on his pushes.

    Interesting you mention position of the pelvis too. It was one of the very imporntant technique instructions I was getting there from my coach…..He would say: before man had evolved, he had a tail. He wanted hips/pelvis to remain Horizontal…..”Tail to the ice” (base of spine)he would say, and doing so would keep hips horizontal. This would allow better blood flow in the back muscles, better glide, and more sideward push of the carving skate. Falko, Gianni, and many Dutch skaters do this very well.

    Interesting too what you mention about DP and ice.
    Watching Chad perfect his style on the ice is exciting. Watching Sven Kramer do his version in the straightaway is also amazing. Sven seems like he has Superman Like Strength too, making 29’s look easy…..We know that kind of wattage power output, looking soooo silky smooth, must involve some sort of technical efficency….something like DP perhaps.

    Glide and Power with amazing style.

    I love our sport!

  8. getting ready to get ready

    Schaatsen: Nederlandse toppers trainen in Hamar

    dutch skaters in Hamar

    mazzel jules

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