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Thursday, August 03, 2006

How fast do I skate??

For so many years, it never crossed my mind to wonder what speed I skate at... until today.

When we say a figure skater "skates fast", how fast is that really? When we enter a jump, at what speed are we really hurling ourselves into the air? Haha, that does sound scary!

Where do I start?

Well, speed skating is the closest relative, and a little search throws out the fact that a speed skater "may reach speeds as high as 30 mi (48 km) per hr" (reference:

I doubt figure skaters attain the same high speeds. Even if we do, it will not be maintained (and certainly not for jumps!!). Perhaps an average speed would be good... So how do I estimate that??

Well, I tried using my program - the one I did at O'dorf.

The rink is 60m long and 30m wide.

When I make 3 lobes down the length (e.g. serpentine spiral sequence), a lower-bound estimate is to assume each lobe is a semi-circle with 20m diameter. Hence each lobe will cover a distance of 10m * PI = 31.4m (using PI=3.14)

The first 38s of my program consists of a total of 5 lobes:
I start 2/3 of the way down, make 2 lobes in preparation for & execution of the Axel combination, which is then followed by the serpentine spiral sequence which is 3 lobes back down the rink.

Hence, the approximate distance covered in 38s is 5 * 31.4m = 157m.
=> average speed = 157m / 38s = 4.13m/s = 14.868km/h (~9.3mph)

Conclusion: My average speed in the first 38s of my program is 14.9km/h (~9.3mph).

[PS: I'm now too lazy to figure out the rest of my program. The reason is that the rest of my program is not in well-defined lobes, and also include spins, which should then translate to rotational speed rather than translational... oh what the heck!]

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