Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Synthetic Ice Skating Series – Part 1 of 3 – Strides


Welcome to the Synthetic Ice Skating Series!

HockeyShot’s Bench Boss, Jeremy Rupke, is joined by Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale, to create a multi-part series to help you stay on your feet and beat the competition to the puck. The entire series was executed on HockeyShot’s industry-leading, head-turning, awe-inspiring Synthetic Ice!


While most of you already know “Mr. How to Hockey,” Jeremy Rupke, and some of you may be unfamiliar with the other man in these issues (March, April and May). Let us properly introduce you to a coach and hockey instructor for 20-plus years, Mr. Jim Vitale. He has put a tremendous amount of thought in the game and teaches players how to improve year after year.

hs1Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills has been coaching many teams throughout Toronto including the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Jim has run hockey camps for years to improve hockey players training and skills to develop them for the next level. There is nothing more important than the skill of skating, so let’s get started.

Vitale believes one of the most important skating drills is learning how to properly stride and maximizing the stride technique. Rupke asked what he thought is the most important thing for beginner players. Vitale responded, “It is just a matter of realizing that to go forward, you have to go side to side.”

Many coaches are teaching their players to go back-to-front for their stride, but Vitale believes a stride should be more horizontal.

“Like an airplane, not a helicopter,” he says.

Hockey Stride

By using their stride back to front, it is minimizing the amount of time the blade contacts the ice, and that is going to stop a player from getting down the ice as quickly as possible.

The more efficient you are at transferring muscle from hip to the ankle, the better the stride is going to be. Starting your stride from the middle to the back of the blade allows you to make your force better. Proper stride posture is very key to being able to skate properly and going somewhere in between 90 degrees and 180 degrees gives your leg the only option to push sideways to extend horizontal.

Remember, as your extending your leg, finish your stride for maximum effect.

Stay tuned next month for Part 2 of the Synthetic Ice Skating Series, when Rupke and Vitale explain how to turn properly and manage “inertia.”

For all the best hockey training products, including Synthetic Ice – Revolution Tiles and Extreme Glide Synthetic Ice, visit

(April 13, 2018)

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