Bull Frog




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By Dan Beard

Fig. 411.
The Grapevine Garland.

This consists of a circle cut by skating spread-eagle forward and by making a succession of leaps. When the writer was still a boy of fourteen or fifteen years, it was considered the best of fun for five or six boys to group themselves in the center of the skating pond or river and do the "bull frog." The sight is comical and certain to win applause and laughter, but no novice need attempt it. Like the clown's "drop act" described in "Stilts," the bull frog requires practice to learn.

How the Bull Frogs Jump.

Spread your toes out spread-eagle fashion. Then leap into the air by raising yourself first on your toes and then springing from them. This is done all in one movement. The slightest possible inclination to the right will cause you to move in that direction; and the direction your toes point, will cause you, in a succession of leaps, to describe a circle, the novelty of which appeals to all boys. A more graceful and equally novel ring can be made without lifting your skates from the ice. This is called

A Spread-Eagle Circle,

and it is cut by spreading the feet as in the "bull-frog." But in place of leaping the skater must learn to keep his feet moving, first the right foot forward and the left foot back, then the left foot forward and right foot back, always with toes turned out spread-eagle fashion. When properly done this motion will cause the skater to glide around in a circle, his feet moving in a most bewildering manner while they weave a pretty grapevine pattern on the ice called (Fig. 411)

The Grapevine Garland.

The momentum needed in order to cut this figure is acquired by a slight push with the toe at each movement of either foot, and as the feet are never lifted from the ice, the push is imperceptible to the observer, and the motion unaccountable to many old skaters, few of whom seem to know the garland figure or spread-eagle circle. When you are able to cut all the figures and skate as described in this chapter, it is safe to leave you alone. Soon the "double roll," the "single and double grapevine," the "outside and inside edge" will be familiar and easy feats for you to perform. As for the

Figs. 412-414.

Outside Edge,

in cutting the circle you have learned the secret of maintaining your balance while leaning outward on either foot, and it is only necessary to make this stroke first with the left and then with the right foot and you will find yourself sailing along in the most approved outer-edge style. You have learned to trust to your ankle and the sharp edge of your skate for support, and the real battle is over. 







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.