Tag Archives: speed skate world

Ice to meet you

In the course of events in this thing I call my life, I need to mix things up. I’m not the kinda guy that you can expect to sit still for more than a few minutes at a clip, at least with my pants on…

REVEALED: This is how I cop so much time on SkateLog Speed Skating Forum.

I need to be busy. Need to be doing something. And no matter what it is, if I really find it interesting, I can become very disciplined, very quickly and develop routines that I’ll adhere to, religiously, for years without interruption. But once I start getting bored, the routines get hard to maintain, and I need to find something to spice things up, or I’ll start getting lazy and I’ll start relying on anything I can find to use as an excuse to get distracted from that thing I was so engrossed with that it became a part of my daily life and part of the definition of…me.

My career as Skatey Spice was short lived...I just couldn't bring myself to shave my legs.

I’ll admit it…I started getting bored with this thing of ours. That’s right. I started to become a slacker skater. If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’ve seen the ups and downs. What I’ve published here really only scratches the surface. And yes, my posts do tend to exaggerate the state of things, and go more for a cheap fart joke than any real substance, but that aside it’s a pretty honest portrayal of my skating life. I’ve added emphasis there because my skating life is truly more than roller skating, or, you know, inline speed skating. Ice has become a part of this thing I do. To the extent that I should really just say I’m a skater, as opposed to an inline skater, because the latter implies a singularity of purpose that just isn’t in my make up anymore. It’s like saying “I’m a road-skater,” or “I’m a trail-skater,” or “I’m an indoor speed skater,” or “I’m a marathon skater.” The label “inline skater” has become too restrictive. And since freedom is so much of what I love about this sport, I think saying “I’m a skater” is about as liberating as I can get. That said, inline is really my core so I’m not dumping the label. I’m just more open-minded about this thing I do.

We're just not coming at this from the same place.

Being one of such open mind, I decided that since nude speed skating is flat-out too dangerous and just wrong (God knows the view would be hanus trying to catch a draft,) 2011 is the year of doing things differently. By that I mean setting new goals, tackling new challenges and stretching past my comfort zone. It’s one thing to try to break a personal best time, whether it’s for 100m or 26.2 miles. It’s another to try to become somewhat competent in another discipline, and that’s what I’ve chosen to focus on. I’ve moved to ice. Not in the epic sense of a Jondon Trevena or Derek Parra or Chad Hedrick. No. Just in the sense of being me and trying something new. And it’s been a humbling experience, one that’s done the ego some good.

Taking a similar track to what I did my first year on inlines, I jumped right into the deep end of training and competing. Honestly, the main reason I haven’t been updating these pages all that much lately is that I’ve been using all the spare time I can find to get me some quality ice time on my new Marchese One boots and Marchese Zero blades. (Full disclosure…CadoMotus makes these Marchese’s, and CadoMotus is a sponsor of First Loser.)

These skates kick butt.

Yep…I’ve become a short track slut, puttin’ out on the ice as much as I can, and gettin’ my money’s worth out of the Ice Center Super Pass I bought in February. But I digress…

To really kick up the excitement a notch, I competed in my first ice meet earlier this season, The 2011 Colorado Speed Skating Championships. The meet was organized by Colorado Gold Speedskating, and they’re just awesome! anyway…this meet was a quick test of my ego-resiliency. Considering that my only real competition was a self-described “old lady” and some guys that have been doing short track for all of maybe eight months to a year, I was thinking I was on my way to gold, or at least the claim of having my First Loser status carry over in my ice debut. That wasn’t to be the case. I did pretty well, in that I got the entry fee’s worth out of the event by placing in my heats and skating all the finals, but the podium was a bit further away than I thought it would be.

Turns out I was competing in the masters division. So even though I was on the ice with the Bony Pony’s, or whatever we were being called, I was skating against those guys I was watching and going “Holy S#!t look at that!” So needless to say I didn’t come home with any medals (not even a freaking participation award or a chocolate bar) but I did skate away having had a great time and really falling for this new discipline. (Father’s pride: Freezy Weezy took third in his division!)

Freezy Weezy takes Bronze!

As it stands right now, I’m on the fence about NSIM this year. I honestly don’t know if I’m going to go. It’s a lot of effort for a little better than an hour’s worth of skating time. Yes, it’s the premiere event for me, no doubt. But I’m not excited about the idea anywhere near as much as I’m stoked to go to a short track clinic at the Oval in SLC in June, and compete here in Fort Collins at our first ice meet in October. I’m truly excited and I’m working hard to try to improve my technique so that I can show improvement versus what I did down there at the World Arena in April. That’s got me fired up man. Honestly, I miss that about inline. That same fire just ain’t there anymore.

DON’T GET ME WRONG DAMNIT! I still love inline skating more than any other sport. And now that the weather is somewhat improving here in NoCo I’ve been able to hit the trails with gusto again (94 miles logged last week!) and I’m truly amazed every time I skate in my Pro M1’s on the trail and feel truly in command of every facet of my stride, but it’s that, I don’t know, maybe it’s the novelty of new-found passion that I just don’t have for inline anymore. With inline, it’s like I have something to maintain. I’ve achieved a little something. With ice, I ain’t done s#!t, so I’ve got the world before me. And with a 1:07 500m time, I’ve got nowhere to go but up…at least I hope.

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Crazy F’in Glenn is at it again! Just to make things nice and tidy, he’s offered up a really schweet deal on Bont Patriot Short Track boots and Bont ice blades. Check it speed freaks:

Any in-stock Bont Patriot short track boots, normally $225, this month only, $175. 

Any  in-stock Bont Platinum blades (top-of-the-line!), normally $450, this month only, $375.

NEW – full custom Bont Patriot boots and Platinum blades, $1000!  Note that the blades alone normally retail for $450.  Shipping and applicable taxes extra, please.

Email Glenn today: glenn916@yahoo.com to get this crazy azz deal before it’s too late. Sorry Rick! (Inside joke.)

Do the namaste

Roll out your stinky mat, light the incense, rub some coriander oil into your pecs and get ready to get downward D-O-Double-G. This is another one of those things I said I’d never do. But here I sit…and I think…they say change comes from within, so the next time I break one off I want to pass a Grant, two Jackson’s and a Hamilton, with interest, ’cause I’ve been holding this exploration for a long time. That’s right Boo-boo…bang a gong and strike a pose as we endure initiation into the world of Yoga. Who’s your Yogi, baby?

A few more inches and I'll never have to leave the house again...

It started innocently enough…Horseypants invited me to attend what her friend Mrs. Needle Pusher (SpeedLord’s Mom) sucked her into…Core Power Yoga. I’d done a Yoga class with her a few years before, so I knew what I was getting into. And since I’m down a few sizes since my Jabba-The-Hutt Mu-Mu wearing days, and I’ve been told that I need to get more flexible, I decided it was time to try again.

My first observation: Yoga isn’t just for unbathed hippies, flatulent vegans or chicks that like their partners hung like a doughnut anymore…not only is my own MILF regularly going, but there were plenty of would-be yogis in what Mr. Needle Pusher calls “distracting” outfits. The talent has really come along since the last time I tried this 10 years ago. But other than the influx of Cougars and Co-eds, not much more has changed, particularly the smell of sweat steeped patchouli and the heat.

The ambient music helped create a mood that allowed me to drop my cynicism just long enough to relax and flow with the experience. We start in Balasana, or Child pose, which I imagine is a very familiar posture for your average practicing Muslim, but instead of chanting prayers toward Mecca you’re silent on your knees, driving your hips and weight down over your heels at the same time pushing your forehead into the mat under you and stretching out your arms on the floor over your head. It creates an expansive cavity for you to focus on your breath and release tension in all of your major muscle groups. It’s very effective as a warm up all by itself.

Child pose...don't eat pork and beans the night before class.

As I’ve come to learn, the practice is centered on synchronization of timing and motion. Timing the motion of your body to be synchronous with your breath. With focused practice, Yoga becomes a moving meditation. In the first few weeks I was moving with nothing like what you’d call Swiss accuracy, but by the third week I began to get just a slight feel for the fluidity that the instructors move with. I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but it’s just like those first few times you nail a good double push. You know this can only get better the more you practice, and you start to think about it obsessively, living in anticipation of your next training session to do it again. At least, that’s how I know it’s right for me.

And like skating, you’ve got to start slowly and build a foundation. I’ve chosen to spend time with the breathing, as breath control is something I always struggle with. In Yoga practice, the breath work starts right in Balsana. In pose, it’s simply a matter of taking purposeful long, slow breaths, and timing them so that as you enter a new posture, you lengthen your musculature on the inward breath, and find depth upon the breath release. In some postures, that’s lengthening your spine by lifting your chest to the ceiling as you’re breathing in, and going deeper into a twist or a stretch on release.

A number of these postures were familiar due to the inordinate amount of time I spend being down low as a speed skater or sitting on the crapper. With inline speed skating I’ve built a pretty solid core, so to get down and hold Utkatasana, or Chair pose, isn’t a problem for my quads, but man, it takes on a whole new dimension when you raise your arms over your head and straighten your spine.

Let's see Cheney do this! Heh, heh...

We also use runner’s stretch, and a lot of the Warrior poses put you into a forward lunge that’s familiar. I was surprised at how hard it was to find balance in some of these poses considering the amount of time I spend doing one-legged drills, both on inlines and ice, but I found that as I focused more on my breathing, it was easier to achieve the balance I was looking for. One of the coolest poses is Eagle pose, where you move from the Chair pose to this pose shown below:

Eagle pose: what I usually look like on the floor after attempting a Hawk. To pull this off while standing is a bird of a different feather.

My problem with Eagle is that I can’t seem to get my foot wrapped around by calf, because my blood is tiger’s milk and I have the legs of Adonis. But I digress…The dude in the pic above isn’t fully there, as this one also requires you to get your elbows up to shoulder level. Talk about brutal, but that’s not the worst of it. There’s this inversion pose called Crow pose…

Seriously, WTF am I doing here?

In Crow, you’ve got to balance yourself on the shelf you create with your triceps after you’ve been doing this in a hot room for 45 minutes. This gets slippery…and the danger of face plant is high. Go ahead and try and do this one, naked in front of a mirror (just for added kicks.) Oh, and hold it for a minimum of 5 deep breath cycles. Yeah…Charlie Sheen couldn’t even hang with that s#&t, boyee! It’s Epic!

There are many other poses that skaters can benefit from. And with the Core Power program, they run you through other core building exercises like bicycle crunches. A lot of the poses really stretch out your hammies. After an hour, I’m spent, dripping wet and smelling of rotten feet (but that’s because I hit the Yoga class after having spent an hour on the ice. The chicks really dig the aroma.)

If anything, I’m thinking Yoga will allow me to get deeper in my seat, and improve my core strength, stacked alignment and balance when I’m skating, both inline and on the ice. Am I more flexible? Hard to say at this point. I do know this…I feel a lot more vulnerable, and sometimes really dirty, like I need to take a shower to wash off the ugliness…

I got worried when the instructor introduced herself as Yogi Strap-On Sally.

This might have something to do with Happy Baby pose.

Short track hijinks

So I’ve developed an interest in short track speed skating, and I’ve been out here making jokes about figure skating, but man, did you know how bad-ass the sport of figure skating has become? I’m not talking about a relatively good natured competitive knee knocking, I’m talking serious s#*t…vehicular manslaughter, sex tapes, drugs, multiple DUI’s, various and sundry “alleged” assault charges, several divorces, bankruptcies, bars, nightclubs & strip joints, hair metal, groupies and girls, girls, girls.

"Ponytails make for a competitive disadvantage guys. Maybe it's time for a haircut?"

The world of figure skating has become a Theater of Pain in which Dr. Feelgood has taken center stage, Shouting At The Devil for the enjoyment of Captain America and the Minions of Media Consumption. Amazing…yet another 80’s metal icon, Motley Crüe front-man Vince Neil, has become a TV darling that my mother would love…just like Ozzy F@#%ing Osbourne, Bret Michaels and The Demon, Gene Simmons. (Whoops…I don’t mess with Gene man, he’s my idol. The man has been a mentor since I was seven. Forget I mentioned him.) Vince Neil on Skating With The Stars. OMG…

This is SOOOOOOOO painful to watch. Fall of Rome type stuff man. It might actually be more fun to watch them feeding believers to the lions, cause this is just pure hell. How much farther can we fall?

As we wait for the imminent collapse of Western Civilization, my son and I are having a great time learning how to take what we know about inline speed skating and apply it to ice. He’s a quick learner, very adaptable, and has taken to it more naturally and a lot quicker than I have. It’s taking me time, but I’m enjoying it.

US Jondon Trevena skates in the mens 5000m speed skating finals 09 February 2002 at the Utah Olympic Oval during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. AFP PHOTO TIMOTHY A. CLARY (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Picking up where we left off…Last time I went to Jondon’s ice class, I was slipping and sliding, going slow and falling at slow speed, which left me wet & sore. I didn’t go back. This time though, I applied some of the technique I’ve learned on inlines and had a much better result. Long straight-away glides, leaning into the turns, shoulder & hip alignment…that and I’d learned enough watching the others that I knew I could survive a turn by loading up all of my weight on my right skate. Choosing not to fall over form, I avoided crossovers for the entire class. I didn’t create any real power and I couldn’t stay with the line when they powered out onto the straightaway, but I didn’t care, I was just having a blast getting a feel for the edges…which for me was just one at this point, and mostly on the right skate! (Double push is hard to un-learn, but completely necessary at this early stage. Oi!)  By the end of class though, when no one was looking, I started doing a circle drill by myself and lo and behold, when I put some weight on my left skate I was actually getting some traction and felt comfortable crossing over. It was at that point I knew I had to go back for more. I was starting to see why technical skaters do so well going over to ice, and I liked it.

With my addictive personality, it quickly became an obsession. So compulsively, the very next day, we went back. The day after that too, hitting two public sessions for up to three and a half hours of additional ice time that week. By the end of the second day, I was getting low in the turns, able to crossover the whole way, and combined with long straight away strides, was going hella fast. More importantly, Speedy Weezy was making incredible gains. It was perfect. Another kid from the speed class was there at the second open session, so we were both able to chase him around and do a quick study of his form. By the sessions end, Speedy was keeping up with this kid, touching the ice with every turn and really having a great time experimenting, falling, spinning, slamming into the boards and doing it all over again with the goal of staying up next time. (“Dad, if you’re not falling you’re not working hard enough!” he shouted as he left me in the ice-dust.) We giggled all the way home, laughing and bragging to each other about our spectacular wipe outs. Sliding into the boards at high speed, spinning on our tails (or on all-fours doing 360°’s halfway down the straightaway,) getting dizzy, bonding over ice. I’ll never forget that ride home with him.

And here’s the best part…what we were really doing with these extra sessions was getting Speedy some extra time on the ice before his first meet, which was coming up that weekend…to be continued.

HEY! Check out the Training Log page for self-incriminating detail of how I work it. Or not.

Ice, ice baby

For me, prefacing anything with “I’ll never…” unleashes a mercurial power that brings to life that to which it’s been applied. (Wow, that was a mouthful of a sentence, eh?!) This power…I need to be careful with it, because I distinctly remember saying once that I’d never figure skate…

My butt was so cold it cracked. Get it?!

When it comes to skating, there’s now one thing in which I have complete faith. It’s this power, the power of the phrase “I’ll never…” Some would consider such power…unnatural. It’s become my fool-proof system to subliminally program my brain to do things I’d never thought possible. I’ve proven it, scientifically. If I really want to get into something, all I need to do is say I’ll never do it. No matter what it is…switch from fitness boots to speed boots, skate a marathon, wear a skin suit, skate indoors, be a coach…speed skate on ice.

Confession time: today I joined US Speedskating. Frealz…I’ve never even gotten an amateur card with USARS.

How’d it happen? It was all his fault, the guy second from left:

Short Track Skating: 2002 Winter Olympics, Portrait of USA Speed skaters (L-R) Marc Pelchat, Jondon Trevena, J,P, Shilling, and K,C, Boutiette with USA flag at Olympic Oval, Kearns 1/18/2002 (Photo by Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

I went to my inline coaches ice class once over the holiday break with my son, Speedy Weezy. Speedy and several other kids from The Rink Rabbits/Team United (Lionheart, The Brothers Speed and The Fast Kid) have been taking the class and having a great time. I’d gone once before back some time last year but at that point, it didn’t leave much of an aftertaste. But this time, for whatever reason, man I’m hooked. I’m hungry for more. I can’t get enough. And I know why…

It’s because I’ve spent so much time focused on my inline speed skating technique. Little things that mean so much – foot pressure, hip placement, arm swing, body alignment, balance, being able to get my skates underneath me and distribute my weight properly. Strengthening those little muscles that your really don’t use for anything else. Building my core. Breaking things down and studying the effects of subtle changes in position and timing. All that and I’ve been trying to get more flexible, and I’ve been pounding myself on the foundational drills. A lot of what Jondon’s taught me that was reinforced when Joey Mantia came and gave an inline speed skating clinic at Rollerland back in September. The new stuff I got from our time with him. I’ve been working on all of this stuff. It’s actually been a lot of focused work, even when I was off-skates for a while and thinking about ditching it all.

There’s so much more to tell…about the class, the two public sessions we went to the two days after the class, and Speedy Weezy’s first meet this past Sunday. In a week’s time, I’ve found something in me I didn’t know existed…the heart of a speed skater that knows no discrimination.

To be continued…

The Third Day of Inline Christmas

The anticipation is getting intense…

T’was the Third Day of Inline Christmas…When I looked in the mirror, what looked back was a skater, who’d grown chubby and plump with a little round belly, that when tucked into base position hung like a Hefty sack full of jelly. Too many cookies and holiday treats, would make for slower times the next few skate meets. To maintain not gain was my holiday goal, by mid-December t’was on a roll. But in these last twelve days I’d somehow lost pace, with so many cookies and cakes and tempting treats in my face. But with a wink of my eye and a twist of my head, I’ll turn tonight’s speed practice from work to a party instead. ‘Cause Christmastime is all about fun, and laughter and joy not how many races you’ve won. A few extra pounds this week doesn’t phase, for holiday fun’s what’s important these days, and I know that next week I’ll be shedding the weight, by pulling the pace line, not drafting the skate.

Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom

We’re getting down to the wire…and thank God for that. I’m starting to rhyme everything and I’m getting fat. I love Christmastime, don’t get me wrong, but this crazy twelve days thing has gone on way too long. It’s taking time from my skating, I’ve blown a few days, looking at words and thinking of ways, to make skater rhymes meaningful and snappy, but honestly I know, some are just crappy. And as I sit and I write I keep eating these treats, when I should really be out skating the streets. A Poet Laureate I’ll never be, just First Loser the hack blogger…yep, that’s me.

Greievous' Tsmeu-6. Catch me now Kenobi...b!%#h!

Drawing upon a robust history of development that began with an original design conceived in Marseilles, France in 1869, and perfected by Z-Gomot Ternbuell Guppat Corporation in the Zug system, the Tsmeu-6 is the motorized monocycle made in the Netherlands that propels a single rider up to 25 MPH. While it probably wouldn’t outrun a varactyl beast named Boga, it’ll be fun to draft behind on the skate trail. Powered by a 31cc, four-stroke 1 1/2-hp engine, the wheel operates by using a centrifugal clutch on its inner steel frame to engage the larger 67″ diam. outer flywheel that actually makes contact with the ground with a rubber tire. The ingenious device is steered by leaning to one side or the other, and it can safely negotiate any dense surface such as pavement or grass. A fiberglass frame encloses the engine, drive train, and fuel tank, and provides a cushioned seat and convenient footrests for riders up to 6′ 3″ high when in a sitting position. The hand-holds have a finger throttle that provides progressive acceleration and a brake that provides confident stops for riders up to 275 lbs. (minimum weight of 110 lbs. suggested for proper counterbalance during acceleration and braking). It can run for up to two hours on less than a 1/2-gallon of gasoline. Not a street-legal vehicle, but neither are skates here in Northern Colorado, so who gives! I’m getting one of these bad boys. Oh, but wait, there’s that price tag…67″ diam. x 14″ W. (110 lbs.)

The Fourth Day of Inline Christmas

The song remains the same…

T’was the fourth night of Inline Christmas when…Down the chimney Crazy Glenn came with a bound, he was dressed all in neoprene, a tho’ the room be quite dimly lit, I could see he was wearing a full-body EzeeFit. A bundle of Bonts he had flung on his back, a couple o’ grand worth o’ skates in that pack. Just as I reached for a fresh pair of Vaypors, my wife slapped me hard with rolled up newspapers. “Hold on there Hot Shot, there’ll be no debate, for you really don’t need one more pair of skates.” “But honey,” I said, “Santa knows I need more, I really can’t rest till I have three or four…from each boot maker I need more and fast, for each model skate’s made from a one-of-a-kind last. It’s the deck height and spacing, carbon content and fit, no one’s like the other and till I’ve tried them all I can’t quit.”

“Be they Simmons, or Rollerblade, Bont or Luigino, it’s better than dropping our cash in casinos! Don’t forget Pinnacle, Powerslide, or Verducci, (last night I watched Big Night with that guy Stanley Tucci.) Then I must try X-Techs, Canariam, EdgeTek and Hyper, Cado Motus and Schankel, before I’m old and in diapers. Cause skating keeps me young no matter how old I get, but this rhyming’s for the birds, tis making my head split.” She looked at me sideways as she dropped the club, “Your just do what’s best for us, I’ll be in the tub.” So I asked Glenn to leave, but in a move I found daring, I had him leave me a gross of Buck Bearings.

And it was in bath that I found her later that night, her skin glimmering in the soft, pale moonlight. She shook her head slowly as I got undressed, and said she still loved me, tho’ I’m so skate obsessed.

"Yeah, so we get to Rollerdome, and it's closed. We're like, 'well this sucks.' Then Walter dropped his phone in the toilet. Come get us, Dude."

Whew! I’m throwin’ rocks tonight. I feel like the Dr. Seuss of skating! Trying to write this stuff is like a natural caffeine. I’m naturally wired.

Yep...here's why I won't be competing in 2011. I'm making the transition from inline to skatecycle. I'm gonna own this s#%t!

This is the skatecycle–the next generation recreational vehicle that won an International Design Excellence Award and a permanent place in the Henry Ford Museum. I’m usually leery of these things, but this one looks pretty cool. It combines the foot control of snowboarding, the balanced turning of skateboarding, and the nimble, undulating movements of casterboarding. (Undulating is a perv-word, isn’t it?) Anyway…both feet are placed onto two slip-resistant footboards, and its double-jointed, twisting axle allows riders to move either of the 9″ polyurethane wheels individually by twisting the feet inwards and outwards. This continued foot motion, in synchronization with a twisting upper body, “drives” the cycle over flat, level ground. Dunno…could this be as cool as the Land Rollers were when Apolo was pitching them? Durable aluminum and composite frame supports riders up to 220 lbs. 30″ L x 6 1/2″ W x 9 1/2″ H. (7 1/4 lbs.)

The Fifth Day of Inline Christmas

This post will make your brain bleed…

T’was the fifth day before of Inline Christmas when…And then with a twinkling my kids came to me, and said “Your count is all wrong, we’ll show you, you’ll see.” With calendar in hand, and a smirk on her face, my daughter said “Dad, you’re just a little off pace.” “No, no!” I cried foul, this just couldn’t be. “My countdown to Christmas is on track, can’t you see?” The 25th is the day I count as day one in my countdown of twelve days of Inline Christmas fun. “But Dad, said my son, Mom said your posts start with “before,” so on 12/25, you’ll still need one more…” He held up his hand and counted on fingers…when Saturday came there was one left to linger. Alas, they were right, the posts as positioned, would leave an extra day for which I hadn’t provisioned. And so, from henceforth each post shall begin, as it should have, with “day of” not “before” in lead in…

The only 5 Golden Rings in my future...pass the ketchup.

I love this time of year. Even when things aren’t exactly like I want them to be, it doesn’t seem so bad. There’s nothing a little Christmas spirit can’t overcome. I can’t wait for Rink Rabbits practice this Thursday. We’re gonna crank the Christmas music, get sugared up and just have fun. The kids have been working really hard all year, so it’s time to bust loose and jam. Plus, a lot of them have been getting deeper into the ice program that our Olympian coach runs, so their skating schedules have actually increased here in the “off-season” for inline. They deserve to enjoy this time, but it’s a surprise so don’t spill the beans. (There will be a full practice on the 26th for all of the advanced skaters, so bah humbug effective 12/26 forward.)

Here’s one I could have used a few years ago before I started doing all of the core building exercises and plyos…

Better than taking Midol before a race (if you're a dude.)

This easily adjustable back brace contours to the unique shape of your torso and back for a customized fit that can relieve lower back pain and improve spinal stability. Made by Bell-Horn, manufacturers of orthopedic devices since 1842, the brace has a patented pulley system that allows it to contour to wider areas around the hips and narrow areas around the torso, ensuring consistent, proper compression from vertebra L1 to L5. You can adjust the tension of the brace with one hand; simply pull the cord and fasten it to the front of the brace when your preferred level of support is achieved. The pulley system exerts 5X greater compression than a typical back brace for superior spinal support. The flexible, 1/4″-thin brace can be worn under clothing and won’t inhibited movement while you perform everyday activities. Waist sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, or XXXL. 11 1/2″ W x 9″ H x 1/4″ D. (12 oz.)