Spins and the IJS

written by Tim Grafton January 2008

Important Information

This information does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of this information in relation to your own situation before acting on it. 



Spins take far longer to develop than jumps,  so it is important to start working on them substantially and consistently early,  for example in Aussie skate novice (level 2) start with a simple marching spin,  in Intermediate (level 3) start with a simple 2 foot spin,  in Advanced a simple 1 foot spin with say 2 or 3 turns in it,  in stroking a backspin with 1 or 2 turns.   Then by the time the skater starts the Freeskate 1 level (5 or 6) they should already have a basic 1 foot spin and have started learning the backspin.

The back spin is one of the most important elements and consideration should be given to teaching it at the same time or close to the same time as the one foot spin,  in other words as early as possible.  Read the well balanced program criteria for the level you are competing at and check whether a change of foot is allowed on all the spins,  generally adding a change of foot to every spin increases the point score by 0.3 to 0.5 per spin,  this alone negates the value of doing an axel jump,  for example if there are 3 spins allowed in the program and each one has a change of foot then 0.5 times 3 is 1.5,  in other words twice the value of an axel.  For example :- spin 1 - change foot sit spin,  spin 2 combination spin with change of foot,  spin 3 upright crossfoot spin with change of foot.   All these if they are level 1 spins would receive a base value of 1.7, 2.0 and 1.7.   So the moral of the story with spins is start working very early on the back spin as your skater will need it later (perhaps a year or two later) when they get to elementary level.   Never include a layback spin at lower levels unless the skater can indeed do a good one in competition,  as a poor layback position might be judged / called as an upright,  if there are two uprights in the program then this spin may receive no mark.

Do not include a flying camel unless the skater can consistently fully rotate it in competition or it is a requirement for the competition,  you just don't need it,  see the above example (ie sit spin, combo spin and upright spin).  
If you are going for higher level spins and/or spiral sequences then study the ISU rules and know what features can be included and what the rules are.   Generally before a skater can execute a high level spin they need to be a strong spinner,  for example to execute a level 2 spin may require at least 12 rotations,  they also need a high level of fitness and the program/routine needs to be carefully worked out to allow time for all these rotations and amply time to recover before any difficult jumps are planned.  
Study the ISA rules,  if the rules say only 3 spins do not put 4 spins in the skaters program,  if the maximum jumps allowed in a jump sequence is 3 then don't put 5 in the skaters program.  

So where did many of the spins that we see on TV come from,  who invented them,  well perhaps Lucinda Ruh did not invent all the spins she does but she made many of them famous.

To see lucinda ruh spin,  go to youtube.com and type lucinda ruh in the search field.


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