My coach explained the importance of spins once hitting Silver, since some competitions start judging with IJS rather than 6.0. And given that I’m unable to land double jumps but could, theoretically, hit a Level 1 or 2 spin, the spins end up being bigger point-getters than jumps, although there are only 2 spins allowed versus 5 jumping passes. But then on the downside, if you don’t quite get a leg high enough or low enough, or hold a position long enough, the dreaded dash of doom could zero out the whole attempt.

So all in all, I’m putting a lot of attention on my spins these days. It’s been a while since I’ve videoed my jumping, but I guess I’m not that excited about my jumps (other than dreaming of an axel someday) — I generally have all my singles now, and they’re dinky adult jumps so there’s definite room for improvement, but somehow it feels like there’s less to work on. Whereas, there’s an endless number of spin variations.

  • I have trouble with the traditional layback position, and it’s something in the right hip and leg that I haven’t figured out yet. I can see the problem in the video, but it’s still a struggle to get it corrected. I tend to lean to the right and I don’t think my hips are pushed far enough forward, and when I try to correct my hips my right leg sort of dangles.
  • We tried tweaking the layback position to lean intentionally to the right, and that seems to work better. Right now it’s just an upright/attitude spin because I’m not really leaning back, but it’s a goal.
  • For the back camel, we’re playing around with position changes. Possibilities: back sit, crossing my free leg on my spinning knee, or going into a cross-under backspin. The goal is to be able to get 4 revs on the back camel (to leave margin for error so I get credit for the position).
  • Sit spin to broken leg may be an option. I feel stuck in the broken leg position, and I can see there’s a lot of space between my chest and my knee, and it looks like the best broken leg spins are when the chest is all the way down and nearly touching the knee. I’ve tried it a couple times and it’s freaky! Also incredibly dizzying.
  • Back sit to back tuck. This is unlikely to be a candidate because it’s an awkward transition. As soon as I tuck the free leg, I hit my toe and grind to a halt. I’ll keep working on it, but I’m not getting the hang of this.
  • That cross-under spin (? is there a real name for that?) is so pretty when I see other skaters do it, but it’s a ways off — most often it dies after a revolution or two. I doubt I’ll end up using it in a program anytime soon.
  • And, last but not least, the good ol’ camel-sit-back sit. The struggle, as always, is hitting the camel. It’s a fickle beast!