Figure Skating Elements: Upright and Layback Spins

There are four main categories of spins in figure skating: upright spins, layback spins, camel spins, and sit spins. This post will cover upright and layback spins. Upright spins are defined as spins with at least one extended leg on the ice and the body in a more-or-less upright position. Laybacks are scored as a separate element from upright spins; they appear as LSp on protocols while general upright spins appear as USp.

There are many, many, many variations on spin positions in skating; in fact, coming up with interesting positions and combinations is one way to get higher levels on spins. (A common criticism of the judging system is that it encourages weird or ugly spin positions in the name of difficulty and gaining points.) It’s impossible to account for all of the variations out there, so I’ve only gifed some common positions and famous variations.

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Figure Skating Elements: Triple-triple Combinations

Now that you are all experts on the basic types of jumps, here is a post about combinations, specifically, triple-triple combinations!

In a jump combination, the landing edge of one jump is the takeoff edge of the next jump with no break in between them. The first jump in a combo can be any of the six types of jumps. Assuming that the skater rotates counterclockwise, all jumps land backwards on the outside edge of the right foot. Thus, the second jump in a combo is almost always a toe loop or loop because those two jumps take off on the back outside edge of the right foot.

In triple-triple combinations, the second jump is usually a toe loop because it is difficult to fully rotate a triple loop in the second half of the combo. However, I have included some loop combos in this post for variety’s sake. Triple-triple combos are some of the most difficult and valuable elements in ladies’ skating, which is why I decided to focus on ladies in this post. Men can do these combos too. Midori Ito is the only woman to have done a 3A-3T combo; usually only men do this combo.

The base value of a combo is the sum of the base values of the jumps in the combo. So a 3F-3Lo is worth more than a 3F-3T, and a 3Lz-3T is worth more than a 3S-3T, and so on.

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Caroline Zhang in black, for the ever-inspirational scandiumsportstrunttriples!

2010 US Nationals practice session (x), 2012 Four Continents LP (x), 2011 US Nationals SP (x), 2013 US Nationals LP (x), 2012 Four Continents SP (x) and 2013 Skate America SP (x).

                           Phantom of the Opera Watchpost


Robin Cousins, 1990

Rudy Galindo, 1992

Brian Boitano, 1993

Maria Butyrskaya, 1994

Kovarikova and Novotny, 1995

Ina and Zmmerman, 1999

Alexei Urmanov, 1999 - by far the most (over)dramatic one, thanks to the costume and props:) oh, and there’s another version of this program, with a mask

Pang and Tong, 2004 and 2006

Drobiazko and Vanagas, 2006

Daisuke Takahashi, 2007

Yukari Nakano, 2009

Chock and Zuerlein, 2009

Davis and White, 2010

Weaver and Poje, 2010

Patrick Chan, 2011

Sinitsina and Zhiganshin, 2011

Denney and Coughlin, 2012

Elene Gedevanishvili, 2012

Akiko Suzuki, 2014

Riazanova and Tkachenko, 2013

Caroline Zhang, 2014

I don’t like musicals and I’m not a fan of POTO but, to be honest, if I had to pick my favorite program to this music, I couldn’t, there are a few I really enjoy watching - Takahashi, Chan, Suzuki, D/W, C/Z. What’s your favorite program to POTO?


Figure Skating Elements: Sit Spins and Combination Spins

Time to refresh your memories on upright and layback spins and camel spins because here’s the final installment of the spin intro posts - sit spins! (And combination spins, but we’ll get to those in a second.) Sit spins appear as “SSp” on protocols and are defined as spins where the skating leg is bent so that the thigh is at least parallel to the ice. Basically, it looks like the skater is squatting down while spinning. There are numerous variations in sit spin positions and most of them don’t have names. I’ve only included some common and famous variations in this post. Both men and women can do some of these positions.

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