The half-ass layback position

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by haribobo, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    What is up with so many ladies (esp at Japanese Nationals) doing the 25 degree barely bent back and two straight legs position on the "layback spin" before they bring their leg up into an atrocious position for 2 revs and then catching it for their CoP level-up? AWFUL! Does this drive anyone else crazy? I don't mind when skaters do a pretty classical position first or at least achieve good back bend before they go into their biellmann or similar catch, but how should it even count if they are not even doing a spin reminiscent of the layback for the first half? :yikes:
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  2. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Yes, ugly layback position annoys me, but unless there's an incentive for skaters and coaches to achieve the classic layback position then there's no reason for them to work on it when they have more "important" thing to work on to gain points. Every country needs an Uncle Dick equivalent doing commentary :)

    Some spins like the sit spin have specific position requirements that must be met in order to be considered for judging. The layback also needs such requirements, but maybe the judges recognize that getting the necessary back and hip flexibility to achieve the classic layback position are more difficult than achieving the basic sit or camel position, for example; Either your body can do it, or it can't. Remember that Kwan (another mention of the Kween :lol:) was never able to do the classic layback.
  3. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Don't get so defensive with the rolleyes when it come to Kwan. Geez. I'm sure she would be the first to admit that she wasn't good at everything on the ice. Yes, I'm aware that Michelle attempted the standard layback position, but IMO her back was still too straight up to be considered a clasical layback, and she soon drop back to her leg down position.
  5. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: Dismissive, not defensive. The Kween defends herself quite well.
  6. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    IMHO to get a great layback (Sasha Cohen, Angela Nikidinov, etc) you have to have great natural flexibility. Same goes for a great Biellmann, you have to be naturally bendy. I hate the fact that COP rewards something that you really can't work on beyond about 15% of what you were born with. I hate a naff layback. The worst ones are when they do a dreadful layback position and then flex their free foot. Just so they can make every single thing about the spin look atrocious. Its seems to me too that some countries skaters have better laybacks than others. Maybe a reflection of how they are being judged at home and what is considered important.
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  7. whoa

    whoa Member

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    In the Kwan link above, I appreciate that her foot parallel is to the ice but I don't think her overall body line hits the layback position 100%. But that's just me!
    Whenever I hear about new and upcoming skaters, one thing I look for is how they do their laybacks... and so far, I've seen very few, if any, good-to-great laybacks. Nothing frustrates me more than when they have the foot pointed straight down towards the ground with almost a 90 degree bend in their knee.
    At the Evening with Champions, I seriously yelped out loud when I saw that Yu Na's foot position had become more parallel!
    In the end, your genes play an important role, but that's life so I don't mind how the COP is structured for now. I always wondered about that country thing - I think American skaters overall have had better laybacks than let's say Japanese skaters (entirely subjective). Perhaps emphasis varies from country to country.
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  8. ainouta

    ainouta Well-Known Member

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    I think that's definitely true - it's kind of like how most Russian skaters have excellent camels but no turnout on their laybacks, even when they have good arch to their positions. There are exceptions though - Makarova's layback is not great but still better than most, and Yan Liu always had a very nice turnout (though the rest of her skating was zzz).

    Hell, even Miki Ando had a good layback position before her injury, and that's definitely not true for current Sato-trained skaters like Haruna Suzuki: http://youtu.be/eE0xftARUog?t=59s
  9. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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  10. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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  11. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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    Ooh yes, thats a very nice one too. Angela had such a simple looking layback compared to today, but it's just the right amount of arch/stretch to leave a great impression without overdoing it. After showing this for 5 revs feel free to pretzel it up ladies! :irina1: But you can't have your meat until you eat your Nikodinov layback pudding.
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  12. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    I'd be happier if most ladies just did the nice lay back and didn't bother with with prezteling. Maybe if everyone wasn't spending so much time learning how to pull there foot over their head they could get a decent layback.
  13. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    reposting on this thread from duplicate:

    There's a long tradition of not penalizing ladies for bad layback spins.

    Also, technically IIRC the degree of back bend is less a mistake than the lack of turnout at the hip.

    I pretty much loathe and despise 90% of CoP (excuse me while I hit some awful fugly positions while not much minding about centering and then grab my skate and yank it up over my head to get a high level while I try to crank out a few revolutions at glacial speed .... yech!!!)
  14. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    COP seriously undervalues layback spins. Last I checked, the L4 Layback was worth 2.7, while a L4 upright was worth 2.9. The link for the scale of values is down right now, grrr.

    Anyway, if this is still true, everyone should be starting or finishing their LP laybacks with another upright variation for the extra .2 points.

    But really, the layback should be properly valued. Also, the basic layback position should count as a difficult variation in combo spins. I mean, the basic layback position is the very picture of a difficult variation of an upright spin! I can't believe that it doesn't count as one.

    I would love to hear the logic behind the anti-layback bias in COP. Is the classic position too hard to define?
  15. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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  16. Spazactaz

    Spazactaz New Member

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  17. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't the American ladies generally have the prettiest laybacks? I mean everyone on here has given links to laybacks from the US ladies (minus Miki). Is there any non-US skater with a good layback position? (I think the only person I can think of was Fumie back in 02 and 03, before she changed it. Same for Miki, but then again, she barely got any arch in her layback, and now it's the most hideous thing ever).
  18. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The short program requirement has always been "layback or sideways-leaning spin" in recognition of the fact that some skaters find it easier (or more choreographically appropriate) to lean sideways than straight backward. So in that sense choosing to lean sideways instead of straight back is not a mistake.

    There's nothing in the rules that I know of about the free leg position, one way or another. There's a lot in Dick Button's commentary about what he personally preferred to see, and that has had a lot of influence on the way America coaches encouraged skaters do position their laybacks and on the amount of importance they put on it . . . and probably some influence on how American judges judge them.

    Personally, I love a beautiful classic layback, but I also love beautiful or expressive laybacks in other positions -- I don't agree with Button's implication that there is a single ideal position and everything else is inferior.

    But some people's bodies can make nicer-looking positions than others. All anyone can do is maximize the aesthetic impact of their own body shape.

    Ukrainian lady with Button-approved layback position

    Good arch, OK leg position from Japanese skater

    Great spin, pretty good free lg
  20. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    All three need work on the free leg position. But I still think Natalie is a better spinner than Lucinda... Am I the only person who thinks that? And Yukina Ota. It's a shame about her jump technique.
  21. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Sasha Cohen of course has one of the best laybacks in the business:
    Sasha Cohen 2004 Worlds - SP
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
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  22. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

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  23. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Of all those examples, Dorothy's is by far the best for me. Such arch in her back and wonderful speed. She was a wonderful spinner. She and Peggy have it all over the rest IMO. Nikodinov's is beautiful too but she doesn't have the arch that Peggy and Dorothy had.
  24. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I always felt Sarah Hughes had a beautiful layback spin.
  25. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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  26. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    Kyoko Ina had an excellent classic layback position, which is even more surprising considering she was more of a pairs skater and started out skating for Japan.
  27. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    :watch: :watch: :watch:...
  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Not just that, I didn't remember she was so solid with triple jumps. :eek:
  29. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

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    I know she never really attained a classic turned-out foot, but this is one time I simply don't care.

    This layback is still gorgeous IMO, no matter what Dick says. :p

    Lucinda Ruh - 1997 Worlds SP

    And no woman can match the arch in Lucinda's back.

    Here it's practically parallel to the ice. :eek:

    Lucinda Ruh - 2000 World Pro
  30. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

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    Great laybacks in my opinion ... Janet Lynn, not just for her free leg position but also her awareness and use of arms which made her upper body just as much a focus as the leg lines. Sandy Lenz had a wonderful layback. Very strong free legs also achieved by Angela Nikadinov and Sarah Hughes, though they lacked the similarly balanced brilliance with their arms.

    Always surprised that Michelle never really got her layback to become as masterful as the rest of her skating. It was a clever solution to have her do the "leg down" arms stretched behind her position, which ironically became a bit of a signature, and also seemed to enable her to actually increase the speed of the spin over the course of the spin, which today would be helpful to GOE I am guessing.

    Another disappointing layback amongst the top ladies - Ya Na. Really a horror that broken hammer free foot. Cringeworthy.
  31. bartek

    bartek New Member

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    I consider Sasha's classic layback position to be absolutely the best. I know that Dorothy and Lucinda had a little bit better arch in the back but neither of them could achieve the perfect leg posistion. Sasha had brilliant arch in her back, one of the best, and her leg was absolutely spot on. Just perfect, very close to her back with beautiful turned out foot.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFtGt_s0JSY&t=3m48s
  32. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    There's a heaviness to Sasha's layback that I don't like. It doesn't look easy for her to get into that position.
  33. ks1227

    ks1227 Well-Known Member

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    :swoon: :swoon:

    :swoon: :swoon:

    I know that Cohen is supposed to be the standard, but in my book Nikodinov at her best is the ultimate layback spinner!
  34. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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    Sasha's layback always irked me a bit.

    The leg position is beautiful.

    The back position is beautiful.

    But those two beautiful positions, didn't look beautiful together. I always wanted Sasha to either arch less, or turn her back leg inward just a bit more. She had a great layback, but her basic position was over-done IMO. I still liked Angela's, she had just the right amount of arch and turnout.
  35. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    Many critics complained about Sylvie Guillem (probably the best ballet dancer the world has ever seen) that she was too flexible and was just showing off. I never understood those comments (likewise I don't understand yours about arching less and not turning out so much. Not a dig, I just don't understand . To me it's like saying Patrick Chan's quad is too high or too clean). Every dancer I know would kill to have Sylvie Guillems technique/flexibility/body. I can pretty much guarantee that 99% of girl skaters would kill for Sasha's flexibility/body/layback.
    Near the beginning of this video Sylvie dances. My jaw dropped the first time I saw her dance. I was a professional dancer and you know how you see some people and they inspire you? She made me want to give up. :shuffle:
    http://www.ina.fr/art-et-culture/arts-du-spectacle/video/CAB94097915/sylvie-guillem-bejart.fr.html
  36. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Sasha's layback is my favorite. I love how she manages to have an impressive leg position and arch in her back. Absolutely beautiful.
  37. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I feel silly for saying this, but I always liked Katarina Witt's layback and the way she got into the position with her arms. It as was though she was opening up like a flower or something.
  38. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    No reason to feel silly. Katarina had some great qualities to her skating.
  39. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Funny someone brought up Yuna.

    I know many people care a lot about the leg and foot positions (and Yuna's sucked), but to me the essence of a layback spin is the arch, and Yuna did have great arch to her layback spin. That, combined with the speed and centering, makes it a good layback spin for me. It's not pretty, but it's technically good because of the arch.

    Similarly, Kwan's crescent moon position allows her to have better arch (and speed), and was a better position (for me anyways) than her 2000 position with the nice leg position but with no arch.

    The same (although to a much bigger extent) extends to Lucinda Ruh and Yukina Ota.
  40. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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    It's because you can't appreciate the full position right away, it's not a dig at Sasha at all. It's a beautiful layback spin!!

    But she arches so much and the leg is turned out but somewhat to the side (instead of inward right behind her back), instead of more inward like Angela's, so you can't appreciate the full position right away. Your eye dances because you are trying to find her leg and she has it turned out instead of in (which is fine).

    With Angela's layback I see the leg and the arch right away, there's a center-ness to the position of the spin that Sasha's doesn't have because she arches so much and doesn't put her leg in more. This is why I slightly prefer Angela's, even though Sasha's in more flexible. Her bodyline between the leg and back doesn't have that perfect C arch that Angela's has.

    Although to be fair to Sasha, we are comparing just the basic layback position here, if it were a full-on layback spin with all of the features and level 4 criteria, she'd probably beat Angela hands down. But then of course I would bring Caroline Zhang into the discussion. ;)