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  1. #1
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    donut spin help (+vid of me lol)

    i don't think i understand properly HOW to grab my blade?? like which way to turn my hand/arm etc......

    maybe i'm just not flexible enough? but whatever i try looks ugly.... and if i do it this way as shown in the video, i can only grab the blade with 1 finger and it's SOOOOO painful!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RMmBbMShcU

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    It doesn't look too bad, this is what I do, with my grabbing hand, I actually grab my blade from above rather than below and pull in, that might help because your elbow isn't blocking you from pulling in your blade.

    With the OTHER arm though, put your left hand onto your right shoulder, or across your body, that also may help it (it helped me a lot!)

    And I grab with two fingers, what I really liked about yours is that you didn't drop the knee (my coach hated the drop in the knee for catching).

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    Thanks.. I'll try it! What about your arm rotation? Like when I grab I rotate my arm at LEAST 180° to the outside, which is also really painful.... but that's the only way i feel i can pull but leg into a circular position. otherwise it's just an even uglier ~catchfoot~ thing.. lol

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    Your back is not as flexible as the other bendy skaters. That could be a blessing in disguise. You don't want to have back problems when you're in your 30s and up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spazactaz View Post
    Thanks.. I'll try it! What about your arm rotation? Like when I grab I rotate my arm at LEAST 180° to the outside, which is also really painful.... but that's the only way i feel i can pull but leg into a circular position. otherwise it's just an even uglier ~catchfoot~ thing.. lol
    I actually put my arm back as far as it is comfortable (sometimes it does have to go back a bit more though haha), but I really concentrate and bringing my foot around by bending at the knee.

    The key here is to bend your free leg but with an open hip, so for your way, keep your left hip open and keep the leg up while you bend. Try it at the boards first so you can look behind and see that your hand and foot really doesn't have much distance apart when you do that (which means you should be able to grab it when spinning), if you can do that, it is all about practice and knowing where your foot is when you grab

    Anyways, is this a sign of you getting back into competition? haha lol

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    When I was competing, I found that the donut spin wasn't really about the flexibility in my back, it was more about the crazy amount of torque in my shoulder to be able to grab and then pull my elbow "through". It's hard to describe the grab in words, and it's also hard to see in your video with the gloves you have on, but your description of "rotating your arm to the outside" sounds accurate to me. I'd turn my arm so my palm was facing upwards in order to do a donut - otherwise, you end up with a plain-old back catchfoot. Practicing a haircutter spin was also helpful for me to learn how to rotate my shoulder correctly. I realize that being a man, a haircutter spin isn't going to be in your repertoire, but perhaps check out some videos on that to confirm you're grabbing your blade correctly. There's even more pull on a donut spin since you're grabbing the opposite foot, so GO SLOW with increasing your flexibility on the spin and don't go nuts trying too hard or doing too many repetitions. Looks like a great start... good luck!

  7. #7

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    What is a haircutter spin?
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Thanks! Yeah it's definitely hard on the shoulder!!!
    I tried grabbing the blade from above tonight... it's definitely easier, but I'd have to see if on video to see if it still looks ok.
    Regardless, I've only been able to get 8 rotations in the position once.... level 4 is not looking good. :p
    As for competing.... I'm registered for Sectionals lol, but I am SOOOOOO out of shape right now it's insane. :S

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spazactaz View Post
    Thanks! Yeah it's definitely hard on the shoulder!!!
    I tried grabbing the blade from above tonight... it's definitely easier, but I'd have to see if on video to see if it still looks ok.
    Regardless, I've only been able to get 8 rotations in the position once.... level 4 is not looking good. :p
    As for competing.... I'm registered for Sectionals lol, but I am SOOOOOO out of shape right now it's insane. :S
    Yea, as someone mentioned above, catching the blade from above (with palms turned down), you do have to be careful that it doesn't look like a plain old catchfoot (WHICH IS FINE, you still get the bullet for the spin).

    But glad you're doing sectionals lol! Let me know how it goes!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    What is a haircutter spin?
    It's basically a catch-foot layback, where the free foot is pulled up behind one's head (as if the blade would cut off one's ponytail). I used the same grab for both a haircutter and a donut spin, rotating my arm outwards, but there seems to be much more "pull" for the donut spin as I was pulling my left leg with my right arm, as opposed to the haircutter using the same leg and arm.

  11. #11
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    UPDATEEEEEE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE42-HLrlk4

    that is with grabbing my blade from above.... at least i think i was, i can't tell now looking at the video.

    sooo..... uglier position? i think anyway. but it's way easier, less painful on my finger.. and i can grab it sooner therefore spin faster........ therefore get the full 8 rotations????? idk i can't count, idk if i'm getting 8 in the position or not lol.

    what do you guys thinkkkk?

  12. #12
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    Since your profile says that you're from Canada and I did not recognize you or your rink, I'll offer a few comments, but please don't say anything that would suggest your identity. Also, I post solely as a person who has inhaled too many zamboni fumes and my thoughts should be taken as musings, not guarantees, and obviously not as "official" positions.

    GOE:
    - You have a beautiful basic camel position. I wish that IJS encouraged skaters to show off basic positions!
    - Be careful in the trade-off between L4 and GOE, especially if you're focusing on a competition in the near-future.

    Level:
    Front foot:
    - The change of edge is very clear and meets the requirement of two revolutions on each edge. I think the variation, however, might be in the grey zone. It's a lovely position, but there's not much core movement. For camel upright, the belly button needs to point up. I might consider it a camel side, especially if you were able to rotate/drop your free shoulder and head just a bit more, but the variation that you're doing on the back foot is a camel side, and you can only get credit for one camel side per program. I think it only needs a little bit more rotation over to move it from the grey to the black as a camel forward, however.

    Back foot:
    - I counted 8.5 in the variation in the second video, FWIW. I thought the variation in the first video more clearly demonstrated the flexibility that moves the variation from the "simple" to the "difficult" category; the second variation is grey, but (IMHO) it has a decent chance of being called difficult in a men's event. (And FWIW, I thought the arm position in the first video was more aesthetically pleasing, if you might be able to graft the extended free arm into the grab used in the second video. The second variation is kinda plain vanilla, and chocolate rhubarb pulled pork variations are more likely to pull high GOEs and seem to contribute to higher PCS by keeping judges engaged in the program without thinking, Oh skategods, here's the eight revolution donut, blah. I need to pee. I wonder if I could send the runner for coffee. What time is this event over? Oh, he's done. Um, it was fine. <punches 0>

    Pretending that I'm a skater on the ice with you and we're playing around:
    - Are you using back entry on another spin in the program? Back camel to front camel is a difficult transition and don't kill your GOE, but I wonder if you could do: back entry (feature)- variation for two* OR eight revolutions in basic position /change foot/ two revs on one edge-change edge-variation. However, the spin that you're doing is beautiful and this suggestion truly comes from that "Hey, what if you tried X?" game that skaters play on the ice.
    * Don't forget that you need six revolutions on each foot to fulfill the SP requirements.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post
    Level:
    Front foot:
    - The change of edge is very clear and meets the requirement of two revolutions on each edge. I think the variation, however, might be in the grey zone. It's a lovely position, but there's not much core movement. For camel upright, the belly button needs to point up. I might consider it a camel side, especially if you were able to rotate/drop your free shoulder and head just a bit more, but the variation that you're doing on the back foot is a camel side, and you can only get credit for one camel side per program. I think it only needs a little bit more rotation over to move it from the grey to the black as a camel forward, however.

    Back foot:
    - I counted 8.5 in the variation in the second video, FWIW. I thought the variation in the first video more clearly demonstrated the flexibility that moves the variation from the "simple" to the "difficult" category; the second variation is grey, but (IMHO) it has a decent chance of being called difficult in a men's event. (And FWIW, I thought the arm position in the first video was more aesthetically pleasing, if you might be able to graft the extended free arm into the grab used in the second video. The second variation is kinda plain vanilla, and chocolate rhubarb pulled pork variations are more likely to pull high GOEs and seem to contribute to higher PCS by keeping judges engaged in the program without thinking, Oh skategods, here's the eight revolution donut, blah. I need to pee. I wonder if I could send the runner for coffee. What time is this event over? Oh, he's done. Um, it was fine. <punches 0>

    Pretending that I'm a skater on the ice with you and we're playing around:
    - Are you using back entry on another spin in the program? Back camel to front camel is a difficult transition and don't kill your GOE, but I wonder if you could do: back entry (feature)- variation for two* OR eight revolutions in basic position /change foot/ two revs on one edge-change edge-variation. However, the spin that you're doing is beautiful and this suggestion truly comes from that "Hey, what if you tried X?" game that skaters play on the ice.
    * Don't forget that you need six revolutions on each foot to fulfill the SP requirements.
    Overall I agree with this. Just to comment on the forward camel, if you are able to rotate the first part with your belly down, and then switch to the side (or even belly up for the camel upright), that should give you the level. Right now, the switch is not clear enough (now I'm not 100% on the rules, but I was under the impression that you do need a switch in belly position to gain a level in a spin like that, and not just do the camel side/camel upright, correct me if I'm wrong), and it just looks like a camel side position to me from the start at this point.

    I have no doubt the variation on the back camel will count as a difficult variation and give you a level (source from my coach who is a technical specialist/in training, but may have gotten it by now...) but I counted barely 8 rotations. You have to count when your position is set, so not from when the hand touches the blade, but when the position is solid. Of course, I would suggest holding for 1 more rotation just to be safe, and it really depends on the caller, you want them to have no doubt.

    And trust me Ali, the 8 revolution donut is much better to look at than an 8 revolution forward camel/back camel if the skater is not a fast spinner... O gawd it's like... zzzzzz (but on the other hand, the 8 revs look amazing in that position when done quickly!)

  14. #14
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    As for doing 2 of the camel-side variations, aren't you allowed to have 2?
    The rules say:
    "Both in SP & in FS, if a difficult spin variation of the same category is
    repeated, this repetition can be counted only when the distribution of the
    body weight or core is significantly different from the first variation."
    And I seem to recall seeing people get level 4 when this is the case, however maybe they were lenient on differentiating between the forward and side? haha.
    But to be safe, should I try switching the 2nd one to a catchfoot where I have the camel-forward (as much as i dislike the look of that lol)? I dunno how much more I could rotate to get the camel-upward on the first one.

    I'm currently using the back entry on my combo spin. Using it on a CCSp I just lose wayyyyyyyy too much speed changing to the forward camel haha.

    Thanks so much for all your comments!

  15. #15
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    You have a beautiful camel position! Great extension.

    You're not an adult skater, are you? Because I know a lot of competitive skaters with camels nowhere near as good.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltnskater View Post
    Right now, the switch is not clear enough (now I'm not 100% on the rules, but I was under the impression that you do need a switch in belly position to gain a level in a spin like that, and not just do the camel side/camel upright, correct me if I'm wrong), and it just looks like a camel side position to me from the start at this point.
    No - for a difficult variation, there does not need to be any demonstrated switch in position. I wonder if you're thinking of the side-to-back feature for laybacks (and combination spins that involve a layback). For side-to-back, there does need to be a demonstrated change in shoulder/core position. In addition, some callers have a standard for a haircutter that there must be a change in core (i.e., the arch in the back must deepen to demonstrate weight change rather than awarding the feature "simply" for the blade reaching the head, which demonstrates flexibility in the hip/quad/shoulder but not necessarily a core change. The argument for requiring a change in core comes from the definition of a difficult varition; to wit: A difficult variation is a movement of a body part/leg/arm/hand/head, which requires more physical strength or flexibility and that has an affect on the balance of the main body core. Other callers believe that pulling the leg to the head alone has an effect on the balance of the spin in comparison to a normal layback position and will reward it without an obvious core change. Knock-down fights have occurred between these two camps*.

    * Just kidding. Intense reviews, yes; knock-down fights, no.

    And trust me Ali, the 8 revolution donut is much better to look at than an 8 revolution forward camel/back camel if the skater is not a fast spinner... O gawd it's like... zzzzzz (but on the other hand, the 8 revs look amazing in that position when done quickly!)
    I was referring specifically to spazactaz' spin, which would be beautiful to see with simply eight revolutions on each foot.

    BTW, my username is 5Ali3, as in: "Group Five Lift, Axel Take-off, Level 3." [Why is there no FSU smilie that shows the result of a failed lift? Maybe this one? ]

    Quote Originally Posted by Spazactaz View Post
    As for doing 2 of the camel-side variations, aren't you allowed to have 2?
    Oh yes, you're absolutely correct. I apologize!

    I dunno how much more I could rotate to get the camel-upward on the first one.
    I was trying to suggest a couple of things that would create the illusion of additional rotation without actually moving your core. Your transitions between the edge change and the variation are smooth and occur over a few revolutions (probably why they look so smooth!), but it makes the variation less obvious because it appears to be close to your regular position, based on the non-obvious transition. (Yes: doing it well makes it looks less like a difficult. This is true in just about anything in skating... and generally in life, I suspect.)

    Obviously, you don't have to take my suggestions, but I'll try to be more explicit, just in case you want to try it and see how it works for you. Once you've reached the position that you're currently doing with the leg bent, etc., try dropping your head (right ear towards the ice, eyes towards the ceiling) a bit more, and seeing if you can rotate your right arm upwards. It would be great if you could open the right shoulder a bit more, but that might change the balance of the spin. If opening the right shoulder isn't possible, try to open up the angle of your arm by rotating the elbow and palm towards the ceiling. I think that wouldn't affect the balance too much or require unusual flexibility, but would create an illusion of additional rotation.

    ETA: I saw this picture in another thread and I intended to repost it here, because I think it demonstrates what I'm trying to say, but 1000 times more clearly. I think his core and shoulder position is very similar to yours - with caveat that youtube isn't the best way to determine that - but the positioning of his arms, even with his shoulders in line with his core, reinforces the "look" of a layover. I don't know how clear my explanation of that was; maybe I just made things worse!
    Last edited by 5Ali3; 10-28-2011 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Add link to picture from Skate Canada

  17. #17
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    Thanks!
    I changed it today so that I start facing more downward. Also tried rotating the full 180°... wowwwwwww it makes me 100000x more dizzy! haha.
    I wasn't able to get a video trying your suggestions so I don't know how they looked, but hopefully soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    You have a beautiful camel position! Great extension.

    You're not an adult skater, are you? Because I know a lot of competitive skaters with camels nowhere near as good.
    Thank you!
    And no.. I am an adult but have only done the regular competitive stream.

  18. #18

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    The second video is really impressive - I like your camel position, with open hip and free leg held so high above the hip. Pointed toe, too. Nice.

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    ^Thank you!

    ***OK UPDATE AGAIN:

    http://youtu.be/XQNDZOIhZwg

    At a recent competition I only got level 3... they didn't count the layover in SP because it wasn't rotated enough, then in the LP apparently I didn't hold it for the full 2. Bahhhh. It still doesn't look completely convincing in this vid... I don't know what else to do.
    I changed the back camel again because the donut is annoying me so now it's more of just a catchfoot...

  20. #20
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    I love the free arm position on your camels. I'm always hypnotized by skaters who hold that hand up and almost frozen in place - it looks like the skater is revolving around the hand in the air like a puppet on a string, lol.

    By "wasn't rotated enough," do you mean you didn't get enough revolutions or you didn't "lay over" sufficiently? I wonder why they told you 2 revolutions to get the bullet; it's supposed to be three in position, plus one for transition, so 4 total.

    I thought this spin was better because of the positions, speed and revolutions:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/xskaterd.../2/UE42-HLrlk4

    In the video you just linked, your position wasn't as tight so the spin wasn't as fast. I agree with you - the donut here looks more like a catchfoot. Maybe that's what happened in the competition.

    Last season, there was an emphasis on the torso position for spins. The speakers made it clear that the officials were using the navel as the test, not the shoulders. On a camel, it would be:

    . Navel to the ice = Regular camel
    . Navel to the boards = Side camel
    . Navel to the ceiling = Layover camel

    They said a lot of skaters weren't getting credit for the positions if they just turned the shoulders and not the whole torso. The emphasis was on "earning" the feature.

    Hope this helps. You really are a great skater.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 11-25-2011 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Three p's in "puppet"

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