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  1. #1

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    The half-ass layback position

    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?

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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 ) was never able to do the classic layback.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Remember that Kwan (another mention of the Kween ) was never able to do the classic layback.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptj_tO7tIXg

  4. #4
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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.

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    Dismissive, not defensive. The Kween defends herself quite well.

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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.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


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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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    Quote Originally Posted by whoa View Post
    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.
    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

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    Oh how I love any excuse possible to post this vid!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGsMDXLyXxs

    Ladies, study this position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karpenko View Post
    Oh how I love any excuse possible to post this vid!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGsMDXLyXxs

    Ladies, study this position.
    Thank you !
    And what about this one ?
    Angela has a perfect layback.

  11. #11
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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! But you can't have your meat until you eat your Nikodinov layback pudding.

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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.

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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. #14

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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?
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  15. #15
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    Nothing but gorgeous laybacks here ...

    Peggy

    Dorothy

    NNN

    Sarah

    Zhang

    Zhang

  16. #16

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  17. #17
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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).

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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    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).
    Ukrainian lady with Button-approved layback position

    Good arch, OK leg position from Japanese skater

    Great spin, pretty good free lg

  20. #20
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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.

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