Flying spins are spins that involve a jump. The jump may either initiate the spin or may be performed during the spin to change legs and positions. Those that initiate a spin, are “flying spins”. Those that result in a change of leg, are classified as “Flying Spin Combinations” or “Jump Spin Combinations” because they are a jumping variation of a combination spin. Flying spin combinations may provide a transition from a forward to a backward spin or vice versa.
The flying camel is probably the most common and widely recognized flying spin. It is also the first flying spin most skaters learn. It consists of a jump into a back camel. The skater performs a flat RFI3 turn then steps forward onto a LFO edge while the free leg remains held firmly behind the body. The skater bends deeply on the skating knee as if initiating a forward spin. The free leg comes around and is thrown forward. Held at hip height, the free leg is cast forward parallel to the ice as the skater simultaneously jumps off of his left toe pick and achieves an almost horizontal position in the air. The skater completes nearly a full revolution before landing on the right foot in a back camel position. Ideally, the skater does not perform a LFO3 turn before lifting into the flying camel. The jump should occur at the cusp of the turn and not after the turn has occurred.
Flying Sit Spin
The flying sit spin is somewhat more difficult to learn and execute than the flying camel. However, when performed well, it is a spectacular element. Like the flying camel, it is usually initiated from a flat RFI3 then a step forward onto a LFO edge. The similarity between the flying camel and flying sit spin ends with these preparatory steps. From the LFO edge, the skater skids rather than rises to the toe pick as though initiating a forward spin. From the skidded edge, the free leg swings forward and up. Simultaneously, the skater jumps straight up, assisted by the lifting motion of the free leg. While airborne, the free leg extends forward and to the side of the body at approximately a 45-degree angle; and the skater pulls his left leg up toward his body bending the knee and almost touching the back of his boot to his backside. These motions create a seated position in mid-air. The higher the skating leg tucks, the more dramatic the jump. While a high jump is important for this element, a good tuck contributes to the illusion of height and emphasizes the sit spin nature of this skill. After achieving a flying seated pose, the skating leg reaches toward the ice. Immediately upon landing, the skater contracts into a sit spin. The flying sitting position is not maintained until contact with the ice occurs. The skating leg must straighten to cushion the landing. The resultant spin is a forward sit spin. No change of legs occurs during the jump.
Flying Reverse Sit Spin
The flying reverse sit spin is very similar to the flying sit spin, with an important difference. While in the air, the skater quickly switches legs after achieving the tuck position and lands on the right foot. Upon landing the skater contracts into a backward sit spin.
Flying Backward Sit Spin
This spin has recently appeared in competition in response to the new Code of Points judging system and allows skaters a new option for flying spins in a program. The spin is the opposite of a standard flying sit spin. The skater exectutes a backward inside three turn, jumps at the apex of the turn, achieves a sit position in the air and lands on the same leg in a backward sit spin.
Death Drop or Flying Camel Sit Spin or Open Axel Sit Spin
While this element is known by several different names it is probably most commonly called a “death drop” in the United States. The “Open Axel” name refers to the open position the body achieves in the air while rotating and landing on the opposite foot, as in an axel jump. However, “flying camel sit spin” is the most descriptive name because it represents a fusion between a flying camel and a backward sit spin. Death drops are initiated like flying camels with a flat RFI3 turn followed by a step forward onto a LFO edge while the free leg remains held firmly behind the body. Similar to the flying camel, the free leg is cast forward and out lifting the body from the ice simultaneously with a jump off the left toe pick. In contrast to the flying camel, the free leg is thrown upward (rather than parallel to the ice) resulting in a higher leg position while airborne. The legs fly above the horizontal plane created by the body during the jump. Rather than landing in a backward camel spin, the right leg bends and the free left leg comes forward as the entire body pivots into a backward sit spin. The flip over into the back sit spin should be quick and close to the ice. The skater should not stand upright before dropping into a seated position. Some skaters land without tapping the free foot on the ice before the flip over. Others tap quickly then transition to the back sit spin. Utilizing a tap may be related to the height and power of the jump. The tap seems to help the skater anchor the sit spin after a particularly dramatic flying entrance.
Jump Sit Spin
The only common jump spin is the jump sit spin, which may be performed as a forward or backward spin. Very simply, a jump spin is a spin containing a jump. No change of foot or position occurs. After maintaining a centered forward (or backward) sit spin, the skater rises slightly on the skating leg and jumps off the ice, straight into the air. While airborne, the skating leg lifts to tuck under the body in a flying seated pose, as required for a flying sit spin. The skating leg reaches for the ice and the body contracts back into a forward sit spin. Basically, it is a flying sit spin without the flying entrance.
Flying Spin Combinations
Flying spin combinations are as limitless as conventional spin combinations. Rather than changing legs with a push, a jump is utilized. In some cases, the jump may only result in a change of positions without a change of skating leg. These are not very common but can be occasionally observed as a transition via a hop from an upright backspin to a backward sit spin. A similar variation may be performed from a forward upright spin to a forward sit spin.
Flying spin combinations follow a similar nomenclature system as their grounded counterparts. For example, a conventional transition between a forward to a backward camel is called a “camel-change-camel” (or “forward camel-change-backward camel”). The word “change” indicates a change of legs occurs. Substituting a jump transition for the basic push, the combination becomes a “camel-jump-camel”.
In general flying spin combinations are used to transition between camel and sit spin positions. However, other positions such as laybacks and upright spins are less commonly used.
Forward to Backward Flying Transitions
Forward Camel-Jump-Backward Camel (Camel-Jump-Camel)
The camel-jump-camel combines the camel-change-camel and the flying camel. The combination begins with a centered forward camel spin that is maintained for several revolutions. To initiate the jump, the skater bends her skating knee and pulls back her free leg as though preparing for a flying camel. Without losing the camel position or standing completely upright, the free leg swings forward and lifts the body off the left toe pick and into the air. The body achieves a horizontal position and completes about one revolution in the air before landing on the right foot in a back camel spin.
Forward Camel-Jump-Backward Sit Spin (Camel-Jump-Sit)
This transition is almost identical to the camel-jump-camel. However, the free leg motion initiating the jump is more closely related to that of the death drop. The free leg reaches outward and upward rather than just outward at hip height. This combination is basically a death drop initiated from a forward camel spin.
Forward Sit Spin-Jump-Backward Sit Spin (Sit-Jump-Sit)
The sit-jump-sit is an interesting variation on the sit-change-sit, which is a basic combination spin that intermediate skaters learn. Rather than transitioning from the forward to backward sit spin with a push, the skater jumps out of the forward spin lifting with the free leg and lands in a backward sit spin. For increased drama, the tuck position may be used during the flying transition to accentuate the height of the jump.
The toe pick of the free foot may tap the ice to initiate flying spin combinations. This gives additional power to the jump as the skater can push off the ice from the toe pick for the jump transition. The flying transition itself looks like a butterfly jump or an Arabian cartwheel. Nomenclature is similar to the basic jump combinations except the word “tap” is used in place of the word “jump”. These combinations are also classified as “tap overs”.
This combination is identical to the camel-jump-camel except the free foot taps the ice before lifting into the air. Since more power is generated in the tap, the skater’s legs lift above the horizontal plane of the body during the jump. This resembles a butterfly jump. The skater lands in a back camel.
The camel-tap-sit is identical to the camel-jump-sit except for the tapping of the free foot prior to the jump transition. The legs may scissor higher above the plane of the body than in the basic jump transition.
Backward to Forward Flying Transitions
Backward to forward flying combination spins are considerably more difficult than forward to backward combinations. This is because the forward flying transitions resemble basic skating jumps such as the waltz jump in which the free leg is thrown forward lifting the body off the ice simultaneously as the skater leaps off the left toe pick. Backward to forward transitions require a completely different jumping mechanism. These transitions are accomplished through a “flip over” jump. While spinning backward, the skater has to throw his free leg forward and is basically jumping with his back turned. The motion is somewhat similar to a falling leaf jump or half loop, in which the skater glides backward on his right leg and leaps by kicking his free leg forward.
Backward Camel-Jump-Forward Sit
This is probably the most common backward to forward jump spin combination. After completing several revolutions in a well-centered back camel position, the skater bends her skating leg without sacrificing the camel position. While looking over her shoulder, the skater opens her hip and begins to turn forward as though pivoting out of the back camel. Rather than rising to an upright backspin to complete the element, the skater throws her free leg forward and up contributing to the height of the jump. The body flips over in the air creating an open position, completing approximately a full rotation. The left foot touches the ice and the skater contracts immediately into a forward sit spin.
Backward Camel-Jump-Forward Camel
This combination is more difficult and rarer than the back camel-jump-forward sit spin because the camel position is essentially maintained throughout the flying transition. The body must remain completely open in order to land in a forward camel. The right leg must remain high and straight to achieve the camel position upon landing. Otherwise the jump is performed similarly. As the left foot touches the ice in the landing, the skater stretches her arms and torso into a forward camel spin.
Backward Sit Spin-Jump-Forward Sit Spin
In order to achieve this transition, the skater must rise slightly out of the backward sit spin before throwing the free leg into the jump transition. The landing and adoption of the forward sit spin position is similar to the back camel-jump-forward sit combination.
The definitions provided in the technical glossary are offered in good faith for personal use. They are not necessarily official definitions.
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