Spinboard Tutorial – Part 2 (Kim Ryan)

Figure skating spin specialist Kim Ryan shares a tutorial on how to use her off-ice spinboards. You can learn more about spinboards here and purchase a spinboard directly from Kim. This presentation is taken from a Zoom call between Kim and well-known US coach Diane Miller. Both were gracious enough to let us publish their discussion and demonstration. In Part 1, Kim talked about the basic warmup and upright spins.

Editor’s Note: The quality of the video below is not up to our usual standards here at iCoachSkating. However, the information in the video is so valuable, we hope you can overlook the small video and subpar audio. All important information is still visible and understandable.

In this video, Kim starts with a discussion of why she teaches both hands in front on the camel spin entrance. In essence, both hands in front helps a skater feel more forward energy, both in the position and the step power. It also adds control of the forward edge for many skaters, and perhaps most importantly, it prevents wild and mis-timed arms. Skaters can clasp the hands in front or hold an object such as a beach ball.

Next, Kim offers a helpful tip for front scratch spin (forward upright spin). As she notes, doing really good front scratch spins is becoming a lost art as skaters focus mostly on back scratch spins as a jump training method. The tip is using the concept of a crossover to help understand and feel the position necessary for the hips. She also offers more insights and training ideas including her “skinny-V” arms and closed hips. When you go to pull in “feel like you’re getting ready to do forward crossovers.” Kim explains that having a good front scratch is important for developing good sit spins, good layback spins, and good single, double and triple axels.

Next Kim discusses her basic approach to teaching sit spins. She leads into the sit with the axis arm in front (left arm for most skaters) and encourages the use of the “happy sit” position which is essentially an intermediate or raised sit spin position simply to get comfortable with spinning in a partial sit. After getting control of the “happy sit,” skaters can work on going all the way down into the more standard sit spin positions. They can work on the necessary strength and mobility by doing one-leg deep knee bends while holding onto a chair or counter. She recommends only 5 one-leg deep knee bends on each leg each day. The goal is to do full sit positions without hanging onto any support, both on the floor and on the spinboard.

Kim then shows the starting position for back sit spins on the spinboard. Again, she recommends the “happy sit” position to build confidence and control when learning a back sit. Kim spends a minute discussing the challenge of teaching skaters the back sit nowadays, with so much emphasis on keeping the hips closed for jumping. She says, “On the back sit you get to really work on that turn-out. And don’t worry that they’re going to get all wonky” meaning out of control of have too much open hip. In fact, to emphasize the turn-out, Kim puts stickers on the instep of the skate for the skaters to see and try to point to the ceiling.

Check out all videos in this series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3



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