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Why Do Spins Slow Down? (Bobbe Shire)

Figure skating spin specialist Bobbe Shire talks about spin speed, and she offers insights about why a spin might slow down. This is one of the most common issues in skating as many skaters can generate a fast spin, but they slow down quickly. Bobbe says, “The main thing I really think is that the skater is not flexing their muscles…  If your body is loose, you are not going to spin fast.”  Bobbe uses a bead on her necklace to help convey her point. She says, “Hold those muscles tight in your legs and in your back to keep your spin going. As soon as you relax, it’s going to die.”

Bobbe also notes that it’s crucial to keep spinning on the same spot on the blade. Many skaters rock toward the toe pick, either because they cannot overcome the spin forces or they are trying too hard (and inadvertently point the toe slightly). She says, “You want to feel that part of your foot staying in the ice making circles.  I think visualization is a huge help.”

Another important concept for spinning fast according to Bobbe is focusing on “parallel.” She says, “Body parts need to be parallel to the ice in order to spin fast and to spin long.” She offers examples of where this is particularly important.

Next Bobbe offers a hint for those struggling with speed on the back sit. She recommends doing a forward camel into a back sit. You can see in the demonstration how much speed the skater generates for the back sit. She also talks about the exit for the back and how it’s similar to a carnival ride (Graviton) at an amusement park. She says, “It feels like you’re in this pressure chamber of George.”


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