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Thread: Turn! Turn! Turn!

  1. #1
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Question Turn! Turn! Turn!

    What is the difference between a forward spin and a scratch spin? Inquiring minds want to know! :D

  2. #2
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    Pretty much nothing, unless you use the term forward to describe the direction of a certain kind of spin, like forward camel, forward sit. Plain old "forward spin" would refer to the most basic of spins, upright. "Scratch" would do the same.

  3. #3
    Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL! Cinderella on Ice's Avatar
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    BlurrySarah is right. "Forward" really should apply to all spins that are being done on a forward edge. So a scratch spin is simply one of many types of forward spins.

    However, a gabillion years ago when I first learned to skate, some people referred to a simple one-foot spin as a forward spin, as if that was its name. This is where the skater draws up the free leg and holds the non-skating foot at or about the inside of the knee of the leg on which he/she is spinning. The thigh of the non-skating leg is almost parallel to the ice. The free foot is pressed against the inside of the opposite knee.

    A scratch or blur spin entails first bringing the free leg out and slightly to the side. Then the skater bends the knee of the free leg and places that foot to the OUTSIDE of the knee of the spinning leg. Think of how a man crosses his leg. This foot is held against the skating leg and pushes down on the outside of the leg until the whole free leg is crossed over the whole spinning leg. At the same time, the arms are either brought in and down or in and up, making the spin go very fast so that it scratches or blurs.

    I hope this helps.

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    A scratch spin also gets its name from the fact that the weight is a little bit further toward the toe pick so that it scratches circles into the ice a little more deeply than other spins.

    2loop

  5. #5
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    Originally posted by Cinderella on Ice
    BlurrySarah is right. "Forward" really should apply to all spins that are being done on a forward edge. So a scratch spin is simply one of many types of forward spins.

    However, a gabillion years ago when I first learned to skate, some people referred to a simple one-foot spin as a forward spin, as if that was its name. This is where the skater draws up the free leg and holds the non-skating foot at or about the inside of the knee of the leg on which he/she is spinning. The thigh of the non-skating leg is almost parallel to the ice. The free foot is pressed against the inside of the opposite knee.
    A normal "forward spin" is one done on a back inside edge, not a forward edge. The name doesn't make much sense when you think about it, but that's what it is. The spin you described, the one people learn first, is a forward spin because it's done on the BI edge. A backspin is done on the back outside edge. (For most skaters, a forward spin is on a left back inside edge, and a backspin is on a right back outside edge.) Any spin on a BI edge is a "forward" spin - e.g. a forward sit, camel, scratch. When it's on the other foot and a BO edge, it's a backspin, e.g. a back sit or a back camel or a back scratch. Sometimes, skaters can deliberately change edges during a spin so they are instead spinning on a forward inside or a forward outside edge - this is a difficult variation and is not the same as a regualr "forward spin" (which is on a BI edge).

    A scratch spin is the one in which a skater spins in an upright position, crosses their free foot over the spinning leg, and pushes it down while they bring their arms up/in, which generates a lot of speed and is often used as the last position in a combination spin.

  6. #6
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The various edge spins are more defined on rollers than ice.

    Hover, if you think of the blade as having 4 corners the 4 difference edges come alive. If one places more weight on on the right back outside corner, one will get a forward outside edge whether it is just a stroke or a spin. If the weight is placed on the right back inside corner, one will get a foward inside edge.
    Similarly with placing the weight on the right forward outside corner one will get a back outside edge; and last the forward inside edge with get one a back inside edge.

    Sarah and now Sasha, do a back outside camel and in the middle of it will switch into a forward inside camel. Not terribly difficult but very pretty and effective.

    OH, yes, the scratch spin. from days of yore, one hits the 'one foot' spin on a back inside edge, the free leg extended to form an L with the body. The L drops down to the ankle. Many skaters now drop the L down into a cross foot spin. Scratch spin is not an official name as far as I know. I think it comes from the scratchy sound on the ice.

    Joe

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    Since the edges can change, and it is possible to spin more or less on a flat, and clockwise spins are the opposite of counterclockwise in terms of which leg you're on, it's probably better to think of it in terms of which direction you're turning in relation to the standing leg and the rest of the body.

    There seem to be a lot of ballet folks on this board. If you're more familiar with ballet than skating technique, then think of a "forward" spin as being en dedans and a "backward" spin as en dehors.

    In plain English, a forward spin is any spin that rotates toward the supporting leg, and a backward spin rotates away from the supporting leg.

  8. #8
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies. I always assumed that the scratch spin and forward spin were one and the same, but I got confused when I heard Uncle Dick say during the recent Europeans, "She's doing a forward spin, now a scratch spin."

  9. #9
    nthuz
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    gkelly has the correct reason for the spin being called forward or backward.

    Another way to explain it :

    The skating leg is the axis. If the free leg side of the body is moving 'forward'--forward spin. If the free leg side of the body is going backward around the skating leg, it's a backspin.

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    confused...

    gkelly
    you say any rotation of the free leg away from the skating leg is a backspin, but yet joesitz mentions that when sasha and sarah change edges on the camel spins, the backwards become a forwards spin although the rotation is the same way. i'm confused! when they change edges the rotation is still going away from the skating leg hence they should both be backward spins according to your definition.

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    Re: confused...

    Yes, they remain backward spins.

    Back spins can be done either the back outside or, less commonly, the forward inside edge.

    Forward spins can be done on back inside or, less commonly, forward outside edge.

    "Backspin" and "forward spin" refer to the direction of rotation, not to the edge that the skater is on.

  12. #12
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    gkelly = No offense but I disagre. You seem to be saying there are only two directional spins - forward and backward and that the edge of those spins does not clarify a spin. In dance there is a difference of "en de dans" and "en d'orb" , i.e., inside and outside. The directional is a circle on the inside of the foot or on the outside of the foot.

    In skating from what I've seen many skaters spin on a flat which is quite possible on ice (but not on rollers). Yet there are skaters who do indeed spin on edges and Sasha is one of those skaters because she has excellent technique.

    To enter a spin on a forward outside edge and remain on that edge is a forward outside spin. If a skater executes a 3 turn the skater will be on a back inside edge. Goiong in same direction, yes but on diffierent edges Similarly, a flying camel takes the skater to a back outside edge and then with a 3 turn it becomes a forward inside edge. Sasha does exactly that and that is why the spin looks so different from the first six turns to the final six turns. It's a very effective move and Sasha does it first class.

    Joe

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    Joesitz, that's all true, but a flying camel (or any other position) performed on a forward inside edge is still a variation of a the general category "backspin."

    And in the case of back upright and sit spins (but not back camels), very often spinning on the forward inside edge is an indication of weaker backspin technique than the standard back outside edge. I've seen some very poor back upright and back sitspins done on forward inside edge by skaters who were incapable of doing it on the back outside at all.

    With camels, it's more difficult to get to the FI edge, requires very good stretch and control, and thus that's always a plus for the skater.

    So is changing deliberately and with control from back outside to forward inside, as Ryan Jahnke did in his combination spin this year; that sort of thing is specifically rewarded by the code of points, which is why he included it.

    Changing from back inside to forward outside on a forward spin is always harder as far as I can tell.

    And the normal forward spins on back inside edges are still forward spins.

    Before people can appreciate the added difficulty of changing to the more unusual forward edges in either forward or backspins (which are both usually performed on back edges), they have to learn the concept of forward spin vs. backspin first. Talking about the edges before the basic definition of "forward spin" and "backspin" just confuses the matter.

  14. #14
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    gkelly - We are getting closer to agreeing. There are four edges on each skate and one can use those edges to stroke, to make an arc, to use as a take off in a jump, and to spin. All four edges may be used for a variety of reasons.

    I must have misunderstiood your original post when you said there is a forward spin and a back spin. there are two kinds of forward spins and two kinds of back spins.

    Cheers - Joe

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    Well, there are lots of different kinds of forward spins and back spins.

    The initial post asked what is the difference between a forward spin and a scratch spin.

    A correct answer is that a clockwise scratch spin performed on a back inside edge is one kind of forward spin.

    If you want to call it a backward spin because it's on a backward edge, you'll mix up the standard terminology. Even calling it a forward spin on a back edge could be confusing to someone who's just trying to understand the term "forward spin" in the first place.

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