Skating Fridays

Death drop spin

The name of this spin alone is enough to scare anybody. Seriously. Who names a spin the death drop? In reality, though, this is a fun spin and not as scary as its ominous-sounding name.

As I’ve shared with you previously, Coach B and I have decided to try and include a death drop spin into my Gold Freestyle program. We originally wanted to try the flying camel spin, but since features were hard to achieve on that spin, we changed it to a death drop.

This spin is a combination of a few elements – waltz/axel jump (the entrance), flying camel (the “fly” or jump position), back spiral and back sit spin. Coach B gave me a few exercises to try on the hockey line.

I would skate on a shallow forward outside edge as if going into a scratch spin or waltz/axel jump, transfer my weight to my toe pick, hop onto my other toe pick and kick my free leg up into a back spiral and then snap down into a back sit spin. Easy, right? The words I used to describe my free leg positions for this spin: side, back and snap. Free leg to the side during the waltz jump section, kick the free leg back during the “fly,” and then snap my free leg down into the back sit.

One important thing I’ve learned about this spin is that is it NOT a flying camel into a back sit spin. Many coaches may teach it this way, but that is not correct. A flying camel starts off in a camel position (with the chest down), while the death drop begins with the body in an upright position like a waltz jump or axel take-off. And, the back “kick” in the death drop needs to be pretty high (unlike the flying camel, which remains parallel to the body). Finally, the death drop never spins in a back camel position. Coach B told me that the back spiral position after the “fly” is there for a split second in order to get on my toe pick and use that momentum to snap down into the back sit.  So yes, there are lots of differences between the two jumps.

This is what my death drop spin looks like after having had two partial lessons on it. Obviously, I need to stand up straighter into the entrance, straighten my legs a little more and get down lower into the back sit position. But, I think it’s a great start and has potential.  Once the jump is more stable from a standstill, then we’ll move on to doing it from a forward inside three-turn.

I’ve gotta say… this is one FUN jump. I can’t wait until the day I do it correctly.


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