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Coach's Tips

Coach Zdenek Pazdirek demonstrating Skate Spinner

Zdenek's Skate Spinner Seminar during SkateWorks 2010

About the Coach:

Zdenek Pazdirek, ChPC, was born in Czechoslovakia. He was the 2 time Czechoslovakian Figure Skating Champion in 1974 and 1975. In 1970 – 1976 represented Czechoslovakia at the European and World Championships, and in 1976 at the Innsbruck Olympics. Zdenek then skated professionally with Holiday on Ice from 1981-1989. 

Since 1989, Zdenek has lived and coached students of all levels in Canada. He designed Skate Spinner in 1989. Currently, he coaches at the Coquitlam Skating Club and had his skaters compete at the Regional to Senior International level, and has been a Olympic and National Team Coach. He is NCCP level 3 certified and designated a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC). Zdenek has also conducted many on ice and off ice seminars in Canada. 

He is available to provide on-ice and off-ice seminars upon request. Please send him an email via the Contact Us link.


Zdenek’s Top Tips for getting the most out of your Skate Spinner 

All tips will be given for skaters jumping counterclockwise.
R = Reverse jumpers will be notated with R and directions for your rotational preference.

Safety First! Before you start your exercises, please make sure you have enough space around you to practice! Neither seller or manufacturer shall be liable for injuries or damages arising resulting from use or misuse of the product.  

Beginner Skaters:

Tip #1: Forward Spin 

    • Step on the Spinner with your left foot (R – right) in the basic upright spin position. 
    • Feel the profile and the rocker of the spinner by pressing forward and backward in a rocking motion. 
    • Start your spin with left (R-right) arm in front of you and push lightly from your right (R-left) foot. 
    • Spin in the basic spin position keeping your arms at shoulder level. 
    • Stop after 2-3 rotations and try it again. 

Tip #2: Backward Spin 

The Backspin is very difficult spin to learn for every young skater. The Skate Spinner is therefore a great tool off-ice to learn mechanics and position of the backspin rotation and reinforce it over and over again. If the skater does not use the Spinner for anything else but the backspin, it would be worth the money to purchase Skate Spinner. 

    • Start from Loop jump take-off position - Right foot (R-left) on the Spinner. 
    • Coordinate a push from the left foot (R–right) with your upper body action – arms creating rotation. 
    • Always keep left arm (R-right) and shoulder checked in front of you. 
    • Bring right arm (R-left) to the right side of the chest, and left arm on top the right arm – hands are tight in fists. 
    • With the pelvis pressed under, feel the axis of rotation over the right side (R-left). Stop after 2-4 rotations. 
    • Reposition yourself in the Loop jump take-off position, and try it again. Practicing it every day will speed up process of achieving this spin on ice. 

Girl learning to figure skate using Skate Spinner

Advanced skaters:

Tip #1: Backward Spin into a Jump 

Now when you’ve mastered the mechanics of the backspin, and you’ve found your axis of rotation we can practice last phase of the jump - simulation of the air position, opening of the rotation, checking the landing, and the landing position itself. 

    • After a crisp backspin, JUMP off the Spinner into a landing position and freeze for 5-10 counts. 
    • Repetition of this exercise will teach you the mechanics of creating fast rotation and even faster opening of the rotation and a strong landing!! Learn how to coordinate your movements. You will need it in your double and triple jumps!!

Demo Videos:

Backspin Pull-In: 

Backspin Variation:

Sit Spin Variations:

Catch Foot Spin:

Overhead Catch Foot Spin:

I Spin:


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