A layback spin can also be performed with the torso leaning more towards the side, in which case it is known as a side layback or sideways-leaning spin. Both backwards and sideways-leaning positions in a layback spin are considered a feature that adds difficulty under the ISU Judging System.
Another variation is the flying layback, that is, a layback spin that is entered through a jump. Differing techniques exist for the air position, but all require the skater to leap up into the air with an arch in the back and the free leg held to the side and the skating leg tucked like a flying sit. Since it is a same-foot flying spin, it requires fewer difficult features to attain a high level.
The flying layback spin is rarely performed because of the physical danger posed by landing with a hyperextended spine and the fact that few coaches know how the move is performed. However, some skaters such as Choi Ji Eun have been successfully credited with flying layback spins in competition.
In competitive figure skating, the layback or sideways-leaning spin is a required element for ladies in the short program. Few male skaters perform this spin because it is not a required element at any level of men's competition. In addition, most males lack the back flexibility required by the position (a problem that is known to plague some female skaters as well). Male skaters to perform the layback in competition include Daisuke Takahashi.
The spin is usually taught initially as the attitude spin, with only the leg behind in an attitude position. Once the skater can balance in that position, which is rather awkward at first, the skaters begin practicing the spin with an arch.
In the ISU Judging System, the layback spin is valued higher than other single position spins of the same nature (e.g. change of foot, flying entrance).
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