19 April 2011

The Spin-o-Rama

Jeff Stoughton is not my favorite skip.  He's not even my favorite Canadian skip. He's not even my favorite skip from Manitoba! (Mike McEwen, if you must know).  I've watched him play several times, and never been impressed with him. I respect his curling ability - he did just win his 2nd World championship in a year when a lot of people were calling him washed up and past his prime.

And he knows what the fans want to see.

Did you see his smile when the crowd was calling for that shot?  It was priceless! Also, did you note the score of the game?  It was a tied match - the FINALS of Worlds.  And he did it anyway.  That was a fan-friendly move.

That shot is Stoughton's signature, known as the Spin-o-Rama.  It has been done by him several times during competition, and it is something to see!

It's also something I saw a lot of club curlers try this weekend at my curling club's Last Chance bonspiel.  Most of these attempts (including mine) were unsuccessful.  However, one particular curler, Chris Benway, nailed it.  Luckily, one of our other curlers was there to get it on video:

It's important to note that Chris's double takeout was of two of his own stones. (There might have been whiskey involved)  But the shooter stuck around!

As an aside, our videographer, a first-year curler, has a curling blog of her own. She was smart enough to bring a camera and capture some pictures of the post-bonspiel action.  (There might have been whiskey involved)  Please, check out her blog as well.  

The trick, so I am told, is to start off with your trailing foot not straight back, but behind the hacks.  The rotation needs to start immediately. Release appears to happen just short of the 360 degree mark.  Also, no one throws this shot at draw weight - the curler needs a fair amount of force and velocity to successfully complete the Spin-o-Rama before the hog line.

Niklas Edin of Sweden did the spin slightly differently at Worlds in Saskatchewan - his was a counterclockwise spin, with a straight trailing leg.  I am watching video to figure out how he did that one - I wonder if that would be easier for me.  Another Swede did a different type of trick shot, where he brought his trailing leg forward and held it up, over the stone.  I used to do that on roller skates in the 80s, so that wasn't as impressive to me.

I will keep practicing the Spin-o-Rama myself, and if I successfully make it, I will post video of it here.  Don't hold your breath.


  1. Tony, I feel it is important to note the Niklas Edin also managed to hit the oppsing stone and remove it from the house with his spin-o-rama (it did pain me though, because it was a Norwegian stone). So not only was Edin's shot athletic and fun, it was also successful and he got a 100% for it. Awesome, no?

  2. That is an excellent point, Phoebe. In fact, the Swedes made all their trick shots. Stoughton's was merely meant to blank an end, which of course didn't have an effect on his percentage.

  3. I've heard the spin-o-rama is easier if you're a toe curler, like Stoughton. Though Edin isn't a toe curler, nor is Chris in the above video and they managed it just fine. I've heard of a club curler who would slid out normal, then lift the rock and clean it while still sliding, then put it back on the ice and deliver it before he reached the hogline. I never saw that with my own two eyes but it sounds impressive nonetheless!

  4. Nobody throws it for draw weight? Tim, Lynn, Kevin, Thom, Kyle, and Mark saw somebody put it on the button Saturday. Alas, no video of that one...