Thursday, February 6, 2014

Know the difference between the edge jumps and toe jumps? The flip, loop, toe loop, salchow, lutz and axel—a gif guide to jumps—in figure skating.

2010 olympic gold medalist Kim Yu-Na performs her textbook Lutz

The lutz, loop, toe loop, Salchow and axel explained.

Figure skating is the sport I loved as a kid. I spent a few summers on the ice in Lake Placid working on my spins and jumps and getting better and better although not nearly as good as I wanted to be. Still, skating is the sport I know most about and, as the Olympics gets under way, I thought some of you would enjoy this excellent gif guide to the jumps.


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  1. I just stared at those jumps for five minutes and they still all look the same to me! (Except for the landing on the opposite leg part). Great guide with the gifs and explanations, though! I love to take my kids skating, but I'm awful at it. We went once this year and we'll probably go again during our winter break next week. Skating in an indoor rink is not the same as skating outdoors on a lake, though. I miss that from being a kid in Michigan.

    1. Hi Meghan, I know just what you mean! I grew up on Long Island when it was still rural and fell in love with skating as a kid on the local pond when it froze. For a long time now most winters haven't even been cold enough for the pond to freeze (except this winter!). Still the best skating for sure!

      See if you can spot when they jab their toe pick into the ice. That will help you distinguish between a lutz and toe loop and the edge jumps (no toe pick) like a plain loop or Salchow. The axel is the only one that takes off facing forward. All the others start as the skater is going backward. Hope that helps at least a little.