How to Perform Basic Figure Skating Jumps

My last blog post was How to Recognize Figure Skating Jumps. Here are some more interesting articles and videos about skating jumps. The articles and videos cover the main technical jumps in skating. There are also other jumps that are used in choreography such as split, stag, and ballet jumps for presentation.

Here’s an article from XanBoni on Jumps.

Jo Ann Schneider Farris at Figure Skating has an article on the Top 7 Basic Figure Skating Jumps Every Ice Skater Must Know.

Here’s another article on Figure Skating Jumps from Skating Fitness. It also has information on the origins of the jumps.

If you have a question about jump terminology, check out the Jumps Glossary from Figure Skating Journal.

Here’s a great video with Michael Weiss on How to Perform the Six Basic Jumps. This page has more detailed videos with Michael Weiss on each of the six basic jumps.

November 24, 2010

How to Recognize Figure Skating Jumps

Daisuke Takahashi landing a jump at the 2010 Olympics. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Daisuke Takahashi landing a jump at the 2010 Olympics. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

If you enjoy watching figure skating on television, you’ll enjoy it even more if you learn to identify the different jumps.

Remember, a single jump is 1 rotation in the air, a double 2 rotations, a triple 3 rotations, and a quad 4 rotations. An axel is 1½ rotations in the air,  a double axel is 2½ rotations, and a triple axel is 3½ rotations.

You might like the helpful article by Jo Ann Schneider Farris at Figure Skating on “How to Recognize Olympic Figure Skating Jumps.” Here are some videos that will help you learn to recognize skating jumps:

Figure Skating Jumps
Uploaded by oxygala. – Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

November 11, 2010

What Is the Grand Prix of Figure Skating?

Last week, the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating began with the NHK Trophy in Nagoya, Japan. The way the series works is that senior-level skaters are assigned to represent their countries based on their previous competitive placements and international ranking.  

Skaters in the Grand Prix earn points based on their placements. The six skaters in each singles category (men and ladies) and six teams in each category of pairs and dance who earn the most points out of the six Grand Prix competitions move on to the Grand Prix Final.

Many of the top skaters in the world skate in the Grand Prix series, so it’s good to follow to increase your skating knowledge.

The International Skating Union (ISU) websitehas information on each Grand Prix event as well as all the major international skating competitions each year.

Here’s a recap of the NHK Trophy by PJ Kwong at NHK Trophy event offered dramatic twists.  

For inspiration, here are videos of the gold- and silver-medalists in singles from the NHK Trophy. This is the beginning of the international season, so the skaters’ programs will become even stronger as the season progresses!

Here’s the short program of the NHK ladies champion, Carolina Kostner from Italy:

Here’s the long program of the NHK ladies silver medalist, Rachael Flatt from the USA:

Here’s the short program of the NHK men’s champion, Daisuke Takahashi from Japan:

Here’s the short program of the NHK men’s silver medalist, Jeremy Abbott from the USA:
October 28, 2010

How Ice Rinks Work

Broadgate Circle

This month I’m talking about how ice rinks work. I found an article that answers common questions like how the ice stays cold, how thick the ice is, and how the Zamboni works. The article begins:

While the strength and skill of great ice skat­ers is immediately obvious, it’s easy to overlook the remarkable surface that makes it all possible. But as it ­turns out, varying the characteristics of indoor ice just a little bit can make the difference between a gold-medal performance and an embarrassing spill.

Find out “How Ice Rinks Work.”

Photo Credit: Photo by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary at Flickr Creative Commons.

October 15, 2010

How to Find Competitive Skating Attire

Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty performing the Golden Waltz at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Clive Rose - Getty Images)

Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty performing the Golden Waltz at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Clive Rose - Getty Images)

This week I’m going to talk about competitive skating attire. While competition is judged on skating skills, it’s still important to leave a positive impression on the judges through a classy appearance.


For technical events, the outfit or dress often helps the judges remember the skater (the girl in the red dress, etc.), so having an outfit that works well with a skater’s music is important.

For artistic and spotlight events, much more emphasis is placed on costumes and outfits that help the skater interpret his or her music or character. Often for spotlight events, the most original costume and prop combinations help produce a high competition placement.  


Another important part of appearance for girls is their tights. I often recommend skin-tone, over-the-boot tights because they help complete the skater’s lines. Also, I recommend having a separate competition pair of tights. The practice pair usually will develop holes fairly quickly. Guys, remember to polish your skates if scuffed.

Hair and Makeup

It’s important to have the skater’s hair looking neat and tidy. There are many different ways to fix hair, depending on the type of music the skater chooses. In addition, I recommend using makeup for girls because the white ice tends to wash out the skater’s face, especially when viewed from a distance. Most competitions have vendors who can do the skater’s hair and makeup.   

Where to Buy Skating Costumes and Accessories is the eBay of the skating community with a wide variety of new and gently used skating dresses and outfits, equipment, and accessories for low prices. Plus one of my friends started the site – it’s worth checking out! is another good place to find inexpensive skating dresses and outfits. Numerous students of mine have had good luck there. Just be prepared that skating outfits may not always fit properly because they may have been listed incorrectly. I would avoid buying skates online. Unless you have already been fitted by a professional, it’s hard to know what size boot you need.

A good local pro shop is going to carry skates and accessories. They may also have a limited selection of skating dresses and outfits.

If you need a more elaborate costume for a program, you could check out various online costume stores or plan ahead at Halloween. The other option is to have a seamstress make you a custom costume or dress. Until skaters reach the the highest levels, skating costumes can be purchased inexpensively.

September 30, 2010