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

Don’t Forget These Figure-Skating Accessories

Taking care of your ice skates is important in making them last and helping you skate to the best of your ability. Here are some important accessories for skaters.   

Skate Towel – This can be any type of rag or towel. I like micro fiber. Each time you take your skates off, you need to use the towel to dry the blades and the bottom and sides of the boot where it’s wet. If you don’t dry the blade, it might rust and corrode. The boot could warp on the bottom if it stays wet too long. 

Soft Soakers – These are only for putting on your blades after you dry your blades with a towel. The purpose of soakers is to protect the blades when storing and to help absorb any small amounts of moisture on the blades. However, if you don’t dry the blades before you put soakers on your skates, the soakers will just absorb the moisture and keep your blades damp, causing rust. Also, never walk in soakers because they offer almost no protection for walking. You could create nicks in your blades and make holes in the soakers. 

Hard Guards – These are for putting on your blades when you are walking in your skates off ice. They help protect your blades from rocks and other small things that may cause nicks in your blades when you walk over them. Never leave your hard guards on overnight or when you take your skates off. The guards hold water and your blades will rust. Also, make sure you remember to take the guards off before you step on the ice. I have seen many falls from skaters forgetting to take off their guards. 

Laces – All skates come with laces. However, some laces are too long for the skates. If you have to wrap the laces around the top of the boot, you need shorter laces. Wrapping the laces around the top of the boot will break the boot down faster and could cause an ankle injury as well. New laces are inexpensive. I recommend going with a mixed-blend lace. Mixed blend means the lace is a poly/cotton blend. Laces that are 100% nylon are harder on your fingers and can sometimes loosen up while skating. Laces that are 100% cotton stick in the boot holes because they are thicker. But it’s really up to your personal preference.

Gloves – A thin glove is always a good idea if your hands get cold easily. Gloves also make it less painful when you fall. You can usually find a variety of skating gloves online or at skate shops. 

Pads – If you fall on the same spot consistently when learning a jump, I would recommend pads. There are gel pads or foam pads you can put in your leggings to help cushion any falls while mastering jumps. Skate shops and online stores should have a variety of options.

July 22, 2010

Learn to Set SMART Goals in Figure Skating

If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?

– Basil S. Walsh

One of the first and most important skills an athlete needs is the ability to set goals.  Goal setting is a sport psychology concept that is relevant to all levels of figure skating, whether you’re a recreational skater or an elite skater aiming for an Olympic medal.  By setting goals, you will be a more confident and successful skater.

A useful acronym to use when setting goals is SMART:






Goals should be SPECIFIC.

An example of a specific goal is, “I will land 3 out of 5 loop jumps in my practice session today.”  Another example is, “I will hold each of my landings for 3 seconds today.”

Goals should be MEASURABLE.

The measurable parts of the above goals are in red: “I will land 3 out of 5 loop jumps in my practice session today,” or, “I will hold each of my landings for 3 seconds today.”

Goals should be APPROPRIATE.

When setting goals, it’s important for them to be appropriate for your skating level.  If you’re an ISI Freestyle 3 skater, it would not be appropriate to have a goal of landing an axel in your 12-week semester of group lessons.  A more appropriate goal would be to do a change-foot spin with 4 revolutions per foot during your semester of group lessons.

Goals should be REALISTIC.

Realistic goals are similar to appropriate goals. Unrealistic goals are goals that are not attainable for your level of skating.  A realistic goal for an ISI Freestyle 3 skater would be to obtain a sit spin with 3 revolutions in 2 months or a loop jump in 2 months.  An unrealistic goal would be for an ISI Freestyle 3 skater to land a double axel in 2 months.

Goals should be TIME-BOUND.

It’s important to put an accomplished date on all goals so you know they’ve been achieved.  It’s also important to set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and long-term goals.

Why don’t you practice setting some goals?  Make sure they’re SMART.  Try setting 3 goals for this week.

SMART GOALS word art image created by Deb Chitwood

March 16, 2010