Figure Skating Jumps With Yuuri and Viktor
This blog started out as a Yuri!!! on Ice
trash blog, but somewhere along the way, my love for figure skating was rekindled. My blog now doubles as a figure skating… trash blog, lol! Yeah, I have no life.
Anyway! Jumps - wonderful to watch, confusing af to recognize. If this is your usual sentiment, then you have come to the right place! Let Yuuri and Viktor show you the different jumps done by figure skaters, as well as tips on how to recognize them.
Jumps are actually fairly easy to recognize once you know what to look for. The first thing to look for is how skaters propel themselves off the ice. Was there a toe pick assist - meaning did the other foot’s toe pick help the skater push off the ice? Or was the skater propelled solely by their knees? The former is called a toe jump, because the toe pick was used to lift off the ice. The latter is called an edge jump, because the skater jumped off directly from an edge of their skating blade. This is most recognizable through a deeper bend in the knees, because without a toe pick assist, the strength of the jump comes solely from the knees.
HOLD UP… EDGES???
Right, so we also need to understand edges first. If you search for close ups of skating blades viewed from the back, you will find that there is something like a hollow on the bottom of the blade so that there are two edges. If you were to stand with your feet just slightly apart, the inside edges would be the edges in line with your inner thighs (and calves, whatever). Conversely, the outside edges would be the edges that are facing the outside world.
Now, the great thing is all jumps are landed at the back outside edge. Which foot depends on the skater. Yuuri and Viktor both seem to favor landing on their right foot. Most skaters have a preferred landing foot, but to help you visualize, a skater who prefers landing on his right foot, for example, would always land tilted slightly to the right, because he is landing on his right outside edge.
So if it is not the landing that differentiates the jumps, what does? Yep, you got it - the entry.
Now that we have the basics down, time for the fun part: the different kinds of jumps!
Loop: Entered at the back outside edge of the same foot. You land exactly where you started, hence the “loop”. Example of a loop is the first gif, which is a loop done by Yuuri. The knee bend is not very clear, but see how his right foot is tilted to the right and slightly back? Clear back outside edge, landed also on his right foot.
Salchow: Yuuri’s bane of a jump is entered at the back inside edge of the opposite foot. The fun thing about the Salchow is that apart from the usual clues (knee bend and tilt of the foot), the nature of the landing is such that the entry leg sweeps into a wide arch once the skater lands on the opposite leg. Example is the second gif, done by Yuuri. See how Yuuri bends his knees? That is an obvious edge jump. See how his left foot tilts slightly inwards (inside edge take-off) before jumping off? Another interesting thing about this gif is Yuuri’s entry on the Salchow – it looked like he jumped from both feet. Two-footed Salchows are right or wrong depending on who you ask, but the idea is that the skater should still be taking off from the correct foot and the correct edge when entering the Salchow.
Axel: Yuuri’s favorite is also a common favorite among fans because it is easily recognizable AND it is the jump type with the highest points. The Axel is the only jump entered facing forward. Because of this entry, however, to land on the back outside edge (where all jumps land), you have to make an extra half rotation. That means a triple Axel is actually an Axel with three-and-a-half rotations, and this is also why it is given the most points. Also because of this, a quad Axel is the only remaining possible quad jump that has not yet been landed. (Can you imagine having to do four-and-a-half rotations?) Example, of course, is our boy Yuuri nailing that triple Axel in the third gif.
Toe Loop: Arguably the easiest jump, it is basically a loop with a toe pick assist. With the extra assist, it is usually the first quad landed by most male skaters, and in the show, this is the only quad Phichit can land. The fourth gif is a triple toe loop done by Viktor. See the way his left toe pick helps him off the ice? See how cleanly he takes off (slight outside tilt of his right foot) and lands on the same foot (same outside tilt)?
Flip: Viktor’s signature quad, the flip jump is entered by the back inside edge of the opposite foot. Enter on the inside edge of one foot, land at the outside edge of the other foot - hence, you flip. You can also think of it as a Salchow with a toe pick assist. The fifth gif is a triple flip done by Viktor. I chose his triple flip because the animation is clearer here. See how his right leg swings for that toe pick assist? His left entry foot is tilted slightly inwards to jump from his inside edge, and he then lands on his usual right landing foot (tilted slightly outwards to the back outside edge). (Bonus: The quad flip in particular is interesting to watch out for because for some reason, the skaters do a full turn before the jump, which is not as obviously done when skaters do a triple flip instead. It makes the quad version look dramatic, at least especially in the show when Yuuri and Viktor do it with that solemn look on their faces and all, but it’s also fun to watch when real-life figure skaters like Shoma Uno - who was the first to land the quad flip - also does that full turn before jumping. Somebody explain this to me, though. What physics is at work there? Idk.)
Lutz: Chris’ signature jump and my personal favorite is the Lutz, which is entered on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. The interesting thing about the Lutz is that because it is entered from the outside edge of the opposite foot, it is counter-rotated - that means the skater goes one direction then spins the opposite direction. It is a high difficulty jump and so gets the second highest base score after the Axel. The last gif shown here is a Lutz done together by Yuuri and Viktor, and I slowed the gif down a bit to better show the characteristics of the jump. Viktor actually gives the more consistently clear example of Lutzes in the show, but see how Yuuri enters the jump on the first few frames? That is typical Lutz entry, where the skater’s entry foot crosses over to the opposite side to give it that tilt it needs so they jump from the back outside edge. See how Viktor’s left foot is slightly tilted so you see underneath his skate? He is tilted slightly to the left, but he then jumps counter-clockwise, even if with that tilt, his natural spin would have been clockwise. He then lands on his right foot on the outside edge.
And there you have it! The six types of figure skating jumps. I hope that was helpful to those who are interested in learning to recognize these awesome jumps. The more figure skating fans, the merrier, I say!
(Any questions on these jumps? Leave me a message and talk skating to me. I would love to answer your questions! ♡)