Ice Skating – The Axel Jump

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 119,416
    Olympic figure skater Michael Weiss demonstrates how to do the ice skating jump the Axel.

    Michael Weiss

    Michael is a Three-time U.S. Men’s Champion, Two-time World Bronze Medalist,Two-time Olympian,World Junior Champion, and World University Champion. He was the first U.S. man to land a quadruple toe loop in competition. In 2002, he debuted a new skate blade, the “Freedom Blade,” which enabled him to perform tricky maneuvers that no one else could copy. He also originated a showy and gymnastic-like move called the “Tornado” that he performs in exhibitions to thunderous applause. It is a back flip with a full twist, and he is the only skater EVER to perform this dangerous stunt. Accolades fill his resume, including the Skating Magazine Readers Choice Award (2000) and the Professional Skaters’ Association Edi Award in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001 for “Best Performance by a Male Skater.” Off the ice, in 2001, International Figure Skating magazine named him one of the “Ten Most Beautiful People in Figure Skating.” He is member of the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa Collegiate Honor Society, and received his Associates Degree in Business at Prince Georges College. One of his most proud accomplishments came in 2002, when he was awarded the "Father of the Year" award from the National Fatherhood Initiative, for his commitment to family. After amassing 11 National medals, and over 30 international medals, Weiss hung up his competitive skates and set his sites on Professional skating in 2006. Within the last 2 years, Michael has been featured in 10 skating specials on NBC TV produced by Disson skating, including Andrea Bocelli Tribute on Ice, Gretchen Wilson's Country on Ice, Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular, Gymnastics and Skating Spectacular, Kristi Yamaguchi Family and Friends, just to name a few. He is currently touring with Emmy award winning - Smucker's Stars on Ice, performing in over 60 shows worldwide this year alone. He has also been steadfast in his commitment to recognize his good fortune and give back to the skating community. In 2004, he and wife Lisa Thornton Weiss created the Michael Weiss Foundation. Since its launch, the Foundation has given over $115,000 in scholarships to several young, promising U.S. Olympic hopefuls.

    Hi! I am Michael Weiss, three times US national champion. Today, we are discussing the six basic figure skating jumps. We have categorized them in Edge jumps and Toe jumps. We discussed the first edge jump the Salchow and the loop jump. Now, we are going to focus on the hardest of the Edge jumps, the Axel jump. Now, what differentiates this from the other ones is it is the only ice skating jump that takes off going forward.

    It is a left foot on outside edge jumping up into the air and rotating not once, but one-and-a-half times, that's why this ice skating jump is more difficult. You take off forward and land backwards it adds an extra half rotation, which means a single axel is one-and-a-half rotation, a double axel; two-and-half rotations and a triple axel; three-and-half rotations. Now, when doing the triple axel, one thing to watch for is that on the take off, you have one foot on the ice skating forward, one foot off the ice in the back, a limb over here and a limb over here. Now, that's difficult because they all must work in perfect unison and perfect timing to make this jump work. They have to come through at the exact same time together as the take off leg springs off the ice, and gets the maximum height. If one arms come through little early or little late, it can throw off the whole timing of the take off. So, watch for that on a take off, it's a very difficult ice skating jump, the most difficult jump. So, let's take a look at the single axel and a double axel. The triple axel is such a difficult jump that I won't be even attempting it today, but know that when they do it in competition it is a very difficult element because for a three-and-a-half rotations.

    Common mistake on the single axel and double axel and triple axel is on the takeoff. A lot of skaters will pre-rotate the jump and try and pull in and rotate too quickly. The key to this jump is to jump it out, jump out in front of you with both arms and the free leg to get the maximum height and maximum rotation on this jump. If you pull in too soon and try and pre-rotate, you will never going to get off the ice high enough to perform this jump successfully. Now, remember when doing these jumps, safety is the number one issue. Make sure you have a professional coach and a professional environment with a proper equipment to perform these.

    Now, we have understood the Salchow, the Loop jump and the Axel, all three edge jumps. Now, let's turn our attention to the ice skating Toe Jumps, the easiest of the Toe Jumps being the Toe Loop.