Moves Other Than Axels: Salchow

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

You have earned a one post reprieve from seeing McKayla Maroney. That does not mean she is impressed with your knowledge of figure skating jumps though. So in the spirit of a figure skating blog, thefigureskatinglawyer thought it might be pertinent to elaborate on other things figure skaters do besides axels all day.

On this date in 1909 (I’m just kidding, they don’t elaborate when exactly in 1909 on Wikipedia), Swedish Karl Emil Julius Ulrich Salchow, ten-time world champ and nine-time Euro champ invented…


the Salchow (“h” is silent), setting up the jump with a Front Outside 3 turn, taking off on your back inside edge of your left foot and landing on your back outside edge of your right foot. That would mean you are throwing yourself backwards in order to start the jump. The momentum to complete the jump comes from the swinging movement of your free leg (the right leg in the illustration and the one that does not stay on the ice until you land the jump).

Where Things Can Go Wrong:

  • If your shoulders are not relaxed
  • You do not end up checking your three turn
  • You end up rushing your three turn
  • Your free leg does funny things like your foot is flexing instead of pointing pre-jump, mid-jump, post-jump
  • Your arm position in mid-air is not coordinated with the free leg scoop and your overall jump
  • The free leg in your check-out is not high enough (bottom right of the illustration, left leg high)

Any one or combination of these errors can throw a salchow into a wild, spinning commotion that even if you land, does not look or score well. Just relax, but not to the point where you forget the techniques going into the Salchow. If you land it though without swinging, landing on a flat or doing something that would earn you a deduction from a judge or your coach, celebrate like this guy.


I am probably going to need to define things like three turns, inside and outside edges, don’t I?



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