Moves Other Than Axels: Landing That First Jump

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

In a really disorganized series, if you have not seen the first post about other moves besides axels (salchows), you need to go here: There’s going to be those of you who hate the shameless plugging of links from other posts of my blogs. Oh well. Then there’s the other group of rebels who do not like being told what to do. Instead, they choose to read (or skim) and look at the upcoming funny pictures of a waltz jump and our friend, Louis Litt, an avid fan of ballet and I will presume figure skating as well. For those who rebel… I think we will get along very well. Cheerio.

Waltz Jump

thefigureskatinglawyer feels like an idiot for starting off this series with an intermediate level jump that people do not have an easy time pronouncing (“Is it Sow cow? Sal cow? Does it chow like chow mein?”) So he would like to apologize to those who are wondering whether beginner skaters actually start off with an intermediate jump.

Crude illustration. There’s no need to do the extra revolution in the axel just yet.

The illustration does not list the waltz jump in the list of jumps because the highest levels of figure skaters do not use a beginner’s jump. It limits how high they can score in their program. However, everyone started off learning the waltz jump. Hopefully, you are getting support from people around the rink, your coach, your parents, everyone except for those expecting axels right when you start. They are just asking to get Litt up. There are a lot of Harolds out there who think figure skating is just about twirling through life, skimming the surface, gliding where turf is smooth.

Gotta have this confidence off and on the ice to land this jump.

Louis, I’m going to say this only a few times. You’re the man.

A note about the axels. An axel, a jump that requires 1.5 revolutions is slang for “It usually takes me four years to muster the need to watch figure skating, but when I do, I only ask about axels.” As a beginner skater, I still have a hard time recognizing what an axel is sometimes. I think those who usually do not skate or vicariously live through little Michelle and Michael Kwan Juniors recognize what an axel looks like either. Oh well.

Back to the actual jump itself. It is the only jump other than an axel where you throw yourself forward instead of backwards. The waltz jump requires a half revolution after you take off on your left foot, requiring you to land on your right foot and check out (nope, not what you do at the end of your online shopping spree, the finishing pose).

Laff out loud, Microsoft Paint.

Though you time your arm positions and the leg scoop to come forward at the same time, it’s a little less exaggerated like the girl in the middle, farthest to the left. She is getting ready for an axel, whereas the girl on the top left is over her left leg, ready to throw her arms and legs through together and float in the air before you land.

Where Things Can Go Wrong:

lol, it’s been almost a year since I got back to skating and only now, after an ankle injury (a blessing in disguise and a subsequent trip back to the basics with edges and pre-preliminary testing) do I have a passable, not so graceful waltz jump. Things can go wrong just about anywhere:

  • Shoulders are not square
  • One shoulder is dipping
  • You are not quite over your skating leg
  • Instead of a forward outside edge, you are trying to jump on a flat
  • You find something interested on the ice even though you should not be looking at the ice
  • You are not actually jumping
  • You land on two feet
  • Your arms do not coordinate with the leg scoop and they are flying everywhere
  • You do not check out of the jump, leaving you to spin out of control and unable to check out
  • You do not believe you can land this jump, thinking you will die

It takes some time to learn the waltz jump and believe that you can do it. It is some scary stuff, right after learning how to skate around the ice without recklessly destroying five-year olds who do not know how to turn left or right. Really, this jump will feel much easier after you land it. You will tell yourself, “Holy, it wasn’t that bad. Why was I freaking out about it?” It may be tough trying to perfect all the little things, like the check outs and trusting your edges.

When you land it though and you get that thumbs-up approval from your coach whether you are a six year old or a twenty-something year old like me, shoot, that feels good.  Celebrate a little. Dougie in your snuggie.

Get that first jump acknowledged by your peers.

Yeah, buddy.

Heck, get a hug from a friend or your coach.

Hit a 3-run homer? Get a hug. Landed your first jump? Get a hug.

Above All Else

Celebrate it with yourself. You landed it. This jump just got Litt up. THIS JUMP JUST GOT LITT UP, like someone will on this season’s second to last episode. Oh my.

You are awesome. What’s that? Couldn’t hear you. You are awesome.



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