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Axel Jump

Description
  The Axel jump is a Waltz Jump with an extra rotation. Like a waltz, an axel jump entered from a forward outside edge. The skater rotates 1 and 1/2 times in the air for a single axel, and then lands on a back outside edge of the other foot.


Transition/Connecting Steps

To perform an Axel, the skater typically approaches the jump on a right back outside edge in a strongly held check position before stepping onto a left forward outside edge.

The most common approach to setup the jump is from backward crossovers, followed by a short glide on the back outside edge concluding with stepping forward onto the outside edge that is the takeoff edge.
   
Entry
 

The Axel jump takeoff is the same as the Waltz jump takeoff,  from a forward outside edge.

The skater then vaults from the toe pick of the left skate and "steps up" into the jump with the right leg spring into the air. The skater achieves a straddle position in the air prior to turning the right leg a half turn which causes the left leg to cross in front of the right in what is known as a back spin position in preparation for landing.
   
Takeoff
  It is quite common for skaters to skid the forward takeoff edge slightly, especially on double and triple Axels, rather than vaulting directly off a clean edge.

Some skaters consider the skid as helping the blade grip the ice on the takeoff, and they consider a skid as   acceptable technique.

Judges award positive marks when the skater springs from a clean, running edge. Deductions for a skid depends on the extenet that the skater pre-rotates the jump or takes off the back of the blade rather than off the toe pick.

When the skater makes a mistake in the timing of the jump such that the blade does not grip at all and he or she slips completely off the edge, the result is what is called a waxel, often resulting in a fall.


Rotation in the Air

Skaters who rotate in the Counter-Clockwise (CCW) direction usually step forward onto an outside edge, extending the right free leg behind, and then swing the leg forward producing a springing action from the left jumping leg. The skater has a sensation of the being suspended in the air in a straddle position (inside spread eagle) prior to performing one half rotation in the air before landing on the back outside edge of the right foot.

Some skaters rotate in the Clockwise (CW) direction usually step forward onto an outside edge, extending the left free leg behind the skater before swinging it forward producing a springing action from the right jumping leg. The skater has a sensation of the being suspended in the air in a straddle position (inside spread eagle) prior to performing one half rotation in the air before landing on the back outside edge of the left foot.
   
Landing
 

A Counter-Clockwise Skater lands backward on their right foot.

The Clockwise Skater lands backward on their left foot.


In the Axel jump the skater should land on a backward curve that is a continuation of the takeoff curve with a flexed landing knee, stretched free leg, and erect core body (head up, level shoulders, and straight back).

The landing should have no noticable loss of flow (speed) and the curve should be held long enough to establish that the skater has complete control of the landing.


Exit Edge/Curve

No noticable loss of flow on the landing.

Entry curve into jump continues through the curve of the exit edge.

The free leg should fully extended back over the tracing after landing.
   
Common Errors
 

Over rotation on take off.  Pre-rotation of the shoulders and arms prior to taking off.

Not jumping high enough to accomplish the full rotation in the air. A major loss of power occurs when the knee of the free leg is bent and never fully extended prior to preparation to land.

Not checking the landing. If the arms are not checked, the skater's body will continue to rotate after landing resulting in a whipping action producing an uncontrolled edge lacking a smooth gliding exit curve.

Landing heavily on toe pick causing an immediate loss of flow out of the jump.

The free leg never fully extends after landing.

Hooked landing, usually accompanied by quickly stepping forward, changing edge, and/or bending at waist.

Poor body alignment on landing and exit curve.