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Thread: Flip or Lutz? Which is REALLY harder?

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Flip or Lutz? Which is REALLY harder?

    (Inspired by a line from one of the responses in Mathman's "Sports" thread)

    Skating analysts, experts, skaters, coaches, etc--say that the lutz is the hardest toe jump (second only to the axel in difficulty). As another poster noted, the flip, considered easier than the lutz, had more falls at the 2002 Olympics. Perhaps the skaters have a mental block when doing the flip (the flip "cost" Michelle the gold in 2002, and in 1998--it was the jump she saved; it cost Irina a medal in 1998, and Lipinski missed it at US Nationals in the SP in 1998), or perhaps it is just as hard, if not harder than the lutz?

    Lutz (comes at 0:35)
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jniy2CbyaAA

    Flip (comes at 0:55)
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8oRk1HHmrqo
    Last edited by blue dog; 06-10-2008 at 02:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    To clarify my point.

    I'll grant that in a skating rink during practice learning the lutz (especially properly and not a flutz) is harder than the flip. Holding the outside edge when you're anticipating spinning in the other direction is hard.

    But ... one of the things that's most affected by the stresses of competition is timing and timing just isn't as big an issue with the lutz (you're holding an outside edge or changing over to the inside edge and hoping the judges don't notice) while the flip has the trickiest timing which is why the flip seems more liable to go wrong when a big crowd and bunch of judges (and maybe tv cameras) are focused on you.

    I think (it might be worth studying) that the flip might also be more susceptible to ice conditions. I remember one euro competition where skater after skater was landing (or not) the lutz and then popping the flip, someone was speculating that the ice was too hard or soft and the skaters weren't able to set the toe pick properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    Skating analysts, experts, skaters, coaches, etc--say that the lutz is the hardest toe jump (second only to the axel in difficulty). As another poster noted, the flip, considered easier than the lutz, had more falls at the 2002 Olympics. Perhaps the skaters have a mental block when doing the flip (the flip "cost" Michelle the gold in 2002, and in 1998--it was the jump she saved; it cost Irina a medal in 1998, and Lipinski missed it at US Nationals in the SP in 1998), or perhaps it is just as hard, if not harder than the lutz?
    Well, I don't think you can take a few isolated instances to make a case one way or another. They might inspire you to do a more thorough study, if you're really interested.

    Another factor to consider, in addition to those you suggest, is how much practice time skaters put into each jump. If triple lutz is considered the most difficult jump for the top elite ladies and the one they have to have and have to repeat to be considered contenders, they may spend a lot more time practicing that jump and possibly to their eventual regret neglect others that are less challenging but also considered less crucial.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Like most things, it is a matter of personal preference. Some skaters, like Mao Asada and Caroline Zhang find the salchow the hardest jump, but it is generally taught first and has a low base value. Some skaters find spirals hard, other cringe at the thought of a new step sequence. Personally, I prefer the flip because it feels more natural and the timing is easier. the lutz, especially when done from a long backwards edge like C. Kostner requires more effort.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Jeffrey Buttle barely misses flip but his lutz is rather inconsistent, even though it is very beautiful when he lands it. He has a very deep outside edge.

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    Mafke and Gkelly both make great points regarding the different timing issues and the amount of practice time that might be devoted to lutzes vs. flips.
    In the past season, Mirai Nagasu and Caroline Zhang have both fallen on double axels, but that doesn't mean the double axel is more difficult than the triple flips and triple lutzes they landed. More likely, it's because they saw it as easy that they didn't think about it and messed up as a result.

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    Flat out, both jumps are difficult overall among all skaters. However, I agree on how some will have an easier time with the lutz or the flip, depending on the skater.

    Some skaters consider the Lutz slightly more difficult because of the blind entrance, hence why so many Lutz's are way to close to the boards.

    Another things is the technique skaters use to get through these jumps. Going into the Lutz round/circle wise is more difficult rather than going it straight. The reason is that entering the jumps rounded ensures a more pure outside edge, and is more "proper" per say. Watch Alissa Czisny do this.

    Another example of technique use is Tatiana Malinina, who had a solid Lutz and Flip, but hated the Loop. She consider the Flip easier than the Loop in the sense that she enters the jump in a pure Salchow format. Literally, Malinina's Flip was a Toe-Salchow (as the jump can sometimes be refer to as). A truly classic approach to the Flip jump.

  8. #8
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    I would say from personal experience that the Lutz is harder than the flip because it's the one that you have to concentrate on to get right when competing (or practice). For most skaters, the flip is a no-brainer (in comparison) that can turn into a flop if you aren't paying proper attention. Basically, if you let your guard/mind down, your butt goes down. Typically the skaters discussed here who miss a flip have just completed a Lutz.

  9. #9
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I would say which take off edge is the skater most comfortable with. Back outside edges get a lot more practice than back inside edges since there is no need to practice school figures. But nowadays, even in rink sessions, and practice sessions, back outsides are used more than back insides.

    It's very difficult to see a back inside edge Flip as compared to the back outside Lutz. While I admire the technical panel, anyone in the arena can see the takeoff edge, and there are always disagreements. The need for instant reply is so needed and this is a perfect example.

    Since the demand for some sort of pre step(move) requirement for both jumps, the clever skater can quickly cover-up the take off edge. Was it a true edge or was it the flat of the blade, or of course, the wrong edge. Not easy to tell, imo.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-10-2008 at 06:05 PM.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I would say which take off edge is the skater most comfortable with. Back outside edges get a lot more practice than back inside edges since there is no need to practice school figures. But nowadays, even in rink sessions, and practice sessions, back outsides are used more than back insides.
    I'm not entirely sure on what you are basing the fact that back outside edges get more practice than inside edges. If you look at any moves drills ever edge is tested and both directions must be practiced. Turns will usually involve both inside and outside and forward and backwards turns. Along with edge pulls/changes.

    Ant

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    i think that when you start skating and that your learn a single flip or a single lutz, the single flips is really easier. But when it comes to the double flip or the double lutz, or even triple flip or triple lutz, it really depends on the skater. It depend on which edge they fill more confortable. It's for that reason that many people flutz or lip. They fill more confortable on an inside edge or an outside edge.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I'm not entirely sure on what you are basing the fact that back outside edges get more practice than inside edges. If you look at any moves drills ever edge is tested and both directions must be practiced. Turns will usually involve both inside and outside and forward and backwards turns. Along with edge pulls/changes. Ant
    I'm not so sure turns are exact edges except in Skate Dance. some top single skaters do have excellent edges.

    I did preface my post by speaking of comfort of one edge over the other.

    For some skaters the Lutz is easier than the Flip as we can see in the number of LIP takeoffs. Hardly anyone mentions Flat takeoffs, but they exist.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I'm not so sure turns are exact edges except in Skate Dance. some top single skaters do have excellent edges.

    I did preface my post by speaking of comfort of one edge over the other.

    For some skaters the Lutz is easier than the Flip as we can see in the number of LIP takeoffs. Hardly anyone mentions Flat takeoffs, but they exist.

    Joe
    I don't know, i think i most coaches are very particular about edges in turns. If you are not on the correct edge then the correct turn cannot be executed. That is why we are seeing the new mini-serpentine "straight-line" step sequences, otherwise the skater cannot clearly prove to the caller that particular turns have been executed.

    I agree that most skaters find the backward take off easier on one of the two edges but i doubt that it has to do with how much time they spend practising edges since i believe all edges are worked by the skater simply stroking forwards and backwards in both directions.

    Ant

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    Turns need to be pretty clean in the US Moves in the Field tests. They're not scrutinized as closely as school figures were, but a lot more closely than random connecting moves in a freestyle program would be.

    As ant mentions, in step sequences the callers do look at the turns closely in determining what level to award, so they are practiced for those purposes.

    Back outside edges might get a bit more practice than back inside in the sense that they're used for landing positions (on the opposite foot from the lutz takeoff) and are more common for spirals than back inside.

    But just practicing back edges wouldn't help much with the difficulty of the lutz takeoff. It's not holding the edge in isolation that's difficult, but reversing the direction in concert with the pick in and jump.

  15. #15
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    .

    I agree that most skaters find the backward take off easier on one of the two edges but i doubt that it has to do with how much time they spend practising edges since i believe all edges are worked by the skater simply stroking forwards and backwards in both directions.

    Ant
    You haven't noticed bad stroking in competitions? But I am with you in the ideal world

    GKelly - . totally agree with you but I don't think the topic was all inclusive. It just asks for which is more difficult the Lutz or the Flip. Nothing about sequences or even combos.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-11-2008 at 02:02 PM.

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