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Identification of Jumps?

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum, and I am not too well acquainted with figure skating technique.
I'm having some trouble identifying salchow and loop from each other. I know salchow takes off from left inside edge and loop right outside edge, but can you tell me some common connective steps preceding the jump? What's the best way to identify?
When skaters do the salchow I see the right leg touch the ice immediately before the jump, and I confuse this with the loop since the right leg takes off for a loop.

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I find that the easiest way to distinguish a loop jump is that just before take-off, it looks as if the skater has his/her legs crossed and bends both legs together in a slight 'sitting down' position.

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The Salchow is also usually (not always, but usually) preceded by a quite swingy three-turn, whereas the loop tends to do the three-turn (or other turn) and stop-then-jump.

If that made any sense at all...

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Yeah salchow -> legs are apart just before the jump, while loop -> legs are crossed just before.

There's a variety of videos on Youtube where you can see the different jumps and compare them, this is one that shows the salchow and then the loop right after (skip to 4:35 or so):

If I understand the mechanics correctly, the difference stems from that for a salchow, taking off from the left inside edge, the right leg helps generate the rotation, which is why it's out, while for a loop, the rotation comes more from the body winding up, and hence the left leg stays crossed in front of the right (takeoff) leg. I'm sure there's a physics reason why skaters don't kick out with the left leg to aid rotation in a loop (martial artists sort of kick out when doing a tornado kick, which is roughly similar -- spin counterclockwise, take off from right foot), the way the free leg is used to aid rotation in a salchow; I just don't know what it is.

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If skaters use traditional entrances the jumps are easy enough to identify, that is forward three-turn for the salchow and two-foot backward glide for the loop. Skaters also do salchows from a backward outside three turn-forward inside Mohawk or directly from a forward inside Mohawk. Another common loop entry is a forward inside three turn or a series of turns. More creative entrances can be trickier to identify. You have to look at which foot is supporting the skater's weight on take off. On the salchow some skaters do brush the free foot down on the ice just before taking off but their weight is still on the other foot. Another thing is on the salchow there is a transfer of weight from one axis to the other in the air (left-right or right-left), whereas on the loop the skater's axis will stay constant. That inherently makes the jumps look different as well but it might be more difficult for the casual viewer to grasp.

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Personally, I've found that practicing FS jumps off ice helps me to identify them. When it comes to loop and sal, the take off edge kinda gets lost in translation, but the transfer of weight in salchow that jennyanydots mentioned is still very obvious. The swinging free leg in sal really helps you to gain rotational momentum, whereas loop requires more thigh muscle effort (hence the "sitting down and springing up" in takeoff), and it takes me some serious concentration and effort to get even one full rotation when performing my little living room floor loop.

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Originally Posted by joshuazung
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum, and I am not too well acquainted with figure skating technique.
I'm having some trouble identifying salchow and loop from each other. I know salchow takes off from left inside edge and loop right outside edge, but can you tell me some common connective steps preceding the jump? What's the best way to identify?
When skaters do the salchow I see the right leg touch the ice immediately before the jump, and I confuse this with the loop since the right leg takes off for a loop.
Hi and welcome,

this video can either help you to recognize the loop, or confuse you even more, but I would still give it a try. The loop is the first jump explained. I believe this video was created for people who didn't really understand figure skating jargon, but I remember showing this vid to my friends pre-Vancouver, because they couldnt's understand my explanation on edges etc, and they managed to learn something.

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The main thing that distinguishes these two jumps is that the loop takes off from the same foot (and same edge) that it lands on, and the salchow changes feet in the air (hence the weight shift mentioned above).

Don't get too hung up on right and left, because some skaters jump in the opposite direction.

All the suggestions offered above about what to look for in the jump approaches and the free leg positions, etc., should be helpful.

But if you see a double or triple edge jump that took off backward and wasn't obvious or standard in its setup or free leg position, the main way to answer which jump it was is to check whether it took off from the landing foot or the other foot.

[If it was a single jump by a high-level skater, it might have been a walley, which you don't need to worry about.]

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Jumps with weight transfer from take off to landing:
Axel, Sal, toe loop

Jumps with no transition of weight:
Loop, flip, Lutz

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Loop: creates rotation by rotating around the right leg. Usually more vertical height.

Salchow: creates rotation using the free, swinging right leg, but takes off of left. I always thought the salchow was the most awkward jump..

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I still confuse toe loop and flip

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Toe loop the left foot picks in, flip the right foot picks in. (For a counter-clockwise jumper)

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Toe loop the skater rotates toward the picking foot, flip the skater rotates away from the picking foot.

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This post was edited because I answered my own question! I finally realize what people mean about flutzing...I had always been looking at the wrong foot!

After watching skating for years, I can identify the jumps for the most part, like a loop takes off with the legs crossed, the salchow has the leg swinging in from a 3 turn, a lutz often has a long backwards glide into the takeoff

Originally Posted by gkelly
Toe loop the skater rotates toward the picking foot, flip the skater rotates away from the picking foot.
Am I deluded because it always seems to me like with the flip, the skater is actually propelling themselves off from just the toe pick, whereas with the toe loop some skaters seem to use more of the blade (almost the entire blade, rather than just the pick)?

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I would say the other way around... a toe loop skaters tend to vault off the toe a lot more apparently than a flip (where the picking foot crosses behind the other foot sooner).

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