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Thread: How many Men will hit their late-program Triple Axels this season?

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    How many Men will hit their late-program Triple Axels this season?

    It has been a very positive development with the Men's programs this year that many of them aren't just stacking the jumps directly after the halfway point of the program, but rather are spreading them out more and saving a difficult Triple Axel for later in the program. At Skate America, the programs of Jason Brown, Tatsuki Machida, and Jeremy Abbott all took this approach. It's great to see and has been missing from the sport since the 2008-2010 seasons, when we had brave and interesting programs from Takahiko Kozuka and Daisuke Takahashi, who stood alone against a sea of mediocrity and took this more challenging and rewarding choreographic approach.

    However, none of the Men at Skate America were successful with those late-program Triple Axels. Will the judges properly reward this more difficult choreography? Will the Men start changing their layouts if they are unable to hit them? I do fear that the rules require too much from the skaters technically and they will not be able to nail these jumps with the same command and excitement as what was common from the top performances during the 6.0 era. This can already be seen in the program of someone like Yuzuru Hanyu, who tried to double-up on Triple Axels right after the halfway point of his program last season, and the second one was always a bit squeaked out and mainly came off as an underwhelming afterthought (regardless of how difficult the transition into it may have been).

    Good luck to them and hopefully the trend will continue!

  2. #2
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    From the perspective of creating a judging system, I image it is very difficult to reward elements exactly how they should be. I appreciate that skaters are taking the initiative to layout the elements in a choreographically better way even though the system doesn't explicitly reward it.

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    I like that the men are challenging themselves more, and I hope to see them get used to their new layouts as the new season progresses. SA wasn't the best comp, but I hardly think that late program 3A's were the sole cause of that. As for Hanyu's second 3A, his "squeaked out" 3A is still better than half the field, so I'm ok with it.

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    To be honest, I'd rather have the triple axels early but landed, rather than late but missed.

    What I do like to see are jumps timed to the music, but they don't necessarily have to be the most difficult jumps, imo. One layout I really liked was Michelle Kwan's Salome, where she went for either 2A or 3T in the dying seconds of the program. It was very risky, but considering the build of the music, that's where a jump would fit. Would it have been even more impressive if she went for 3Lz at those last moments? Sure, but it's not necessary, and that'll probably ruin more performances than it helps.

    I, too, get annoyed by the "Holy crap, halfway bonus is here, let's get all the jumps down right now!" with no consideration about whether it fits choreographically.

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    Those 3A's combinations are really big Hanyu's advantage on the others. He can do 3A even if he is tired, because he have some special natural feeling with that jump so it makes it easy for him to do, and that 2nd 3A combo is from mega difficult entry ( it was in previous season, we don't know yet what he is planning yet, but 3A-3T, and 3a-1lo-3S looks again like another level )

    So now others trying to catch up on that somewhat, I think Max Aaron is planning two 3A in 2nd half ? But I don't saw 3-3 combo in practice, but only 3-2 and solo 3A

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    Quote Originally Posted by HanDomi View Post
    So now others trying to catch up on that somewhat, I think Max Aaron is planning two 3A in 2nd half ? But I don't saw 3-3 combo in practice, but only 3-2 and solo 3A
    Max doesn't do a traditional 3-3 combo. He does the 3A-2T and solo 3A (both in 2nd half), but his other combos are 4S-3T and 3Lz-1Lo-3S.

    Max's layout is actually slightly easier this year than other years. The last few years he's done a 2-6 layout (the two quads in the first half, then the 2 3As and the other triples in the second half, including two combos). But this year his FS layout is a 3-5. It's an unusual step for him.

    I would like to see a comeback for the old traditional benchmark, the 3A-3T. But it seems to be dying off. Joshua's was especially beautiful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HanDomi View Post
    Those 3A's combinations are really big Hanyu's advantage on the others.
    Yes... Hanyu can do a 3A any time, any place. Even from a standstill...

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    IMO, there's no point to putting a 3A at the very end of the program, and it's physically too demanding. Unless you can nail 3As reliably like Hanyu or Kovtun, there's really little sense in putting in a jumping pass that's significantly past the halfway point. As we saw with Ten and Besseghier, it's easier to land 3A right after the halfway point and pick up the bonus. Otherwise there's not much point to it.

    And obviously judges aren't going to reward a late program 3A moreso than a right after the 2nd half triple axel. Although it is very much appreciated from a spectator standpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I, too, get annoyed by the "Holy crap, halfway bonus is here, let's get all the jumps down right now!" with no consideration about whether it fits choreographically.
    Agreed. Especially when you see skaters cram 5 jumping passes in a row. Like seriously it's like "And now, the jumping portion of my program." It's almost as bad as when skaters open with 4 jumping passes of their high ticket jumps and then decide to start doing spins and choreo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    I would like to see a comeback for the old traditional benchmark, the 3A-3T. But it seems to be dying off. Joshua's was especially beautiful.
    Bring on a 10% bonus for combinations, and we'll see that come back. There's not enough incentive right now for those combinations we saw in 6.0.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    One layout I really liked was Michelle Kwan's Salome, where she went for either 2A or 3T in the dying seconds of the program. It was very risky, but considering the build of the music, that's where a jump would fit. Would it have been even more impressive if she went for 3Lz at those last moments? Sure, but it's not necessary, and that'll probably ruin more performances than it helps.
    This was her eighth jumping pass, though. In the heart of her career, when only seven jumping passes were allowed, she did put the solo triple Lutz as the last jump, with a split jump at the very end. That was pretty effective, too, showing good energy and stamina and matching the musical climax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    This was her eighth jumping pass, though. In the heart of her career, when only seven jumping passes were allowed, she did put the solo triple Lutz as the last jump, with a split jump at the very end. That was pretty effective, too, showing good energy and stamina and matching the musical climax.
    Yes, for many of her performances, she did put the 3Lz last, which was impressive. What I really liked about Salome was just how late that final jump was. It was literally seconds before the final pose.

    Note: I am not suggesting all skaters should try a jump before their final pose. I suggest skaters time their jumps to their music, and if they're not confident about doing a jump so late, they could either 1) choose music that works with jumps done earlier or 2) do some really dramatic footwork/flying spin/spiral during the crescendo.

    EDIT: Assuming Adelina's jump layout is final, it looks like she might be trying a "very late jumping pass on the crescendo of the music" this season.

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