# Thread: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

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## The level of difficulty of 3/3s

I recall I posted this thread long ago but I forget the correct answer to my question. According to one website I came across:

3a/3l, 3a/3t, 3z/3l, 3z/3t......... in that order, with the first jump as the determining factor.

I thought that should be it but it just wouldn't make sense. How can the 3f/3t combo be more difficult than the 3l/3l combo? Just how much more difficult is a 3f than a 3l that even a 3l/3l can't match a 3f/3t which has the much easier toe-loop jump? Something is just not right. What exactly is the correct order of the difficulty of 3/3s according to textbook not to an individual skater per se? Can someone enlighten me or give me the links? thanks in advance.

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

I think adding a non-toe pick jump as the second jump is probably more difficult. What about an inside 3axel into a 3salchow or 3Wally? And other such combinations.

The thing to remember about judging the level of difficulties of all jumps is directly related to the individual skaters.

Joe

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Apache, I'm glad you brought this topic up. I am a non-skater, so I have zero knowledge about jump difficulty, etc.
I know which jumps are considered the most difficult and which are the easiest. I think the order is(hardest to easiest):
axel
lutz
flip
loop
toe loop
salchow

I'm not totally sure about the toe loop and salchow ... there positions could be reversed.
Anyway ... I have always looked at these jumps and thought that the loop looks to be the most impossible to do. In fact, it boggles my mind how anyone gets off the ice with that jump. There doesn't seem to be any method of getting into the air.
Then I look at the lutz, and it seems pretty logical to me how the skater manages it. Yet ... that is considered the second most difficult jump and look how easy it is for Michelle.
Even the axel seems to have a logical method to it ... not that it's easy ... just that you can watch it and understand how the skater manages to propel his or her self into motion.

When you start combining the jumps it gets even more bizarre. I understand that the axel adds another 1/2 rotation ... so that right there makes it harder. But the lutz/toe is considered more difficult than the loop/loop (I think) and I can't understand that. How anyone has ever landed a 3loop/3loop is beyond me.

I'm sorry I don't have any answers, but if there are any skating experts out there ... fill us in ... please!!!

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

NYMKFan - Again, individual skaters find certain edges easier than others. The back inside edge: Salchow; Wally, and with toe pick - the Flip are more difficult for some skaters because they have not developed the security of the back inside edge.

The Lutz, for some, when perfected, is like taking off with a pole vault.

Your list is ok for most skaters except I would put the Salchow ahead of the Toe Loop which is just a Loop Jump with an assist.

Joe

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Thanks Joe. The list I gave was what I have heard other skaters say. I certainly have no first hand knowledge ... LOL.
I had heard differing opinions on the toe-loop and salchow.

If I were a skater ... and that's a big assumption ... I would probably like the toe pick jumps better. Those edge jumps are way too scary for me!!!

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Nymkfan, I know just how you feel. When I see a skating competition in person (i.e., without Dick Button telling me which jump the skater is doing), I often can't tell the difference. When Neledina did her triple Axel at Skate America, I didn't even know it.

How do they get up in the air for a loop? My understanding is that they just have to muscle their way up by the strength of their leg. Like if you just stood on one leg, bent your knee and jumped straight up in the air. Only you have to do it with your ankle turned way over so you are on edge.

I just tried it, standing here, on an "outside edge." I got a good three inches off the ground. I couldn't do an "inside edge" at all.

To me, if you can do a 3-anything/3-loop (like Irina Slutskaya), my hat is off to you, because this means that the landing of the first jump had to be perfect to have a solid enough edge just to spring right up like that on the second jump. If you get to use a toe-pick, like a 3-anything/3-toe, it seems to me that this is easier because the toe-pick allows you, a little bit, to correct your landing edge.(?)

Now the Lutz, so I have read, is the hardest because your upper body has to go in the opposite direction from your feet. That is, if you are a counterclockwise jumper, you come in on an outside edge that naturally tries to curve in a clockwise arc. Then at the last second you have to use your upper body strength, together with a toe pick from your other foot, to wrench everything around the other way. I think that's why it looks so cool when done right, like Viktoria Volchkova, for instance.

I also think that's why women can't really do this jump -- they don't have the same kind of upper body strength as men do -- so we see a lot of flutzes and flat take-offs.

(This is from a non-skater. Corrections are very welcome. )

Mathman

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Mathman: How do they get up in the air for a loop? My understanding is that they just have to muscle their way up by the strength of their leg.[/quote]

it's more than just strength!..if you look at those little girls, they jump so very high!..it's amazing!
It's a combination between STRENGTH, FLEXEBILITY and SPEED!...speed is also a very important factor when you do jumps...you said you tried it on the floor! yeah but trying it on skates give you more hight and that's why you can jump like that on skates..
Correct me if i'm wrong to! it's just my opinion!..

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Joesitz:"The thing to remember about judging the level of difficulties of all jumps is directly related to the individual skaters."

Thanks Joe, I do understand that the level of difficulty of each jump is very subjective for each skater. However, as far as the judges are concerned they don't care. If Kristi and Irina both landed the 3s/3l with equal quality, the judges weren't about to reward Kristi much more than Irina just because the Salchow was Kristi's nemesis jump, right? That's why I wanted to know exactly how those 3/3s are ranked according to textbook.

nymkfan51:"I think the order is(hardest to easiest):
axel
lutz
flip
loop
toe loop
salchow"

Nymkfan, your order other than the toe-loop and the salchow is what the textbook says. Some skating websites rank the toeloop and the salchow equal, however most place the salchow slightly above the toeloop.

As a non-skater, here's what I think how the 3/3s are ranked according to textbook (my guess only):
3a/3l
3a/3t
3z/3l
3f/3l
3z/3t
3l/3l
3f/3t
3s/3l
3t/3l
3s/3t
3t/3t

I have tried to find how they allot the points for all the 3/3s by the COP system but to no avail. Would appreciate it if anyone could give me the link.

mathman444:"Now the Lutz, so I have read, is the hardest because your upper body has to go in the opposite direction from your feet. That is, if you are a counterclockwise jumper, you come in on an outside edge that naturally tries to curve in a clockwise arc. Then at the last second you have to use your upper body strength, together with a toe pick from your other foot, to wrench everything around the other way. I think that's why it looks so cool when done right, like Viktoria Volchkova, for instance."

May I add to what Mathman says of the lutz jump. I rely on my knowledge of physics to comprehend the difficulty of the lutz jump. It's very very hard to do a true lutz. Skaters are able to rotate 3 revolutions (say, clockwise) in the air because they pre-prepare the clockwise angular momentum before takeoff by skating clockwise on an edge at a good speed. Once they are up in the air, they instantly retract their arms and by doing so, the speed of the spin increases dramatically by the law of conservation of angular momentum. Now for the lutz, whatever the angular-momentum a skater pre-prepares is instantly nullified the moment he/she rotates in the opposite direction. Hence, a skater needs to have a very strong upper body to re-create the opposite angular momentum upon takeoff. It's very very hard. I guess the only reason the 3a is harder is because of its extra 1/2 revolution and its forward takeoff which is quite dangerous according to textbook.

With the help of physics, I can understand why the flutz is "illegal" or considered cheating.

Like Mathman, I'm a non-skater, I welcome corrections.:D

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

A 3lutz/3loop is more difficult then a 3lutz/3toe. An edge jump is alway more difficult then a toe jump. That's why you usually see most skaters doing a toe jump as their second jump in their combo.

Also, I believe a 3loop/3loop is more difficult then a 3flip/3toe.

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## difficulty

here's my point of view on the subject.. and sorry about the length..
Usually coaches teach the single jumps in this order:

waltz jump
salchow
toe loop
loop
flip
lutz
axel

then to doubles
salchow, toe loop, loop, flip. lutz axel
and then to the triples in an order oftentimes depending on the strength of the doubles a skater has.

the ISI ranks the toe loop as being harder than the salchow. I tend to agree as a salchow is a derivative of the waltz jump.... if you really look at the dynamics of the salchow, it is like a waltz jump with a controlled pull through of the leg from a back inside edge. I think of it as a waltz jump with momentum.
what I believe makes the toe loop more difficult is that it is one of the first of the basic six jumps that a skater learns with a toe pick involved. And unlike the salchow and axel which only have one transfer of weight (left leg for take-off to the right leg for rotation), the toe loop has two (right leg set up, toe pick partially redistributes the weight, and then back to the right for rotation).
What makes the loop more difficult than the toe or salchow is the upper body control needed to stay over the axis on take-off. the take-off position of the loop jump mimics the position of rotation in the air. this may seem to make the jump easier... however, when multiple revolutions are attempted, this inherent rotational position makes it more difficult to avoid pre-rotating the shoulders and upper body.... this pre-rotation pulls the jump outside the circle and makes it almost impossible to land. Plus, the jump takes off from an almost static position, so the right leg must generate the majority of the upward force (in conjunction with the arms).
the flip is an altogether different beast... the flip derives its difficulty from the straighter line it demands in order to keep the rotation over it's axis. if you look at the flip you'll see that the shoulders are square and the arms must be pulled straight and not around to create rotation. Also the toe pick of the right leg (vaulting leg) must be in suitable line with the squareness of the upper body.
the lutz of course adds that outside edge which demands more control in the upper body... to counter the position on the outside edge, a skater must pull up and not around (even more so than with the flip simply because of the awkwardness of the position) in order to gain the rotation.
As far as combinations are concerned, the toe loop mimics the check out position the skater normally attains in doing solitary jumps. the loop as the second jump adds difficulty in that the free leg isn't allowed to check out.. thus it must stay in front of the body while the arms and landing leg help to counter the rotational force. This is why the loop is more difficult to add....
and I disagree that all edge jumps are harder... but like some have said certain jumps are easier for some than others....
but this is what I have learned about the difficulty of the basic six jumps.....

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Apache - Gotta disagree. If we leave out the subjectivity of individual skaters then the list is not correct.

First of all "edge" jumps are harder than toe pick jumps. This is fact. Ask anyone to do a toepickless lutz. I've seen it done but so many skaters rightfully are not going to ruin their routines with such a difficult move for a possible tenth of a point. Walleys the same reasoning. (toe walleys are much easier.)

Now, the toe pick actually assists the jump: The lutz' difficulty is the lean of that back outside edge. Imagine the lutz without the toe pic? Ugh! the effort! So it is with the toe loop. The toe loop is a loop jump with an assist by a toe pick take off. Easy!!!

Again, a true salchow is more difficult than a flip (same jump except for the assist of a toe pick). Toe Loop comes after Salchow on the list. Take it from a skater.

Joe

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Thank you, Apache, Engrsktr and Joe for three very informative posts in a row.

(Oops,I broke the chain. Sorry.)

Mathman

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Joe,

I have to disagree with you on the edge vs toe jumps... not all edge jumps are more difficult than toe jumps... as is seen by the jump rankings generally followed by the various skating organizations. I can see what you are saying by bringing up the point of how hard a pickless lutz would be.... but it wouldn't be a lutz... and there isn't such a thing that exists (pickless lutz) as a defined element.... the flip and lutz are what they are... the picking gives the jump it's identity.... it's not like a skater is making a more difficult jump easier with the toepick because these jumps don't exist without the toepick...

Plus, I don't believe a flip is anything like a salchow... totally different body set and everything! I find it interesting that you paired those two jumps...

I believe that SOME edge jumps are easier than SOME toe jumps simply because of the momentum that those edge jumps rely on.... the flip for example has no momentum... it's essentially a straight-line jump (if you think of it mechanically of course... however there is still a shallow inside edge in use)
much harder to generate the rotation necessary.... but the salchow uses the free leg to create some "through" power to assist the skater into the air. salchow is way easier than the flip (generally speaking of course.... like kristi yamaguchi, some find the salchow a trouble maker)....

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s- COP

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Total base marmk
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
3toe 3toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 9.0
3salchow 3 toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 9.3
3toe 3loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 9.8
3loop3toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 9.8
3salchow3loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 10.1
3flip 3toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 10.1
3loop 3loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 10.6
3lutz3toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 10.6
3flip 3 loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 10.9
3lutz 3 loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 11.4
3axel3toe&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 12.0
3axel 3loop&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 12.8

As a non expert, I may have this wrong, but the way I read the code of points, the base mark for a combination is found by adding the base marks of the jumps composing it.
The 3toe is 4.5 points, 3 salchow is 4.8, 3 loop is 5.3 points, 3 flip is 5.6, 3 lutz is 6.1, 3 axel is 7.5.
So if you add the numbers up and sort them, the above order is what you get.

Whether this is the order that these should be in in an ideal world, I don't know.

I would think that putting the hardest jump second should give a higher base mark, but it doesn't.

dpp

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## Re: The level of difficulty of 3/3s

Thank you all for the education.

Actually I do know adding a loop as the second jump of a combo is much harder than adding a toeloop. If you look at my guess list, I place the combo with the loop jump as the second jump very high, for example 3l/3l above 3f/3t and 3f/3l above 3z/3t. I appreciate all your help here as I learn a lot from you, but my question was still not answered - how are those 3/3s ranked by textbook. Doris, thank you for the COP, that sorta answered my question, although it's still not from textbook, I'll come back to that.

Engkstr, thanks so much for the info I didn't ask beacuse now I think I understand why a flip is more difficult than a salchow despite the toe-pick assistance for the former. Yes, now that you mention I do notice for the flip jump, the entrance line is so much straighter than the salchow jump and this makes it so much harder to pre-prepare the angular momentum needed for the revolution upon takeoff. Also, I recall some posters pointed to me sometime back that it's very crucial to properly plant the toe-pick for a flip. All this makes the flip jump a very hard jump. More question, why is the entrance to a salchow so different from that to a flip? Isn't the flip jump also known as toe-salchow in Europe (correct me if I'm wrong)? Are the 2 different entrances fixed by the rules or are they there because that's the only way to enter the 2 jumps respectively, naturally speaking?

***********
3toe 3toe 9.0
3salchow 3 toe 9.3
3toe 3loop 9.8
3loop3toe 9.8
3salchow3loop 10.1
3flip 3toe 10.1
3loop 3loop 10.6
3lutz3toe 10.6
3flip 3 loop 10.9
3lutz 3 loop 11.4
3axel3toe 12.0
3axel 3loop 12.8

As a non expert, I may have this wrong, but the way I read the code of points, the base mark for a combination is found by adding the base marks of the jumps composing it.
The 3toe is 4.5 points, 3 salchow is 4.8, 3 loop is 5.3 points, 3 flip is 5.6, 3 lutz is 6.1, 3 axel is 7.5.
So if you add the numbers up and sort them, the above order is what you get.
*********

Thanks a lot Doris, but is this what is stated by COP - the base mark for a 3/3 combo is the sum of the individual jumps? I think a bonus point should be given to a loop as the second jump. Nevertheless I'm surprised my guess list is quite close to your COP list except that you put 3z/3t = 3l/3l and 3f/3t = 3s/3l and 3l/3t = 3t/3l. I have no disagreement with that except a 3t/3l being equal to a 3l/3t. I'm sure everyone here would think a 3t/3l is a harder combo than a 3l/3t.

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