Salchow take-off free leg technique

CanadianSkaterGuy

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Not sure if this has been talked about , but I thought about it after seeing Kagiyama's gorgeous quad salchows at NHK


Kagiyama does his salchow leading with the toe of the free leg. Other skaters who do it the same:
Chen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EgvZi4WBeQ#t=3m7s
Jin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyomxmuH79I#t=5m53s
Brezina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz_jA6WYVy0#t=4m20s
Tomono: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNCsQ-91Ddw#t=5m55s
Sadovsky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4F6IGrqx9k

Trusova does hers leading with the heel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwMvv1xMrPA#t=1m10s , as does:
Hanyu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ms8jDSlWTU#t=8s
Tursynbaeva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2ZUrmSG0fo#t=3m55s
Kovtun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6tZrF2op0E#t=5m35s
Fernandez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYKoJ9w0Jd4#t=9s
Chan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_mV97g_PM
Goebel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqux9QAteBs

Tara Lipinski also led with her heel, although hers is more of a "scooped" free leg instead of one that starts near the ice and drives up with the heel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxYGVJvBAg#t=1m58s

I've always learned salchows with the free leg checked and then swinging through with the toes such that the feet sort of point inward to each other ("bowlegged" if you will) on takeoff, instead of the feet parallel to each other and leading with the free heel, but clearly there's more than one way to execute the jump. I really don't think there's any right or wrong, but this is an observation.

Is there a trend for quad salchows to lead with the heel moreso than the toe of the free leg and is there any benefit for one or the other from a jump mechanics standpoint (like does one get more height, a faster backspin, require more snap, etc.). Is there an aesthetic preference for people (trying to put aside whether it's your fave/non-fave doing said version of the technique)? Any skaters/coaches out there prefer doing it/teaching it one way instead of the other?
 

macy

you should see her in a crown
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
as a former competitive skater, i've never even noticed this or paid attention to it before. i couldn't watch all the videos due to copyright, but it seems skaters in the 2nd group keep their free leg on the ice before lifting up, but once it loses contact with the ice it turns more to the toe leading. there's nothing wrong with either one and i doubt one way makes the jump easier than the other. i was never taught or told which way my blade or toe should be pointing, just that the free leg follows through and creates the lift. people just do things different ways and do what feels more right to them, no different than the prerotation and full blade stuff people argue about.

no offense, but i don't understand why people pay so much attention to piddly stuff like this.
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
Roman Sadovsky has switched from toe to heel-leading (at least, relatively speaking). He said in one of his vlogs (sorry I don't remember which one, a couple of years ago) that after recovering from a torn hip labrum he was advised to adopt the latter technique because it put less stress on his hip. I'm not sure if that's true for all skaters, or just for his specific body structure.

I think toe-leading is the more traditional approach. Chen and Brezina both do it that way and Brezina mentioned salchow technique as one aspect where Raf's technique is more 'old-school' (but he may have been referring more to the fact that the free leg stays off the ice). Most kids starting out with singles and doubles also do it like that too.
 

CanadianSkaterGuy

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
as a former competitive skater, i've never even noticed this or paid attention to it before. i couldn't watch all the videos due to copyright, but it seems skaters in the 2nd group keep their free leg on the ice before lifting up, but once it loses contact with the ice it turns more to the toe leading. there's nothing wrong with either one and i doubt one way makes the jump easier than the other. i was never taught or told which way my blade or toe should be pointing, just that the free leg follows through and creates the lift. people just do things different ways and do what feels more right to them, no different than the prerotation and full blade stuff people argue about.

no offense, but i don't understand why people pay so much attention to piddly stuff like this.

Yeah, I always did my salchows with the free (right) leg checking after either a 3turn or mohawk entry, but it's interesting how many skaters lead with the heel. I never thought about trying it a different way but next time I hit the ice, I might experiment with it a bit to see if it's easier or more reliable to do one way or the other.

I realize that because it's not seen as "good or bad" technique either way (like PR or a full blade), it isn't really paid attention too much. But was just curious as to how others approached their salchows. Interesting the anecdote about Sadovsky switching his due to injury.
 

4everchan

Observer
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
i am not a skater. all i can say is that a beautiful jump for me must have a bunch of different features (straight in the air and flow of the landing are a must) ... I thought I liked the first group more originally, but then, i do like some of the second groups too... :) so i guess i am just into a lot of skaters :laugh2:
 

Kypma

Final Flight
Joined
May 12, 2007
Roman Sadovsky has switched from toe to heel-leading (at least, relatively speaking). He said in one of his vlogs (sorry I don't remember which one, a couple of years ago) that after recovering from a torn hip labrum he was advised to adopt the latter technique because it put less stress on his hip. I'm not sure if that's true for all skaters, or just for his specific body structure.
for those interested, I've time-stamped it: https://youtu.be/8zz5TLN8a68?t=197
 
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