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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Vern Taylor's unusual jump technique

    For those of you who know figure skating history, Vern Taylor was the first man to land a triple axel in 1978.

    I don't think I've seen it mentioned before, but what I find amazing is not that he landed a triple axel in a forward spin position, as well as his other triple jumps.

    For those of you who don't know, skaters who do multiple revolution jumps attain a back spin position in the air, e.g. a skater will typically have their free leg wrapped around as if they were spinning on the landing leg and then unfurl the free leg as they land.
    This comes into play when many coaches instruct students progressing from single jumps to land in a backspin as practice when working on their axel/doubles.

    Vern Taylor on the other hand, would bend and tuck his landing leg behind his extended free leg in midair and then would kick his free leg up a split second before he landed and then swing it back out behind him when he touched down.

    I'm not familiar with skaters before the 1990s, but were there other skaters that did jumps in the forward spin position? He's the only world-class skater I've seen with this technique.

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    I can't quite see it in the video ... I need slow-motion! And the flared bottoms are distracting! I like how right when the music starts he gets into super fast pumping crossovers.

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    It looks to me like he's checking out in the air rather than landing forward.

    It looks odd now but it's important to remember that current jumping technique didn't come about over night and was only pieced together bit by bit over the years.

    Look at a lot of old videos and you'll see lots of weird jumping techniques with feet far apart etc even pulling in the arms to increase speed of rotation wasn't universal until the early 80's or so IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quintuple View Post
    I can't quite see it in the video ... I need slow-motion! And the flared bottoms are distracting! I like how right when the music starts he gets into super fast pumping crossovers.
    Not sure if you saw the entire video, but around 6:00 they have a slow-motion replay of the 3A.

    I find it so mind-boggling because it just seems super risky that he does his weight transfer to the landing foot at the last minute while checking out of the jump instead of while he's entering the jump and pulling in to rotate

    Also: Is it just me or is his program 5:00 long versus 4:30 like today's mens programs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    Is it just me or is his program 5:00 long versus 4:30 like today's mens programs?
    It's not just you, mens lp's used to be 5.00. Not sure when that was changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    It's not just you, mens lp's used to be 5.00. Not sure when that was changed.
    I think 1980-81.

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    Tai Babilonia had this same technique as did Terry Kubicka and Sandy Lenz to a degree. There are more but I'd have to wrack my brains a bit more to think of their names

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    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    For those of you who know figure skating history, Vern Taylor was the first man to land a triple axel in 1978.

    I don't think I've seen it mentioned before, but what I find amazing is not that he landed a triple axel in a forward spin position, as well as his other triple jumps . . .

    . . . He's the only world-class skater I've seen with this technique.
    Well, the upside is that it guaranteed that he would either have amazing suspension in the air or fall on his rear end because there would have been no chance for him to open up at the last second on the ice if he underrotated.

    I have to wonder if this technique is a throwback to the era when jumps were approach as if an extension of something done of the ice "with style", which was also a time when forward spins were considered more stylish (as Uncle Dick would put it) than back spins.

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    I have nothing to add except: cool! Thanks for sharing! It was a fun program to watch as well, like his carriage.

    -Bridget

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Tai Babilonia had this same technique as did Terry Kubicka and Sandy Lenz to a degree.
    Tai's air position irks me everytime I see it. I think her 2A was one of the fugliest jump I've seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    Not sure if you saw the entire video, but around 6:00 they have a slow-motion replay of the 3A.
    Egads! When I read your description of the technique in text, I couldn't imagine it at all. Wow. Yeah, I definitely don't see any advantage in this technique, so he was one heck of a jumper!

    I just "mimed" it on the floor ... and it's kinda like he just didn't turn his hips to wrap the free leg in front of the landing leg ... he just jumped up, and after the half turn, continued rotating as tightly as possible! He must have had the most insane core muscles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    Look at a lot of old videos and you'll see lots of weird jumping techniques with feet far apart etc even pulling in the arms to increase speed of rotation wasn't universal until the early 80's or so IIRC.

    Check out Uncle Dick's 2A back in the days. He crossed his legs but they were in a very open position; Hence he really had to jump up to get the height for the necessary rotations. Peggy also had very good height on her 2A, and she didn't crossed her legs in the air at all. People couldn't get away with Tara Laspinskiesque technique back then.


    Notice the huge height Vern got on his forward flying sitspin. It was gigantic. The downside of that, however, was that coming down from such a height made it hard to get into a good sitspin position. Still, we rarely see skaters today perform a forward flying sit and certainly no one today does it with the height that skaters in the past achieved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Check out Uncle Dick's 2A back in the days. He crossed his legs but they were in a very open position; Hence he really had to jump up to get the height for the necessary rotations. Peggy also had very good height on her 2A, and she didn't crossed her legs in the air at all. People couldn't get away with Tara Laspinskiesque technique back then.


    Notice the huge height Vern got on his forward flying sitspin. It was gigantic. The downside of that, however, was that coming down from such a height made it hard to get into a good sitspin position. Still, we rarely see skaters today perform a forward flying sit and certainly no one today does it with the height that skaters in the past achieved.
    That's true about Dick but if you look at the first double axel in 1948, and then fast forward to 1952, there's a huge difference in the technique and they look much tighter and more 'modern' I guess. I love this picture of Dick's triple loop. He's crossing his legs although the free leg is quite high and the hips are open, but look at the arms, nowhere near! The height he got on this was tremendous!!

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    Here's floskate's clip of Dick Button's jump technique in 1952.
    DB begins at 1.00. Crossed legs...great height.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR1CK...eature=related

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