# Thread: Looking for an analogy for a double axel....

1. When I am tring to explain to non-skaters how difficult it is to do an axel (or any double or triple), I simply ask them to stand on the floor, jump up and rotate 1.5 (or 2 or 3) revolutions. They usually can't do it. And then I add that they have the advantage of jumping up from two feet and landing on two feet on a non-slippery floor, whereas skaters do it from one foot, landing on a very thin blade of one foot on slippery ice. I also explain to them that when skating with a speed, there is less space for error - when you start jump, you have to go with the timing, you can't stand on the floor like they have just done getting ready for ages...

2. Originally Posted by Emmett
The Axel jump is a right of passage in figure skating. The single axel is truly an accomplishment for most skaters. This jump requires the skater to have sufficient control of thier body to be able to vault themself into the air with the weight over one side of thier body and transition that weight to the other side of thier body while in the air so that they can land on the opposite foot after 1 and 1/2 revolutions.
I concur with this thought. Having tried many times as a child and never landing one and returning to the ice 10 years later and finally landing it one night at a public session (multiple times) only to have the "rented" jump taken away the next day when I fell trying and blew out my landing knee.

I can only imagine as you tackle the Axel and all the other double jumps and start approaching the DA that the hurdle must feel the same.

I have no idea about percentages, but anyone who can do a DA is a great skater in my book!

www.waltzjump.com

3. Originally Posted by hanca
When I am tring to explain to non-skaters how difficult it is to do an axel (or any double or triple), I simply ask them to stand on the floor, jump up and rotate 1.5 (or 2 or 3) revolutions. They usually can't do it.
Of course they can't. They aren't athletes.
I don't think that does anything to give a relative idea of the difficulty of the jump though.

I expect seasoned athletes to do a lot more than I can do. And yet many international level skaters have trouble with 2A (think qualifying rounds at 4CCs!). So how hard is it?

I don't think I've ever met anyone who thought it would be easy for THEM to do a double axel, but they still think it should be easy for a skater to do. Even more so with 3A. Almost every layperson I know thinks a 3A is a standard jump in every televised skater's arsenal. And yet, almost none of the women do it, and many of the men struggle with it. Comparing it to being difficult for someone who can barely stand up on skates is meaningless.

It's not like curling, where people watch and wonder where the difficulty is for a normal person (curling is deceptively difficult). People watch skating knowing they can't do that. So what exists to compare to how hard it was for the elite to do it?

4. I still think it gives loads of perspective to non-skaters to actually try something themselves, either on the floor or on the ice. Sure, they know they can't do a double axel, but they don't realize *just how far away from it* they really are. Yesterday I took a friend skating for the first time since her childhood--and this is a figure skating fan, mind you--and even though she had seen videos of my skating programs, she told me after half an hour on the ice that she had a whole new appreciation for what I did. This was not after seeing me do an axel or double salchow, but just after seeing me skate once around the rink at full speed, do some one-foot changes of edge, then a RFI bracket and LBO bracket on lobes. Nothing I was doing impressed her when she was watching from the sidelines earlier; she didn't get it until we were both on the ice and I was doing those things on the ice right next to her while she just tried to skate forward without holding onto the boards.

5. The double axel is the jump that separates those with the ability to make it, and those without... the cold hard truth...

6. Originally Posted by AusTechSpec
The double axel is the jump that separates those with the ability to make it, and those without... the cold hard truth...
I wouldn't say that. Not everyone with double axel 'will make it'. To make it you need triples. If you are a male, you need also quads.

7. Originally Posted by hanca
I wouldn't say that. Not everyone with double axel 'will make it'. To make it you need triples. If you are a male, you need also quads.
I completely agree....

Which is why I was careful to note that it separates those with the "ability" to make it....

Generally speaking, when a skater gets the double axel, the triples soon follow.. A true triple sal and toe have the same number of rotations as an axel...

However those who get stuck on double axel clearly do not have the ability to go any further... It is very rare (not unheard of) to see a skater who will learn a triple before their double axel...

The again, skaters like Patrick Chan sure have trouble with it hahahaha

8. Which is why I was careful to note that it separates those with the "ability" to make it....
So is achieving a consistent double axel a matter of physical ability/talent, or more a combination of physical ability and psychological ability (not giving up, not getting frustrated, not being afraid of the jump...?)

It seems that with the single axel, most all the kids I've seen go after it for 6 months-year will land it.

Is this the same for double axel: that given enough time and attempts, eventually a skater who can land other doubles can land it? Or is the "natural" athletic ability and skating talent (coordination, psychological wherewithal, etc. ) needed for a double axel so much more that it's an exponentially more difficult jump to the point that "trying harder" just will never be enough?

I'm trying to understand the double axel "mystique" a bit more.

My only observations are that learning double axel usually happens during the perfect storm that is the early teenage years, and there is a lot emotionally, etc. going on that causes some kids to move away from double axel and that level of competitive skating. But I also wonder to what extent all the skaters who attempt to learn the jump with some level of real discipline will also never get it. (I mean, I know never doesn't always mean never, still....)

9. Originally Posted by Jozet
Is this the same for double axel: that given enough time and attempts, eventually a skater who can land other doubles can land it? Or is the "natural" athletic ability and skating talent (coordination, psychological wherewithal, etc. ) needed for a double axel so much more that it's an exponentially more difficult jump to the point that "trying harder" just will never be enough?
To answer your first question -from what I've seen on freestyle sessions, no. Double axels seem to require more than 'just' repetition to land them. This is coming from someone who skates as an adult and it took me years to get a single axel. I get the sense that how you approach a double axel matters a lot more. I.e. you always have to be fully committed to the jump when you try (unlike a single which is more forgiving) and I can see how teenage skaters can get frustrated with a jump they fall on day after day. To the point where they start changing things that shouldn't vary, like slowing down their approach, overusing their arms, etc. And sometimes you can see that a skater needs to address other things before they even have a legitimate shot at landing the jump, like start doing plyometrics to build up muscle mass and get more height on the jump.

I don't know too many skaters who would describe the process of learning the jump as 'fun', but I've seeing them go once they do land it, so it's probably safe to say they think it's worth it in the end.

10. Originally Posted by ioana
To answer your first question -from what I've seen on freestyle sessions, no. Double axels seem to require more than 'just' repetition to land them. This is coming from someone who skates as an adult and it took me years to get a single axel. I get the sense that how you approach a double axel matters a lot more. I.e. you always have to be fully committed to the jump when you try (unlike a single which is more forgiving) and I can see how teenage skaters can get frustrated with a jump they fall on day after day. To the point where they start changing things that shouldn't vary, like slowing down their approach, overusing their arms, etc. And sometimes you can see that a skater needs to address other things before they even have a legitimate shot at landing the jump, like start doing plyometrics to build up muscle mass and get more height on the jump.

I don't know too many skaters who would describe the process of learning the jump as 'fun', but I've seeing them go once they do land it, so it's probably safe to say they think it's worth it in the end.
you just about hit the nail on the head right there....

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