Video 3 – The Cause?

This is the third video in the series of videos from Skating Jump Secrets. It discusses the underlying reasons for all the confusion regarding jump mechanics. I’m not trying to blame anyone in this video. I’m simply suggesting a possible reason for how we ended up here. I also offer a simple solution. I hope you find this video interesting. Please leave a comment below.

85 thoughts on “Video 3 – The Cause?

  1. Terri

    Thank you for taking on this project. The gaps & discrepancies between the written rules and reality must be addressed. Looking forward to your manual and future videos.

  2. Karen Schleu

    Can a skater actually take off on a BO edge and do a double loop without jumping from the toe? That would have to be a very talented skater.
    Your videos are very informative. I have enjoyed the analysis.

  3. Linda Cowper

    Trevor, In reviewing the third video, I am amazed at the descrepancy between what actually occurs in a loop jump take off and the rules. I have always know about the proper technique since forever! At times I have heard others discuss taking off backward in a loop jump and challenging the idea of a forward take off. At these moments I have never spoken up–mostly because of local politics if you know what I mean. Sometimes it is better to say nothing. For this reason I really appreciate your attempt to clarify what is obvious in a positive and professional manor. Also, How else can the blade do a loop jump! Is it not designed to perform this way for a loop jump and a salchow? At the end of the hook the only way to get a proper lift off is to arrest the momentum with the pick so you can spring properly–the flat of the blade cannot create this for us forward or backward. Keep up the great work Trevor it’s awesome!!

  4. Jeanne Governale-Cousineau

    Trevor, Again, thank you for your insight and for challenging the system. I think it absolutely needs to change, but in the meantime, we can all continue to teach in the manner that helps our skaters jump best: with a forward takeoff from the toepick on the loop. It seems that the rules were written by people who look at skating and not people who actually skate. I also think the rules were created back in the days of Dick Button when people didn’t really analyze enough, what the mechanics were of a jump. True teachers take things apart, analyze, and put them back together in a way that ensures success for their students. I’m really looking forward to your manual and subsequent videos. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this!

  5. Melissa

    Wow Trevor! This information is excellent! Actually, all of your videos are excellent. I’ve been forwarding all of your info to my competitive skaters for months now. It’s really nice to see someone doing this kind of thing. It’s difficult to be in the position of “making waves” but it needs to be done! I cannot tell you how many young coaches I’ve seen fresh out of “coaching school” that have no idea how to teach a single jump. This is certainly great information to get out to the public. Can’t wait for your future videos!

  6. Cheryl

    You make the important point regarding the value of learning correctly from the beginning so that muscle memory is created properly. Unlearning is difficult if not impossible.

  7. Ellen

    This is very eye opening stuff and I for one am extremely happy that someone is setting it straight!!

  8. Daisy

    This is very interesting to hear about amidst the stricter scrutiny of rotation for skaters, now that the IJS system penalises underrotated jumps. I hope judges and ISU autoratitive figures see this and make it clear exactly what us skaters are meant to do!

  9. Patti Shears

    Thanks for helping coaches learn things that will make better coaches. I am very interested in becoming a great coach so I am doing a PSA apprenticeship with a master rated free skate coach. I have seen by her example that she is always looking for better ways to teach her skaters. She researchs theories and manuals, attends workshops, and continually analyzes her teaching and is teaching me the same. Your videos and thoughts provide more learning opportunities. Thanks again for sharing and encouraging great coaching.

  10. Mica

    I am a parent and a figure skating fan. What you are explaining and showing in your videos makes a lot of sense to me. It seems to make sense to a lot of coaches and other skating professionals as well. I think it would be fantastic if accomplished coaches would openly validate your views, or find a more “diplomatic way” to do it. Also, judges must be invited to the discussion table. The whole movement toward change would probably be embraced by many and would move along faster. You are a pioneer who has taken on a difficult but honorable mission. Looking forward to your future lessons.

  11. jeannie

    I love it! I have used your information to teach my students the dynamics off ice! I was delighted to see the connection that they made and how it transferred when they got on the ice. Thank you, and I look forward to more videos.

  12. Leeana

    Wonderful information! Looking forward to more videos and your jump manual.
    Could you touch on your feelings of over-rotation of jumps. Wouldn’t it be
    better to go forward and achieve a triple as oppose to eliminating the over-
    rotation, for a clean double? If the skater is fifteen and bored with doubles,
    isn’t it to the skaters advantage to be challenge with triples? If a skater feels that they are being held back, why bother with the tremendous amount of
    practice and why bother with the enormous fees.

  13. Maxine

    I found this video reassuring. I brought my daughter to USA to train with an elite coach for three months. She came back to the uk and entered a national competition within a week of her return. Almost all of her jumps were downgraded because of take off. I knew myself from watching the World Figure Skating Championships that this is how everyone took off, but it was frustrating that my daughter was being penalised. We are fortunate to have a coach who teaches the same technique and we just hope that things will change here.

  14. Terese

    Trevor, as a skater that had to switch coaches (I was taught bad technique with the first one) I fully understand the problems skaters run in to. My previous coach taught me the way that she was taught-whether it was right or wrong. I’ve spent the past two years re-learning 3-turns and jumps because of her.

    We do need consistency in teaching, a set of standards. For one, it would raise the bar for some coaches, on another point, it would create a new level of elite coaches if everyone learns the same way, teaches the same way and I see nothing but positives from this venture.

    Keep up the outstanding work, I can’t wait for the manual! I’m interested in the very basics of jump technique (and spins-my nemesis) on and off-ice training for improving one’s jumps.

  15. CF

    I think what you are doing is a good thing,however I need to put in some input.
    I skated with 2 Elite coaches and I was taught to jump from the edge on edge jumps.My jumps were considered to be the biggest jumps of any male skater at the time.The reason that I was able to jump from a clean edge and have very high jumps and clean landings was good jump mechanics.In all of my jumps the rotation was delayed,which I was able to do because of the height of my jumps.
    When I first started teaching I wanted to teach all of my kids how to jump like me only to finally realize that most skaters are not able to.I had to adjust my teaching techniques to conform to each students ability.This has been for me the most successful way to teach.

  16. Charles

    Look forward to seeing what you have put in the jump manual. Thanks for doing this. In the past the rinks I have taught at this type of thought pattern was considered voodoo talk and coaches that taught this technique were outcasts at local rinks.


  17. MS

    This is great you have picked up on the written rule difference
    versus reality. But I’d like to know what the actual difference should be
    in rethinking the takeoff/prep technique with regard to this issue.
    It works the way it works with the blade on the ice, physically.
    (We all know the toepick is used, yet Artur Dimitriev was teaching axel takeoffs at a seminar from a skidded edge, but of course the toepick is still at the end.)
    I think coaches ARE teaching clean takeoff and landings and that this difference with noticing the rules has nothing to do with the current problems. I am an
    adult skater.

  18. kathy

    We could easily raise awareness by telling parents coaches and skaters about this website, but as a coach, would such an act be considered unethical according to PSA?

  19. Emma Black

    Thank you so much for becoming aware of this problem.I hope that we(coaches and students)will be able to fix this mistake before it is to late.You are doing such a good job telling others about Skating Jump up the good work!

  20. PK

    I have a thirst for knowledge…these videos along with Cris Conte’s analysis are leaving me thirsty for more and more….keep em coming!

  21. Pat LaBissoniere

    Just curious if we have a slow motion film of a loop or double loop performed by a skater 30 or 40 years ago. It’s amazing many of us were taught edge to edge back in the old days. (I skated back in the ’50s & 60’s.) I’ve learned a lot through elite and other coaches in PSA. It’s great that you are clarifying the technique of jumps and spreading the word to all who coach.

  22. Monica

    I really appreciate the time you have spent on this. It is so nice to see these jumps broken down and shown what a lot of us know deep down inside. It just sounds wrong telling your skater to only rotate 1/4 turn on what we call a full rotation loop..Can’t wait for the jump manual!

  23. Olivia

    When will you be releasing the Next video? Today when i was practicing i paid alot of attention to my
    loop, and It did take off forward, i used my toepick ,but i don’t know how much i rotated. This site is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):)

  24. Rachel

    Thank you for the very interesting and useful information you are providing! It is nice to see jumps being presented in ways that are broken down, easy to follow, and it helps to clarify confusion from the past. I can’t wait for more videos in the future!!! THEY ARE GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Lindy K.

    I am relatively new at coaching and especially interested in proper jump technique with regard to other jumps as well as the loop jump. I am also an adult skater and a parent of a skater. I have experienced several different coaching methods with regard to all aspects of skating with my own learning and with my daughter. Since I have had to hire several coaches for a variety of reasons through the years, my daughter’s experience with proper jumping technique has been inconsistent. I am looking forward to your jump manual and future videos. They are helpful on so many levels in my skating lifestyle.

  26. Edward Lane

    Thanks for your all of your efforts. As a skater who’s been at it for 35 years it great to see someone take an interest at setting the record straight. Keep up the great work.

  27. Charity

    This information is very useful and I hope to use it someday when I begin learning jumps. I believe that this will save many skaters and coaches loads of frustration

  28. Jennifer

    Thanks for sharing your observations. I am always interested in learning more! I too was taught at a young age never to “cheat takeoffs.” Interesting topic for sure…

  29. Kimberly

    Thanks for these video they are going to help me a lot while i figure skate and can’t wait for more videos to come out


  30. valerie

    This information has validated my current teaching methods. I look forward to more videos so that I can compare my teaching theories with more slow motion video and explainations. I will be asking my students to view these videos!

  31. mary

    very useful, would like to see the axel and double jumps dymystified, cant wait for next video and manual

  32. KJ

    So very helpful – I’m sure this is why I had such a great double loop and most of my skating friends struggled with theirs. I love edge jumps and this is very enlightening.

    I would like to see a spin secrets manual as well. Some skaters are able to spin so much faster and thus hold their positions and change positions and feet multiple times in the same spin – what is ‘the one’ secret. I performed a 20 sec. layback spin at regionals, but cannot get my daughter to spin fast.

  33. Alexa

    Thank you so much for this information. I have had several different coaches in the last couple years, and it is crazy how different the techniques for teaching this sport is! I think every skater does need to know this, and should not be afraid of sharing it! Thank you! Hopefully the sport as a whole can grow from this!

  34. jaime

    It makes me giggle to watch this. I skated, coached, and am now a parent of a young figure skater. This is refreshing to see. I knew I jumped from forward and
    knew a quarter turn cheat landing looked clean, but never really put it together that the rotation was only a 1/4 revolution. It is eye opening! I find it interesting how coaches teach the loop, by saying ” bring you bottom around before you jump” or” turn into the circle” Why didnt they ever say ” jump from forward!” It was like nobody ever wanted to verbalize that.

    Great information! keep up the good work!

  35. V

    As an analytical adult skater I actually have questioned the backwards takeoff after several scary falls off the heel. I was told I probably wasn’t bending my knee enough. So after many more near misses of cracking my head, I switched coaches who told me about the “flag” at the end, lo and behold I could do loop jumps!
    Thanks Trevor

  36. P

    Thanks for the useful and insightful videos. Keep them coming! I would love to see a detailed analysis of each of the major jumps like you have done for the loop jump.

  37. kelly

    I can hardly wait for more information and videos to come so we can sharpen what is going on the ice and coming from our coaches. What a gift you are giving trevor!

  38. David C

    Thanks Trevor…i am finding these videos very helpful…Will you also be doing viedeos of TOE JUMPS also. Again thanks…David

  39. Rocky Mak

    If these are every jump done in isolation, what would the most efficient way to set myself up for a combo or even a flying spin?

  40. LB

    My current coach has been hinting at what you say, but I have had coaches before that either said, “Clean edge or else” or almost exactly what you say here. So I have had conflicting information. However, I will say that I spent some time over the last couple of days on icenetwork’s women’s competition videos, and so far your assessment is right on the dime.

  41. M

    Fantastic job of presentation of this material. I agree wholeheartedly. If you should edit this video, consider removing the word “lady” in the early part of the video, as it’s not a lady’s loop, or is there a men’s loop? Normally I don’t make exception to this type of thing, but it was so clearly stated that it struck me.

  42. janine

    I love theese videos and some things suprised me. I go to an arena where i know i am being taught wrong in public lessons, but that’s why i have a privite coach also. I will most cirtantlly tell all of the coaches and skaters i know about this site. It is so nice that someone cares enough about skating to take tome to give out free help, even though it could give other skaters more compition.Thaky you Trevor, for all you have done. I look forward to seeing the rest of the videos!

  43. Mitch

    You imply the USFSA rulebook does not describe jumps.

    The USFSA Basic Skills Instructor’s Manual does. USFSA only sells it to USFSA Basic Skills Coaches, not to skaters or other coaches. (How annoying!)

    It is possible it’s descriptions are only meant for Basic Skills levels, which are presumably below preliminary levels, since I think you can’t take any Basic Skills tests if you have taken any Preliminary tests. If what you say is correct, it probably doesn’t even apply there.

    Here is a definition from the Free Skate 4 level of the 2003 edition (but distributed about a year ago):

    Loop Jump: After entering from a three-turn or a Mohawk, step down onto either a RBO or LBO edge and take off from that skating foot, with free leg lifting in front and rotating one full turn in the air. Land on the take-off leg in a balanced and extended position Landing is held a distance equal to two times the skater’s height.

    That manual also has a Glossary definition:

    Loop Jump: After entering from a three-turn or a Mohawk, take off from a backward outside edge of the skating foot, with free leg lifting in front and rotating one full turn in the air. Landing will be on the take-off leg.

    Disclosure: I am a permanent adult beginner. I gave up on doing even single jumps, in part because I couldn’t rotate much more than about 1/2 rotation in the air, and because I had trouble taking off from an edge. Your descriptions gives me hope I might be able to meet the minimal standards for some single jumps.

  44. Kate

    Great video. I’m looking forward to additional videos on different jumps. I will tell all of my skating friends about this website. Thanks Trevor

  45. Kimberly Edwards

    Very interesting and informative video. Perhaps the ruling should be restated saying the loop jump has a backward entrance rather than a backward take-off which would avoid major changes and confusion among all coaches. Thank you so much!

  46. Beverly Shaffner

    I know the double & triple loop take off forward, but they happen so fast. When teaching the single loop it isn’t quite forward at take off. If it looks like it takes off forward it is counted as cheated by judges. Just like the single toe loop. Most take off forward and it is very obvious when the whole body turns. I try to teach my students to keep their head and arm forward as long as possible at take off. There is a big difference in teaching single jumps and multi roatation jumps.

  47. Kekei

    Hi Trevor, I’m a junior coach from Hong Kong. Thank you for your generous support by doing this useful website. I’m very appreciate it cos our country still lack of coaches to provide proper coaching. I always want to learn more n provide better coaching for my students. Thank you very much!

  48. Daphne Solis

    Anyone who has been involved in changing By-laws of an organization can appreciate the fact that the process to change the rules in figure skating would be completely overwhelming. I would agree that the change needs to be taken on by the coaches and think that passing on this information to fellow colleagues is a good beginning. Thank you!

  49. Emily

    This is absolutely amazing! I can’t imagine the amount of frustration I could have avoided if I was taught this way 10 or so years ago when I was skating. I was slightly disheartened though, when I tried to explain this concept to my mom (a former skating coach). She is adamant that we should be following the rule book exactly as it is. As much as I do value her opinion, I feel that I must try to ensure the safety and sanity of my skaters by telling them about the information discussed in your videos. Thank you so much for all of your hard work! I can’t wait to see more!

  50. Kathy Carlson

    I agree 100% with your analysis, and have been teaching this concept for years. I have been looking into taking my ratings exams through the PSA, and was wondering what the ratings panels would do with this explanation if asked about the double loop for instance (other jumps could be up for debate as well)? Is it possible that a coach may fail a ratings exam because of this technique?

  51. Jennifer Borus

    I agree with you. I have attended professional seminars showing the flag take-off and the rotation on the ice. But NO ONE states that this ACTUALLY makes the jump less rotations than the rulebook states are necessary to receive credit for the jump.
    I would definitely be interested in more of your video analysis.
    Thanks for your hard work!

  52. Xan

    How much do you think off-ice jump training that emphasizes full rotations. I see a lot of kids who are brilliant at off ice jumps from a stationary position, but who over-rotate every jump on the ice. Is there a way to make off-ice and on-ice jump mechanics correlate better?

  53. Xan

    aack. Thinking too fast, typing too slow. To finish that first sentence, how much the off ice training actually interferes with good on-ice technique?

  54. Kristy

    Thank you soooooo much for putting together this website! I’ve learned ALOT! Any tips on they axel?!? Please post more of these videos? Where do you teach???

  55. Jenn

    Wow. This is amazing! I think im going to record my loop jump now and see what I’m doing. I can’t believe that loop jumps are actually so much easier than they seem. When will your next video come out? Can you educate us on the other jumps too? and also give some tips are drills we can practice to improve our jump technique? And where do you teach?

  56. Laura

    Love your work Trevor. At my skating ring the level 5 skaters have been struggling for the last 5 months to land the axel and much to everybody’s distress they are still a long way away. I am now in level 4 but I hope I won’t have to go through the same thing, it’s wrong and discouraging.

  57. Laura

    Wow…what courage you’ve got! I answered yes to all of your questions and look forward to any future manual you might puplish…I’ll be the first in line to buy it!!:) I learned more about the loop jump in these last two videos than I did in the nine yrs I skated as a kid together with the two yrs I’ve been back on the ice as an adult (44yrs). Thank you so very very very much!!

  58. Lara

    Thank you for your videos.I wish I had seen them sooner. I have spent the last year undoing wrong techniques.Competitively I have fallen way back.Until I changed coaches I was unaware of how wrong my figure skating was. Under going the process of relearning proper techniques has been more difficult.My parents are angry that coaches code of ethics only protects themselves and not the skaters. Whole clubs are wrecking young skaters like I still am. I hope you will be able to change how the skating organizations in the future teach. Many skaters might have been great had they known sooner.- Thanks Lara

  59. Bev

    Thank you for sharing such valuable information. I have been on the right track with the way I have been teaching the jumps. But now I can feel right about it and not feel like I’m second guessing myself. The video of the double loop is so clear to understand. Would you do a video of the Axel through to the double Lutz in time. Once again Thanks so much for sharing!!

  60. Alexandra

    Trevor, I have to say that everytime I look at your videos, I get a bit teary eyed. My skating career would have been so different had my pervious coaches known this. I have recently gotten back on to the ice, after almost 10 years ago due to an injure based on POOR JUMP TECHNIQUE! Honestly, I can say that it all makes prefect sense. Currently, I am trying to work on my doubles, but having a huge problem with my single axel. It seems that the previously bad technique wont go away! My current coach really understands and teaches the material you are teaching here, but doesn’t know how to change my muscle memory. It is actually really interesting that the Jumps I had perviously consistent, wont come back, but jumps like the double loop and double flip that I never learned imporperly come almost immediately.

    Like other skaters, I would love to see videos like the one produced for the loop for all the doubles, and maybe even the single Axel. We all know that timing, and proper take off is the difference between a good jump and a horrible career ending jump. Thanks so much for helping skaters out there avoid injury.

  61. Anne-Marie

    GREAT! very informative video….I would really love to see and hear some more on the axel and the rest of the double jumps. Great Idea for setting up this information to share. Thanks for sharing!

  62. pippa

    For some time I had been studying take offs by the world champs..I could see the take offs were forwards eg on the loop so I began very quietly to teach this way, but inside feeling unsure and thinking I was doing something almost henious. So it is a huge relief to have come across your studies. Years ago I tried to develop my loop jump from a back edge, and ended up with damage to my achilies tendon- this technique felt impossible and seemed to go directly against physics and health and safety. Many thanks.

  63. Belinda Blades

    WOW! I allways critisized myself for not being able to take off backwards like my coach says. At least i know now my technique is semi-correct! It is remarkable how little is known and taught about proper jumping mechanics, I will certainly tell my friends at the rink about this website. Please let me know when your Jumping Manual is published. I just have to get a copy!

    Sincere thanks,

  64. J

    Great! This is how my coach teaches so yeah! Some people may think that you’re teaching skaters to cheat jumps, but I agree that skaters will have more confidence when you’re telling them that a double jump only really needs just a little over 1 full rotation in the air. I’ve seen a hockey skater attempt double loops directly from a back outside edge with obviously no toepick. They’re not pretty and he needs a lot of stength for it.

  65. Marie

    I am an older adult and am a beginner in ice dance. Although I do not jump I found these videos very intriguing. As I practice, I shall be watching the kids and teenagers as they practice with their coaches to see what goes on.

    You may be interested to know that in artistic roller skating much the same thing may be occurring in freestyle roller as seems to be in freestyle ice. I’m referring to “cheated” jumps receiving full credit by the judging panels and being taught by coaches. After the last USARS Nationals Competition many, many retired freestyle roller skaters posted Facebook rants about all the cheated jumps they saw.

    One thing is for certain, if a “cheat” is easier and gets full credit, there’s no point in teaching something else that’s harder.

  66. michael levine

    very helpful. i am an adult skater and tried the single loop jump with a forward take off. i experienced a much better result. i am looking forward to your analysis with the flip and lutz as well.

  67. Cory Lewallen

    This is very interesting stuff. My question is how current is this material? In other words has there been any changes since 2008 and are there new videos coming out? Is is this information being maintained?

  68. admin Post author

    Hey Cory, great questions!!! It turns out the material here is still current even though it hasn’t been updated for several years. Why? Because nothing in the rules regarding the description of the jumps has changed. Also, additional surveys have been done over this entire period of time and guess what? Coaches still get the critical answers wrong by a very large margin. (Ouch) I have not published the updated survey results or added video to the website for a long time for several reasons, but the primary reason was it was so threatening to the powers that be in the sport that I “agreed” to back off for the time being and focus on other ways to help the sport like my website But, honestly, it’s time to get some new videos up here at Skating Jump Secrets so if you’re on the email list, keep an eye out for new stuff. I was originally going to publish 6 important “secrets.” I’m not promising a publish date, but it’s coming. Thanks so much for your comment. Trevor Laak

  69. Erin

    Hi, I am a physicist and a skater and found your videos very interesting. Absolutely some rotation must occur on the ice because angular momentum cannot be generated once the blade leaves the ice. I am very interested in understanding the physics of figure skating, please email me!

  70. Trevor Post author

    Hey Ben and all those looking for more “how to” information, I strongly encourage you to check out It’s a paid membership website, but it’s filled with tons of information from many reliable and trusted sources. I will be putting up more information here at Skating Jump Secrets soon, but if you’re interested in more information now, head over to

  71. Kris

    Thank you so much Trevor
    As a coach I am always looking for more effective ways to teach my students. I am from a very remote area and I appreciate being able to watch the videos and further my coaching knowledge.
    Thankfully I answered the loop questions right!

  72. David Trevor-Roberts

    Hi Coach Trevor,

    You have pulled an interesting skeleton from the skating closet. The arguments over many aspects of skating have been going on for ages. I skated up until the age of 23 and then left the sport in 1993 for various reasons until returning as an adult skater in 2013. 20 year gap ! As I am trying to re-master double jumps, spins and some ice dancing skills, I have noticed that there are still variations in the interpretation of the rules, or what we think judges want to see from us… As a skater 20 years ago, and as an adult skater and coach of beginners now, I find that there are still times when I find it hard to explain the technicalities of how to do the “textbook” moves, when there are more natural ways to execute the moves, learned from years of practicing and testing different theories (and falling all over the place). Gladly some of my muscle memory has gone, so this old dog is still learning new tricks… I will be so happy when some form of agreement is reached that will take stress out of skating and put more fun back in. Well Done Sir ! P.S. I would love to see the double loop performed on hockey skates !!! There is no toe pick to argue about…

  73. Trevor Post author

    In response to your comment David, I wanted to offer two insights. The first is what the tracing looked like for the double loop in hockey skates. There were two versions of the trace. The first showed only the back outside edge, and it curled slightly past top-dead-center (top of curve where flight path normally begins). The other version had a very flat “full blade” ice marking which looked like half a three turn. The skater clearly stopped the blade and jumped off the full blade for that version. That is really really hard to do! And not what we ask figure skaters to do.

    My other insight is to check out all the videos on Yes, it’s a paid membership site which I own, but it really gives a wealth of teaching knowledge that mostly ignores the controversy and simply teaches efficient jump technique. There’s a money-back guarantee so just try it out and see if you like it. I think you’ll find it fascinating.


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