The Axel jump is one of the most challenging jumps to learn and do in figure skating. In international competitions, completing the double or triple axel is usually one of the highlights. If you’re not planning to be a pro, you might not need to learn this jump. But if you want that accomplishment, then you should know some things. So, how long does it take to land a double Axel?
It can take years to learn how to do a double Axel perfectly. However, landing the jump takes about 0.45 seconds mid-air. With 0.50 seconds mid-air, you’ll land it perfectly. The jump involves developing the right stance, executing the jump, and landing. You need to do everything to perfection.
The hardest parts of the double axel jump are the midair rotation and landing the right way. Here, we discuss how to do the axel jump and how long it takes to land the double axel.
What is an Axel Jump?
Axel jump is quite challenging because it’s the only jump that starts with the forward edge, which means you’ll need an extra half turn to complete it. The Axel jump can be a single, double, or triple jump. So far, no one has performed a quadruple Axel jump. Unlike the single jumps where you can rotate in the air with little effort, the Axel jump requires psychological and physical strength. The regular Axel jump will require 1.5 spins in the air to complete. When it comes to double Axel, it’ll require 2.5 spins. It goes on and on like that, depending on the number of rotations you’re planning to do. No one has been able to do a quadruple axel jump in an international competition.
Required Air time to Land Double Axel
You need about 0.50 seconds in the air to land the double axel perfectly. Within this period, you can do the 2.5 spins necessary and land. Slender skaters can land a double axel within 0.45 seconds in the air.
How to do Axel Jump
Learning the Axel jump is quite tough, but knowing something about it will help you when you start learning.
1. Develop your stance
Preparing for the jump starts with developing your stance and positioning your body. The right stance is essential before you get started. For example, a standstill in your skates with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your waist.
Then bring your hands down, so they’re hanging by your sides, and relax them. Let your arms and shoulders hang loosely for a while, as that’s how they’ll be when you start skating forward in preparation for the jump.
Next, place your ankles at about 15 cm (6 inches) apart and tense the muscles in the ankles. Your ankles should be so close as if you want to put a ball in between. Your ankles should be tight and ready before you even make the jump.
Then put your two hands in front in a similar position to holding a tray. Your elbows should be bent, and your hands should have sufficient space between them. Your hands will be in this position when you execute the jump.
2. Executing the Jump
Now that you’re in the right stance start skating forward to gain speed while keeping your hands in front, elbow bent as if you’re holding something. Skate forward as fast as you can while keeping your ankles close together. Approach the jump from the right outside edge of your skates.
Then when you’re ready for the jump, lift your right knee and jump. You should do all this quickly while using your left foot to launch yourself off the ground. You need to execute this move to near perfection for you to jump. It has to be quick and powerful to reach the height you need.
Once you jump, your hands should go straight to your sides, with your elbows being in a straight position. By snapping your arms straight, you’ll be able to get the power you need to jump much higher.
Now that you’re in the hair, turn 1.5 times using your right knee and arms to propel yourself into spinning. Since you’re skating right-handed, spin counterclockwise, twist your body into this spinning as soon as your get off from the ground. Since this is a single Axel jump, the goal is to turn 1.5 times, so you land with a 180 degree turn away from where you started. Start with learning the single Axel jump, which is a bit simpler, before going ahead to the Double Axel jump.
3. Landing from Axel Jump
It’s much more difficult to land a double Axel jump than a single jump. But the landing is still the same. You’ll land facing the opposite direction from where you started. After finishing your spin, land on your left skate and glide backwards. You should spread out your arms for more stability. Getting the landing can be quite tough, so you’ll need a lot of practice to be good at it. You may fall a few times when you’re just starting, but that’s part of the experience.
How To Get the Strength and Stability for Axel Jump?
Axel jump is challenging and requires your energy and balance to execute perfectly. Getting that isn’t easy, but you can try various techniques and methods to build strength and stability.
1. Do Knee Lifts
In the same way, you’d do warmups before working out. You should also do a warmup before skating. One of the best ways to do this is with knee lifts. Lift your right knee as high as you can in front of you about 10 to 15 times. This lets you practice a similar move you’ll have to do in the Axel jump. Raising the knee is crucial as it determines how high your jump would be.
2. Practice The Jump and Spin on Other Surfaces
Before coming to the ice, practice the Axel jump on another surface, such as hardwood, concrete floor, etc., while wearing sneakers. You can even try it out on grass or carpets to cushion any fall.
3. Practice Waltz jumps
Waltz jumps are similar to Axel jumps, except that you don’t have to spin. But both require the same body mechanics. So, practicing waltz jumps will help you decide to do Axel jumps.
4. Practice Back Scratch Spin
Back scratch spin is a good move for learning the spinning part of the axel and maintaining stability. So, practice it as part of your regular workouts. Start by putting your toe on a spot and then spinning back around the central point. Spin as fast as you can go and bring your arms close like you’re about to hug yourself if you want to accelerate. Then, you can add a loop at the end of the spinning. A loop is a small jump with your outer foot, and it’ll help you with stability when landing after your midair jump.
Landing a double axel is quite difficult because you have to complete 2.5 spins in the air within 0.45 to 0.50 seconds. But it’s worth learning because the sense of accomplishment from knowing how to do it is unreplaceable.