Figure Skating

Pj Kwong - Friday Feb. 7, 2014 08:42 ET

Sochi figure skating: All about the jumps

Pj Kwong explains the jumps & how they are scored

Canada's Patrick Chan
Learn how judges score the jumps attempted by Patrick Chan with this handy guide. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

In singles and pairs skating, the ability to jump is one thing that’s going to get you ahead. As a fan or casual observer of the sport, trying to figure out which jump is which can be a bit confusing.

The trick in figuring out the jumps is to watch the way a skater takes off. The takeoff determines what kind of a jump is being performed because once in the air and on the landing edge, all of the jumps are the same.

To start off with; there are two types of jumps: edge and toe jumps.

  • Edge jumps are the Axel, Salchow and Loop jumps
  • Toe jumps are the: Toe Loop, Flip and Lutz jumps

Judges are evaluating the quality of the jumps by keeping into consideration the speed going into and out of the jumps, the height, the accuracy and completeness of rotation and the take-off, aerial and landing positions.

This explains why two jumps that are fully rotated by two different skaters can be worth different points. It’s not just about getting the job done; as with everything else in skating it’s about how well that happens.

Jump coach and jump harness expert Kent Grice explains the jumps this way:

Here are some great examples of the various jumps:

Triple Axels from Evgeni Plushenko and Mao Asada

Triple Lutz/Triple Toe Loop combination from Yu-Na Kim:



Quad Salchow/Triple Toe-Loop (1:19) and Quad Toe-Loop (1:50) from Kevin Reynolds:

Triple Flip from Vaughn Chipeur:

In performing more difficult jumps in a program, skaters are able to rack up the points. The following chart explains the base point value for each of the single, double, triple and quadruple versions of the jumps:

Single Double Triple  Quadruple
Toe Loop 0.4 1.3 4.1  10.3
Salchow 0.4 1.3 4.2 10.5 
Loop 0.5 1.8 5.1 12.0 
Flip 0.5 1.8 6.0 12.3 
Lutz 0.6 2.1 6.0 13.6
Axel 1.1 3.3 8.5 15.0 

As far as combinations go (two or three jumps) you add the value of each of the jumps together.

That wasn't so hard now was it?

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