Index - Figure Skating Terminology

This is a guide for understanding the basic terminology used in describing skating skills, and to assist you in identifying jumps, spins, and footwork elements.

Skate blades are not single edged like a knife, they're double edged (imagine a potato peeler). A blade is ground out down the center length of the blade, creating a shallow concave with two edges on either side of the hollow.

Two blades times two edges for each blade equals four different edges. Multiply that by the direction of the blade's movement, forward or backward, and you get a total of eight different edge combinations. Ideally, a skater should always be skating on just *one* of these eight edges. When you hear the comment "skating on the flat", they are referring to both edges of a single blade being in contact with the ice, ie., flat-footed.

You will see the following abbreviations used frequently. Jumps, spins, and footwork are identified by which edge is utilized and the directional rotation of the movement. Also note for future reference that CW stands for clockwise rotation, and CCW is counter clockwise.

RFI Right Forward Inside edge
LFI Left Forward Inside edge
RBI Right Back Inside edge
LBI Left Back Inside edge
RFO Right Forward Outside edge
LFO Left Forward Outside edge
RBO Right Back Outside edge
LBO Left Back Outside edge

Video clips can be found in the "Spin" and "Jump" pages, as well as the video clips section of this site.

Who Jumped What First?
Jump Skater
Triple Salchow Ronnie Robertson
(1955 Worlds)
Triple Salchow (Women) Petra Burke
(1962 Canadian Nationals)
Triple Loop Dick Button
(1952 Olympics)
Triple Toe Loop Thomas Litz
(1964 Worlds)
Triple Lutz Donald Jackson
(1962 Worlds)
Triple Lutz (Women) Denise Biellmann
(1978 Worlds)
Triple Axel Vern Taylor
(1978 Worlds)
Triple Axel (Women) Midori Ito
(1988 NHK Trophy)
Quad Toe Loop Kurt Browning
(1988 Worlds)
Quad Toe Loop/Toe Loop Combination Elvis Stojko
(1991 Worlds)
Quad Salchow Timothy Goebel
(1998 Jr. Championship Series)
Quad Salchow (Women) Miki Ando
(2002 Jr. Grand Prix final)
Quad Salchow/Toe Loop Combination Timothy Goebel
(1999 Worlds)
Quad Toe Loop in Olympics Petr Barna
(1992 Olympics)
Quad Toe Loop/Toe Loop Combo in Olympics Zhengxin Guo
(1998 Olympics)

For a complete list of "first time" jumps go to Jackson Skates Jump History page. ©1996

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