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Axel jump facts for kids

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Axel Paulsen jump without text
A single axel from start to finish
Emily Hughes Axel - 2006 Skate America
Step 1: the preparation
Mira Leung Axel - 2006 Skate America
Step 2: the kick up into the Axel
Andrei Lutai - skok
Step 3: the rotation in the air
Jamal Othman Jump 2 - 2006 Skate Canada
Step 4: the landing

An Axel jump is a jump in figure skating. It is the most famous and recognizable skating jump. It starts with the skater going forward. It is the only jump that does and that helps people know that the jump is an Axel jump. Because all skating jumps are landed going backwards, the Axel jump has an extra half rotation (full circle) in the air than all other skating jumps.


The jump was named after Axel Paulsen of Norway, who invented the jump.


The first skater to do a double Axel in competition was Dick Button, and Carol Heiss Jenkins was the first woman to do it. The first skater to do a triple Axel in competition was Vern Taylor. The first woman to do it was Midori Ito.

The first pairs skater to do a throw triple Axel (he helps her with the jump) were Rena Inoue & John Baldwin. It is not known who did the first throw double Axel.


The Axel can be a single Axel (1 and a half rotations in the air), a double Axel (two and a half rotations in the air), or a triple Axel (three and a half rotations in the air). Most junior and senior skaters do a double Axel.

Many senior-level male skaters do a triple Axel.

Only 15 female figure skaters have done a ratified triple Axel in competition: Midori Ito (the first one to do it), Tonya Harding, Yukari Nakano, Ludmila Nelidina, Mao Asada (the first one to land three triple Axels in one competition), Kimmie Meissner, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Rika Kihira, Mirai Nagasu, Alysa Liu, Ayaka Hosoda, Alena Kostornaia, Sofia Akatieva, Sofia Samodelkina, and Young You. Only 11 have done it in ISU-sanctioned international competitions (Kimmie Meissner, Sofia Akatieva, Sofia Samodelkina, and Ayaka Hosoda did triple axels at nationa championships).


According to the International Judging System, the base value of a triple Axel jump is 8.0, and that of a double Axel is 3.3.


Because the Axel is the most famous skating jump, many people make a mistake and call all skating jumps as Axel jumps. This has led to many mistakes in sports reporting of figure skating, for example a report in 2006 saying that Miki Ando was the first female skater to land a quad Salchow in an international competition, which is a different jump.

  • John Misha Petkevich, Figure Skating: Championship Techniques. ISBN: 0-452-26209-7.
  • Nancy Kerrigan, Artistry on Ice. ISBN: 0-7360-3697-0.
  • Dr. J. Dedic, Single Figure Skating. ISU, 1974.
  • United States Figure Skating Association Media Guide.

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