How To Do An Axel – Figure Skating Axel Jump

The axel is typically regarded as the the most difficult figure skating jump.  The single axel is the first jump that requires more than one full rotation in the air.  The axel takes off from a forward outside edge, rotates in the direction of the take-off edge, and lands on the opposite foot on a back outside edge.  Contrary to popular belief, the axel DOES NOT rotate 1 1/2 times in the air.  Total rotation of the entire element is roughly 1 1/2 revolutions, but some of that is actually accomplished on the ice.

The axel is particularly challenging because few skaters learning the jump have proper control of the forward outside edge needed for take-off.  The double axel is especially challenging for more advanced skaters because it requires significantly more athleticism and control than any other double jump.  In terms of skill, it more closely resembles a triple jump than the other doubles.  Also, skaters learning a double axel often have ingrained bad habits from years of doing single axels incorrectly, making the jump that much harder.  Even now, more than 50 years after they were first landed, the triple axel is a rare accomplishment of only the most athletic and skilled figure skaters.

The videos below share an astonishing amount of information on how to do an axel.  As with nearly everything in figure skating, the mechanics of what actually happens in the jump vary to some extent from skater to skater.  But teaching methods vary even more.  Coaches use a very large variety of descriptions and drills to develop the skills and help their skaters land this amazing and beautiful jump.

The videos below are organized into figure skating axel tips published from most recent to least recent.  Regardless of the date of publication, ALL information below is relevant today for coaches, skaters, and skating parents.

Adult Figure Skating – Adult Leg Syndrome (Nick Perna)

World coach and adult figure skating advocate Nick Perna addresses a common jump problem for adults that figure skate.  He calls it “adult leg syndrome” and it’s characterized by landing with the free foot to the side or behind… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jumps – Minimum Air Times (Trevor Laak)

The post below is a copy of the post made by Trevor Laak on his coaching blog (Tools for Coaching).  The topic of the post is a response to regular requests Trevor gets regarding minimum air times… Continue reading

Jump Development Exercises Pt 3 – Flow and Landing Drill (Chris Conte)

Chris Conte continues with Part 3 of a multi-part series on jump development exercises.  The series focuses on a set of warm-up exercises with important drills embedded in them.  The purpose of each drill is to improve the… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jumps – Waltz Jump and Single Salchow (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues her lesson with two young skaters.  The first part of the lesson focused on a series of warm-up drills prior to jump training.  In this video, Michelle has the skaters do waltz… Continue reading

On-Ice Figure Skating Jump Warm-Up (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh guides two skaters through a series of warm-up drills prior to jump training.  These exercises help skaters get used to jump movements while focusing on air position and alignment details that will be important skills… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jump Drill – The Cheat Exercise (Page Lipe)

Coach Page Lipe shares an important figure skating tip for jumps.  Page calls this the “Cheat Exercise” and notes that it’s very helpful for skaters who are afraid to rotate multi-rotation jumps.  It can be especially helpful as… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jumps: On-Ice Air Turns – Part 3 (Nick Perna)

This video is the third and final part in a series with Nick Perna teaching an on-ice air turn class. In the previous two videos in the series Nick showed several very helpful jumping exercises for skaters (see Part 1… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jumps: On-Ice Air Turns – Part 2 (Nick Perna)

The figure skating video below is the second in a series of videos covering on-ice air turns with Nick Perna.  In part 1 Nick taught several air turn drills down a line to help skaters move jumps across the… Continue reading

Jump Principles – Speed and Pre-Rotation (Frank Carroll)

Olympic Coach Frank Carroll talks about the realities of jumps in figure skating, and how this knowledge pertains to coaching methods of double and triple jumps.

Frank starts by discussing the difference between speed over, or on the ice and… Continue reading

Setup Pattern for Axel Jump Development (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh shares a simple but valuable  setup pattern for single and double axel development.  Michelle utilizes the hockey circles on the end of the rink to help the skater keep a consistent entrance pattern to… Continue reading

Double Axel Insights (Frank Carroll)

Olympic Coach Frank Carroll talks about the double axel.  The double axel is the key jump separating the rest of the doubles and the triple jumps.  It is a major hurdle for most skaters, and especially for young… Continue reading

Axel Walk-Throughs and Extension at Take-Off (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues her work with a skater on double axel.  The first video of the series was focused on axel exercises at the wall where Michelle emphasized the sideways nature of the take-off and the pivot… Continue reading

Figure Skating Off-ice Training: Off ice jump class – Part 5 (Kori Ade)

This off-ice training video is a continuation of a multi-part off-ice jump class by Kori Ade.   In Part 1, Kori had the class do heel clicks and air turn variations. In Part 2, Kori… Continue reading

Figure Skating Off-ice Training: Off ice class – Part 4 (Kori Ade)

This video is a continuation of a multi-part off-ice jump class by Kori Ade.  In Part 1, Kori had the class do heel clicks and air turn variations. In Part 2, Kori has the class… Continue reading

Axel and Double Axel: The Step (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues her work with a skater on double axel.  The previous video was focused on axel exercises at the wall where Michelle emphasized the sideways nature of the take-off and the pivot before the skater… Continue reading

Figure Skating Axel Jump: How to Axel Part 7 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the seventh and final video in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he… Continue reading

Figure Skating Axel Jump: More Axel Tips Part 6 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the fifth in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

How To Do An Axel – Axel Class Part 5 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the fifth in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

How To Do An Axel – Axel Class Part 4 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the third in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

Double Axel Exercises At the Wall (Michelle Leigh)

Olympic coach Michelle Leigh shows a double axel exercise at the barrier to develop the proper take-off movement.  One of the primary challenges for skaters learning a double axel is creating enough rotational energy so that the jump spins… Continue reading

How To Do An Axel – Axel Class Part 3 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the third in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

Learning an Axel Jump – Axel Class Part 2 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the second in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

Learning an Axel Jump – Axel Class Part 1 (Tom Zakrajsek)

Olympic coach Tom Zakrajsek teaches an axel class at the Grassroots to Champions Supercamp held in Faribault, MN in July/August 2013.  This video is the first in a multi-part series by Tom sharing the information he covered in his… Continue reading

Some Basics of Jumping – Waltz Jump Example (Frank Carroll)

Olympic Coach Frank Carroll discusses the basics of jumping, including the way he approaches jumps as a way to progress to higher level jumping.  In this presentation, he uses the waltz jump as a way to explain some of… Continue reading

Figure Skating Stops and Skids – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

In the video below, Nick Perna begins a discussion of stops and skids.  Nick starts by noting the importance of learning a variety of stops and skids.  But he also acknowledges that beyond the very basic stops taught… Continue reading

Learn Better Figure Skating Edges – Passive Edges and Active Edges (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna discusses the theoretical and practical aspects of passive edges and active edges.  He initially defines what each is and offers a demonstration of each type.  As Nick notes, a passive edge “is just coasting on… Continue reading

Axel Jump In Slow Motion Tips (Trevor Laak)

Trevor Laak analyzes a double axel as a way to identify key aspects for single axel instruction.  You can see a full video of the jump being analyzed below in real time and slow motion on Trevor’s… Continue reading

Axel Jump Video Tips: Checklist (Trevor Laak)

Trevor Laak offers a checklist of insights for axel.  This page shows an axel attempt in real time, once as the original video and once zoomed in.  The video is then shown again in slow motion for… Continue reading

Axel Jump Slow Motion Details (Trevor Laak)

Trevor Laak responds to an email sent by a coach with questions about the recent survey of iCoachSkating.com subscribers on the details at the moment of take-off for the axel, salchow, and toe loop jumps.  Here… Continue reading

Tips for Figure Skating Jumps Moment Of Take-Off: Axel – Salchow – Toe Loop – Part 2 (Trevor Laak)

Trevor Laak shares the results of the second part of a survey of iCoachSkating.com subscribers on the details at the moment of take-off for the axel, salchow, and toe loop jumps.  Here are the survey questions covered in… Continue reading

Tips for Figure Skating Jumps Moment Of Take-Off: Axel – Salchow – Toe Loop – Part 1 (Trevor Laak)

Trevor Laak shares the results of the first part of a survey of iCoachSkating.com subscribers on the details at the moment of take-off for the axel, salchow, and toe loop jumps.  Here is a copy of the quiz… Continue reading

Tips For Axel Jump For Young Skater (Kori Ade)

Kori Ade gives an axel lesson. Even though Kori’s skater has an axel and is working on double jumps, Kori wants the skater to have a good axel kick through, as she believes this feeling translates to the double salchow… Continue reading

Axel Jump Preparation – Part 2 (Joan Orvis)

Joan Orvis continues her explanation of how she introduces the axel jump.  Joan uses a common drill that is known by many names such as half-axel, once-around, and bell-jump.  Notice the details of how Joan teaches this pre-axel… Continue reading

Axel Jump Preparation – Part 1 (Joan Orvis)

Joan Orvis explains how she introduces the axel jump.  First Joan notes that the basic axel is similar to the basic waltz jump.  Then she teaches an exercise on the line “where everything goes left to right” for… Continue reading

Axel Jump Preparation – With Loop Jump (Kori Ade)

Kori Ade uses triple loop as a preparation for triple axel work.  NOTE:  This concept applies to single loop for single axel, or double loop for double axel.  In this video, Kori covers important details of improving… Continue reading

Axel Jump In Figure Skating – Alternate Entrance (Sheila Thelen)

Sheila Thelen suggests an alternate axel entrance for skaters that tend to hook their axel take-off edges.  This method can be very effective at straightening out the take-off edge for some skaters.  It is also an effective tool… Continue reading

Axel Jump Tips: How To Fix A Swingy Axel – Part 3 (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna finishes his lesson with Annalise to improve her axel, particularly the jump’s distance.  Part 1 focused on control of the step position and the hip and leg movement, all on a straight line, and Part 2 focused… Continue reading

Axel Jump Tips: How To Fix A Swingy Axel – Part 2 (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna continues his lesson with Annalise to improve her axel, particularly the jump’s distance.  Part 1 focused on control of the step position and the hip and leg movement, all on a straight line.

In this video, Nick… Continue reading

Axel Jump Tips: How To Fix A Swingy Axel – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna gives a lesson to help a skater (Annalise) straighten out a “swingy” axel.  This is the first part of a three part series.  Axels that tend to “go around” rather than going through tend to spin… Continue reading

Triple Axel Figure Skating 1957
This YouTube video shows David Jenkins performing a triple axel in 1957. That’s incredible considering the jump wasn’t officially performed in competition until 1978... Continue reading
Figure Skating Survey: Double Axel Experience (Trevor Laak)
How many different female skaters have you taught to do a double axel? These survey results suggest it's pretty rare to have much success with this. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jumps: Axel Class – Part 5 (Audrey Weisiger & Nick Perna)
This is the final part of the on-ice axel class taught by Nick Perna and Audrey Weisiger at the 2010 G2C Extreme Supercamp. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jumps: Axel Class – Part 4 (Audrey Weisiger & Nick Perna)
Nick Perna and Audrey Weisiger continue their on-ice axel class at the 2010 G2C Extreme Supercamp. In the first part of the class, they covered the proper setup and in the second part they covered the step forward. Continue reading
Axel Jump Help: Compare Wtih Fall (Trevor Laak)
Click the video below to watch an analysis of a successful and unsuccessful axel by the same skater. Analysis by Trevor Laak. Continue reading
Axel Jump: Slow Motion Dartfish Techniques (Page Lipe) (Trevor Laak)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Dartfish Video Ice Skating Tips: Axel – For Double Axel (Trevor Laak)
Then play the second video to the see the analysis by Trevor Laak. Continue reading
Figure Skating Slow Motion Video: Double Axel-Double Toe Combination (Page Lipe) (Trevor Laak)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Ice Skating Jumps: Take Off Drills (Tom Hickey)
Tom Hickey describes some basic on-ice take-off drills he uses with his skaters for axel, toe loop, and flip. These exercises are aimed at developing balance, strength and control. Continue reading
Off Ice Jump Training: Axel And Double Axel Drills (Tom Hickey)
Tom describes and Taylor demonstrate off-ice jump drills that build to axel and double axel. Continue reading
Waltz Jump Tips For Beginners (Tom Hickey)
Tom Hickey has help from his daughter Maddie showing how to introduce a young beginner skater to the waltz jump. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jump Exercises: Bell Jump (Tom Hickey)
Tom explains the "bell jump" drill he uses to develop quickness. Summer and Taylor demonstrate the bell and the "cross-over jump" with the waltz jump. Continue reading
Waltz Jump Tips – Part 4 (Joan Orvis)
Joan Orvis finishes her four part description of the waltz jump. Continue reading
Waltz Jump Tips – Part 3 (Joan Orvis)
Joan Orvis continues her multi-part description of the waltz jump. Continue reading
Waltz Jump Tips – Part 2 (Joan Orvis)
Joan Orvis continues her description of the waltz jump. Continue reading
Waltz Jump Tips – Part 1 (Joan Orvis)
Joan Orvis explains how she introduces the waltz jump. Notice the emphasis on the proper use of edges and ankle pressure. Continue reading
Axel Figure Skating: Dartfish With Slow Motion (Page Lipe)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Figure Skating Video Anaylsis: Double Axel-Double Toe Combination (Page Lipe)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Axel Jump Figure Skating Tip (Page Lipe)
Page Lipe shows how she develops the axel. In this video she focuses mainly on the half axel (also known as a "once around" or sometimes a "bell jump"). Continue reading
Ice Skating Jumps: Axel and Double Flip-Double Loop Combination (Chris Conte)
This is another lesson that Chris Conte gave at the 2009 G2C Extreme Super Camp. Continue reading
Grassroots To Champions Skating Camp: Private Lesson – Part 1 (Chris Conte)
In this video taken at the 2009 G2C Extreme Super Camp, Chris Conte gives a lesson to one of his own skaters in preparation for an exhibition performance. Continue reading
Figure Skating Video Analysis: Single Axel (Chris Conte)
Play the top video first to see two axel attempts that are being analyzed. Continue reading
Figure Skating Rotation Training Video: Pole Harness – Cat And Mouse – Part 2 (Chris Conte)
Chris Conte gives a pole harness lesson on double axel. This video is a continuation of Chris's "Cat and Mouse" method video here at iCoachSkating.com. Continue reading
Figure Skating Harness: Double Axel (Chris Conte)
Chris Conte gives a double axel lesson in the stationary harness. There are so many gems of wisdom in this video! Continue reading
Dartfish Video Analysis Figure Skating Jumps: Double Axel (Chris Conte)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Video Analysis Of Figure Skating Jump: Double Axel (Chris Conte)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Dartfish Video Analysis For Figure Skating: Double Axel (Chris Conte)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Learn To Ice Skate For Kids: Basic Jumping – Part 2 (Sheila Thelen)
This is the second in a series of videos of Sheila Thelen teaching a young skater in a private lesson. Continue reading
Figure Skating Tips For Axels With Champion Cords (Sheila Thelen)
Sheila offers a tip for using a Champion Cord with the axel. This tip is particularly helpful for skaters that don't naturally kick their knee through at take-off. Continue reading
Champion Cords Figure Skating Training Aids – Starting Axel (Sheila Thelen)
Sheila discusses an axel drill for young skaters. She also shares some tips that make the drill more effective (using a Champion Cord and a toy). Continue reading
Ice Skating Tips For Beginners Video – Starting Axel (Sheila Thelen)
Sheila talks about how she teaches the axel. She offers some tips to help young skaters understand the concept of the axel but not be too intimidated by it. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jumps: Axel Class – Part 3 (Audrey Weisiger & Nick Perna)

Nick Perna and Audrey Weisiger continue their on-ice axel class at the 2010 G2C Extreme Supercamp.  In the first part of the class, they covered the proper setup and in the second part they… Continue reading

Figure Skating Jumps: Axel Class – Part 2 (Audrey Weisiger & Nick Perna)
Nick Perna and Audrey Weisiger continue their on-ice axel class at the 2010 G2C Extreme Supercamp. In the first part of the class, Nick Perna covered the proper setup. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jumps: Axel Class – Part 1 (Audrey Weisiger & Nick Perna)
Nick Perna and Audrey Weisiger teach an on-ice axel class at the 2010 G2C Extreme Supercamp. In this first part, Nick explains the desired setup for axel. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 6 – Axel From Back Crossovers (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna finishes his axel lesson with Kayla. This is part 6 of this half-hour lesson. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 5 – Axel on Pole Harness (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his axel lesson with Kayla. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 4 – Waltz Jump Back Spin (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his axel lesson with Kayla. This is part 4 of this half-hour lesson. In the first part Nick focused on Kayla's backspin. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 3 – Entry Continued (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his axel lesson with Kayla. This is part 3 of this half-hour lesson. In the first part Nick focused on Kayla's backspin. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 2 – Four Step Backwards Entry (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his axel lesson with Kayla. Continue reading
Axel Jump Lesson Part 1 – Back Spin And Landing (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna gives an axel lesson to Kayla. Kayla is a low level skater currently learning an axel. This video is the first in a series of videos covering the entire half-hour lesson. Continue reading
Figure Skating Jumps Video: Waltz Jump – Axel – Double Axel – Triple Axel (Michelle Leigh)
Olympic coach Michelle Leigh finisher her discussion of the axel. Continue reading
Online Figure Skating Video: Axel Edge Preparation (Michelle Leigh)
Olympic coach Michelle Leigh discusses the back preparation edge for axel. This video is a continuation of Michelle's discussions of the axel. Continue reading
Online Figure Skating Lesson: Axel Jump – Part 2 (Michelle Leigh)
This video is a continuation of the axel lesson video with Olympic coach Michelle Leigh. In this video, Michelle is working towards double axel with her skater. Continue reading
Online Figure Skating Lesson: Axel Jump – Part 1 (Michelle Leigh)
In this video, we sit in on an axel lesson with Olympic coach Michelle Leigh. This is a great follow-up the Michelle Leigh axel video. Continue reading
Online Figure Skating Lesson: Axel Jump (Michelle Leigh)
Michelle Leigh discusses how she develops the axel from the waltz jump. Continue reading
Learn To Ice Skate Video: Waltz Jump – Part 2 (Michelle Leigh)
Michelle Leigh continues her discussion of the waltz jump. In this video, she talks about the step. Continue reading
Learn To Ice Skate Video: Waltz Jump – Part 1 (Michelle Leigh)
Michelle Leigh talks about how she introduces the waltz jump and she continues the discussion through some helpful exercises that also apply to axel and double axel. Continue reading
Figure Skating Tips for Advanced Skater Part 4 – Triple Loop (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his lesson with Isabelle. Continue reading
Figure Skating Tips for Advanced Skater Part 3 – Double Axel (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his lesson with Isabelle. Continue reading
Dartfish Figure Skating Analysis: Double Axel (Chris Conte)
Play the top video first to see the jump being analyzed. Continue reading
Double Axel Technique – Dartfish Analysis (Chris Conte)
Computer Video Analysis of Double Axel Attempt Continue reading
Figure Skating Video Shows Double Axel In Harness (Sheila Thelen)
Sheila demonstrates how to use a harness for double axel. She also gives a few tips regarding the double axel and she talks briefly about the skid/no-skid on take-off issue. Continue reading
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