Comparing Salchow Take-Off Techniques (Nick Perna)

Figure skating jump specialist Nick Perna compares 2 common but very different types of take-offs we see for the salchow jump. In the video he is comparing a triple salchow by Olympic Champion Yuna Kim and one by US Ladies Champion and Olympic Team Medalist Bradie Tennell. Although there is more to the technical differences of these take-offs, the main point Nick is focused on is how each skater uses the right foot during the active take-off edge or pivot portion of the jump take-off.

[Editor’s note: This video discusses concepts very similar to another iCoachSkating video published at roughly the same time by Jeremy Allen on the salchow take-off. Additionally, this also relates to the “guide foot” concept shared in another video by Kori Ade.]

Nick begins by observing that Yuna Kim performs a salchow from a forward outside three turn, with a blurb, and a pivot up into the jump without ever touching the right foot to the ice. He pauses the video so we can see what is like an “A-frame” position just prior to the active edge and pivot. He also notes other important observations such as the h-position on take-off, the rounded shoulders in the air and the floxed leg/foot air position.

In analyzing Bradie Tennell’s salchow, Nick notes she uses a mohawk entrance with a blurb, but with less of a stretch than Yuna. The main observation is that Bradie places her right foot on the ice on a right back outside edge and has an “almost toe loop take-off position, where she’s got a left back inside cut and a right back outside edge.” Nick claims, “Because she has both of those edges working on active edges, she’s going to be able to generate a little bit more power. And this is why a lot of skaters are using this take-off now with the left back inside and right back outside edges working together.” He continues, “It’s very similar to what you see in a triple toe nowadays, or a quad toe.”

Nick makes the observation that Bradie pivots a bit further into the rotation before leaving the ice than Yuna does. This is consistent with Jeremy Allen’s comments that this method “allows your left foot to fully pivot out of the way so you can jump forward off the left toe.”

In conclusion, Nick notes that many skaters who initially learned salchow technique like Yuna’s often prefer the technique by Bradie as they feel they can generate more power. He also notes that Bradie’s style is particularly helpful for skaters who have a good toe loop.


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