Double Axel Drills – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

International coach and jump specialist Nick Perna gives a lesson to a skater who is starting to work on double axel. In the first part of this lesson, Nick is focused on determining the readiness for this skater to try double axels. Making sure a skater is ready is important to minimize potential injuries and maximize progress.

Nick begins by observing a backspin, and this skater needs to get the feet together in the backspin (very common error). Next Nick asks for a waltz jump to check entry edge control and jump height. He explains that whenever he works with a skater for the first time on double axel, he checks for readiness with backspin, single axel, and double loop. This skater does a solid single axel, with reasonable control and air time. The skater then does a couple double loops which offers Nick insights about air position and landing quickness.

The first exercise Nick asks for is a double loop from a forward inside double three. The idea is the skater only gets one push into the double three turn so the double loop has to be efficient. It’s just hard to jump high from this drill. The double three turn is also a great way to train getting over the axis side of the jump. Because the double loop is typically not very high in this drill, it forces the skater to get in tight quickly and rotate down to the ice (stay in longer than normal).

The next exercise is a slow one-foot spin on the axel take-off foot, with the free leg bent in front, where the skater jumps up into a waltz jump double loop combination. As Nick explains, this is a great exercise not only for learning a double axel, but also for warming up after a skater learns one.


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