How to Do an Axel – Part 2 … Using a Bell Jump (Charlie Tickner)

Figure skating jump specialist Charlie Tickner continues his discussion of how he teaches an axel.  Please watch Part 1 before viewing this page as Charlie references some of the info he covered in that video.

In this video, Charlie begins by addressing the psychological aspects of learning the axel.  Many skaters are afraid of the jump.  For those with mainly a fear of the unknown (since they haven’t done one before), Charlie recommends using a harness.  This allows the skater to become much more clear on what they are actually trying to do.  For those skaters afraid of injury or lack the willingness to fall, a reasonable amount of padding can be used.

Charlie continues by talking about using a bell jump.  [Editor’s note: A bell jump has become common terminology for the jump drill where the skater takes off for axel but lands forward on two feet, with the feet side by side in the air.  Technically, a bell jump is any jump that rotates with the feet side by side.  For example, a double salchow done with the feet side by side can also be referred to as a bell jump.  The bell jump got its name from the common characteristic of the skater clicking the blades together in the air, making a muted bell sound.  An axel bell jump with a forward landing is often referred to as a “once around” or a “half axel.”  Neither term is precisely correct, so “bell jump” continues to be commonly used.]

For the bell jump, Charlie explains that the take-off is identical to the desired axel take-off.  The only difference is the skater rotates in the air in a neutral position with the axis down the center of the body and between the feet.  For the bell jump, Charlie uses forward outside edges as the desired entry.  He has the skater land on 2 feet, and then push into a forward inside 3-turn with a check-out into the landing position.  The bell jump is effective to developing a strong take-off with good jump flow and height.

Charlie finishes by talking about a number of other useful drills (backspins, waltz jump into backspin, waltz jump loop jump combos, etc).  Notice the focus on proper alignment over the landing side.


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