History of the Axel JumpThe Axel jump is also known as the Axel Paulsen jump, since the jump was invented by a figure skater named Axel Paulsen. He first did the jump on speed skates in 1882. That's why the jump is spelled A-x-e-l, with the capital "A."
"Getting an Axel"It takes time to master an Axel jump. Sometimes it takes years for skaters to master it. Once a skater "gets an Axel," double jumps can come quite easily.
Doing AxelsMany figure skaters do Axels by entering the jump from back crossovers. Others do a forward inside mohawk and then glide backward on an extended back outside edge.
They then step forward and bend the skating knee as if they are about to do a waltz jump, and they bend the arms and elbows back. Then, with a swinging motion, the skaters bring the free leg in front and bend the free leg's knee while bringing the leg forward. Next, the skaters bring the arms forward and jump off the ice at the same time that they swing the free leg forward.
The arms pull in tightly to the chest, and the skater begins to rotate in the air. The original free leg crosses the original skating leg during the first half-turn of rotation. Then, the jump is completed with a total of one and one-half revolutions in the air. The landing is the same as that of other jumps -- that is, first to the toe pick, quickly moving to a smooth glide onto a back outside edge. The rotation is checked by bringing the arms out and extending the free leg back. The checked position should be held for a distance equal to the skater's height.