The flip jump (usually just flip) is a Figure skating which takes off a backward inside edge with a toe pick assist, and lands on the backward outside edge of the opposite foot.

Flip techniqueEdit

The most common entry into a flip, for a counterclockwise jump, is a long forward straight-line glide on the left foot down the center of the rink with the (right) free foot held forward. Then the skater uses the toe of the right foot to push into a left forward outside 3 turn, reaching back to pick with the right foot to vault into the jump from the left back inside edge immediately after the turn. The skater performs one or more rotations in the air before landing on a right back outside edge.

The flip can also be entered from a Mohawk turn, and lends itself well to being performed out of a more complicated footwork approach.

In British English, the flip is sometimes called a toe salchow, but in fact it is a mistake to think of the jump as a toe pick-assisted salchow because the technique and mechanics of the two jumps are very different. The flip is actually quite similar in mechanics to the Loop jump; in both jumps, the rotation comes from the right side of the body (for counterclockwise rotation), and the left leg is already crossed in front of the right in what is called a back spin position when the skater springs into the air.

One notable technique flaw that appears in many skaters' flips (and Lutz jumps) is "hammer toe," which occurs when the free leg rises unusually high, typically near (in some cases above) hip height, before descending to strike the ice. This can make the jump easier to rotate but sacrifices height and some control. Examples of skaters with "hammer toe" on their flip jumps include Caroline Zhang and Sasha Cohen.



The flip is also similar to the Lutz jump, a toe-assisted jump which takes off a back outside rather than back inside edge. In the same way that some skaters flutz, or turn an intended lutz jump into a flip by mistakenly changing to the wrong edge on the takeoff, some skaters have a tendency to lip their flips by mistakenly changing to an outside edge so that it is actually a lutz jump. Some skaters never manage to get on a strong edge for either the flip or lutz, a habit that is probably reinforced by the trend to enter both of these jumps from a straight line rather than on a curve. Skating purists tend to cringe at wrong-edge takeoffs, but in recent years it has become increasingly common for judges to overlook these faults. During the 2007 Grand Prix series this trend changed; the technical judges began penalizing wrong-edge takeoffs on all skaters.

Flip variantsEdit

A half-rotation jump with a flip entrance, typically landed on the left toe pick and right forward inside edge for a counterclockwise jump, is called a half flip. The half flip, in turn, forms the basis for the common Split jump, in which the skater achieves either a front-to-back or sideways (Russian or straddle) split position at the apex of the jump. A full-rotation flip jump with a split position is sometimes seen as well; this is called a split flip. In the past, it was also quite common for skaters to perform a one-and-a-half flip jump as an element in jump sequences or as a highlight in step sequences.

In general, the International Skating Union's new "code of points" judging system now discourages skaters from putting variety jumps such as the split flip or one-and-a-half flip into their competitive programs because they count towards the number of permitted jumps but carry a very low point value.

Flip historyEdit

The origin of the flip jump is not well documented. The jump was formerly known as a Mapes, but it is not known for certain if Bruce Mapes was the inventor. It was certainly being commonly performed by the 1930's. A few male skaters, including Terry Kubicka, were landing triple flips in competition by the mid-1970's. Katarina Witt was one of two female skaters to land a triple flip for the first time at the 1981 European Championships.

No skater has yet successfully landed a quadruple flip in competition.

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