Figure skating 101 - Dec. 7

Pair skating throw jumps

Pang and Tong execute a throw triple Salchow.
Pang and Tong execute a throw triple Salchow. (Getty Images)


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By Jo Ann Schneider Farris, special to
(12/07/2007) - Are you having trouble getting enough height on your jumps? How about taking up pair skating? If you are female, you will have a chance to get thrown in the air! Does that sound like fun?

Types of Throw Jumps

Types of pair skating throw jumps vary. New pair skaters will do throw loop jumps or throw Axels. Advanced and elite pair skaters do throw double Axels, throw triple Salchows, throw triple loops, and throw triple jumps.

Throw jumps are really standard figure skating jumps that are assisted. The female pair skater gets an added push from the man. That added push gives the lady more height and distance. Sometimes the lady can be thrown almost clear across the width of an arena. When the lady is thrown that far and falls, the move can be quite dangerous. The female has to be careful that she doesn't smash into the rail!

Throw Jumps Versus Twist Lifts

Twist lifts have some similarities to throw jumps, but are not throw jumps. In a twist lift, the male lifts the female in the air and then throws her. She rotates and twists and then he catches her on the waist and assists her with landing. In a throw jump, the man cannot help the lady land the move.

One similarity between throw jumps and twists lifts is that the lady lands both moves on a back outside edge.

Throw Jump Firsts

U.S. pair skaters Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent made history on November 17, 2007 when they landed the first quadruple throw Salchow at Trophée Eric Bompard, one of the events in the 2007 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, 2006 U.S. Pair Skating Champions Rena Inoue and John Baldwin landed the first throw triple Axel. In fact, Inoue and Baldwin's website states that they are the first and only pair skating team to land that particular throw.

Try a Throw Jump

If you'd like to try a throw jump, first begin with something easy and simple like a throw waltz jump. Next, try a throw Salchow or a throw loop. Throw Axels come quickly if a skater already has a good Axel jump. Don't worry about entering the move with great speed at first. The male skater must learn to be patient with the lady as they work together to master a throw. Of course, you'll need a partner to try a throw jump!

Happy Skating!

For more information on the fundamentals of figure skating visit the U.S. Figure Skating's Basic Skills Program.