Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
The quad era has officially exploded!! We have seen a recent surge of skaters attempting multiple quads in a single program, and videos of crazy quad jumps from practices across the globe (see the videos near the end of this post!!). Not that long ago, a quad jump was a rare event. Today, skaters must have at least one quad to be competitive, and maybe two or three quads in their programs to set themselves apart. How far can skaters push the physical limits of the human body?
Kurt Browning landed the first ratified quad, a quad toe, at 1988 World Championships. After this, the Royal Glenora Skating Club in Edmonton was renamed Quad Country. Well, I think Quad Country has now officially moved to the Cricket Club in Toronto. A skating club that boasts skater like Yuzuru, Nam and Javier, it’s not hard to see why I think this.
Here is my Yuzu Quad summary.
I believe that Yuzu’s quad toe is the most consistent quad toe amongst the men’s field today. Yuzu’s quad toe appears to be as effortless as his triple axel. The height and distance Yuzu travels across the ice during the quad toe is a thing of beauty! Yuzu’s Quad Toe is technically textbook perfect.
This video includes all of Yuzu’s quad attempts in all of his competitions from 2010 to the end of 2014 Worlds. It shows both the successful attempts, and the unsuccessful attempts of both Yuzu’s quad toe and quad salchow. The competition names are on the top right corner of the screen for each attempt. This is an awesome collection of footage by the creator of the video!!
Collection of Yuzu Quads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKaqYcNvxdw
The Quad Salchow seems to be Yuzu’s nemesis. I’m sure it will become more consistent once Yuzu has had enough time to practice it, however this season has been pretty brutal for him in terms of injuries and training time, even though he won the Grand Prix Final and Japan Nationals. Generally speaking, given his struggles with the quad salchow, I would think initially that Yuzu is more of a toe jumper, rather than an edge jumper. However, if you watch the ease of his triple axels and triple loops, that throws that theory out the window. For a lot of the times when Yuzu has missed the quad salchow, you can see him land on a severe edge, so it has been a matter of jump height (and maybe a small lean in the air). When Yuzu gets enough height on the take off he has no trouble landing beautiful quad salchows, as evidenced by the video below at the Grand Prix Final.
This short video includes slow motion of the cleanest Quad Salchow one I have seen Yuzu land, which was at the 2014 Grand Prix final.
Yuzu started training the Quad Loop in order to help him with the consistency of his Quad Salchow. Surprisingly, his Quad Loop is reportedly more consistent than the Quad Salchow. Yuzu always does things the hard way!! The loop is a harder jump as you don’t have the momentum of your free leg and heel kicking through and leading/driving the jump into the air like you do with the salchow. After seeing the clip below, I’m definitely leaning towards the thought that Yuzu is more of an edge jumper. There is some serious glut strength here to be able to have that beautiful take off. Hopefully we will get to see this beautiful Quad Loop in one of his competitive programs in the future!
Quad Loop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5w-8-3Bprg
Confirmation from Brian Orser that Yuzuru has also landed clean Quad Lutzes. I have not seen any video on Yuzu’s Quad Lutz yet, as it has only happened in private practice. Given his most recent struggles with the triple lutz, both as a standalone jump and in combination, I’m surprised that he was working on a quad lutz, but I’m sure it’s fun and a challenge for him!!
Quick note: On November 12, 2011, Brandon Mroz (USA) landed a Quad Lutz at the NHK Trophy, becoming the first skater to land a Quad Lutz in international competition. Mroz landed a Quad Lutz at an earlier competition and it was ratified however, this is the first ISU event that a Quad Lutz was successfully landed.
Quad Flip I think Yuzu will master the Quad Axel before he gets the Quad Flip!! I’m not sure what it is with Yuzu and flips. Yuzu has had issues with his triple flip in the past, and it is definitely not his most consistent jump. I think most of the men’s field would relish the thought that their triple axel was their most consistent jump, like Yuzu seems to. I am not aware that Yuzu is even working on a Quad Flip yet or rather, he simply hasn’t had the time this season.
Max Aaron has been practicing a Quad Axel with the assistance of a harness. Here is a video of the attempt. While it was not landed successfully, you can see how close it is!! Who would have thought this was even physically possible? Well, apparently it is!
Max’s Quad Axel: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152719278178450
Will Yuzu be the first to land a Quad Axel?? I’m not sure his body can take it!! However, he does have the most natural triple axel out of any of the men’s field, and can even do a triple axel from a standstill position, so my money is on Yuzu for the Quad Axel!!
Triple Axel from standstill: http://hanyyuzu.tumblr.com/post/93892965792/nonchan1023-a-triple-axel-from-standing
As a special bonus, here is footage of Takahito Mura with his quad quad toe combination during practice!!! Yes, you read it correctly, a quad/quad combination!! It is shown at about 1:12 of the video. Amazing, then of course, they show his real quads….they are huge!
Mura Quad Quad: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2bf7t9_141130キリトル_sport
Will we see Yuzu’s quad salchow being replaced with his more consistent quad loop next season or will he stick with the quad salchow? My guess is that he will keep the quad salchow in place, but I would love to see him do a quad loop in competition!
World Championships are less than a month away!!! Go Yuzu Go!!!