Skating Fridays

Biggest Axel Ever

I learned the axel jump as an adult. I think it took 1-2 years for me to finally land one. It was super ugly, but it was rotated and clean. I lost the jump shortly after Addie was born, and it took a few more months to gain it back again.

This jump has been the bane of my existence. I’ve had so much trouble landing it in competition. I know it’s a mental hurdle, but it’s a hurdle nonetheless. In addition, it took me 8 full years to learn how to cross my legs mid-jump. Otherwise, I had an ugly stork leg position.

My former and current coaches have helped me tweak the axel jump to make it bigger and stronger. The most progress I made on the jump was actually during last summer’s stay-at-home orders when the world shut down around us. I worked on this jump off-ice a lot and got stronger.

After getting back on ice, I am still making tweaks to this jump. Thirteen years after initially landing it, I have finally gotten to a point where I am seeing and feeling progress. I typically clock in around 0.33 seconds from initial takeoff to landing (measured from the frame where my toe pick leaves the ice to the time it touches the ice on landing). I’m pleased that this particular jump measured from 0.37-0.40 seconds. My timing may be a few hundredths off because my frame timer program isn’t exactly the fanciest.

Regardless, I am thrilled that after a decade of making small improvements to this element, it’s actually improving. Hooray!


  1. April 23, 2021 / 5:56 pm

    Wow, the height and rotation are truly impressive. I can see the confidence in your take-off. Hats off, Eva–this axel is definitely solid!

    • evabakes
      April 26, 2021 / 2:25 pm

      Aw, thanks, Jo! It’s hard to see progress from day-to-day, but it’s cool to see it over longer periods of time. This is an element that has finally made some improvements!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *