Skating Fridays

Salchow or Waltz Jump?

A few weeks ago, I shared the video from my most recent competition with you. I also shared that on my protocol, the technical controller called one of my elements a waltz jump instead of a salchow (as I had planned it). I posted the video to an adult figure skating message board to see what they thought and how it should have been coded.

I know that many of you reading this are not figure skaters so I will do my best to explain the differences in the takeoffs for a waltz jump and a salchow. I’d love to get your thoughts on how you’d “call” this element. Don’t worry, I’ve already enlisted the help of my coaches to get their take on what to do the next time so we avoid this debacle moving forward. I’m just curious to understand what you see and what your opinion is.

A waltz jump takes off from a forward outside edge. The outside edge is generally pretty pronounced, and skaters glide on that edge for at least a few blades lengths prior to takeoff. The free leg typically drags behind the skating leg and kicks through on the takeoff.

A salchow starts on a backwards inside edge, pivots on the toe pick and takes off going forward. The backwards inside edge can be achieved through a forward outside 3-turn entry, mohawk entry, backward crossover entry (a “cross-cut” as they say in Canada) or any other move that results in a backwards inside edge. Salchows and waltz jumps are cousins since the rotation in the air is very similar/the same after takeoff.

My salchow takes off from an Ina Bauer, which is unusual so it probably baffled the technical panel. Take a look:

What element would you call this? Please comment below!


  1. Lexi
    November 26, 2021 / 7:59 pm

    I would’ve called it a sal, but slowed down it looks like you took off forward off of your toe, so I can see how they would call it a waltz jump. If you’re going to keep the Ina opening, I would be sure you hold the back inside edge going into the sal and make sure you aren’t taking off forward.

    • evabakes
      November 28, 2021 / 12:05 pm

      Thanks, Lexi!

  2. KL
    November 27, 2021 / 12:04 am

    I’m a clockwise adult skater too. I can see why this jump was called as a waltz, as the first 5 times I watched in slo-mo it looked like you took off from a forward edge. Technically the salchow takes off from a backward edge although it ends up being at least 1/4 forward…

    • evabakes
      November 28, 2021 / 12:06 pm

      Thanks for your insights!

  3. Wynne
    November 29, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Well, I’m probably your most amateur commenter, but it looked to me like you took off while skating backward. So I wouldn’t have called it a waltz. I viewed at a couple speeds.

    • evabakes
      November 29, 2021 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Wynne! It’s always fascinating to understand what others see!

      • Wynne
        December 2, 2021 / 7:19 am

        It’s also fascinating to think that it’s not enough to do an element, you might have to set it up like a photograph, so that the judges perceive what you intend. Like any art, where you might have to overemphasize something to make sure it reaches the audience. Sorry that didn’t work to your benefit this time–an Ina Bauer entry sounds like a really cool variation!

        • evabakes
          December 2, 2021 / 7:48 am

          Oh well – I’d rather get the feedback now in a minor competition than to have this happen at a major competition! 😄

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