How to improve the quad loop of Hanyu?
How to improve the quad loop of Hanuy? Yes, agree the title of this article sounds a bit pretentious. However, as video analysis expert, it's my job to observe and study quad jumps. Yuzuru Hanyu, Olympic Champion in 2014, is an amazing japanese skater with an impressive prize list. He is also a great competitor with a good fighting spirit and fair-play. Yuzuru likes to challenge himself. That's why this season, he jumps quad loop in his Short Program (SP).
During the ISU Grand Prix Finale 2016/17 at Marseille, France, Hanuy executed a quad loop as solo jump in his SP. This time, during the preparation of the jump, his upper boby was a bit too much angled ( 47°) . This position impacted the body angle in the air ( 26°). According the data collected on Yuzuru, his body angle in the air is more leaning than the others elite skaters.
Analysis of the start
Hanyu is doing some steps before the jump. The preparation of the jump really starts on the freeze frame with the upper body angle, 47° ( Detail A). After this freeze frame, he is doing a huge bending down of this right knee. As you can see on the picture below, the length of the jump is not really long, only around 130cm ( In general, over 200cm).
On the detail B, I highlighted the most inclined body angle of Hanyu, 26°. Result of his position during the preparation.
- Advanced analysis with a stromotion effect. It can be explained by the global position. Please have a look on the picture below. 2 vertical red lines: on the A line, we can see clearly that his head is more forward than his blade (toe pick part). On the B line, 4 freeze frames after, Yuzuru is almost aligned but his head should be aligned with his left heel (minimum). In general, a skater uses the same technique to jump a single, double, triple or quad jump. Yes, in general. few skaters are jumping quad loop, flip and lutz. So, not so much data. What we can guess, it will be the same that to execute a triple axel. Many techniques possible but only few are really efficient to succeed.
What if? If...
Yes, the best part. Trying to change what it's done. The body angles in the air vary between 5° and 20° according my observations on triple and quad jumps. Time to do some theory. So, imagine IF the body angle of Hanyu was only 20° ( An angle between 10° and 17° would be more efficient of course), what will be the difference? To get 20°, Hanyu should be around 57° instead of 47°. Yes, only 10°. It's really a small change but when you are doing a quad jump, flying in the air less than 1s ( 0.666s), all details are essentials.
For example, the body angle of Nathan Chen who won the Free Skating in this competition, is around 16° in his quad lutz. And he did an amazing quad. Did you see the quad lutz of Nathan? Really amazing.
And what will happen to the landing part?
What is a normal landing? Do you know how a skater lands his jump? First, the skater touches the ice with his toe pick then the blade presses the ice. The first contact with the ice is the toe pick, the big one. It's to balance the landing. Hanyu touched the ice with his toe pick then used a little bit the forward part of his blade. The next move on his blade is because of Yuzuru's body angle. Like he is clearly too angled, he used his blade to get balance and braked to get almost no speed. I call this "landing on toe pick", because he stayed long on it.
Yuzuru scored 10.97 points instead of 12 points ( Base value Score). He did, as second jump, a quad salchow combo (4S+3T) with a majority of Grade Of Execution +3 ( 4 judges of 7 credited his jump by GEO+3, what is the maximum). If Hanuy would have a preparation with an upper body around 57°, his landing angle would be 8°, instead of 10°. Better landing. Better score.
On the picture above, detail the angle of his body axis and ankle. The range of motion of his ankle is around 44° according the transverse plane. Note that it's the maximum range of motion for the ankle ( According biomechanical data) .
How did Yuzuru to succeed his jump despite his angled position in the air? Any idea
The anwser is simple: Pattern 99 from John Wilson. No, no, I don't do product placement. Yuzuru is using Pattern 99, the length of his blade is 28.2 cm. Size is 39 (European size). 12" radius part measures 3.3cm / 27" radius part measures 4.7cm / 8 foot radius measures around 20.14cm. (Sorry, too technical and not sure you are interested on that).
The most important part on this blade, that is interesting to talk, is toe picks. They are bigger than the other Elite blades ( For example , Gold Seal by John Wilson, no, no placement product).
It's significant to remind you that the rotation of a toe-pick jump is created with the toe-pick. But the most important use of the toe picks is for the landing. The skater touches the ice first with his toe pick, then the rest of the blade. In this case, the design of the toe picks part is really essential. With 2 big picks instead of one, it allows Yuzuru to figure out his landing. He used a lot on his 2 toe picks ( circled in red) to keep his balance.
I'm really excited to see how he will improve this jump. Waiting for Four Continents championships in February and World Championships in March....