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Ilia Malin’s Historic Quad Axel Revealed in Analysis

In every sport, some moments redefine the boundaries of what is possible.

Defying Gravity

For figure skating, that moment came when Ilia Malin, a young American prodigy, soared into the air, performed four and a half rotations, and landed soundly back on the ice – completing the elusive quad axel. This notoriously tricky move had been executed successfully in competition for the first time. This post will scrutinize the data behind this phenomenal jump, exploring the physical stamina, precision, and dedication needed to conquer such a formidable challenge.

To give a point of comparison, here are the primary data of the triple axel done by Ilia during his Free Skating at the Junior World Championship in March 2022

Flight time: 0.633s ( Time in the air)

Angular velocity of the snap: 23.62rad/s (he got his final air position in 0.266s, rotating around 360°). The Snap is the movement of arms and legs from the take-off to the final air position.

Launch angle: 41°. That’s the outcome of the vertical and horizontal velocity.

Height ( approximative): 74cm


Ilia performed this quad Axel during The Japan Open 2022 practice in the Saitama Super Arena.

Flight time: 0.800s

Angular velocity of the snap: 28.560rad/s

Launch angle: 42°.

Height ( approximative): 80cm

Length ( approximative): 314cm

What is very impressive about Ilia is that he can increase all the essential data of his quad axel. A few skaters are practicing this jump without getting it. It is possible to increase one parameter, for example, the flight time, by increasing the skating speed but failing to increase the flight time, resulting in a gain of a few extra degrees in the revolution.

Note: The height of Ilia is from his ISU bio, but he seems taller than 1m68. Probably 1m75-77. Unfortunately, no official confirmation.

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