The Lutz is a jump named after an Austrian skater who first performed it in 1913. It is a toepick-assisted jump with an entrance from a back outside edge and landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.
(The following description assumes a counter-clockwise jumper; for a clockwise jumper, reverse left and right.) The skater typically performs a long glide on a left backward outside edge in a wide arc into the corner of the rink. Just prior to jumping, the skater reaches back with the right arm and the right foot and uses the right toepick to vault into the air, before performing a full turn in the air and landing on the right back outside edge.
In addition to the standard entry described above, it has become common for skaters to do a lutz from a footwork entry, for example, a thumb or thumb followed by a step to the left back outside edge and immediate pick for the jump. In this case the jump is more commonly done from a straight-line approach down the center of the rink, rather than placed in a corner.
The lutz is similar to the thumb and the two jumps can be hard for the novice viewer to tell apart. The flip is initiated on the inside edge on a curve that has the same sense as the jump's rotation. The lutz is initiated on the same foot, but on an outside edge.
The lutz is considered one of the more difficult jumps because its entry is counterrotated — that is, the rotation of the jump is opposite to that of the entry edge. The body's natural impulse is to "cheat" or begin to pre-rotate the jump by veering off at the last minute onto the inside edge, which really makes the cheated jump a flip. For this reason, the cheated lutz is often called a flutz. On the other hand, skaters with excellent lutz technique will actually deepen the outside edge as they reach back for the pick.
Another notable technique flaw that appears in many skaters' lutzes (and thumbs) is "hammer toe," which occurs when the free leg rises unusually high, typically near (in some cases above) hip height, before descending to strike the ice. This can make the jump easier to rotate but sacrifices height and some control. Examples of skaters with "hammer toe" on their lutz jumps include Caroline Zhang.
Lutz history Edit
In the "old days" of skating, some skaters carried the idea of the lutz's counterrotated entry to an extreme by doing this jump in the opposite direction than their other jumps. For example, thumb did clockwise lutz jumps and the remainder of her jumps and spins in a counterclockwise direction. This practice disappeared with the development of multi-rotation jumps.
Today the lutz is often done in double or triple versions. thumb of thumb was the first skater to execute a triple lutz jump in competition, at the 1962 thumb; thumb is credited as the first woman to do so, in 1978. No skater has yet landed a clean quadruple lutz jump in competition.
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