The Flutz (or why you should watch all body positions at all times or risk a Coke can to the head)

I was there when the term "flutz" was coined. No, it does not mean you tried to do a lutz and you did it on the wrong edge so it came out to be a flip. At least it didn't back then.

Honestly, the only part of a jump takeoff worth judging is the last three inches. That is when the blade is in place for takeoff, you're ready to spring, and the takeoff edge is dug in strongest.

I see some of you guys judging four or five inches out. Even six to ten feet. Belle could pull five legitimate edge swaps in a ten-foot distance and still be ready for takeoff. It only took her one to two seconds to get in place. All you need to brace yourself is those three inches. Those long stretches of pre-jump time are fine if you feel it helps, but a three-inch takeoff distance was Wildcat standard.

You don't like my edge talk, there are 100,000 other skating sites on the Net that will accommodate you. 'Bye.

Yowrfff. Puh-leeze. Edge. First sentence of the site, used to be. What more do you need to know? (Still well within the intro, as I recall.)

I will preach edges until the day I die. Listen or don't. That's all skating is.

Rowrff. Let's go on. Oooohk. Now. Where were we?

Political correctness stops here.

Okay . You've got the idea on lutz edges. Now. What a "flutz" used to be is a small screwup in a position, visible if you knew what you were looking for, and generally one that was going to affect the next few seconds' worth of skating. A small thing that affected large things.

The first use of this word that I am familiar with was in late November 1975, when Irina Rodnina committed a small positioning mistake that messed up a couple of turns for her. Andrew flew out of his seat and said, "She really flutzed that one, didn't she?" He was ready with the Coke can the next time. Only later did the term begin to be used (and never by a Wildcat that I heard) to indicate an edge problem with a lutz takeoff. That was technically known as a "bad jump." The turn in question might have been a mohawk or a choctaw; Andrew was quite frankly in front of the TV.

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What? Me? I didn't flutz at all! My arms were perfectly fine!