This article is from the Recreational Figure Skating FAQ, by Karen Bryden with numerous contributions by others.
A toe-loop is a toe-assisted jump done from a RBO edge (for CCW
jumpers)- usually after a RFI 3-turn. The free (left) leg is extended
far behind and the toepick is planted on the circle behind the
direction of travel and used as a pole vault. The skater rises, does
one rotation in the air and lands on a RBO edge.
When you put your pick in, put it in BEHIND you; make sure that your
free leg does not cross behind the skating leg before picking. Also,
make sure that both your torso and free leg are facing backwards to
the direction of travel as you pick. If you let your shoulders turn
around before you pick or turn out your free leg (so that your toepick
is facing forwards as you pick) you will do what is known as a
TOE-WALTZ. Once you learn this "cheat" it is hard to undo and it will
make it harder to achieve a double toe-loop further along the road.
If you are having trouble getting up the nerve to actually jump this
jump, try the following: do a RFI 3-turn, put your pick in the ice far
behind you, but don't jump, instead, use the pick to pivot around on
the RBO edge about one quarter of a turn; then push off the pick and
do another RFI 3 turn, pivot around the pick again, etc...This is
basically a series of "toe-assisted" RBO threes. One of these times,
though, when you put in the pick, don't to the 3 -- jump instead. The
series of 3s will get you used to how much rotation you need, and will
serve as a stepping stone. for the jump.
Here are a few tips to watch for:
-- Make sure the check is strong. When you put your pick in, your left
arm should be well forward, and you should be sighting down the left
arm toward your hand.The right arm is slightly behind you and off to
-- Make sure that you point the toe-pick and drive the top picks into
the ice. This will not only make the take-off more secure, but it will
make it harder to turn out the picking foot.
-- Although the toe-loop is nominally a full rotation jump, in the
practice you will be doing at least a quarter to a half rotation on
the ice. This is not bad technique, as long as your shoulders and
picking leg turn together as a unit and face the same direction
throughout the take-off.