Why Is the Quad So Difficult in Figure Skating?

Diagram: Rhett Allain

I’ll be honest — I really don’t know much about figure skating. It’s not even one of my favorite winter sports to watch. But here we are — thinking about the physics of the quad. Oh, what the heck is a quad? From what I understand, a quad is when a human on skates (other animals don’t count) jumps into the air and spins FOUR times around an axis from the head to the feet. I have to define the axis because a…

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Rhett Allain

Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.