No routine is complete without a double or triple lutz. In this jump the skater goes backwards on his left outside edge, generally for long enough to alert the spectator that the lutz is coming. Sometimes he will even glance nervously over his shoulder to check on his progress. He then digs his right toe into the ice, but instead of rotating in the natural direction (which would be clockwise) he goes against the normal flow of his body and rotates counter-clockwise. This makes the jump very difficult. The skater lands on a right back outside edge having done one, two or three complete revolutions in the air.
Additionally, since the approach to this jump is against the normal pattern of movement on a public rink, the jump is very difficult to practice. The skater has to check continually that he is not about to collide with someone. John Curry partly attributed his low double lutz to the crowded conditions of the Richmond rink where he trained for several years. Susan Jackson, an improving top-level British skater who changed, in 1983, from her home rink in Nottingham to Richmond to obtain the best school-figures instruction from Arnold Gerschwiler, also found the crowded conditions a problem.
Donald Jackson of Canada first accomplished the triple lutz in a World Championship in 1962. His performance was enough to gain the title and the most number of sixes ever given in that event a record he retained until Torvill and Dean took over that particular niche in history in 1982. Well behind in the school figures, which then accounted for 60 per cent of the event, his free skating, which included other innovations such as jumping with his arms above his head or with his arms folded, was so electrifying that the first to congratulate him was the mother of his rival, Karol Divin, who, skating in his home town, Prague, had held the lead until then.
Jackson later revealed that he had landed the triple lutz only four times before. He attempted the move because he was feeling so good that day.
Alexander Fadeev demonstrates the perfect landing position, with shoulders locked at right angles to the skates backward progression
In 1983 Scott Hamilton decided to forgo the sparkles and sequins that normally adorn skating outfits in an effort to give skating a more masculine image