The three most notable jumps performed in modern figure skating are named for their originators—the Salchow, for Ulrich Salchow, the Axel, for Axel Paulson, and the Lutz, named for Alois Lutz, the Austrian who first performed this maneuver in competition in 1913.
The Lutz is a jump that illustrates how the toe picks that are cut into a figure skater's blades are used to the best advantage. The toe pick is the serrated portion of the skate blade located at the toe that permits the skater to achieve stability when preparing for a jump or executing a pivot, by driving the pick into the ice surface.
The Lutz has three phases in its execution, with a preparatory period, the jump, and the landing. The rules of figure skating judging provide that the skater must not only execute the takeoff and aerial components of the jump, the skater must also land flawlessly if they are to receive the maximum score available for the jump. Each figure skating jump is assigned a recognized level of difficult to be factored into the scoring of the skater; the Lutz is recognized as the most difficult of the jumps requiring the skater to use the toe pick.
To perform the Lutz, the skater begins the preparatory phase by skating in a wide arc. The skater will use the edge of the skate blades to push off form the ice surface to generate lift. The Lutz requires the skater to move from the back edge of one skate to land on the back edge of the opposite skate. As the skater transcribes the arc, the skater uses the toe pick to drive their body in a direction opposite to that of the arc skated. As the skater jumps from one edge to the other, the skater will perform a single, double or triple rotation in the air. The number of rotations, described as a single, double, triple Lutz, add to the degree of difficulty.
Alois Lutz executed what would later be referred to as a single Lutz in 1913. Donald Jackson, the Canadian world champion, was the first man to execute a triple Lutz, in 1962.