New skills

Skill watch: The Van Wicklen?

Colin Van Wicklen wasn’t fazed by competing at the World Championships in Doha with nary a world cup -- or any other international competition -- under his belt. “I’m 100 percent ready for this,” the American said last fall. “This is the perfect way for me to make a name for myself on the international stage.”

Doing well at your first ever international competition, especially when it happens to be a world championship, is one way to get your name out there. The other, of course, is to invent a skill. (That way your name isn’t just out there, it’s in the code of points forever.) Having accomplished the one, seems Van Wicklen is readying to do the other.

Behold, the double front pike full out, which, if submitted and competed successfully by him at just about any world cup event this year, could be dubbed the Van Wicklen forevermore. Front double pikes have proven more popular than ever this quad, as have the half-out variety. The double front pike is an E skill in the men’s code of points, worth 0.5 when performed correctly. The half out is an F, worth 0.6, so it follows that the full out would likely be classed as a G skill, worth 0.7.

Only two skills worth more on men’s floor exercise: the triple back tuck, named for Valeri Liukin, and the triple twisting double layout, named for Kenzo Shirai. Both are H-level skills, and worth 0.8 to whoever performs them well.