The A-Frame Turn

A-frame turns are really extended smears performed by alternating your foot weighting. To turn right you weight your left skate. Since it is on the inside edge, it will track right when weighted. As you turn to the right you are now heel smearing - pivoting the skates on the ground thus creating the turn. The same smear that causes the right turn also functions as a brake because of wheel friction, working at an angle to your original direction. This is why beginners are taught the A-frame turn & brake first - your constantly smearing skates keep your speed low & control high!
As your A-frame turn skills improve, you will notice the individual elements of the A-frame turn - knees in/knees out which rotate the feet inside/outside, skate tilt, which controls how much 'edge' you are using (direction & speed control), smearing torque (speed control) & weight shifts which determines which skate edge establishes your turn direction. Also, Leg tension helps establish the turn radius, which is also is a good shock absorber & speed governor when used correctly. So........

1: Decide your turning direction

2: Create a forward motion at a sensible, safe speed using the ready position

3: Move to a nice wide A-frame, rolling your skates onto the inside edges, knees turned in

4: Now apply pressure by pressing down on the inside edge of your outside skate - sounds complicated, it is not!

5: Turn your upper body, including hips, in your chosen direction and try to keep your body in a 'Frankenstein' like rigid unit


When doing an A-frame turn, visualize your skates on train tracks & keep the pressure on the inside edges constant throughout the turn.

A rolling ready position - A wide A-frame - Apply pressure on one inside edge - A new direction!