Intro to Two-Foot Turns:
After my first series of skating skills posts that compared the similarities and differences of one-foot turns, it seemed only natural to now address two-foot turns. There are less of these two-foot turns, with only two types of turns referred to as “Mohawks” and “Choctaws” comprising this category. However, they still possess clear differences that without proper understanding of definition (and in my opinion well designed diagrams) can be hard to comprehend.
So let’s begin with some definitions;
Skate Australia defines a turn as being ‘a change of direction’ further defining a two-foot turn in their Australian Artistic Committee Dictionary as a ‘turn produced with both feet by changing from one foot to the other’.
World Skate defines Two-foot turns as being ‘Mohawks, choctaws. For the Choctaws, the exit edge will be used to define the direction of the turn (e.e. LFI-RBO, the direction will be considered anticlockwise).’
So what does this all mean? A two-foot turn is a change in direction of skating (i.e. forwards to backwards or backwards to forwards) that involves both feet. This is a clear distinction from one-foot turns (i.e. counters and brackets) of which involve a change of direction on a single foot.
The 2 different two-foot turns:
A mohawk is a change of skating direction using both feet that does not involve change of edge.
A choctaw is a change of skating direction using both feet that includes a change of edge. Choctaws are exceptionally important in Roller Figure Skating as they comprise a ‘feature’ in Freeskating & Dance Footwork Sequences used to increase the level or difficulty of the element.
Summary of Differences
- Change of Edge: Mohawks do not possess a change of edge, however choctaws do.
- Change in overall Trajectory: As you can see from the diagrams a Mohawk results in a change of overall trajectory (i.e. initially travelling in the northern direction and then after changing feet the skater is now heading in the southern direction), whereas Choctaws do not involve a change in overall trajectory (i.e. the turn begins and ends traveling in the same direction be it north or south).
Whilst these turns may seem relatively simple in comparison to one-foot turns as there are only two differences between the two types of turn, in fact they can be quite hard to implement because both mohawks and choctaws contain different styles of execution that can be hard to distinguish.
As a result, in the next two posts we will delve deeper into the specific differences between each variation of a mohawk and choctaw two-foot turn, hopefully providing some visual aids to comprehend the complicated system!
Founder of Māia Fitness
Skate Australia (2012). Australian Artistic Committee Dictionary. Edition 4. Retrieved from https://www.sk8info.org.au/manuals/dictionary.pdf
World Skate. (2019a). Rules for Artistic Roller Skating Competitions General 2020 Retrieved from