Lunge Turns are great for making hard swerves in a fast-moving game of hockey or in an emergency situation. They are similar to Parallel Turns, except you place more weight over the forward skate. Once your Lunge Turns come naturally, you'll find them very handy for shaving off speed when skating down a long hill.
Excerpted from the newly released third edition of Get Rolling, here are two drills I use to teach Lunge Turns, followed by some tips for perfecting them.
Warm up: A-Frame to Lunge Turn
- Rolling at a moderate speed, start a leftward A-frame turn, rotating head, shoulders, hands and hips toward the left.
- Bend the left knee as you twist and move your chest toward it.
- Ride out the turn, and return to a normal, shoulder-width stance.
Learning the Lunge Turn
Use chalk or an object to mark the pavement with an imaginary 90-degree corner.
- Starting from at least 20 feet away, make a fast approach toward your corner.
- About 3 feet before you pass your mark, assertively scissors the left skate forward and turn your head and upper body toward the direction of the turn.
- Sink into a wide, low lunge, making sure to center your chest over the left knee as you transfer most of your weight to that skate. The trailing leg maintains some pressure, with the knee slightly bent.
- Allow centrifugal force to provide balance while both skates tip onto their left edges in the turn.
- Straighten up and narrow the gap between your skates to continue rolling in the new direction.
- Try to generate enough turning power to draw a full 180-degree U shape on the pavement with your skates.
The drills above describe a Lunge Turn toward the left, the right-handed skater's preferred turning direction. Regardless of your own preference, make it a point to spend extra time working on your awkward direction.
If you do not feel secure over your edges:
- Look over your left shoulder to rotate your shoulders a quarter turn more than the hips. Poke your left hip into the circle of your turn.
- Trust the sticking power of speed plus centrifugal force; allow your body to tilt onto the corresponding inside edges.
If your lunge turns feel exactly the same as your Parallel Turns:
- Put 70% of your weight over the leading skate and 30% on the trailing skate.
- Separate your skates into a longer stance and bend both knees more.
- Get your chest out over the leading knee.