|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
A mohawk is a turn in figure skating that involves a change of foot but not a change of edge. It can be done on either inside or outside edges.
The most common mohawk turn is the forward inside open mohawk. In this turn, the skater faces into the circle and the free foot is brought to the instep of the skating foot at an angle of 90° or more, before being placed on the ice on a backward inside edge during the transfer of weight. This leaves the former skating foot (and new free foot) behind the new skating foot after the turn. Along with the 3 turn, this is the most common way for skaters to change direction while skating, and is one of the first turns learned by beginning skaters.
In a closed mohawk, the transfer of weight happens with the free foot being placed behind the skating foot rather than at the instep, so that after the turn the new free foot is carried in front rather than behind.
Outside mohawks are similar, except that the skater faces outside of the circle. Again, there are both open and closed variants.
Mohawk turns are essentially executed with crossed feet, and this is reflected in the tracings. In a good mohawk turn, the weight transfer is executed smoothly, without jerking of the hips or upper body. It is somewhat easier to accomplish this if the skater has open hip joints and can turn out the free foot at a greater angle before placing it on the ice, but lack of flexibility can be compensated for with careful timing.
The corresponding turns from backward to forward do not involve crossed feet and are usually considered simple steps rather than mohawks.