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Concept of this method

Method A is about "muscle-torque-thru-ankle-joint":

Apply a muscular force-pair ("torque") thru the ankle joint from the shin muscle, by pulling up with the front part of the foot against front part of the upper of the boot, and pushing down on the heel -- with the force coming primarily from isometric shin muscle activity.

Key steps to make this method effective

Very few people can get strong braking using only method A, because the main muscle used for method A is just not very big. But method A is a straightfoward way to supplement other methods, so it's worth working on it.

The keys for making this method work better are:

  • Develop lots more of the special muscular strength needed, usually by means of lots of practice.

Which implies that until that special strength ever arrives, you need some other method to deliver strong braking force when needed.

  • Pull up with the front part of your foot, the part out toward your toe -- as well as pushing down through your heel.

Do not pay attention to claims that pulling up with toe or front of braking foot is "bad form". That might perhaps be unnecessary or somehow bad for some other method, but pulling up with front of the braking foot is an essential component for method A.

  • Make sure that body-weight is not working against your braking.

If your heel-brake and/or skate + frame + brake configuration are currently "neutral" or "positive" under the Big B Test, then this is not a concern.

But most brakes + skates are "negative" under the Big B Test sometimes, especially when the brake pad is new. So when in doubt, follow this . . .

  • Do not try to shift your body weight forward to more over the braking skate.

For method A, do not listen to intuitively appealing advice to consciously shift your weight forward more over the braking skate -- that advice is for method B.

Trying to combine method B simultaneously with method A will result in reducing the braking force if the brake + skate are currently "negative" under the Big B Test. Or will give no help if the brake + skate are currently "neutral" under the Big B Test.

Only shift your weight consciously to the front skate for method A braking if you know that your brake + skate is currently "positive" under the Big B Test.

  • Consider using the special mechanical assistance of a leash.


Cuff of boot must permit sufficient freedom in forward-flexing of the ankle joint to move the toe and the knee toward each other.

note: The "equipment test" for B is important for A even if you don't care about B: Because if gravity is working against you (ankle joint in front of rear-wheel-ground-contact), then A is most effective with most of body-weight focused on the rear supporting wheel. But if gravity is working in your favor, then A is more effective with more weight focused on the front wheel.


Works best with the braking foot ahead of the supporting foot -- the "scissor" position. Farther ahead if the gap between brake pad and pavement is larger. (Seems like this is the easiest balance requirement of the three methods).

Strength required

Requires lots of isometric shin-muscle strength (and perhaps other muscles and structures) to achieve a strong quick stop. The shin muscle is not very strong for most people, so lots of people are not even going to be able to achieve a "moderately-effective" stop in their first days of using only method A. With practice, most people's shin muscle will get significantly stronger over several weeks or months, so then A could add significant force to other stopping methods. But I've never heard of anyone who suggested you could develop your shin muscle strong enough to rely only on A for quick stop from normal skating speed.

Interactions with other methods

A usually works well in support of B, and anyway B requires some of the same kind of strength. The C position is not the best for A, but I think some people will make their stop in two phases: start with focus on A, then finish with focus on C.

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