Tutorial Tuesday: Roller Skate Backwards

This is one of my favourite skills to teach, as once you know the secret it's really easy!

Yes, even beginner roller skaters who have only had their skates on for a short while can skate backwards on flat ground.

Before you get started:

Check that the ground behind you is smooth and free from trip hazards (little stones, cracks, you know what I'm talking about.) If there is something there, at least you will be aware before starting.

Make sure you are comfortable on your roller skates and bend your knees to regain your balance.

How to roller skate backwards.

I favour training your body to start with backwards lemons straight away, over a backwards push and glide, just because your weight remains central and I think it's easier to balance.

Step 1: with feet hip width apart, bring your toes inward to form an 'A' shape. Bend your knees slightly and push through your toes.

Your feet will go wider and return to parallel. Try to look up rather than at your feet and keep your knees bent.

Practise this a few times.

Step 2: from the widest part of the lemon, pull your heels back together so they form a wide 'V' shape , although you never want your heels to touch!

What's the secret?

Making sure your feet are always in either the A or V shapes, at a diagonal. Also don't look at your feet. Should you roll to a stop, look at your feet and you will likely find that your feet are parallel.

As you become more comfortable with the movement, start to look over your shoulder in the direction you are skating.

I suggest you put one hand behind you to open up your shoulder and make it easier to turn your head.

Once you can skate backwards, it's really fun! Develop those backwards lemons and get them nice and smooth.

What shall we learn next time?

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