Skating backwards isn’t necessary unless you’re a hockey player or figure skater. But even if you’re none of these things, knowing how to skate backwards makes your skating experience more rewarding. So, how long does it take to learn how to ice skate backwards.
You can learn to skate backwards within weeks or months. It’ll depend on the kind of backward skating technique you’re trying to learn. The common ones are the S-shape curve, C cut, and Backward crossover. It’s always good to know how to do multiple methods, which will add elegance to your skating.
However, learning to ice skate backwards can be tricky, so learn to get over the fear of falling before starting. Here, we discuss how long to learn ice skating backwards and the various techniques for doing it.
How Quickly Can You Learn How to Ice Skate Backwards?
You can learn to skate backwards on ice with one session. But actually, mastering skating backwards can take around a month or two. There are also different techniques for skating backwards, each with its complexities. This means some might take you more time to learn than others. For example, the S-shape curve and C cut are easy to learn, and you can master them within weeks. But backward crossovers can be quite tough for some people. In some cases, it can take up to a year to learn it. But most people will do so in months.
How To Skate Backwards
There are several methods for skating backwards. Generally, backward skating is similar to forwarding skating, and all you have to do is learn everything in reverse. Here, we discuss the common methods for skating backwards on ice and how to do them.
1. The S-shape Curve
This is the standard way for skating backward. Start by pointing your toes inward so you can use the outsides of your skates to move backwards. Next, push the skates forward and out with your heels and curve them towards the center of your body. By continuously repeating this process, you’ll be able to move backwards. You also need to bend backwards as you can’t skate without bent knees. Bend your knees slightly while your torso stays upright as if you’re sitting on a chair. With your knees bent, your bottom would be closer to the ice.
When starting, your toes should be facing each other. In this position where your toes almost touch one another, you’ll feel your legs splitting apart, which is quite normal. In that case, turn your skates so that your heels will be pointing inwards to the center of your body. Also, keep both skates on ice and push. As you get better, you can start lifting your legs with each move. Make sure your skates are shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Keep your shoulders in a straight line too. Spreading your legs gives you the much-needed balance and power you’ll need to move backwards.
You can also push off a wall to start skating backwards and lean on a hockey stick to maintain your stability. If you don’t have that, you can put your hands on your knees for peace. When skating backwards, you’re pushing with your heels. Backward skating is all about making S-shaped curves backward. Continuously repeating the S curve is what makes you go back.
2. The C cut
This is another way to skate backward with ease. It’s generally the best position if you want to skate backwards with ease. It’s called the C cut because your skates will be making the C shape on ice when you move this way.
Start this move by bending your knees to move your feet fast. Your torso should be upright and keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Keep your skates apart by shoulder-length with both facing straight forward. Then take small steps backwards as if you’re slowly moving away with your back. You can push yourself back with each step, allowing you to build momentum. You can also choose to push yourself from a wall.
As you take steps backwards, point the toes inwards so that the skates face each other. Then use your right foot to push to the right and away from your body, then pull your right heel back to the center of your body. This move will form the C shape. Repeat the same with the left foot. After completing the first C, bring the right skate to the starting position and use the opposite foot to do the same thing. As you’re alternating both feet, you’ll notice that you’re also gaining momentum.
3. Backwards Crossovers
If you’ve been able to master the first two ways to skate backward, you can make yourself more versatile by learning the backwards crossover. This is much more graceful and allows you to change directions. It’s also easy to learn backward crossovers. In this move, you can move in a direction by switching the feet in that direction. Backward crossovers involve crossing one foot over the other.
Start by standing straight, then bend your knees slightly. You can use crossovers to move forward too. Next, bring your right foot over the left and set the skate on ice. Cross your legs at the knees at this point. Then uncross the legs and bring the left foot around the back of the left, and set it on ice too. From there, return to the initial position.
Then you can repeat the process to keep gliding backwards. Your left leg should be behind your right before putting the right one over it. Depending on which works for you, you can try the S shapes or C cuts with backward crossovers.
You can change directions with a crossover by crossing your left leg over your body and then quickly uncrossing it with your right foot. This will shift your body horizontally when done correctly, and you can still maintain the backward momentum.
Learning to skate backwards on ice is not so hard. But there are different ways to move, and the one you’re trying to learn might make the process a bit difficult for you. But there’s nothing you can’t learn in a month with enough practice. Since you already know how to skate, all you’re doing will be filling the script.