Roller skating is a wonderful leisure activity and form of exercise. There are many moves to learn, and knowing how to roller skate backwards can add variety to your experience. So, how long does it take to learn how to roller skate backwards?
It’ll take you about three months to roller skate backwards, that’s if you can already skate forward. You can do it using the inverted V-shape method, where you push with your heels. Or you can try the toe-stop and push-off-the-wall methods. There are tips for learning to skate backwards faster.
When skating, remember to use protective equipment and the right gear. This can save you from injuries bound to happen when learning new moves. Here, we discuss how to roller skate backward, methods for doing it, and the duration for learning how to do it.
How to Roller Skate Backwards
Once you can skate forward, the principle for skating backwards is the same, except that you’ll be doing everything in reverse. Here are the steps
1. Turn Your Feet to Form an Inverted V Shape
The first step is to form an inverted V shape with your feet, ensuring your toes are touching each other and your heels are wide apart. The shape you create will be like the letter A without the stroke in between. You can also bend your knees a little if it’s uncomfortable to maintain this position.
2. Push the Heels Apart to Move Back
Once you’re in that position, push into your heel to spread one apart from the other, create as much gap as possible between them to increase your speed. Once the heel meets, assume the inverted V-shape position again and repeat the process. In regular forward skating, you move ahead by pushing with the ball of your feet. In backward skating, it’s the heels that matter.
3. Look Over Your Shoulder
When moving back, you need to see where you’re going, and the best way to do this is by looking over your shoulder regularly. You don’t have to keep your eyes glued to the back. Instead, just glance and bring it back forward. Given that this might be disorienting, you must take it slow at first. You should also avoid leaning back when you glance over your shoulder, which could lead you to lose balance and fall.
4. Spread Your Ankles Wide to Increase Stroke Length
Once you’re sure of your ability to skate backward, it’s time to speed things up. You can increase your stroke for more speed by spreading your ankles apart with every push. This will help you generate momentum. It’s also vital that you’re able to bring your toes together swiftly. The faster you can repeat the process, the quicker you’ll move. When starting, don’t focus on how much speed you can get. Start slowly to avoid falling unnecessarily. But if you should fall, there’s nothing to worry about. This happens to everyone on their first try. The more comfortable you get, the longer your stride can be.
5. Switch Between Backward and Forward Movements
Once you can skate forward and backward, you can switch between the two. To do this, transfer your weight to one foot, lift the other, swing it along with the rest of your body for 180 degrees, and then use the weight-bearing foot to face front and push off. When turning, it’s important to align your core and hips. Your whole body should make the turning and not just your waist.
Other Methods for Roller Skating Backwards
Apart from the common inverted V-shape method, there are other ways to skate backwards. They include:
1. Toe Stop Method
Push yourself backwards while using your toe stop. You’ll have to combine this with another method, such as the inverted V shape method. Only that instead of your heals, you’ll use the toe stop.
2. Push off the wall Method
You can also move back by pushing yourself away from a wall. Face the wall and push back to do this. It’s a good way to start if you don’t know how to transition yet. Once pushed backwards, you can gather momentum by using a split stance with one foot in front of the other with some width in between. Then push your feet to keep moving. Another option is backward edging, where your feet are in front of each other in a straight line. The push will help you coast backwards for some moments.
Why do you need to learn how to roller skate backwards?
The idea of skating backwards might seem unnecessary. Some people believe all you need to do if you want to change direction is turn around. While this might apply, skating backwards can also become important for you as your ability improves. With better skating ability comes more speed. At high speed, skating backwards helps you get accustomed to the motion and direction anytime you have to break at high speed. If you’re also planning to get down the stairs in skates, you’ll need to know how to skate backwards to be able to do that.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Roller Skating Backwards?
Learning to roller skate backward will take time and practice. It’ll take you about three months to master backward roller skating if you already know how to move forward. If you’ve never been on a roller skate at all, you’ll need to first learn that before learning to go back. So, you can expect to spend up to six months or even longer learning and become sort of a pro.
Your consistency will also determine how quickly you know how to do this. For example, if you only practice once a week, you can expect it’ll take way more than three months to learn on average. Practice is what determines a good skater, so it’s all about how much time you dedicate.
Tips For Roller Skating Backwards
Roller skating backwards can be quite fun. But if you’re just starting, it might seem a bit difficult. Following these tips will help you have a better learning experience:
- Use your dominant foot to push back and let the other foot help you control your turning.
- Try skating backwards on a familiar terrain where you have skated already and know the texture and structure.
- Start skating backwards from a flat and smooth surface until you gain the confidence to try other places.
- Practice feet directions in regular footwear or barefooted while standing or sitting on a chair to get more adept with the positions before you start skating.
Skating backwards adds variety to your ability. You can use the common inverted V-shape style, toe-stop method, or push off the wall. It all depends on what’s comfortable for you.