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Home » Learn » The Roller Skate Dad Podcast » Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 10 – Roller Skating Backwards – 027

Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 10 – Roller Skating Backwards – 027

In today’s episode, I discuss roller skating backwards. I talk about getting started rolling backwards by pushing off a wall or railing. Then, I go into doing backward scissors and the more advanced technique of backward gliding.

To see me roller skating backwards, check out my Roller Skating Tricks article where I have videos of me performing some of the techniques I discussed today.

And, if you are having a hard time roller skating, be sure to check out my page all about How to Roller Skate. On that page you will find videos of yours truly skating.

Episode 27 Transcript

[0:02] Hey everybody. Welcome to the Roller skate Dad podcast.
This is episode number 27.
Let’s get started. Thank you.

[0:14] Music.

[0:17] Welcome to the roller skate Dad podcast.
The show that covers everything and anything in the wonderful world of roller skating.
Now, here’s your host, the roller skate dad himself, Jeff stone.

[0:37] Hey everybody, I want to welcome you to the Roller skate Dad podcast. I’m so glad you all could join me today. We’re going to continue the getting started roller skating series and we’re going to discuss going backwards.
Yes. Finally, a fun intermediate technique for all of you beginners out there who have leveled up and today is all about going backwards.
So like always we’re going to start slow and we’re going to quickly build ourselves up to going faster and trying new things on our skates.
So today is all about going backwards. But let’s first do a quick recap of everything that I’ve covered so far in the getting started roller skating series.
Over the last few episodes, we’ve discussed getting in the right skaters mindset, so you know, believing you can do this, that you got this.
Uh then we had a couple of episodes about picking out your first pair of roller skates.
So there were actually two episodes in that little sub series about the topic.
The first episode was all about what to look for in a brand new pair of skates, you know how to how to check out the wheels and the bearings and the boots and the plates. So you knew what you were getting before you made a purchase.
And then the second episode was some of my recommendations of skates that are out there today that are good for beginners.

[2:05] Then I went over in the next episode how to pick out the right safety equipment. So this is things like skating helmets and skate pads.
Then we did some basics on how to fall down and how to get back up properly from the ground.

[2:21] Then in the next episode, I covered 10 different ways that you could stop on roller skates.

[2:28] We followed that up with an episode on how to skate forwards without falling down,
and then last week we went over balance, standing on one ft while skating forwards and doing forwards crossovers, so we’re slowly progressing to more and more advanced techniques,
this week, it’s all about going backwards. So let’s get started.

[2:50] But before we get started backwards, skating, let’s go over a few tips and precautions.
You know, even though you’re skating backwards, you want to always, always, always make sure that you’re leaning forwards and that you’re in the proper skating stance,
so leaning backwards or you know, even standing straight up when you’re first learning to skate backwards will certainly cause you to fall backwards and we don’t want to do that.
Like I don’t want to see anybody out there fall backwards, that’s never fun.
So always be sure that you’re leaning forwards and I think it goes without saying, but you need to be able to see where you’re going.
So you want to always make sure you look over your shoulder so you don’t crash into someone or something.
So if you’re practicing outdoors at a park and there’s no one around or maybe if you’re practicing in your basement or your garage, you don’t necessarily need to worry about this too much.
But by making sure that you practice looking over your shoulder.
Now when you do get into a more crowded situation, like at a roller skating rink, you want to make sure you’re looking behind you because if you don’t, I will, I will 100% assure you that you will run into someone. There’s no doubt about it.

[4:07] So get used to looking over your shoulder and that will make things easier on you next. You want to start slowly like everything else.
When you’re first learning how to do something, speed comes later. You want to master the technique first. That’s the most important part.
And though even though you’re probably at a spot where you can skate forwards much faster, then when you first started out, it’s important to start slowly when you’re first learning how to skate backwards.

[4:38] Um Again, we’re gonna be talking about balance and standing upright versus speed, so you know, just trust me on this speed is gonna come, but you’re just going to have to give it a little bit of time, technique is the most important thing.

[4:53] Um You want to make sure you have fun and you know that you practice backwards skating every every single time you skate,
to get good at it and this is really true of any skill or technique that you’re going to learn with roller skating or honestly with anything in life is that you need to practice it.
You know, you gotta practice it repeatedly to get good at it.
Lastly it’s a good time to, you know, gear up a little, you know, maybe put on some pads, put on a helmet, even if your maybe skating forwards without those things today because you’ve gotten good at it.
Um when you’re learning a new technique, sometimes it can be helpful to make sure you’ve got your pads on just to make sure you don’t get hurt.

[5:34] Because if you get hurt, you’re not going to want to skate anymore or you won’t be able to skate anymore and that will be sad. I don’t like that. You don’t want a sad dad.
So make sure you put on your safety gear if you’re concerned about falling down and potentially hurting yourself.
Alright enough of all the precautions, let’s get started.
So I usually start most beginner skaters off at the wall and or you know, yeah, a wall or railing, anything like that.

[6:02] And this is because most skaters want to get rolling immediately and you already need to have obviously good balance if you’re going to try skating backwards.
So if you’re falling down while going forwards, you really should not be proceeding to backward skating.
You really need to master forward skating first, then you can tackle moving on to this trick.
So I mean that’s really true about everything. You need to make sure that you’re progressing slowly from one trip to the next because they do build on each other if you’re skating forwards,
and you’re going to a rank regularly or skating outdoors,
and you’re skating for, let’s say 30 minutes to an hour to two hours and you’re falling down. You’re not ready to backward skate.

[6:50] You’re just not, you need to get better at forward skating, get really good at balance.
Get really good at being able to stand on one ft, get really good at being able to do forward crossovers once you can do those things,
then progress to backward skating, it will actually go a lot easier for you, you will progress and be able to nail this skill a lot faster,
if you can already do those techniques.
So anyway, skate forward to a wall, we’re gonna go ahead and get started. You know, make sure you’re in your proper skating stance.
And remember that’s, you know, with your feet just a little bit apart, right? So you want them a little less than shoulder width apart, and you want to make sure your knees are bent and you want to lean forward a little bit.

[7:36] You want to look over your shoulder, make sure there’s no one behind you, like, like I just talked about and then you want to place both your hands on the wall and give yourself a tiny push tiny is the key word here.
Do not push off the wall like Hercules unless you want to fall backwards, just give yourself a little tiny push off the wall and you’ll start rolling backwards and as you begin rolling backwards and look over your shoulder again,
like I said, many beginners forget this.
Even advanced skaters, I do this a lot when I’m learning a new technique, you know, I will I will not look where I’m going instead, I start looking at my feet and that’s a you know, sure fire way to crash into someone or something.
So make sure you’re looking behind you and you know, your skates are gonna begin rolling backwards.
Yeah, look at you, you’re going backwards. You know, now you’re gonna want to roll like this for a few seconds and then push one of your feet or you know, lean forward, press down on one of your toe stops and come to a stop.

[8:44] So then you know, that’s that’s all we’re gonna do right now, just here to get started, you’re just going to practice just pushing very gently off the wall to where you’re rolling backwards, just so you can get used to that feeling,
make sure that wherever you’re rolling, if you’re outdoors that you’re on a flat surface, no hills, right?
That’s not a good way to learn as a beginner, make sure it’s nice. And even wherever you’re practicing, make sure there’s no obstacles, preferably people either like just get away from everything.
Just big open space where it’s clear and just push very gently off the wall and roll backwards when you, when you are rolling, roll for a few seconds if you can and then push down in your toe, stop and stop.
So make sure your foot that you’re dragging when you, you go to, you know, do your stop, make sure it’s behind the skate that’s rolling.
You know, if it’s too far in front or too far to the side that could cause you to crash when you go to stop.
And so it’s always best to kind of over exaggerate, you know, make sure you’re really leaning forward, push that foot that’s going to be stopping back behind you a little ways and then push up onto your toe, stop to come to a stop. Um.

[9:56] So if you’re really advanced or you just want to try something different, you can actually go up on both toe stops at the same time.
And so that’s what my daughter lily likes to do when we go skating, she’ll start skating backwards really, really fast right before the races,
And they’ll tell everybody to get off the floor and she’ll come to a complete stop just by hopping up on both of her toe stops at the same time and she’ll slide a good, I don’t know, 10 ft before she comes to a stop.
Sometimes it makes a little noise across the floor gets people to pay attention to her, which, you know, I mean, come on, let’s be honest, when you’re in your late teens and early twenties, that’s what you’re after right attention.
So, um anyway, I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate me telling that story, but.

[10:40] But that’s kind of the way she skates and it’s fun when you come to a complete stop, you’re gonna go ahead and skate forwards and back to the wall and then just practice that again and again.
You know, just keep doing that until you feel comfortable with it.
So what you’re going to be doing is just, you know, pushing gently off the wall, rolling backwards, putting your toe, stop down, coming to a stop, escape back forwards, back to the wall, practice it again.
And you know, you may not find this technique if you look a lot online, you know, maybe watch youtube videos.
I teach this at the very beginning, just because most people are impatient, I know I am and they just want to feel the sensation of actually rolling backwards and what does that feel like?
So it’s just a good way to practice that without getting hurt,
and you know, kind of leapfrog into just, oh, hey, I’m rolling backwards, look at me, I’m roller skating backwards,
now, technically you’re not, you’ve pushed yourself into this position just by pushing off the wall, but you’re at least getting comfortable with that feeling of rolling backwards.

[11:46] So that’s one of the reasons why I kinda, this is how I would teach it to people when I was at a rink. Um teaching lessons.
Alright, If you’re losing your balance first, be sure you’re not pushing off the wall too hard, it’s easy.
Really easy actually to lose your balance when you’re doing something new, like rolling backwards, you know, too hard of a push too fast can cause you to tumble backwards and no one wants that,
another tip is to place your hands and arms in a T position out stretched away from your body.
You know, we’ve discussed this before, this can really help with balance too.

[12:21] So you’ll see a lot of artistic skaters skate like this where their hands are kind of out to their side while they’re roller skating backwards and this is for balance, but it’s honestly actually just because that’s how you’re taught to skate,
as an artistic roller skater.
But if you’re struggling with any trick, use your arms, use those arms for balance. It really does help.

[12:45] Okay, so you got a little taste of going backwards, you know, pushing off the wall, that’s great and all,
but you now need to work on real backwards skating uh you know, you can’t just keep pushing off walls all the time to skate around, you know, to skate around a rank or a park.
So let’s discuss how you actually go about doing that.
So let’s move away from the wall and let’s practice doing backwards scissors.
So we’re going to use this technique to both control and increase our speed to so first stand with both of your feet pointing towards themselves and an upside down V. Shape.
So this is where your toes should be close together but they’re not touching.
Um So they’re going to be pointing, your toes are gonna be pointed at each other and so then your heels are going to actually be a part, they’re going to be pointed out.
So the outward edges of your feet should create kind of a rough 90 degree angle, it won’t be a perfect 90 degree angle, but pretty much,
um you know if you find this hard to do, it’s probably because you’re not bending your knees, so bend down a little to make this stance easier.

[13:54] Next you’re gonna want to push your heels apart and then bring them back together.
And this will cause you to start rolling backwards. The wider the gap that you create when you push your heels apart, the faster and the longer you’re going to move forward or sorry you’re going to move backwards,
Now, it’s important as you’re sliding your heels out that you don’t actually just,
continue to go out and out and out until you do the splits, right?
So you need to go out until you’re a little more than shoulder width apart and then bring them back together again.
Right? And that’s how you get what is called a scissor when your heels come close to meeting, you want to recreate the V. Shape with your toes and repeat that process.
So it’s basically you have your toes together, you’re pulling your heels.

[14:46] Your heels are pointed out, you’re pulling your heels apart and then you’re bringing your heels back together again, then you pivot to your toes and do it again,
and you do this over and over again, transitioning from heels together, toes together quicker and quicker.
And that will help you pick up speed and you know if you’re finding this process really hard, it helps to practice this, you know V shaped the scissor motion going forwards first.
So if you you know you better already be able to skate forwards well before you try this, before you try backwards skating anyway so you can practice this V.
Shaped kind of going forward, you know, doing the scissor motion and once you get good at that then you can transition to okay let me go try doing that going backwards and that may actually help some of you beginners out there who are struggling with this.
The key is really to bring your heels together and then your toes together, making that scissor motion and the faster you can transition from heels to toes, heels to toes, heels to toes,
you know, the faster you’ll be able to skate forwards or backwards if you find the V.
Shape and scissoring difficult, you can instead push one ft out and partially away from your body while skating backwards on the other.
This is actually the next technique I’m going to talk about and it really doesn’t require you to do a scissor, it’s more of kind of like a half scissor or almost like a push.

[16:15] Like you would do when you’re skating forwards but you’re going backwards.
So you kind of just push one leg out and then bring it back to the middle and then you push the other leg out and you bring it back to the middle.
So let’s talk about that one next.
So in this particular technique and you’ll see almost all intermediate and advanced backwards skaters skate this way,
you’re gonna start skating backwards, then you know, you could use a v scissor to get to this point and you’re rolling backwards and then as you’re rolling backwards you take you make sure you’re in you’re skating stance with your feet,
a little a little less than shoulder width apart, and then,
you just push one ft out to the side about a foot or two and then bring it back to the middle and then push the other foot out to the side and then bring it back to the middle.
And so you’re just slowly kind of pushing one ft out and then the other foot out.
Typically as you push out one ft to the side, you can pick that foot up if you want or you can actually leave it on the ground, beginners find it easier to just leave that foot on the ground.
I actually leave it on the ground myself most of the time.

[17:29] When I’m skating backwards and it’s just kind of this gliding kind of motion while you’re going backwards.

[17:37] And you know, once you get good at this technique, you’ll notice that backwards skating is honestly very much like gliding forwards,
you know, roller skating forwards, you just have to accentuate the hips a little more when you’re skating side to side and you use one ft to push out and quickly pivot both feet to one side,
then you pivot and push to the other side.
And this quickly helps to build up your speed.
So, I know this last technique may not have explained it.
Great here on the podcast. Sometimes audio can just be difficult to explain something, but hopefully you got the idea of it.
Um I do have a couple of videos in my how to roller skate series and in my roller skating tricks videos that shows some backward skating.
So I’ll make sure to put links to those in the show notes. So you can check those out.
I know sometimes having pictures is better than just, you know, words.
So, um so anyway, be sure to check those out in the show notes. Um which I’ll get to here in just a second.
So, all right. Um one thing I wanted to mention real quick for those of you who are actually following along who are,
you know, skaters out there is if you will take a youtube video of yourself, you know, take a video of yourself, upload it to youtube.

[19:01] Shoot me an email. I’d love to see any,
beginners or intermediate or advanced skaters out there doing all kinds of different roller skating tricks as we get further and further along this series. Or even if you’re just starting out.
Um, I think it’s really good to document your progress.
It really helps to motivate you and continue to, you know, learn new things and push yourself. So if you do happen to post videos up on Youtube or someplace like that, um, send them to me.
You can shoot me an email at Jeff at roller skate dad dot com and just send me a link to your video and if you do that, I’ll include it here in the show notes on this page and may even include it in my how to roller skate series.
That’s on the website as well.
So yeah, I do that. I think that would be fun.

[19:52] Okay, everybody, I think that’s all I have for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed it.
And as you can tell, we’re slowly building up the harder skills.
I plan to take you a little further still, I’m going to go as far as some basic artistic skating, so some basic skating jumps and spins.
Next week we’re going to talk about practicing skating on one ft while going backwards and then doing backwards crossovers.
Then in some future episodes here, in just a few weeks, we’re going to talk about doing turns and some basic jumps and spins.
But those are, you know, for the next few episodes. So give you something to look forward to.

[20:33] Alright, so if you want to see a transcript of today’s episode or get more information about some of the things I discussed today, then check out the show notes.
You can get those at roller skate dot dot com slash 27.

[20:48] Alright, everybody, that’s a wrap until the next time. Get on out there and skate.

[20:55] Thank you for listening to the Roller skate dad podcast at www dot roller skate dad dot com.
If you liked what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe, rate and review the podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify google or wherever you’re listening.

Wrapping Up

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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