Learning how to roller skate is a blast, but let’s face it, the real reason most people skate is because they want to do roller skate tricks of some kind.
Whether it’s turning, spinning or jumping, we have seen someone with superior skating skills at the skating rink and we want to do those tricks on our quads or rollerblades, too.
In today’s article, I’m going to go over several roller skating tricks that are for beginners, intermediate and more advanced skaters. I have built the list in order of difficulty so the easiest roller skating tricks are first on the list and they progressively get harder the further down the list you dare to go. 🙂
All of these new tricks I will be teaching you below can be done on both quad roller skates, rollerblades and inline skates. You can even do them on ice skates if that’s your jam. In the videos below, I am in quad skates. I’m just a better quad skater than rollerblader.
1. Roll Forward on One Skate
First up, we have a simple trick. Forward skating on a single foot. Skate forward and lift one skate off the ground. Continue rolling for 5-10 seconds. Then, switch to the other foot and skate for 5-10 seconds. Keep practicing this to get really good at balance. You will need better and better balance as we progress to the next set of skating skills.
2. Skate Backward
Next, lets turn around and skate backwards. The easiest way to start is with your toes pointed in at a 45 degree angle in a V shape. Then, let your roller skate wheels roll back until your heels almost meet. Then, move your skates back to the toes pointed in and continue this heel toe exercise over and over. This scissoring technique is a good way to learn how to skate backwards.
You can also use a wall to push off of. However, you will eventually come to a stop. As you progress the scissor technique and get better at balancing, you can also move your skates side to side to also pick up speed.
Always remember to look over your shoulder when skating backwards so you can see where you are going!
Crossovers are a challenge for a lot of beginners when they first start out. To perform this move skate forward on two feet. Then, pick up your right skate and put it on the other side of your left skate crossing your legs in the process. Then, pick up your left skate and put it back next to your other foot.
In the skating rink, we always travel in a counter clockwise direction, so learning how to cross your right foot over your left is the best way to start. As you progress, you can cross your left foot over your right.
4. Skate Backwards on One Foot
Next, lets skate backwards on one foot. This is pretty similar to skating forward on one foot. Skate backwards and then pick up you non dominant foot to start. Skate backward on that foot for a few seconds and then glide backwards on two feet. Then, switch feet. It will be easier to do this trick and maintain balance if you lift your non dominant foot. As with most of these tricks, make sure to keep your knees slightly bent and lean forwards.
5. Backward Crossovers
Start off by skating backward on two feet. Next, lift one foot and place it over and on the ground of your other skate causing your legs to cross. Then, pick up your back leg and place it next to your crossed over foot until you are rolling backwards again normally.
In the skating rink, we always go in a counter clockwise direction, so you will always cross your left leg over your right leg. Keep practicing crossing in both directions with your front foot crossing over you rear foot. When you get good going in a circle in one direction, switch feet and go in the opposite direction.
6. Two Foot Turn
Begin by roller skating forwards. Next, pick up your left skate and turn it 90 degrees and place it behind your right skate. Your skates will point heel to heel and you will be roller skating sideways for a brief moment. Then, pick up your front leg, turn it 90 degrees and place it next to your other skate. You have just successfully done a 2 foot turn.
7. The 4 Wheeler
Next up, we have the 4 Wheeler. The trick is called the 4 wheels (or 2 wheeler on rollerblades or inline skates), because you only use 2 wheels on each foot. To pull off the 4 wheeler, begin by roller skating forwards on your dominant foot keeping it flat and keeping the other skate rolling behind on 2 wheels (either the front 2 wheels or the back 2 wheels.
Then, push off your front foot, switch your weight to your rear skate and glide on either the front or two rear wheels on your front foot. Your trailing skate should also still be on two wheels. Your skates should be about 1-2 feet apart with one in front of the other foot.
If you have a toe stopper in your skates, then using your rear wheels is going to be easier than your front wheels as other it may get in the way.
8. Spread Eagle
If you have watched figure skating in the Olympics, then you have seen the Spread Eagle. Glide forward on two skates and get to a good gliding speed. Then, start to do a 2 foot turn with your heels facing each other and your skates turned out. Then, lean forward until you go in a small half circle. This maneuver can be done facing on inside edges or facing out.
9. One Foot Turn Backward
Next, we will turn on a single foot from front to back. Skate on your dominant foot rolling forward. Bend your knees and keep your body weight slightly leaning to the outer edge. Then, turn your foot 90 degrees until you glide backward. If you lose balance, don’t worry. Just keep practicing until you get the hang of it. Once you can do this tick on your dominant leg, switch and do it on the other skate. If you can do that, try turning inward instead of outward.
10. One Foot Turn Forward
If you have mastered the previous trick, then lets make it a little more difficult by turning from back to front. Start by rolling backwards on one foot. Then, shift your weight to lean to the outside and turn your foot 90 degrees until it is facing forward. Keep your upper body straight and your knees bent. Once you have mastered body rotation on your outside edge, practice the same turn on your inside edge.
Some More Advanced Tricks as Your Skating Skills Progress
11. Shoot the Duck
One of my all time favorite tricks is the Shoot the Duck. Gain momentum roller skating forward. Then, with your core engaged, squat down and continue skating forward. Then, take your non dominant leg and slowly stick it out in front of you but off the ground. You should be making a crouched over looking L shape with your body and legs. It’s best to cradle your outstretched leg with your hands to keep it from touching the floor. Or, you can rest the back wheels of your outstretched leg on the floor and let it roll, too. This move always turns some heads at the roller rink!
12. Two Foot Jump
Next, we have the two foot jump. Once you have mastered your balance, start by rolling forwards. Then, bend your knees and jump straight up. Land on two feet. As you get better at this move, practice going faster and jumping higher. Once that seems easy, do the same move but add a 180 degree rotation. Skate forward, bend down, jump up and turn your body 180 degrees until you land backwards. Then, do the same 180 degree move rolling backwards and spin until you are facing forwards. Look at you!
Next, we have my favorite – Spinning! Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees bent. Then, wind your arms like a helicopter to one side and pull them to the other side. While your arms are making this motion have your skates follow each other in a small tight circle. For beginners, it can be best to think about this as a very tight set of two foot turns over and over again in a small circle. Or, a spread eagle on your inside edge that is really tight. In fact, I often start my two foot spins in a spread eagle as it helps me take speed into my spin.
14. Waltz Jump
Next, we have the one foot jumps. The waltz jump is a good trick to really turn some heads and it’s the easiest figure skating jump to do. To start, it’s best to practice jumping without skates on in the grass or on the carpet. It’s also important that you have mastered balancing before attempting one foot jumps.
Start by rolling forward on your left leg. Then, turn your body 180 degrees and land on your right leg going backwards. You can practice this simple jump rolling slowly and without even jumping. Just roll forward, lift your right leg, turn your body 180 degrees and set your right skate down going backwards. Boom! You’ve done a baby waltz jump. Now, practice actually jumping off your left foot and landing on your right. Look kids! It’s Brian Boitano!
Finally, we have the Salchow. To do a proper salchow, skate backwards on your left skate on the inside edge of your skate with your right skate off the ground. Then, pull your right leg up through your center and jump off your left skate. Do a 360 degree revolution counter clockwise and land on your right skate’s outer edge also going backwards. Extend your left leg out behind you and put both arms out to the side.
Like the waltz jump, you can start off with a baby salchow by doing a baby jump from one foot to the other. This is the easiest full revolution jump to learn and is usually the first jump that people use to learn how to do doubles (two revolutions) and triples (three revolutions).
Roller Skate Tricks FAQ
What protective gear should I wear when performing roller skating tricks?
For the best safety gear, I highly recommend that you wear a roller skating helmet and roller skating pads (knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads) when you are first trying out these tricks for the first time. As you gain more skating experience and your balance gets better, you may find you don’t need the extra gear. However, in the beginning, it’s always better to protect yourself.
Can you do ice skating tricks on roller skates?
Yes! In fact, many of the tricks including the one skate turns, jumps and spins are the beginning tricks performed in figure skating. You can do all of those same moves you see professional figure skaters do at the Olympics on your roller skates. It just takes a lot of practice.
What about roller blade tricks?
All of the tricks I posted above can also be done with a pair of rollerblades or while inline skating. The only trick that is different is that the 4 wheeler becomes a 2 wheeler on inline skates. The Salchow can also be done without using your toe stop.
Want to Learn Even More About Skating?
Want more reviews on roller skates? Check out my Best Roller Skates page for a list of all of the quads I recommend. I also have pages for roller skates for men, roller skates for women and roller skates for kids where I recommend the best skates on the market today for each group. Or, check out my roller skates for beginners if you are completely new to roller skating.
Or, if rollerblades or inline skates are more your style, then check out my rollerblades for men, rollerblades for women or rollerblades for kids pages. Or, if you are completely new, check out my rollerblades for beginners page.