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How to Roller Skate Backwards? (w/Tutorial Video)

FAQs Written by MARSH HARRISON / Checked by GODFREY RICE

how to roller skate backwards

If you have been to a skate park outside, you have probably seen people who skate backwards on rollerblades. Don’t they look cool? Now, what if we told you: you can do the same?

That’s right! It is possible to learn how to roller skate backwards. Grab your skating gear and read through this article. We have detailed steps along with other helpful tips.

Step-By-Step Guide to Roller Skate Backwards

skating-backwards-on-roller-skates

What to Prepare

  • Your skate backwards quads, skates, or rollerblades
  • Your protective gear

Step 1: Step side by side

This first step is meant to get you accustomed to shifting your weight. Align the skates below your feet to get into a neutral stance. Next, stride one foot horizontally while letting your weight fall onto it. Then, repeat with your other foot.

Do this several times until you grow comfortable with your movement.

Step 2: Pivot your heels

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Heel pivoting is when you pivot your front wheels while lifting the back ones. As you do so, you’ll slide the two wheels from side to side before returning to a neutral stance. Keep doing these heel pivots until you can easily alternate both feet.

As such, the whole process will be your two feet together, resembling two parallel “I.” When one heel rotates, your footing will form into an inverse “V”. When you resume your original pose, your feet will form an “I” again. The process repeats with the other heel shifting to the side to create an inverse “V” and so on.

Step 3: Put steps 1 and 2 together

Pivot your heel to the side, letting your weight fall onto it. Then, repeat the step for the other heel. Finally, return to the neutral stance. You should now be diagonal to where you were facing in the first place.

So it goes like this: step to the side, heel pivot (left leg), step to the side, heel pivot (right leg). As you do this, you will notice yourself gliding backward.

Step 4: Add power to your steps and pick up the speed

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Finally, you can add more power to your combined steps. Just gradually send yourself backward with more energy and momentum.

While doing this, make sure you regularly look over your shoulder to see where you are going. It is easier said than done, so do not be discouraged if you struggle with it at first.

To pick up your speed, extend the length of your steps’ strokes while shortening the time it takes to move from step 1 to step 2. You will be able to create more momentum if your strokes are broader and if you alternate between the steps quickly.

As you do this, your weight should fall onto one foot. Leverage the other foot to do a 180-degree turn. Push forward right after this and let the weight transfer from one foot to the other.

Step 5: Level up with other techniques

After grasping how to skate backwards on rollerblades, you can improve your skating skills by alternating between going backward and forward.

To improve your skating game, consider learning how to skate backwards Dirty-style, or in layman’s terms, do a backward 360.

Other Tips to Follow

backward-skating

Make Sure You Maintain The Right Posture

This is the key to not faceplanting while skating backwards on roller skates for beginners and professionals alike.

The right posture can be summed up in four words: body up, knees bent. If your body is leaning forward and your knees are straightened, you will quickly lose your balance and wobble.

It helps to pay attention to the core and shoulders. You will have to engage the former and keep the latter directly above your hip.

Always Wear Protective Gear

You need to protect your head, knees, and arms.

  • For the head, get a solid helmet. Make sure it is durable and fits you. Also, remember to strap the headgear on properly.
  • For the knees, get knee pads. These can offer added protection and will definitely come in handy when you skate on rough surfaces.
  • For the arms, get elbow pads and wrist guards. Similar to knee pads, these will help you shield against hard skating surfaces, such as cement.

Do not skimp on your protective gear. Whether you are a rookie or a professional skater, staying safe while backward skating is important.

Always Lace Your Skates Properly

As with ordinary shoes, you need to lace your reverse skates from the bottom up in a crisscrossing pattern. Each time the shoelace moves through the eyelet, pull the string taut. Once you reach the end, tie the shoelace into a bow.

Know How to Stop Skating (Aka. Brake)

To prevent yourself from falling backwards on roller skates, you must know how to use your front brakes to halt. Look for the round knobs by your toes’ end. Glide your skate before the other, lift it slightly, and press down. Be sure to maintain your balance while doing this.

For additional balance training assistance, check out this roller Derby video.

Frequently Asked Questions

backward-roller-skating

Is it hard to skate backward?

Not really.

Those who have mastered backward roller skating make it look easy. They would glide, turn around on roller skates, and even flash roller skate backwards crossovers. But to get there is a process. You will need to sweat and might even have to shed tears.

As with any other skating technique, it seems unduly hard to go backwards on roller skates at first. But all it takes is some time and effort.

If you properly apply the correct steps, you will eventually be able to roller skate backwards fast and smoothly.

How long does it take to learn to roller skate backward?

Because every skater is different, there is no set time to learn how to skate backwards on roller skates. For example, if you are already comfortable with forward skating, it will take less time to rollerblade backwards. It will take a lot longer if you are just putting on skates for the first time.

Our advice is not to obsess over how long it takes to master backwards skating, which will only stress you out rather than help you.

Conclusion

Congrats! You have read through how to roller skate backwards. Now, it is time to put what you have read to practice. Try it yourself, and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

We would love to hear from you!

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Marsh-Harrison

Content Writer - Marsh Harrison

Harrison is a skating enthusiast who picked up the sport during her student exchange years in Canada. She has been a skating coach for children and teens for 3 years and now holds classes as a freelancer. Harrison entwines her experience leading skating classes in the content published on Cora to help readers fall in love with skating, just like she did.