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Need help with inline-skating forward to backwards transitions!

eebee's picture

For the life of me I've never been able to safely execute a forward-backwards transition. Part of it is I'm just scared! I tried learning it by first scissoring then pivoting on the toe-wheels to land with the skates going the same direction of travel. Mine always ended up going every which way instead.

I even tried practicing it on the grass before hand - trouble with that is, the grass is soft when you fall, and there's no rolling involved! Blake does a step version of this manoeuvre, and I can't do that one either, without falling. I'm thinking I might be better off just jumping a 180 and landing. I can skate fine backwards, just can't face that way unless I stop first. Any tips anyone, please - how do you execute your front to back transitions?


kjg's picture

Dig out those rec skates!

Ebee - I assume that you are trying to do this in your speed skates? My advise would be to dig out your old rec skates and learn with smaller wheels and shorter frames first. Go out to a parking lot (flat, good surface etc.) with all your pads and make like a beginner...over and over again!

I know of a couple of techniques (and there names are escaping me right now!):

Toe-Toe pivot:

You skate along and then with helicopter arms (and using your butt for propulsion) turn 180 degrees on both two wheels at once. The key to this one (apart from confidence) is getting your weight onto your two wheels. You can practice in a static maneouvre by windshield wipering with your feet together until you can go 180 degrees (or close to it) on the spot.


This is the prettier one to me! skating forwards you lift or pivot foot (right) and place it backwards (as the trailing foot) so you are in  sidesurf type position momentarily then you lift or pivot the other foot so it is pointing the same direction and you are backwards.

Once you have them down make sure you can do them both ways (clockwise and counter-clockwise) this is important for your freestyle.

The psycho-my-logical part is tough! My transitions are fine but I hardly ever do them at any kind of speed due to a deep seated fear that I will end up in acrumpled heap and look pretty stupid for goofing off while skating! Practicing them slowly is the key to gettign them down though.


eebee's picture

Forwards-to-Backwards Transition

Last night I finally plucked up the courage to try it again, and found that the toe-pivot method is more doable than the sidesurf/mohawk. For one, I don't seem to have any kind of 'turn out' in my feet, not even on dry land. So trying to execute that one puts me into a spin stop.


Anyway, after doing a couple of very spazzy looking 180 jumps at barely a trickle of a roll, I decided that was too risky for now, and tried the toe pivot thing hanging on to the trunk of my car. Then I moved away from the car and found I could do that one - but the one aspect that makes all the difference is the butt-propulsion that KJG mentioned. When you use your rear to help you swing around 180, it feels like half the work is done and flipping your skates around isn't as much trouble.


But I'm still only just barely rolling along, doing this in my speed skates and yes, I did fall flat on my face :-)

kjg's picture

I am all about the butt

I am all about the butt propulsion ;-)

Glad you had success, practice is the only way to build confidence. You can also practice in your basement or other indoor flat place.

Like I said - it is more difficult in speed skates with longer frames.

eebee's picture

Skate - Life Philosophy

Seems like I won't be able to progress on this unless I give myself permission and courage to just go ahead and wipe out spectacularly, over and over again. Thanks, KJG, I will try it on rec skates first, although those were the ones I tried it on in the first place. I have K2 Kinetics, which already have a pretty long frame. Thanks for spelling out the steps again. I can see it all plain as day in my head, but getting my limbs to follow is something altogether different. Of course, like most other things in life, I'll have to fail countless times before I can succeed.

"Success is falling nine times, and getting up ten"

"...this thing called failure is not the falling down, but the staying down"

"you may be disappointed if you fail, but you're doomed if you don't try"

Etc., Etc. We learn from failure, blah blah. So I guess I'm gonna find a secluded, flat area and try it again, well-padded.

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