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12-08-2011, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
I started skating in my back yard rink pretty much as soon as I could walk, so it never occurred to me that skating backwards was such a difficult process, but I can definitely see how it would be very unnatural if you're starting late.
I can't really explain the process without being there in person, but a few tips for learning:
-Don't make the mistake I see some people make, which is learning by skating forward and then pivoting to backwards. This will be OK for teaching you balance and may be easier to see "progress" at first but misses an important part of the process which is generating momentum from a standstill. Instead, work on starting from a stop and gradually picking up speed.
-Arms need to be forward and backward. It might be easier initially to generate momentum using a side to side arm motion but it's less efficient and ultimately slows you down while also throwing you off balance.
-Once you get competent at the very basics of skating backwards, try to work on developing one-skate ability. As in, start normally from a stop and once you have a decent amount of speed, start to use only your right foot and try to maintain the same momentum while also keeping yourself in a reasonably straight line. It helps to to it along a blue line from one side of the ice to the other. Then do the same with your left. You'll get better at using both sides of your blades (as opposed to the common mistake of only generating power with the outside leg) and also generate more individual stride power.
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