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08-10-2012, 05:12 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ottawa, ON
Country: Canada
Posts: 287
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Some tips from my beginner-not-too-long-ago perspective who can still remember learning the basics:

The hockey stop part, while legit, can be a bit misleading/confusing.

What you need to be able to do is quickly reverse the direction of your skates and then complete the turn which will set you going backwards. The "hockey stop" part mimics the movement that your skates need to make but anyone who pivots well isn't stopping at all but aggressively riding their edges to make the turn.

Keep it simple. Do not aim for an apex/cone. Do not, at first, try to do a tight turn. Just focus on getting your skates to turn the right way. Until you get the feel of it down, just go for a wide turn, as wide as you need without a hockey stop until you get comfortable. Then start to tighten it up by leaning into your edges to make your turn tighter and tighter.

And don't (over)THINK about backwards cross(unders) if you can't already do them. Put them out of your mind. Once you get the hang of the initial phase of the pivot and start tightening up your arc, you'll probably start doing a cross(under) as a matter of keeping your balance. As your turn becomes tighter, it will probably feel unnatural to NOT do a cross(under) and it will just happen.

It's funny, I was able to do pivots with cross(unders) long before I felt comfortable skating backwards in a circle for a prolonged period of time with crossovers. A BIG help to me was an instructor calling backwards crossovers "cross(unders)" because it's your back foot powering under your front foot. It was a total light bulb moment for me which is why I've been using that term.

Hope this helps.

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