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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old November 30th, 2015, 06:19 PM   #1
SueSkate
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Hello all fellow skaters. I have returned to quad skating at a local rink. It has been almost thirty years since I have skated. In my prime, I was a good skater. Not great, but good. I picked it up again just like riding a bike. All the basics came back easily. Here's my question. Why do I have such a fear of skating backwards? I am able to do it and yes, I have fallen (part of skating), but since the last minor fall, I am terrified to try again. Is it simply my age and maturity after thirty years that tells me to not do it?
Also, what advice can you give me as a confidence builder to continue to attempt backwards skating?
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Old December 1st, 2015, 08:34 AM   #2
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Is it the actual skating backwards that you're struggling with? Or, are you struggling with just the transitions? Are you OK once you're turned around? If it's just the transitions, is there a place at home you can practice them? Do you have a room with a nice hardwood floor? Smooth concrete garage floor?

My daughter is comfortable once she's turned around, but she struggles on transitions. So, I have her practicing them at home on the hardwood floor. She's also skating backwards slowly through the house, from room to room, which is helping her get comfortable turning in both directions. It seems to be working for her. Sometimes it's a lot easier when there's no one watching.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 09:33 AM   #3
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It might just be that you can't see as well. You have to crane your neck, and then you don't have the peripheral vision on the opposite side. It might be that you aren't quite as maneuverable. Making quick movements requires leaning, and you can't lean backwards without falling. It might just be a lack of practice.

It might also be a balance issue, which might be related to where your plate is mounted to the boot.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 01:07 PM   #4
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Theres a lot that goes into backward skating. Most people cant walk backwards very well let alone skate backwards.

I started helping a guy at my local rink to skate backwards with a bit more gusto. One of his problems was his foot positioning during a hard carve was only supported in the fore/aft direction and not laterally.

I recommend facing a wall and doing grapevine stepping off skates to the left and to the right keeping a set distance from the wall you are facing. When that is easy, speed it up until your at you leg movement speed limits and the pattern is smooth. Then adding a little bit of diagonal play into it. Like step forward to the left doing the grapevine foot movements, and go backwards at the same rate to the right. Then go straight to the left. And start that same diagonal forward to the right then backwards to the left. When you got it all on shoes, try some of it on skates.

Move onto edge control like doing a skiing slalom movement with both feet. Then learn to buold and shed speed with that movement.

Progress to doing slalom movements on 1 foot, and then to build and shed speed. (With your left and right of course)

When your comfortable, do the same things for backwards skating. Learning to carve edges and use slalom movement to build or shed speed in an instant is essential for backwards skating confidence.

You also need to be able to transition from forwards to backwards in either direction at any speed your capable of skating at. And of course from backwards to forwards too, so if things get too hairy while going in reverse you can not only flip back around to forwards quickly but slow down/speed up and change direction or even transition from backwards to forwards to sidesurf to backwards if stuff gets real bad.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 04:33 PM   #5
Fancy-Kerrigan
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I recommend that beginners start by being aware of their body position. Keep their hips and shoulders over their heels with bent knees. once this is out of wack you can loose your balance very quickly.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 04:57 PM   #6
SueSkate
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Thank you so much for your replies and suggestions. I must say that I can skate backwards, pushing my feet from side to side. And actually fairly smoothly. As mentioned by mass_quads, I believe it is the transitions that I fear. And also the not being able to "see" over my shoulder. Of course I know my best resolve is practice, practice, practice! I will certainly take into account the sight advice and work harder on the transitions. I wish I had room in my home to practice, unfortunately I do not. However, I will be at the rink tonight and spend 1/2 hour just doing transitions and goose necking.
Oh how I wish I had to rink to myself...lol. Falling is never pretty when surrounded by laughing kids.

I'll keep you all posted as to my progress.

Blessings
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Old January 8th, 2016, 11:45 PM   #7
ursle
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In boardsports, fakie is riding backwards with the tail facing in the direction of travel. When used in conjunction with a trick name, like "fakie ollie", it means that the trick was performed as it would normally be done with the exception of riding backwards.

Yes, keep both feet down, better balance, yes bend the knees, but also drop the hips, get the feet as far apart in all directions as possible, skating in the center (of the rink) doing small figure 8's and getting used to a more natural head position will improve your balance, and not caring what others think as you get your balance will go a long way in self confidence, just have fun.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 03:42 AM   #8
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Hi

First note on yours before reading anyones. I like doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueSkate View Post
o - o Is it simply my age and maturity after thirty years that tells me to not do it?
Also, what advice can you give me as a confidence builder to continue to attempt backwards skating?
Lots of things go on when you are skating backwards and doing it reasonably. You are looking both ways, looking for obstacles, adjusting. Even not that great backward skaters are doing a lot to skate through the crowd.

SO As an older more experienced person, you recognize that not everything that makes you comfortable backwards is working. Again Normal relearning.
and Only Floor time helps you come back.

Not much help as a confidence builder ON LINE. Normally where I skate the younger people like you see me skate at much older than them, and that is quite all the confidence they need.

OK, let me go read some notes and interactions.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old March 17th, 2016, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueSkate View Post
...I am terrified to try again....to continue to attempt backwards skating...
Careful...your hard-earned wisdom and sense of mortality is showing.

Your caution/fear is a normal result of years piling on. This is why teenage motorists pay more for car insurance than MATURE people with well developed COMMON SENSE.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Just do what you enjoy and every once in a while turn backwards for a minute. Eventually that minute will turn into more minutes. Maybe. Just keep it enjoyable and don't let something you love cause you stress. And don't skate backwards UNTIL you fall. Bad reinforcement. Skate for a minute and quit until you get some confidence back.

Once you get over the raw fear...

Pad up - elbows, wrists, head. Maybe even butt (hockey pants). I mean...if you KNOW you are shaky and going to fall I think it kinda foolish to just take your lumps and hope for the best. Fear of getting HURT is why you fear skating backward, at least in part, correct?

Maybe find a quiet place to practice? Some space without other skaters around and preferably other people too. I like empty parking lots. I skate backwards through the painted parking spaces in a giant "S" shape trying not to touch the painted lines with my wheels. Go as slow or as fast as you like.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 08:21 PM   #10
Sir Dutch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueSkate View Post
Hello all fellow skaters. I have returned to quad skating at a local rink. It has been almost thirty years since I have skated. In my prime, I was a good skater. Not great, but good. I picked it up again just like riding a bike. All the basics came back easily. Here's my question. Why do I have such a fear of skating backwards? I am able to do it and yes, I have fallen (part of skating), but since the last minor fall, I am terrified to try again. Is it simply my age and maturity after thirty years that tells me to not do it?
Also, what advice can you give me as a confidence builder to continue to attempt backwards skating?
I have the same problem. I'm blind in my left eye. It seems that every time I skate backwards a kid falls so that I can't see them and I end of going "boom"
I'm known at my local rink and know the "tiny" bobber floor guards---- so they Kinda protect me rear for me now!!
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Old December 16th, 2016, 01:03 AM   #11
Derrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Dutch View Post
I have the same problem. I'm blind in my left eye. It seems that every time I skate backwards a kid falls so that I can't see them and I end of going "boom"
I'm known at my local rink and know the "tiny" bobber floor guards---- so they Kinda protect me rear for me now!!
I suggest lots and lots of transitions from front to back, back to front. Right eye for normal transitions. This will teach you to transition around trouble.
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