7

I saw quite a lot of tutorials about backward skating -- how to stop, start, turn, spin, crossover, crossunder, you name it. But no single tutorial show how to skate backwards in a "straight" line.

So my question is, assume you have to skate 1 km in a straight line, you no longer learning, it is not an edge drill or whatever, just skating. You have to be efficient (I am not looking for figure skating) -- so time is an important factor. Safety as well, in a sense, that with normal skating you have other skaters behind you (so it is not speed skating in reverse).

The most guys I saw skate in a mini-slalom fashion, they are zig-zaging backwards, without raising their skates off the ice. The trail would not look like

| |
| |
| |
| |

but rather

/ /
\ \
/ /
\ \
/ /
\ \

with their butt slightly waving from side to side.

I can skate the same way, but I am wondering if this should be my goal of best (efficiency) skating backwards?

I use ice-hockey skates, but I don't play hockey (and I won't be), I am looking to master ice skating perfectly for recreation, and fun.

3

You ideally want to be pushing your feet from an imaginary line down the centre of your body, outwards. This is pretty much the opposite of skating forwards.

The reason these people skate slalom style backwards without lifting skates up is because that way you are getting the power from both of your legs at the same time, not one and then the other.

If you want to skate backwards fast and in a straight line then you ideally want to be doing the zigzag, but keeping it tight towards the centre because the more you push outwards, the further you will go overall.

If you wish to learn start with out and in, then just keep your feet together when you do it.

3

No one has mentioned the "C-cut" style of backwards skating (video), which leaves tracks something like this:

 ||  
 | \  
 | /  
 ||  
/ |   
\ |  
 ||  

I believe this style has greater potential for efficient backwards skating, because it eliminates side-to-side motion. It also takes advantage of weight shifts from leg to leg, giving each leg time to rest, and mimicking natural human locomotion patterns.

  • Martyn's answer says the zigzag is "ideal" and "gives you power from both of your legs at one time", which led me to believe that his "pushing your feet outward from an imaginary line" comment was also supporting the slalom method. ASCII art will help any who misunderstand. – Noumenon Jan 21 '16 at 19:39
1

You could backward outside edges if you were on figure skates. Or just one leg pulls. With proper technique it would generate the most speed.

3rd best is sculling I would say. And this one you can also do efficiently on hockey skates.

0

You must change edge to generate power efficiently. This is why the tracing of the blade cannot be in a straight line. A correct stroke starts with a push from the free leg. There is a second push which occurs when the skating leg changes edge. You can see this because the curvature of the tracing reverses. This applies for forwards and backwards stroking.

In a slalom, only the second push is performed, but it is done with both feet.

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