Backwards Skating Basics

One of the most requested skills that I get asked to teach is backwards skating, so I figured it would make a great series of tutorial videos. Here is the first of a three part series that will take you from no experience in backwards skating, all the way to backwards cross overs (cross-pulls).
The first step towards becoming a great backwards skater is learning and perfecting the Backwards March as demonstrated in this video.

speed

Here’s a brief rundown of how to get started Backwards Skating:

1. Position feet with toes inward and heels out keeping bent knees and a straight back.
2. Alternate lifting your knees while maintaining the foot position in Step 1
3. DO NOT walk backwards, only lift knees straight up and down
4. Once this is comfortable, begin applying more force and take a longer push
Common mistakes include:
-looking down at the feet
-leaning forward
-walking backwards (looks like a chicken walk..hehe )
-moving feet out of the backwards skating position
-sliding feet on the ground instead of lifting them

Best of luck and check back for the next step in Backwards Skating Basics
You’re ready to Roll!

Rollerblade Babe

Earlier this week I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with the Rollerblade company and skate in the photo shoot for their 2012/2013 catalog. Noted photographer, Ben Shaul, photographed skaters of different backgrounds on location in downtown Los Angeles and Malibu tearing through the streets and blowin’ down hills in Rollerblade’s finest skates.

Smile while skating

I skated on the second day of shooting and was surrounded and humbled by skaters who spend their free time hitting the skate parks doing aggressive inline skating. Among those in the group were Pro Skaters, Rob Guerrero and Coco Sanchez! Aggressive skating uses inline skates built specifically to perform tricks on street obstacles or on ramps. On the shoot I met both street skaters, who do more grinds and slides, as well as ramp skaters who do aerial tricks off of ramps. It was great to get to know a different crowd of skaters and compare our backgrounds. It was interesting to see how our differing styles of skating altered our ability to perform the obstacles within the shoot and the conditions. Some felt right at home carving down a super steep winding hill in the hills of Malibu while maintaining full control and giving a great face to camera, while others felt more comfortable haulin’ you know what, up the same hill almost at a sprint.

As we moved through locations, skaters shuffled in and out and I went on to meet skaters who skate for recreation purposes only, skaters who have performed overseas as Disney princesses on skates, and an old favorite of mine (Danielle, skated with me in a commercial and music video last year for Lucozade) also happened to be shooting with me as well and we were up to our usual antics. Throughout the day I was able to share a little about we Rollerskate with the other skaters on set and invited them to join in the next Beach Skate, so we may be adding some new flavor to the group in April!

As the day wound down I realized that I had skated for eight hours, up and down hills that were just plain intimidating at first, in skates that were not my own. I felt so great about the day, feeling like I must have burned a week’s worth of calories and made some new skating friends, learned about different skating styles and to top it all off, Rollerblade generously let me keep the skates that I had modeled throughout the day. Let me just say the blades that Rollerblade has out now and are coming out with in 2013 are not the plastic 80′s/90′s rollerblades that you see at KMart or rent at a rink, they are impressive!

Straight out of the box, true to my shoe size, the Tempest 90 model, designed for high performance fitness skating, was so comfortable and performed above my expectations in all areas. Once I adjusted to the length of the plate and height of the wheels (I’m used to my indoor quads) I was rippin’ down the scariest roads I’ve ever skated on.
Also equally impressive, but maybe designed more for recreational fitness skating, was the Activa 90 model which straight out of the box were comfortable and handled great. The last model that I wore was the 2013 Spark model, the base model and most inexpensive skate coming out next season from Rollerblade. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were even in a size bigger than what I wear. Without a second thought, I could go forward, backwards at speed and play around in these while cameras caught the skates in action. I was even able to jump over the photographer at one point.

It had been a long time since I’ve been in an actual pair of Rollerblades, but now I’m itching to hit the road in my new wheels!