If you have just begun ice skating in Hong Kong, you probably love the free feeling of gliding along the cool ice rink, and cheered the first time that you made it around the entire ice rink without falling over, at a decent speed. The twirls, spins, jumps and backwards skating of Hong Kong figure skating pros and even Hong Kong ice hockey pros probably seem like a pipe dream. It is difficult to believe that you can actually skate backwards much easier than you can forwards - but it is true! We give you a step by step guide to backwards ice skating in Hong Kong - surprise yourself.
There are a couple of steps that it is good to take before you try to skate backwards, as preparatory measures. You point your toes outwards when you are doing forwards ice skating in Hong Kong (and everywhere else in the world!), and you'll need to do the opposite if you want to move backwards. Pretend that your ice skate toes are kissing, and just stand for a while, getting used to that feeling. Perhaps take a few steps around the ice rink, with your skate toes pointed inwards instead of out.
You need to walk before you can run, and you also need to walk before you can skate! Hong Kong pro ice skaters needed to do this at some stage, just as you do - walk backwards on the ice, with your toes pointing in. You may look silly to others on the ice rink who aren't backwards-skating initiated - but you'll look quite a lot less silly when you're skating rings around them! If you can find a Hong Kong interational sized ice rink, you'll have an easier time staying out of others' way. The next step to Hong Kong backwards ice skating looks a little silly also, but is completely necessary! Hang onto the rail and push yourself backwards, gliding with your skates straight. Do this for a while to get used to moving backwards on your Hong Kong ice rink.
Combine the two, walking backwards with inward pointing toes and pushing yourself in a glide, before attempting backwards skating.
Actually skating backwards is much easier than all this practice, once you have the hang of it! It is also less physically tiring that Hong Kong forwards ice skating, as you use more of your strong quadriceps muscles.
Start with your feet about 6 inches apart, pointing inwards, and push the back of your skates outwards, both feet at once, This is a backwards swizzle. When they are around 12-18 inches apart, move to the inside edges of your skates, so they are pulled together.
Again, if you have a Hong Kong international sized ice rink handy, you are less likely to get knocked over at this stage!
You'll need to learn a 3-turn to turn your swizzles into Hong Kong ice skating backwards. Practice this technique on a Hong Kong ice hockey line if you can. Begin at one edge of the ice rink, with your left foot pointing straight ahead and your right foot at 90 degrees to your left. Put your left arm in front and right arm to the right side, about 6 inches away from your body. Push off with the inside edge of your right skate (not your toepick - other Hong Kong ice skaters will thank you for not subjecting them to the noise!). Keep your right skate just behind your left boot, knee slightly bent. Lean to the left as you take off.
Next, put your right foot in front of your left, and shift your arms so that your right is in front and left to the left. Straighten your knees, and reverse what you just did to push off on the other side. You're skating backwards!
Practice, practice, practice, and you'll soon be a pro!