Transitions on roller skates can be challenging because they combine forward and backward skating as well as forward-back-side-to-side weight transfer and upper body coordination. 

However, In order to take your first turn, you need to work on some fundamental skills.

2 Ways you can turn backward while roller skating

1. Stepping Forwards To Backwards

Stepping from forward to back is the most basic technique, which you probably see most beginners doing.

Step 1: Going At Reasonable speed

If you want to do this correctly, you need to keep a reasonable speed so that you don’t fall.

When you go too fast, you might crash, lose your balance, or experience another mishap that will prevent you from transitioning properly. If you go too slow, you won’t be able to easily go backwards.

Step 2: Slightly Turn Your Head And Shoulders

Once you have set your speed, look up and turn your head and shoulders slightly backwards. As you turn, put your weight on the opposite leg from which you are turning at the same time.

So if you want to turn left, shift your weight to your right leg, and vice versa.

Step 3: Turn Your Leg Away From You

Next, turn the leg that has no weight away from you so that both heels are almost touching. 

If it is too difficult for you, then focus on letting your hip, leg, and foot follow through with your movements.

Step 4: Step Around With Another Leg

After this, step around with the other leg on which the weight was planted at the beginning. While doing all of these steps, make sure that you continue to look towards the opposite direction while completing the maneuver.

At any point, looking down at your feet can make you lose balance and fall.

2. Advance Roller Skates Turning Backward

If you have mastered the basic transitions of stepping forward to backward, and are willing for a greater challenge, then there are other techniques that will make you look like an expert on the roller rink, the park, or wherever you skate.

Step 1: turning your head and shoulders backwards

Similar to the above methods, you look up while simultaneously turning your head and shoulders backwards.

Step 2: turn your foot away from your body

Next, lift your toes and turn your foot away from your body with whichever leg feels more comfortable. 

When you lift your left toe, you bring your foot left, and vice versa when you lift your right toe. 

When you bring the foot around, ensure that the weight is distributed to the heel.

Step 3: glide that leg back while bringing your other leg around

Last but not least, glide that leg back while bringing the other leg around to follow.

As you follow through with the other leg, keep your weight on the heel as you did earlier.

For this turning backward method to be effective, there are a lot of different movements that need to be performed correctly.

When practicing, pay close attention to each specific foot movement, as the maneuver will become much easier.

Video on How To Turn Backward On Roller Skates


In conclusion, learning how to turn backward on roller skates can be a fun and challenging skill.

By following the steps provided in this article, you can learn how to do a basic turning backwards and start cruising around in no time.

Be sure to practice regularly and have fun!


My name is Patricia Toh. I was born in the southen of China but I live in Hawaii. I work as a translator. I love skating. But in the future, I’d like to try yoga too."

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