How to Do Crossovers on Rollerblades

Crossovers are a great help for when you wanna go into and out of a turn at high speeds. If you’ve ever wondered why some people seem to go so fast on rollerblades, wonder no more. It’s because those people know how to do forward and backward crossovers. Fortunately, this post discusses nothing else aside from how to do crossovers on rollerblades, aka, inline skates.

Also read: How to Rollerblade for beginning inline skaters

Forward and Backward Crossovers Video Tutorial

Do you prefer watching tutorials over boring through walls of text? Our forwards and backwards crossovers video tutorial below got you covered. In the video, Peter and Bujie, members of the Skating Magic family, explain and demonstrate how crossover turns work. Enjoy.

And if you’ve not yet subscribed to the skatingmagic channel, please do so now so that you won’t miss any of our future videos on blading and related topics.

What You Need to Know at this Point.

1.Skates with wheels smaller than 90mm work best for backward and forward crossovers. You certainly can do crossovers with 90mm or even 110mm wheels, but your skating ability would have to be really good to do these turn navigation tricks without tripping and falling over.

2. Shorter frames are somewhat better than longer ones, particularly for weaker side crossovers. Learning crossovers on the standard 243mm frame definitely feels easier and more comfortable than doing the same thing on super-sized frames.

But guess what? Bujie uses 4x110mm inline skate wheels, yet dude skates like a god! And he does it all on the longest frames I’ve ever seen. But then he’s been inline skating for years..

3. Remove the heel brake when learning crossovers on rollerblades.

Most fitness and recreational inline skates have a brake on the right skate, just below the heel of the right foot. Fortunately, you can easily take the heel brake off using a skate tool or a 4mm Allen Key. Some people prefer attaching the brake to the left foot and that’s OK.

To remove the brake from rollerblades, here’s a video to watch to learn how Peter does it. The entire process takes under 5 minutes.

Tip: Once you take off the brake, make sure to use a shorter wheel axle when replacing the rear wheel. And if you prefer devouring written tutorials, here’s an article we wrote earlier about heel brake removal.

So, why remove the brake pad? The break can get in the way when learning inline skate crossovers. You sure can practice crossover turns with the brake still attached, but make sure to maintain a reasonable distance between the crossover foot and the inner foot.

Now that all that is out of the way, let’s dive in and learn how this advanced rollerblade trick works.

We call it advanced because it’s not the kind of trick you introduce to some absolutely to blading.

But if you’ve mastered the basic skills of inline skating and are looking for a new skill to internalize, crossovers are a good place to start.

If you follow this guide and watch our video above, you’ll soon master crossovers and learn other new techniques that set the pros apart from everyone else.

Also read: How do you jump on rollerblades?

How to Do Forward Crossovers on Rollerblades

To do forward crossovers on inline skates, find a flat smooth surface. A rough surface isn’t ideal because it’s easy to trip on something and fall over. Find a flat surface such as a tennis court, a hockey roller rink, or a basketball court.

The next step is to draw two circles on the surface (show a rocker hockey rink picture or any other picture where the floor has circles) .Go one way around the first circle and the other way around the second circle.

If there’s a roller hockey rink near you, you’re lucky because there are nice circles there. Alternatively, go to a very low-traffic road and learn crossovers around a turn.

Roller hockey rink for crossovers

Bujie here is doing a left crossover turn, so he’s crossing over with the right leg. If he were doing a right turn, he’d have to step over with the left foot/skate. Photo credit:

Keep your knees bent, the chest up, and the face looking into the circle (find a clip where he’s in this stance/position.). The shoulder, hip, and knee should stay over the edge of the circle. Obviously, you should be able to skate forwards in a straight line. Also, you should be able to skate with one foot for a few seconds.

The first thing to do is to make small pushes. When ready to step over, lift the outer foot and cross it over the inner foot, landing on the center edge. The foot gliding on the outline of the circle is the inner foot.

To make sure the crossover goes smoothly, bend your knees more deeply. Bending the knees a little more makes a significant difference when stepping over. After landing with the outer foot, replace the inside foot by stepping out, and the cycle starts again. Remember: the most important part is to bend your knees deeply, especially when stepping over.

Bujie ke doing forward crossovers

Weight transfer when doing forward crossovers: Before crossing over, your weight is over the outer foot/pushing foot. When stepping over, the weight shifts to the inner leg and transfers back to the crossover foot after landing.

When you step out with the inside foot and place it parallel to the other foot, the weight is split evenly between your feet, at least momentarily, before it shifts to the outside skate once again.

What edges do you use when doing crossovers on rollerblades? You use corresponding edges, that is, the outside edge of one skate and the inside edge of the other skate. If you watch the video above, you’ll see that as Bujie starts crossing over, the outside skate is on the inside edge while the inside foot is on the outside edge,

​Rollerblade vs Roller skate crossovers

We previously wrote a post on how to do crossovers on roller skates. It’s the exact same principle as performing crossovers on inline skates. The stance is the exact same thing and the weight shifting works the same way.

Perhaps the only difference between rollerblade crossovers and roller skate crossovers is that the edges are deeper than they are on roller skates. Here’s how to do crossovers on roller skates if interested.

Want to learn how to do crossovers on a straight line as opposed to going around a turn? Asha of Skate Fresh has a pretty solid video on that here.

How to Do Backward Crossovers on Rollerblades

Backward crossovers are harder than forward crossovers because skating backwards generally is harder than skating forwards. The ability to skate backwards is essential to learning backward crossovers.

​A lot of people have a hard time inline skating backwards. If you’re in the struggling group, stop reading now and watch this video on how to inline skate backwards. In that video, Bujie demonstrates at least 3 ways of rollerblading backwards.

You can use backward swizzles such as those used by ice skaters. Or you can do the exact opposite of what you do when skating forwards: keep the toes pointed to one another and the heels pointing out.

backward crossover rollerblades

Bujie doing backward crossovers. Push with the outside skate, step over the inside foot, step out with the inside foot and place it where it was at the beginning. Image credit:,

So, get in the backward skating stance and start moving. After a few pushes, lift the outside foot, step over the inner foot, and land on the center edge. It’s similar to forward crossovers, except you’re rolling backwards. The process completes when the inner foot steps out.

Your weight shifts from the outer pushing leg to the inner leg and then to the step over foot once it lands. Finally, the weight gets transferred to both feet temporarily before switching to the outer leg which is when the motion repeats.

Don’t fret if you can’t get your crossovers down to a fine art in the first training session. The trick is to build a mental image of what the motion looks like and then practicing that until it becomes second nature.

Here’s a safety tip: Wear protective gear because falls aren’t uncommon to crossovers, especially backwards crossovers. We don’t want you falling and ending up with head injuries. Also, turn your head so you can look over your shoulder to see where you’re going.

Tips on Backward and Forward Crossovers on Rollerblades

  • Gear up to protect yourself from fall impacts. Wear a certified inline skate helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads.
  • Crossovers are a pretty challenging trick and new skaters will probably have to practice for a while before they can master the required technique. Realize that advanced skaters aren’t born, they practice consistently and eventually “become.”
  • Start learning at slow speeds and build up to higher speeds as your skill level evolves and strengthens.
  • Avoid hilly terrain or rough surfaces during the learning phase. Instead, find flat surfaces such as a tennis court, a skate park, a basketball court, roller hockey rink, or even in your garage. Stay away from surfaces that are strewn with small pebbles because that’s the surest way to slam the back of your head on the pavement. Be sure to wear an ASTM F1492-certified inline skate helmet since it’s designed to offer more coverage at the back of the head.
  • Be sure to warm up pre and post-practice. This is recommended as standard practice for skaters of all ability levels.
  • Crossovers and other advanced-level skills require you to have perfect balance. So, practice the one-foot glide until you get it down. If you can skate on one foot for long enough, you’ll struggle less when crossing over and stepping out.
  • Mastering the basic technique and developing good balance are super important when it comes to learning crossovers and other next level tricks.
  • Be ready to put in a lot of practice into your crossovers if you wish to get them to a really good place soon.
  • Understand how body weight transfer works when pushing, stepping over, and stepping out with the inside skate.
  • Doing crossovers on rollerblades isn’t much different than ice skating crossovers and roller skating crossovers.
  • When going backwards, turn the upper body to some extent as well as your head so you can see the way and skate safely.
  • Consider working with a certified inline skate coach. Sure, it costs money, but you won’t learn bad skating form as is often the case with self-taught skaters. Unlearning bad habits can be extremely hard.

Forward and Backward Crossovers on Rollerblades: Final Thought

Crossovers on inline skates, especially the backward crossover, are a crucial skill. The trick is a staple of blading, one that hockey players, ice skaters, roller skaters, and inline skaters who wish to improve their skating skills must master. It’s how you become an experienced skater or at least a better skater.

It’s a more advanced technique, but if you know what to do and stay consistent in practice, you definitely get better over time. Put on proper safety gear, strap the skates on your feet, and let’s hit that skating rink.

Blading is the best way to while away the hours on those boring Saturday afternoons all while getting a happiness-boosting full-body workout. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and grow into an accomplished skater. Happy skating!