Due to the obsession with the 25 in 5 and being super fast at skating, I’ve put this article together to hope it helps some of you understand how to skate the diamond, improve your crossovers and get skating the entire diamond using ONLY crossovers.
When I started roller derby I assumed that if I kept to the inside line I would be at my fastest because I was taking the shortest route around the track. WRONG!
Because you have skates on and are effectively a projectile, there’s a lot of physics involved with angles which is why the diamond was created. In essence, you want to be at the outside of the track along the straights, and the inside lane whilst skating the corners (apex). This way your existing speed will propel you faster like a sling shot around the track and it creates a lot less work for you.
You ideally want to crossover on the entire track, yes – that includes crossovers on the straights. This however will take confidence, strength, speed, and so will take time.
The red crosses are around where you want to start your crossovers, everyone is different and some of you will do more, some will do less – it’s merely a guideline of what you want to achieve.
Until you’re able to get the speed you need for the 4th crossover (the one at the start of the straight), you may find that skating or sprinting along that straight will work for you, just make sure you stick to the diamond path on the diagram.
For the crossovers, I’ve made a little diagram it’s not brilliant sorry but hopefully it will help!
So you want to be looking left around the corner with your left shoulder and arm back or even behind you, this will help to turn your upper body inwards towards the corner which will make it much easier for your legs to follow and do what you want them too!
Stay LOW with your knees bent in your derby stance. The lower you are the easier it will be because you have more range of movement to stride your legs across. In the winter make sure that you watch some speed skating on the TV and it will give you a good idea of the extreme version of what you want to achieve!
Cross your right leg over in front of your left leg keeping your upper body tilted left. You want to glide through this motion for as long as possible and you should feel your left leg sliding underneath you if you’re leaning in correctly, go with it – let your left leg slide and push it through behind you. Pick your left leg up and place it back in front again ready for another crossover.
And that’s pretty much it. Remember to get down low, and do what you can until you’re confident to push it a little harder. I hope this guide helps you nail those crossovers and lands you your 25/5 and through your minimum skills!