One of my students allerted me to this post and I'm really sorry I wasn't aware of it when it was current. I have read almost all of it (and skimmed some) but I am really impressed with the discussion and the finer points of detail that the original guy (sorry I've lost your name now) has noticed in his own skating and others. You are asking the right questions and I absolutely believe there is a technique that works and can be achieved.
As you say, I do charge forlessons and I think it;s because some techniques work and improve your ability to manipulate your own weight on yourskates and that's where the secrests lie. The point someone made that abckwards skating needsore knee bend that forwards skating is absolutely correct I think. The other noticings that when I skated in that video I am rarely going in a straight line backwards (ie using continuous backwards crossovers). Why? Because they are the least effective and most difficult way toget speed, although contnuous backwards crossovers are a great move for when you want to chill your speed, or have a gentle downhill or dont particularly want to accelerate. They are ok, but if I have to hooff it and get going backwards then I use a combination of backwards crossovers (1 or 2 max) and backwards crosounders. I have seen that the majority of fast backwards skaters use the same combination so Im not alone in finding them more efficient (I like an easy time if I can have it). I'm pushing you here to turn your focus to learning backwards crososvers and crossunders in combination with eachother as your prefered and main way of going backwards. They will produce more flow and speed for sure. But I'm sure you are still wanting the continuous crossovers. I really want to teach themto you and I think I can do it even if you are in wigan.
I have taught several people remotely already, as I spend my winters often abroad and my regular clients want to have top up classes or feedback while I'm away. I need a video of you currently doig what you do (skating backwards) so I know where to start and then we tal on the phone when you are in your skates and I top that up with short videos. It seems to work pretty well.I'dbe interested in that option if you do. Call me 0771 204 5133
In the meantime, you are absolutely right that there isa shift of weight in the crossover that produces the propulsion and without it you dont get any speed. After the step out from the crossover (imagine going backwards, looking over right shoulder, crossing left over right) you land on your right skate (which is leading the scissor) and this skate must take your weight witha good knee bend. As the left skate crosses over the right the weight only shifts to the left skate once the full cross is complete (99% of people transfer the weight here too early) and then the weight is firmply ont he left trailing leg with an even deeper knee bend. Then you are ready to lift the right skate from the crossuner and step out into a wide scissored stance to begin the next one. The only difference between continuous crossovers in a straight line and backwards crossovers ina circle (anticlockwise) is that the edges are different, the weight scenarios are pretty much identical (and that's where everyone usually complicates and change the weight stuff too). Edges are; centre edge on stepping our RIght skate into wide scissor. Then the funky bit, tilt the right skate manutely onto an inside edge (or the beginnings of an inside edge) and keep your weight on ther ight skate as it starts to roll behind and cross under the left skate (just by virtue of subtly changing the edge). The left skate croosses over onto another slight inside (or centre) edge (many people outside edge here and there cause more problems).
Fundamentally all backwards skating is thwarted by us all having a stronger and more dominant leg. This is normal but the body's tendency to not want to stand on your bad leg going backwards is increased (obviously). And so we avoid the places we don't like or feel safe in. We think we're shifting weight but it's maybe shifting 60%-40% instead of 92%-8%. We can't just do the right thing, we have to do it by the right percentage and that's where I think a teacher is useful, as we should (if we are worth the money) be able to wuickly spot the weight and edes going on.
However, I do think the backwards stiff is very multifaceted and not at all easy toaccomplish. BUt some systematic and regular prctice does indeed produce results (I;ve seen this many times and have the priviledge of watching my students improve their backwards skating month by month). It's an ongoing project. Good luck to everyone practicing it and I realy hope these notes help and not hinder. Typing skating is so hard and I think so muhc is lost, but it's good practice I guess. I prefer to talk and skate skating.
For those in London interested in this backwards stuff, more coming up at Advanced workshop on Saturday 9th July 3-5pm at the Boat House.