Scissors Aren’t Just for Cutting

If you hear the word scissors, you may think of “a cutting instrument having two blades whose cutting edges slide past each other.” You wouldn’t be wrong, however, in the context of roller skating it is a sliding motion created with our legs and feet opening and closing to generate power to help propel a skater across a skating surface. In ice skating, they call these “swizzles.” I plan to explain how scissors work and offer tips when performing them.

  • To do scissors you need a starting point. Start at a stand still with your heels together and toes pointing out, creating the letter “V” with your feet.
  • Now that you have a starting point, you’ll need to push your feet out, but do not let your feet extend past your shoulders. The further your feet are apart, the harder it is to get them back together.
  • Here’s the hard part: getting your feet back together. Press and squeeze your toes together. As you do this, if you are struggling to squeeze those toes together, alleviate some of the friction between you and the floor by letting your weight transfer slightly back to your heels, however do not lift your toes off the ground.
  • A common issue people have when doing this, is that they wait too long to bring their feet back out, resulting in clicking wheels and falling. If they wait to long to bring feet back together they will end up falling to the ground in a sprawled out position. The trick to resolving this issue is thinking ahead. As soon as you push out, think about squeezing those feet back together and vice versa.

Sounds easy, right? With this information you should bed able to perform scissors. This is a basic building block to skating, including spinning, backwards skating and more. For more information and to build upon this fundamental, please consult your local skating center for classes/lessons to improve your skating skills. Visit to find a rink near you.