Thanks to a certain Mr Mullen, this is one of the rolling tricks that many new freestylers really want to learn – however, it’s also one of the most awkward to do if you don’t know the secret to making it work.
In all honesty, learning this trick is about 90% foot placement and 10% timing – assuming you already know how to do straight nosehook impossibles from a stationary position – and with these tips below you should be able to pick it up in no time.
You need a really wide stance for a half cab impossible. Your back foot wants to be comfortably nestled in the middle of the tail, and the front foot has to be at the very tip of the nose.
Here’s that front foot position from the side; you should be able to feel the end of the nose in the center of your foot. This position will allow you to slide off the end of the nose and get underneath it.
I roll in backwards at a low speed, prewinding my body slightly by bringing my arms across my body. This will help me generate the backside rotation as I whip into the “half cab” part of the trick.
I unwind my upper body, turning my shoulders to face the tail, and start to swap my weight to my back leg. As the front wheels start to lift, it’s only the small touch from my front foot stopping the board from flying off into the distance.
No sooner has my foot slid off than I start bringing it back in to get under the nose. It still hasn’t fully connected at this point, but I’m still skidding through the 180 on the tail.
Now the front foot is deep under the nose, just as it would be for a stationary nosehook impossible; at this point, it can start lifting slightly and pushing the nose of the board through the rest of the turn.
As I finish the 180º rotation, I want to try to get my shoulders in line with the board, and prepare for the jump to get the impossible. Notice how late I’ve left the takeoff – if I did it any sooner, I wouldn’t get a good impossible rotation.
This point should be familiar territory. The front foot lifts the nose up, enabling the back foot to push straight through the tail and keep the board going end-over-end.
As you can see, this is a more horizontal rotation than I’d like. It’s hard to avoid that when you’re spinning into the impossible – that rotational energy has to go somewhere.
In this frame you can see how you level the impossible out and keep it under control – the back foot has tilted onto its side, and I’m dragging it up towards the tail as I would in a nollie.
The board’s level at this point, but I’m still not facing forwards. This is where a half cab impossible can go bad – you’ve got to keep rotating even after the front foot connects to make sure you come out rolling.
I’ve never seen this before, but all of a sudden some of my mistakes make sense: my back foot, trying to get the board to rotate more, has pushed too much and lost control of the tail. The front foot comes into contact with the grip tape and stops the board going too far.
Thankfully, the front foot has levelled the board out, and started pushing the board back down to the floor, keeping it controlled enough that the back foot will land naturally over the back truck.
Comparing this with the starting position, I can see that I managed to complete a full 180º turn during this half cab impossible, but I still lost a fair bit of speed. That’s fine – getting that speed back is what footwork is for.
While the regular Nosehook Impossible can be done on most boards, this is one which really starts to become more difficult if your setup isn’t well-suited for it.
To make this easier on yourself, get a board which is the right length. You can do them on a street board, but unless you’re a tall, lanky bastard, having one foot on the tail and the other on the very tip of the nose is going to feel like a massive stretch.
Steep tails will help you get started with the wrap as the board will already be at a steep angle, but a steep nose is more likely to cause your foot to slide out from under it prematurely. Griptape under the nose will also help you get traction as you pick the board up.
Make sure you take your time with this one – don’t roll into it too fast, and don’t try to throw the impossible too early. You don’t want to stop dead at the end of the 180º pivot, but you don’t want to try doing an impossible while you’re still rotating. Remember this should be a half cab impossible, not a 540 bigspin!