You’d think that learning the 360 casper disaster would be as simple as doing a casper disaster and spinning a bit more, but there’s some things to consider and lessons to learn that aren’t necessarily obvious at first glance. However, it should go without saying that if you can’t already do the casper disaster confidently and smoothly, you’ll be wasting your time trying this one. Don’t rush ahead!
Also, like most caspers and rail tricks, there’s no right or wrong way to do this one as far as stance goes. I skate regular and pick up the board with my back foot; if you use your front foot to pull the board into a railstand or casper, just reverse the instructions below.
…and while the upper body looks identical to the start of a regular casper disaster, I’m rolling into this forwards at a slow pace. This is important for reasons we’ll return to later.
As I start to unwind from my starting position, I’m compressing at the knees ready for the pickup to heelside rail like normal. However, things are going to happen a lot faster than if I was only taking this 180.
Here’s where things really start to change. I need to force through the first 180 as quickly as possible, so I’m already looking backwards, with my back arm pulling behind my back, pulling the rest of my body into the spin.
If you compare this frame with the equivalent “pickup” frame in the regular casper disaster tricktip, you can see how much harder I’m driving round. I’m having to fight through that forward momentum – hence the contortion.
At this point I’ve settled my weight onto my back leg, and my torso is still ahead of my lower body in the spin. You can see the side of my foot is pushing into the griptape, forcing the board around like normal…
…And in this frame you can really see how far back my weight is, keeping the front wheels from dragging as I spin like a madman. However, note my body position – I’m still centred over the back truck. If I lean too far back, I’ll only fly off the board.
By this point I know I’m through the toughest part of the trick and I can focus on landing. My weight was already slightly – only slightly – towards my toes to stop the board from jamming into the ground, but now I’m almost ready to finish, I can start thinking about pushing the board back to a rolling position.
This frame is very similar to the next one, but I include it for one reason – there’s still daylight under the front of the deck. I’ve forced myself through 270º, and even though my weight is increasingly shifting forwards to finish, I’m managing to keep the front end of the board off the ground. This is incredibly important.
Okay, now I can start to exit the trick. Finishing a 360 casper disaster is just like dropping out of a coconut wheelie; I’m going to use my back foot to tilt the board forwards, and not rely on the front foot pushing the board down. With all the rotational momentum, if I use my front foot, I’ll just pitch the board off into the distance.
This is where it should be obvious why rolling forwards into this was so important. Even as my front foot follows the board down, look at how far forwards my body is; there’s going to be a lot of forwards motion out of the trick. If I’d rolled backwards to start the spin, not only would it have been harder to get past 180º, but coming out of it like this would stop me dead.
And now shoes meet griptape and I’m back in a normal riding stance – albeit bent forward and slightly compressed. Even with the momentum throwing your forwards, try to land back-foot-first; you’ll want to be able to land on the back wheels and pivot the last few degrees of rotation if necessary.
While the main “additional note” from the regular casper disaster is still valid here (namely, use freestyle wheels or you’re going to have a bad time), this trick is a lot more picky than the basic 180º version.
The first major setup tip is truck stiffness. A floppy truck is going to make these hellish to balance. If you’re still using stock bushings, it’s time for an upgrade. Barrel-and-cone combinations are basically mandatory; double conical setups never have enough stability for things like this. Durometer will depend a bit on your body weight and the climate, but I recommend 95a at a minimum.
Truck/setup height will also play a big role here, especially if you favour wider boards. Think of your whole setup as a solid box; if you’re skating an 8″ wide deck with low trucks, tiny wheels and no risers, the whole thing will want to topple over as you spin on the side of that “box”. At the other extreme, if you were skating a 6.5″ deck with 1/2″ risers, Paris trucks, and giant longboard wheels, the setup would be so stable in rail that these would be incredibly simple to do. You can sit and calculate your rail stability mathematically if you’re nerdy enough, but a good general rule is use a skinnier deck and throw some risers in there if you’re particularly interested in rail tricks.
Finally, the surface is going to play a huge part in this trick. Too much friction will make it hard to get the full 360º; too little friction will mean you’ll have to roll a lot slower into the trick in case you slip out on the violent launch into the spin. Doing these at a new spot always requires a bit of a feeling-out process, but the more you do them, the easier it gets to judge it.