Going from heelside rail to casper is probably one of the most common transitional moves in freestyle. It’s also one of the better ways to set up for most of the more technical casper tricks, as it eliminates the difficulty and inconsistency introduced by rolling.
Remember – even when you’re just starting on this one, don’t get into the habit of allowing yourself to put a foot on the floor. You don’t want to get into bad habits that will be difficult to break later. Even if it seems difficult to balance at first, persevere – you’ll thank yourself for it down the line.
Obviously, I’ve got to start this move in heelside rail; if you haven’t learned how to get to that position yet, go off and have a look at that trick tip before you start on this one.
This is where the trick really begins. All your weight has to be on the back leg, and move your front foot into position to catch the casper. Put the inside of your foot towards the griptape, and aim to have your toes touching the truck bolts which are closest to the floor.
Now I’m shifting my weight over the tail, lifting the front end of the board slightly, as I start dipping my heel to knock the board backwards.
From another angle, you can see the board starting to tip back onto the wood, ready to fall from the rail to casper. It’s all going to happen very quickly.
In the video, I talk about making a “little hop” to get to the casper. This still shows how small that hop is – as the board goes past the tipping point, I hop towards the tail, but my foot never really lifts up by any measurable amount.
Here you can see my front foot rotating in, allowing the board to roll onto the top of it as my back foot connects with the underside of the tail. My weight still isn’t fully on the tail, so the front foot has created a little rotation of the board as it connects. This is perfectly fine – just try not to push the front foot too far forward, or you’ll lose control of it.
And here’s the classic casper position. Nice and solid, neither foot anywhere near the asphalt. My weight is all on my back leg, centered slightly forward of the tip of the tail, and the front leg is straight and relatively locked to hold the nose up.
Now it’s time to come out, but unlike when we were coming out of the casper from a rolling position, there’s going to be a bit of rotation on this one, due to the rotation created in the drop from rail to casper. My front foot is still pulling upwards, but not as high; it’s going to push slightly forwards to compensate.
Here you can see my back foot scooping backwards, causing the board to rotate instead of tumbling end over end. I’ve also dipped the toe on the back foot, creating a slight flip as it spins. Regardless of this change in movement, my front foot is going to stay with it, pushing it through the rotation.
The half flip needed to get back to the grip is over very quickly; here, you can see my front foot hovering over the board. You don’t want to catch too early, stopping that rotation short, but keeping your front foot close helps prevent another flip.
As in the regular casper, it’s the front foot which is going to catch this one. My back leg has barely committed to coming back to the board – it’ll swing in very quickly once the front foot starts pushing the board down.
Here I’ve landed solidly, feet almost exactly above the bolts. This bodes well for when we start going from casper back to rail later on!
The board I’m using here is a double-kick deck I designed with caspers in mind. It has low kicktail angles to make it easier to stand on, and absolutely no concave, reducing the pain in the top of the foot. A good single kick deck with a decent sized flat nose and no concave would also be a good choice for this trick; although it will work with almost any setup, this will make your life a lot easier.
If you plan on doing a lot of caspers, it’s worth putting some griptape on the underside of the tail to make it a bit easier to stand on. You’ll also want to have some freestyle wheels for this one if you can; standing on the axle nuts is not only uncomfortable, but it’ll make balancing while you set up the movement that bit more difficult.
Need more help?