I’m 99.9% certain I didn’t invent this trick – someone had to have done it before me – but over the last few years I’ve pretty much adopted this as a signature trick, throwing it into almost every stationary combo I’ve done. And there’s good reason for that – it’s bloody fun, quick to do, and people seem to really like it.
I think this trick is deceptively simple, but as it happens quite quickly, it can take a few goes to understand what’s happening. I imagine the sequence below will be a bit easier to follow than any amount of video.
Normally I start with a first person view of the setup for this trick. That’s somewhat pointless here, as you just start in a regular heelside rail position. You do, however, need to make sure your front foot is hanging off the wheel. You want to be able to feel the deck in the arch of your foot.
From in front, this just looks like I’m killing time in heelside rail. You want to start out relaxed and centered.
At this point, the trick has already begun, but it might look no different to the previous frame. I’m actually bending my knees slightly, pressing my weight downwards. This is important for what comes next.
I straighten my legs, pushing my torso upwards quickly and becoming “weightless” for a split second as a result. At the same time, I tip my front foot towards the toes – lifting the arch of the foot off the deck – and start pushing the tail end of the board behind me with my back foot.
With my front foot clear of the deck, the board is free to spin around the front axle. I keep myself centered above the wheel, meaning the board can’t move away from that spot.
This is my favourite part of the trick. As my toes were dipped down as I pushed the board behind me, the board can’t spin all the way round, and the underside of the nose hits the side of my foot as it reaches 180º. I should be at the peak of my not-jump at this point, with my weight ready to come back down.
Before my weight pulls me back to the ground, I need to get the board back to its starting position, so I flick my ankle out, pushing the underside of the nose with the toes of my front foot.
Here you can really see the front foot twisting back outwards to push the board back the way it came. At the same time, my back foot is returning to a natural “riding” position. I can’t see the board, so I have to trust the wheel will be underneath the back foot as it comes down.
It looks here as if I’ve caught it too soon, but in reality, my weight isn’t fully down yet. My back foot has found the back wheel, but the heel of my front foot hasn’t dropped and my weight is still on the front wheel. As such, I can slide the board into position slightly before I relax back into a rail stand.
I’m almost done here. Notice where I’m looking – at no point have I looked at the back foot at all. I could probably do this whole trick with my eyes closed – it’s all about board feel. Being familiar with your board helps, too.
And now the trick is done. I’m back in rail, sitting comfortably as if nothing ever happened. At this point I can move into another rail trick to keep the combo going.
While you could probably learn this without freestyle wheels, it’s not recommended; the sound of axle nuts on asphalt is horrible, and it’ll ruin your trucks. Also, I’m not sure how freely the board would be able to spin if you were standing on the end of the axle, and you’ll run a high risk of the trick locking up mid-rotation as your axle gets stuck in a crack. If you don’t know where to get some freestyle wheels, have a look at our retailers page.
You’re also going to struggle to do this trick if your trucks are too wide for the board – or if they’re set much too loose. If the truck can wobble while you’re standing in rail, you’ll have difficulty keeping your balance while the board spins beneath you. Get some firmer bushings before you break your ankle.
Finally, this trick tip is based on the assumption that you’ll find it most natural to stand on your front foot throughout this trick. It doesn’t really matter which foot you stand on – if you want to balance on your back foot, feel free. The idea of “switch” is a bit more vague (or even irrelevant) in rail tricks. Just go with whichever end feels most comfortable.
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