The crossfoot sidewinder is a crazy-looking trick – you literally have to tie yourself in knots for this one. Unfortunately, I’m not that flexible, so I’ve enlisted the help of Romania’s Marius Constantin to show how this one works.
Before you begin, make sure your board is the right length for you – anything too long will make this even more uncomfortable to do – and put some skid plates on it so you don’t smash your board to bits!
Also, although this is a much harder and more convoluted trick than the regular sidewinder, don’t skip ahead: you want to make sure you understand the movements needed before you get all tangled up.
Marius starts off in a solid pogo. In theory you can do this without bouncing, but the pogo will give you some time to get ready for the trick.
When he’s ready to begin, he swaps his feet, putting his front foot on the truck and extending his back leg behind him (and out of frame) to counter-balance for a second.
Now the trick really begins: he removes his back hand from the side of the nose, and brings his back leg across the front of the front leg – which is still on the truck. You’ll need good balance for this movement!
This is a key moment – notice Marius has also taken his thumb off the skid plate, giving his back foot that little bit more space to stand on. This also means he’s less likely to stand on his thumb – that’s a mistake you only make once.
With the back foot now in place and legs firmly crossed, Marius starts bending down to start the sidewinder. The nose of the board is now cradled in the bent fingers of his front hand – that’s all that’s holding him up.
Having bent down fully, Marius grabs the toeside wheel on the back truck. Notice he’s not grabbing the hangar – the hangar gives you a stronger anchor point but means you have to bend that bit further while also making the end of the trick look worse.
Here’s another important moment. Marius doesn’t just drop the nose and let the board slap down flat to the ground – as he lets go of the nose, he also hops slightly and pulls the tail up with the back hand…
…meaning that as he untangles his legs, he’s still in full control of the board, and everything looks nice and clean.
At this point, the sidewinder itself is effectively done. The front foot is extended behind Marius to help him keep his balance, and he’s firmly focused on the back hand, ready for the exit.
Before Marius loses his balance and/or drops the tail, he does another small hop up off his back leg – lifting his front knee for added height – and begins pulling the board across the front of his body with the back wheel….
…giving it a small twist with the back wrist in the process, bringing the board back to a regular grip-side-up orientation…
…ready for a solid landing and the next piece of footwork or stationary trick.
In theory, you can do 50-50s on basically any board, but they become significantly easier on a squarer tail, as it’ll help stabilise you when you’re standing on the truck; Marius’ pro model is very square compared to the average double kick freestyle deck for this reason.
Flatter kicktails will also help, as the steeper the kicktails are, the worse the angles are going to be. If you’re using a single kick, it might be worth starting the 50-50 on the tail so that your back leg can cross over onto the flat nose – it’ll be far more comfortable that way.
You really need get right wheelbase – the distance between the trucks – for this. If the wheelbase on your deck is too short, you’ll feel cramped; if the wheelbase is too long, you’ll struggle to cross your legs far enough. If you get the chance to try some different boards out, experiment a bit – you’ll probably want something shorter than you think.
Marius also pointed out how you want to make sure you don’t have exposed mounting hardware for this trick, and as I mentioned in the trick tip for the regular sidewinder, I can very much vouch for this; if the bolt is sticking out too far beyond the nut, there’s a chance you’ll cut your knuckles as you pull the board up by the wheel if something goes wrong.
Also, I know I’m repeating myself – I say this on every 50-50 trick on here – but I can’t stress this enough: pick up some skid plates before you start working on these. Razortail and truck tricks don’t mix; standing on the end of a razortailed deck is an easy way to totally ruin your board.
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