This is a fairly rarely seen combination. Although the motion is actually relatively simple, the mechanics of making it work is quite difficult, which is probably why most people go straight for butterflip variations instead of this odd scoop up from rail to the truck. But once you’ve got it, this is a quick transition that doesn’t require unusual starting positions, so if you’re into stationary tricks, it’s definitely worth making this part of your repertoire.
How easily this trick works will depend a lot on the shape of the board you’re using. Make sure to check out the “Additional Notes” section at the bottom of this page for thoughts on deck shapes.
Note that I, like many freestylers, prefer doing my 50-50s while standing on my back foot. If you tend to do your no handed 50-50s “switch” by default (i.e. standing on your front foot), then reverse the instructions below. There is no real right or wrong stance for these tricks – just use whichever foot feels best.
From in front, you can already see my weight is right over my back leg. Also, note that I’m doing this on a single kick, but I have to have the board the wrong way round for this trick, for reasons you’ll see later on.
I begin the trick by squatting deeply. If you’re on a double kick, this is essential – the steeper the kick angle next to your back foot, the more you have to squat to be able to pull this up. That’s why I’m using a single kick for this – the flat nose makes it much easier.
As I straighten my legs, I become slightly weightless, and I can start pulling the board to the right (camera left) by pulling on the edge of the wheel with my back foot, rocking the other end of the board upwards slightly.
With the other end of the board lifting up, I start pulling the back foot towards the heel, rolling the board over, and on to the waiting front foot, which still isn’t pushing the board at this point.
This is the point the front foot gets involved. If it takes over too soon, the board will just spin away from you; now, with the board almost totally upside down, it can start pulling the nose up before my weight comes back down onto the board.
From the other side, you can see the other reason why I have the board the wrong way round. My front foot is locked into the curve of the kicktail and using it to pull the board upwards. My back foot, meanwhile, is totally in the air, but in the perfect position to land on the truck.
As explained above, kicktail angle will have the biggest influence on how easy this trick is. The steeper the kicktail, the more effort the board is to pick up, and the deeper you have to squat to make it work.
The squat works in much the same way as it does when you roll into a no handed 50-50; the sudden straightening of your legs will take your weight off the board without actually jumping. If you don’t understand that concept, find some old-school bathroom scales and do some squats, and you’ll see the needle jump around all over the place. This trick uses that brief window of weightlessness to work, but don’t rush it – if you bring the front foot in too soon, you’ll only kick the board away.
Another “cheat” to make this work is by using a
badly designed board Rodney Mullen Chessboard reissue. The short nose and super-curved rails actually work in your favour here; the board will rock towards the nose a lot easier, and the short nose will reduce the effect of your weight on the truck (as a no handed 50-50 is basically a class 2 lever; reducing the distance between the fulcrum and the load reduces the effort needed at the other end). I really don’t recommend using that board in any circumstance, however. There are far better options than that.
Another thing to look at is the shape of the nose itself. Rounder noses will roll through the trick easily. A square nose like Marius Constantin’s Cirus board will lock tightly into place on the landing, but it’ll be much more difficult to get it there. If you’re using a heavily directional board like Denham Hill’s pro model, definitely use the rounder end of the board for this trick.
It should also go without saying that concave is not going to be your friend here, and that’s especially so if you’re using a double kick with steep kicktails. If you don’t get the board high enough, there’ll be a lot of weight pushing down onto that front foot, and any concave will just drill into the small bones in the top of the foot. You don’t necessarily have to go totally flat, but leave the giant concave canyons to the street skaters.