I discovered this trick in my teens when I was looking for alternative way of going from rail to the truck. I couldn’t butterflip, and didn’t like bending over too much, so this thing was my solution.
There’s not a lot to it – you’re basically just replicating the regular way of getting into a no handed 50-50 from a more awkward position, so it goes without saying that you should learn that first. However, it’s a fairly rare transition, which surprises me. I always found it quite useful as toeside rail can be an awkward thing to fit into a combo, and this is a nice little way to move onto the next trick.
The setup for this trick requires a very particular foot placement. The front foot has to be angled so that the toes are on the nose, but the heel/arch is on the wheel. You’re aiming to tip the board diagonally between the nose and wheel, and you need the foot like this to do it.
The back foot, meanwhile, has to be pointing downwards and touching the underside of the deck in the middle of the board. The lower the foot is, the more control you’ll have. Just be careful not to touch the floor!
Here’s what that position looks like as I begin the trick. Note that as I put weight on the front foot to start tipping the board over, my back foot angles slightly so the side of the foot is touching the underside of the deck.
The front foot has to tilt sideways, bringing the board towards a nose stop position. It’s hard to balance like this – you’ll have to move fast, and your back foot can’t lose contact with the board for a second.
As the board falls over towards the nose, the back foot has to start lifting the board from underneath. It’s a gentle scoop upwards and forwards – don’t kick at it. Just steer it where it needs to be, or you’ll lose the board.
This is the extent of the hop. You don’t really jump with this one – it feels more like you become weightless for a split second as you transition your weight from the front leg to the back one.
The back foot is still steering the board over towards the no handed 50-50, and should naturally come down to the truck. This point is crucial – you don’t want to put all your weight on the back leg too soon or the board will snap back the way it came.
My front foot has been coming upwards slightly throughout the trick, ready for this moment. The nose has dropped just enough that the board is past vertical and near the balance point, and my front foot is in position to catch it and stop it dropping further.
Every time I do this, I rotate slightly backside as I get into the no handed 50-50. I think that’s a side-effect of bringing my front foot in to catch it; regardless of why it happens, it helps me balance it out. At this point I can flip out just like I would from a normal no handed 50-50.
This trick becomes substantially easier if you’ve got taller trucks and/or riser pads. It not only increases the surface area you have to land on when you’re catching the board on the truck, but it’ll help you balance in rail as you start tipping the board over.
A squarer board such as the classic Per Welinder shape or Marius Constantin’ Cirus board will make the catch on the truck much more solid, but the transition will be much more violent. On the other end of the scale, a curved rail such as Mullen’s chessboard or any Mike Osterman board ever will roll through the trick much smoother, but will be a pain in the ass to balance and control.
If you’re using a single kick, you might want to start off on the flat nose, and land on the front truck; that way the kicktail will stop your front foot sliding out from under the board. This is especially important on early 80s style designs like Mullen’s Chessboard, where the nose is so short that it’s very easy to slide off the end and drop the trick.
As mentioned in the recommendations at the top of the page, steep concave and this trick don’t mix, especially if you like thinner shoes. Swap to a flatter board or pad the top of your foot with something in your shoe if you’re going to be trying these for an hour or so.
It’s also worth picking up some skidplates before you start working on these. Razortail and truck tricks are a bad combination; standing on the end of a razortailed deck is an easy way to totally ruin your board.
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