The regular g-turn is a has been a staple of freestyle skateboarding since it was invented in the early 1970s, but the backside g-turn – invented by Stacy Peralta – is considerably rarer. Part of the reason for this might be that going backside on a g-turn results in a far more awkward position than the regular version. However, that “leaning into the void” feeling is incredibly addictive, so this is definitely worth learning.
Surprisingly, you might not need to know how to do the g-turn before learning these, but being able to hold a straight nosewheelie before we begin definitely wouldn’t go amiss.
The most important part of this trick is the foot position. Throw away the position you might have already learned for the frontside g-turn – the backside one needs the ball of your front foot to be between the truck and the toeside rail, so hang your toes over the edge a bit.
The same is true of the back foot, but to a lesser degree; here the ball of my back foot is almost in line with the toeside edge of the truck’s baseplate.
However, the positioning of the back foot lengthways on the board is far more important. Notice that I’m not on the tip of the tail, but instead I’m nestled into the curve of the tail; this will help keep me anchored on the deck as I push into the g-turn.
The next important thing to get right is SPEED. You want to go into this relatively quickly or you won’t get a good carve – that’s why I’m grinning like an idiot in this frame.
As I lift up the back wheels, notice two things: not only am I leaning hard out over the toeside edge of the board, I’m also looking at where I want to go, not at my board. Focusing on your destination really helps with the carve.
From this angle you can get some sort of idea as to my posture. My front knee is slightly bent, but other than that there’s a pretty good straight line from my heel through my entire body to my head. This is the form you’re looking for to get the balance right…
…This, on the other hand, is not. The tail’s started to drift out backside too much and I’m having to course-correct. This is normally where things start to go wrong, so rein in the tail and keep it under you!
Ah, now we’re back on track. Notice the back foot is up on the toes – I’m really pressing into the curve of the kicktail to stay anchored as I carve.
This is my favourite frame of the sequence. It really highlights how far out “into the void” you are in this trick – my centre of gravity is far past the edge of the deck. If you’d never seen someone do a g-turn before, you might think I was falling off the board here. It’s an amazing feeling.
In the video I say not to lean out past the end of the nose because if the nose hits, you’ll get thrown off the board. This is true, but it’s hard to tell from this angle that I’m not really past the end of the nose at all – this is still just the lean out past the toes!
Now I’m running out of both speed and carve, so I have to start getting my weight back over the deck to make sure I don’t actually fall off when this finishes. Notice I’ve pushed my hips back over my back foot to bring my weight back into line…
…and now I soak up the last bit of momentum with a tiny backside pivot as the wheels go down and roll away grinning like an idiot.
The worst thing that can happen on a backside g-turn is the nose sticking and pitching you off forwards. If you’re using a single kick deck, try riding it the opposite way round for this one – you’ll have to be a bit more careful with your back foot, but at least you’ll have more clearance under your front one. Choosing between having the back foot sliding off and the nose jamming into the ground is a tough call, but having had both happen to me on this trick, I’ll always take the former over the latter.
You’ll also probably want to have slightly looser trucks than the freestyle standard before you try this. It’s tough to get a good carve when your trucks don’t actually move!