The g-turn is a truly classic skateboarding move, dating back to the early days of freestyle. It would be best described as a long, carving nose wheelie, spinning in on itself like a spiral, drawing the shape of a capital G on the floor.
This is one of the most fun, enjoyable tricks in freestyle, and in my opinion, one of the most under-rated. A g-turn is a solid way of judging someone’s style; not only does it highlight each skater’s distinctive body form, but every skater who does it has a subtly different take on it.
Don’t set up for a g-turn the same way you would approach a straight nosewheelie. Your front foot needs to be pointed at a 45º angle, with the arch of the foot over the front truck bolts.
I begin a g-turn by carving frontside into the trick at a moderate to fast speed. I’m looking forward, and my lead shoulder is pulled back a bit, opening my stance so that my chest is facing forwards slightly.
As I lift the front wheels, I lock my front leg straight, and adjust the bend in my back knee to control the board angle. I have to hang my weight out past my heels to keep it carving.
The actual carve of the g-turn has to be caused by weight distribution. My neck and navel should be roughly over the ankle of the front foot to stop me falling forwards, but I’m slinging my weight out past my heels.
It’s important as I move through the carve that my back leg doesn’t push outwards. It can bend to control the deck angle, but the second the back leg pushes forwards, you’ll just spin round on the front wheels, killing the carve dead.
Here you can really see my weight distribution. I often tell people to “sit on” a g-turn, and this angle should show what I mean. My hips are way out past the side of the board, and I’m squatting slightly through the carve.
And from this angle, you can see that my chest is facing the direction of travel, and there’s basically a straight line from the top of my head all the way down to the front foot. If I move forward over that line, I’m going to fall off.
Now I’m starting to slow down, and I just have to hold on and let the rotational energy run out. If you’re not already using your core muscles to prevent excess movement, now’s the time to engage them.
As I stop rolling and start spinning at the centre of the spiral, I let my nose hit the floor, and bring my arms in to tighten up the spin.
I love this point of the trick. In fact, I think this shot represents the feeling of the g-turn as a whole. It’s amazing how far off the side of the board you can get during the g-turn.
Thanks to the friction between the nose and the ground, the spin is eating up any excess momentum I have, allowing me to hopefully roll away without whipping clean off the board.
With the momentum done, I put the back wheels down, and move off into footwork. That tends to be a running theme with these trick tips, but honestly, a good g-turn demands to be followed with good footwork.
I highly recommend using a noseskid for this trick. When the g-turn runs out of momentum, it’s a lot easier to spin around on the nose if you have a hard plastic skidplate to reduce friction. Wood will bite much sharper and is more likely to throw you off balance.
Other than that, most setups will work just fine for this trick. Taller boards and steeper noses will make your life a bit easier, but a flat nose feels great as you carve through a g-turn for me.