We’ve got a two-fer this week! Guest skater Aaron Watts is going to show us how to do two very related tricks: the Swedish Nose Wheelie and its original version, the Wrong Way.
It would be remiss of me to not mention that some people don’t delineate between the two, but honestly, having tried both myself, there’s enough of a difference in technique and performance that I think it’s worth making the distinction. Your milage may vary.
The Swedish Nose Wheelie is all about foot position. This is the furthest forward you can have your front foot and have it still count – as soon as you’re on the nose, the technique is totally different, and you’re basically doing a one footed nosewheelie in disguise.
This is the foot position for a Wrong Way, in comparison. Coming that far back on the board makes it far harder to pick up, but puts you in a far crazier (and more interesting) position mid-trick. Either way, note the angle of the foot – avoid the temptation to point the foot at the nose!
From above, it looks like the back foot is barely involved; you literally want just the toes under the tail. That’s why the front foot angle is important – if the front foot is straight, the heel pushing down in the centre of the deck will put more weight on the back foot.
From the side you get a better idea of the overall position – and, more importantly, you can see how far behind the wheels Aaron’s front foot is. This isn’t your average nosewheelie.
Aaron begins the trick by bending at the knees, getting ready to create that moment of weightlessness you get when your legs straighten up.
(He forgot to mention that in the video – yet another reason the website version reigns supreme!)
The move up to this position happens very quickly. Aaron straightens his legs and takes his entire torso forward, using this shift in upper body position to lift the board into position instead of trying to just pull the tail up.
When Aaron’s front foot is further back (in the “Wrong Way” position), the lean and the commitment is even more pronounced; his head and front shoulder are FAR past that front foot. You can’t hesitate if you want to do this one.
From in front, we see another important aspect: despite having the front foot at an angle, Aaron’s chest is surprisingly “open”, looking a bit more like a g-turn posture than you might expect. This not only helps him balance, but makes it far easier to escape if something goes wrong!
Finally, when you’re ready to end the nose wheelie – whichever version you do – you just slip the back foot out from under the tail and let the wheels come down. Because you’re not on the nose, you don’t need to worry about adjusting your posture until you’re safely rolling away.
Aaron’s doing this on a Kill Your Idols from Moonshine Skateboards; doing this on a flat nose deck like the KYI looks great, but makes things considerably more dangerous, as you have less space to move before the nose hits the floor and you fall off forwards. Aaron compensates for this with excessively tall trucks and some risers, but a smarter man might just turn the board around and use the kicktail at the front instead.
Other than that, there’s not a lot of other considerations here; loose trucks will handle this fine, and Aaron claims that skid plates don’t really make a difference to this trick, despite what you may think.
However, I’ll leave you with one final reminder that FORM MATTERS. Don’t try to pass off a sloppy one footed nosewheelie as a Swedish one. If the front foot isn’t behind the truck and the back foot isn’t intrinsic to the trick, just put the wheels down, step off the board, and sit in the corner and think long and hard about what you’ve done.