Now that you’re starting to grow your bag of tricks, it’s time to tackle one of the toughest basic tricks in all skateboarding. Although it seems simple, the Backside 180 is one of those tricks that tend to be uncomfortable to learn and difficult to start landing clean.
Though a few lucky skateboarders may find Backside 180s easier than Frontside, for the rest of us, learning this trick can present some challenges. Before we get any further, it’s worth knowing the definition of a Backside 180. Allow us to explain!
Backside 180 Definition
Backside 180’s are ollies, combined with a 180-degree spin turning towards the toe-side of the skateboard.
Be sure to check out the tutorial below for an in-depth look at the Backside 180. You’ll see the proper foot position and learn the key aspects of landing Backside 180s clean and consistently. Once you’ve had a chance to review the video, don’t forget to read the article that follows.
With these resources and some practice too, we’re confident that you, yes YOU, will be landing Backside 180s before you can even say “Hi my name is Aaron Kyro and I’m a sponsored skateboarder from the San Francisco Bay Area”!
Backside 180 Tutorial
Hopefully, you enjoyed that video and have been practicing your Backside 180s. Still having trouble and some questions? No worries! We have some more tips for you.
This article will recap what you’ve learned from the video and really drill those Backside 180 mechanics into your head! Let’s begin by reviewing the 5 steps to learning the Backside 180.
- Foot Position
- Body Position
- Practice Steps
- Popping Turning
1. Foot Position
The foot position for the Backside 180 is almost identical to the foot position you’d use for an Ollie. With any 180 trick, you are essentially doing an Ollie, then rotating 180-degrees. Place your front foot in the standard ollie position, but make sure your back foot is right in the center of the tail.
It’s important to have your back foot in this position because you will be popping straight down as much as possible. Try not to stand flat-footed on your board. Instead, be on the balls of your feet as this will help you get the appropriate pop and rotation needed for the Backside 180.
2. Body Position
Posture is important when it comes to this trick. Keeping your back straight will help you keep the board under your feet when you are learning this trick. Often times leaning too far forward or being hunched over your board will result in the board landing behind you and not staying under your feet. It’s a simple thing to keep in mind but it will usually solve the most common problems people have with learning Backside 180s.
As you bend down to pop this trick, start twisting your body slightly while maintaining a straight back to help give you some momentum for the backside rotation.
3. Practice Steps
The practice steps for the Backside 180 are very similar to the Ollie practice steps. After all, it is technically a “Backside 180 Ollie“. With this being said, it’s important you have your ollie’s down before going on to this trick.
The first step is to pop the tail down and drag your front foot up the grip tape towards the nose of the board. As you are dragging your front foot up, your head and shoulders should be turning at the same time so that the back of your head is facing forwards. Timing is everything.
Take a look at the photo below. Notice how Aaron’s turning his body towards his back toes.
An OPTIONAL practice step you can try if you are still uncomfortable with rotating/turning in the air would be the Ollie Backside Pivot. To do this, ollie as you normally would then land on the wheels of your front truck with your front foot on the nose of the board. It’s as if you were trying to ollie into nose manual, but instead of holding a nose manual, simply pivot the backside 180 off your nose and roll away switch.
You can slowly begin to turn as you Ollie Backside Pivot so that you pivot less and less of the remaining 180 degrees. Eventually, you’ll be able to eliminate the pivot completely and rotate this trick fully in the air.
This step is not helpful for everyone but may help some of you to get that motion of turning your head and shoulders for the Backside 180. If you’re comfortable with one or both of these practice steps, it’s time to commit to landing this trick!
4. Popping and Turning
Bend your knees as you begin to pop up. A split second before your tail hits the ground, turn your head and shoulders backside. At the peak of your Ollie, your head and shoulders should be turned at least 90 degrees. At this point, your head and shoulders must follow through and rotate the remaining 90 degrees. This will bring your hips and legs around with the board under your feet as you return back to the ground for the landing.
As stated earlier, winding up your body before you pop the trick will help you get the momentum you need for a full 180-degree rotation. No pivot necessary!
By this point you should be ready to put down the landing gear and ride away clean from your first Backside 180. Remember, when you land you’ll be riding switch (your opposite stance), so it’s important to be comfortable riding your skateboard switch at least a little bit. This will help prevent you from stepping off your board as you start to land and roll away.
Knowing how to ride switch is important for this. Having that down will help your Backside 180s look better. You’ll look more natural when you ride away after landing them. The last step is to just bend your knees when you land, and roll away switch.
TL;DR? Here’s a simple recap of what we went over:
- Place your feet in the Ollie position
- Bend down and as you start to pop, start turning your shoulders and head
- Pop the board and as you push your front foot forward for the ollie, you and your board should be about 90 degrees in the air
- Rotate the remaining 90 degrees
- Land with your knees bent
- Roll away in the switch position!
We hope you are having fun progressing in your skating! At Braille Skateboarding we have tons of resources for you so you always keep progressing.
You can find a lot more in depth tips and tricks in Skateboarding Made Simple Volume 1. It’s our complete lesson plan that was designed to always keep you progressing. It gives you the exact practice steps in the exact sequence, so you can keep progressing! You CAN learn to skate, and Skateboarding Made Simple is the answer you’ve been looking for.
We highly recommend the Ultimate Beginner’s Package for everything you need to get progressing! If you’re just starting out exploring the adventure that is skateboarding, this is exactly what you need.
We want to see YOUR Backside 180s! Film your best one and post it on Instagram tagging @brailleskate, #brailleskate, and #brailleskateboarding. Let us know which piece of advice helped you the most so we can highlight that and get more people landing Backside 180s. Most importantly, have fun learning and mastering this classic trick!