While considered a beginner trick, the backside 180 is not as easy as it looks. Sure, anyone can learn it, but it requires proper balance and technique. Luckily, it is easy to understand if you already know the frontside 180 and you give yourself enough time to practice it.
Once you understand skateboarding basics, you can perform a backside 180 by:
- Getting into the Ollie position
- Turning your shoulders into the move
- Pop and slide off your board
- Execute the turn while in the air
- Land back on your board and the ground
As you master the trick, you can add variations to it that will help you crush your friends on the ramps. Read on to learn more!
How to Do a Backside 180 on a Skateboard
The backside 180 adds a 180-degree turn to the standard ollie skateboard trick. Both you and your board rotate toward your back. Once successful, you land on your skateboard and ride backward. It then serves as the foundation for more complex tricks, allowing you to make it your own.
Functionally, the backside 180 is the inverse of the frontside 180, where you turn towards your chest. It is also easier to learn, although it gives you less control over your landing. So, be careful when performing it on uneven terrain and around obstacles.
However, with patience and determination, you can master it. The hard part will be keeping your balance with your weight in the center of your feet!
Step 1: Backside 180 Stance and Position
Like with any other trick, you want to ride into it while in the correct stance and position. The backside 180 uses the same stance as an ollie, but with your front foot placed under the front truck and angled towards the heel. Your back foot should be in the ollie position in the center of the tail.
From there, ride towards a jump or ramp at a decent (but not crazy) speed while keeping your body weight centered between your feet. You also want to keep your knees slightly bent and yourself looking forward. This will help you maintain balance and your weight evenly centered. If you need to, you can extend your arms for more balance.
Once you get that, you should stay focused on the nose to ensure more natural-looking landings.
Step 2: Turn Your Shoulders
With your body in position, you can approach the jump. You do this by winding your body in the opposite direction you want to go. For instance, regular-footed riders should face forward and rotate to the right. Meanwhile, goofy-footed riders should turn left. This movement should turn your shoulders toward your backside, creating the momentum needed to spin you and the board.
Step 3: Pop and Slide
Start your turn by jumping off the back foot while keeping your knees up. This should pop the board’s tail straight down, forcing the board into the air and start rotating.
Now, slide your front foot forward, bringing your shoulders around.
Step 4: Get Into the Turn
While you’re in the air, all you can do is turn your body and board. If you initiate this turn correctly, your board should land after a 180-degree rotation on its own. Therefore, you should concentrate on rotating your body in the opposite direction of the turn.
Don’t freak out, but you will not be able to see your heading as you land. However, you can keep track of your board by looking at the board’s nose, so just make sure you shift your weight through the turn so that you can keep rolling when you land.
Step 5: Stop Turning and Land
The time has come: you have to stop rotating before you land back on your board. To do this, you need to face forward as you land–and stay that way until the momentum stops. You should also look down at your feet to give yourself more control as you resume riding the board. You can probably do this all a little less strictly the more comfortable you get, but being diligent is the best way to keep you safe in the beginning.
As you land, use your legs to absorb the impact; that will also let you maintain balance and roll away. Just remember that you will be riding “switch”, or backward, once you land. Either way, if you made it this far, you would have just completed a backside 180 on your skateboard.
Tips for Practicing Backside 180s
While considered a beginner trick, the backside 180 is not without challenges. You are attempting a blind jump. So, things can go wrong if you are not prepared for them. Luckily, you can minimize any potential injuries by building up your muscle memory through practice.
Because the move is just an extension of an ollie, that is where you should start. You should master making ollies while moving to get a feeling for how it is done. If this is not possible, you can start practicing backslide 180s while stationary. The trick is easier while moving, but only if you are comfortable.
You may also want to practice on a flat, open surface. As mentioned above, you will be riding “switch” once you complete the trick. Therefore, you must get comfortable riding that way so you can avoid accidents. As such, you want enough space to reduce your stress until you get your stance right.
You may also want to rid up ramps and then roll backward until you can comfortably control yourself around objects.
Since a backside 180 requires you to rotate backward, you can hurt yourself doing it. As such, you will want to take every precaution available to you before you start jumping your board. That means wearing the best safety gear you can buy. As such, you want an ensemble that includes at least:
- A helmet
- Wrist guards.
These protections will keep you safe when you inevitably fall and land on your wrists.y
The backside 180 is a lot of fun but you should only perform it if you have enough experience and skill to do it safely. Luckily, it is simple to learn with only a handful of steps required to understand it.