Skateboard Tricks 101: How To Perform a Frontside 180

skateboard tricks 101 how to perform a frontside 180

So you’re new to skateboarding and want to know what tricks you should learn. There certainly are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from simple to complex. One of the all-time classic skateboarding moves that many skateboarders aspire to master is the Frontside 180. 

A Frontside 180 requires intermediate skateboarding skills and moderate body control. When done right, this trick will surely impress. 

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to perform a Frontside 180. We break down this trick into basic concepts and simple steps so that you can master this skill quickly. Let’s get started!

Performing a Frontside 180 – A Step-By-Step Guide

A Frontside 180 is actually two distinct skateboarding moves fused together into a single trick. The first part is an Ollie. This is followed by the frontside turn which gives this trick its cool name. Doing a Frontside 180 correctly means mastering both parts. Here’s how it works, step-by-step.

Start by Performing an Ollie

The Ollie is one of the most recognizable moves in skateboarding. It is basically popping the skateboard into the air and landing in the same stance. The Ollie is an impressive trick in its own right and it revolutionized skateboarding when it was first created in the 1970s.

That’s because the Ollie has become a fundamental building block for countless other tricks, not the least of which is the Frontside 180. In order to learn how to do a Frontside 180 you must first get comfortable doing an Ollie. These are the basic steps of performing an Ollie:

  1. An Ollie is best performed while moving forward on flat ground.
  2. Position your front foot between the front truck and the middle of the skateboard. Your back foot should be on the tail of your skateboard.
  3. Push down forcefully on the tail with your back foot while jumping up in the air. This will force the nose of your skateboard to shoot upwards.
  4. As your skateboard “pops” up into the air with the nose angled up, slide your front foot from the middle of the board to the front. This will level your skateboard so that it is more or less parallel to the ground.
  5. At this point (while you’re airborne) your front foot should be above the front truck and your back foot should be above the rear truck.
  6. When landing, keep your knees bent to absorb the impact and to keep your center of gravity above the center of the board.
  7. Once you’re comfortable doing an Ollie, it’s time to learn how to perform a Frontside 180.

Then Proceed to Do a Frontside 180

Being able to perform a Frontside 180 is a skateboarding milestone. It not only means that you can pop your skateboard into the air and get airborne but also that you can rotate your body and have your skateboard follow along. 

Basically, in a Frontside 180, you get airborne with your skateboard and your body rotates 180 degrees. Your rear foot and the tail of the skateboard swing around to the front, and when you land, you will ride away switch (with your front and back feet positions reversed from when you started).

Here’s how to perform this awesome trick:

  1. The foot placement for doing a Frontside 180 differs slightly from performing an Ollie.
  2. While your front foot will still be in the middle section of the skateboard, have your toes hanging slightly off the edge of the deck. This will help swing the nose of the board around 180 degrees when you go airborne.
  3. Your back foot will still be on the tail. Many skateboarders recommend placing your foot near the back corner (the heel side of the tail) so that when you kick down to initiate the jump, the tail end of your skateboard will start to swing around as your back foot transitions to the front.
  4. One of the most important concepts of the Frontside 180 trick is shoulder rotation. A key thing to keep in mind is rotating your shoulders so that the side of your body starting out on the tail end of the skateboard swings around to what will be the nose end when you land.
  5. If you ride regular, this means your right shoulder will rotate around to be your leading shoulder when you land. If you ride goofy, your left shoulder will rotate around and end up being your leading shoulder as you land and ride away.
  6. Push off normally and prepare to do an Ollie. As you flex your knees to jump, prepare to rotate your shoulders so that the tail-facing shoulder becomes your leading shoulder. Trust that as your shoulders turn mid-air, the rest of your body will naturally follow.
  7. By positioning your feet as described in Steps 2 and 3 above, your skateboard will naturally follow your body’s rotation when you jump. You can thank friction and the grippiness between the soles of your skate shoes and the skateboard deck for this.
  8. Lastly, make sure that your feet are positioned above the trucks to ensure a balanced landing. Keep your shoulders level and flex those knees to absorb the impact. Remember, you’ll be landing switch so make sure you’re comfortable with this position to ride away from this trick.

Bonus Tip – Frontside 180 Cheater Version

If doing gravity-defying Ollies isn’t your thing or if you have trouble achieving good shoulder rotation, there is a hack you can use until your Ollie hang time and body coordination improve. Here’s how to do the Frontside 180 “cheater” version:

  1. Push off and do an Ollie.
  2. When you land on your front truck, quickly pivot the tail end of the board around 180 degrees.
  3. Ride away switch.

When down smoothly, this cheater version looks almost as impressive as a true, airborne Frontside 180.

Final Thoughts

A Frontside 180 is a great addition to any skateboarder’s bag of tricks. We hope these tips are helpful as you continue on your skateboarding journey. Check back often for more guides and tutorials.


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