2017 is history, and if you didn’t progress as far in skating as you thought you would last year, it’s too late now. So, let’s set 2018 off right and kick start the new year by learning some new tricks. Don’t look back on this year next January and think about what might have been. Go for it - land or slam - and find out what you’re made of.
First up, we have the obscure and obfuscating Gazelle Spin. Is it a bigspin 360? A backside Bigger Spin? Yep and yep. But let’s face it, the "Gazelle Spin" rolls off the tongue a little easier. There’s nothing easy about the trick, but don’t worry. Just break it down into smaller pieces, like cutting up a steak. Learn the component tricks, then put them all together and impress your friends.
Street Trick - Gazelle Spin
Before moving up to the gazelle spin, it will help if you first learn pop shuv-its, backside 180s, backside bigspins and backside 360s. Set up for the Gazelle Spin as you would for a backside bigspin, but place your toes closer to the middle of the board. Otherwise, the setup is identical Backside bigspin or 360.
The first third of an Gazelle Spin feels exactly like a backside Bigspin. When you start the trick, be sure to pop hard and high so you’ll have time to execute the entire spin. Scoop forward & behind you to keep the board centered directly below you. Orient your weight toward your back leg when landing the Backside Bigspin, and catch it on the tail as much as possible. Learn the back bigspin the full 180 degrees first. This way it will already be at 180 degrees, and just throw it around the rest of the 180 degrees to complete the 360 degree spin. Don't forget to keep those shoulders turning one step ahead of the trick, just like on a backside 180 or 360.
Transition Trick #1 - Invert
We follow up the insanity of the alpha flip with a few more subdued transition tricks. These moves are old school and classic. They work great mid-run, and are more interesting setup tricks than a rock-n-roll or simple 50-50. First up to bat, let’s go to the upside down with some inverts.
The invert was to the 80s what the handrail was to the 2000s. The old vert pros could throw down some intense invert variations, and they could stall them out on command. We’ll start with a simple one - the backside invert. You can work your way up to the Andrecht, Eggplant, and Frontside Invert later.
As you approach the coping, begin crouching as you would for a backside air. You will be grabbing mute (lead hand, grabbing behind your front foot), so your back will naturally arch. As you hunch over for the grab, press the tail down and click your rear wheels off the coping. Let momentum carry you up as you turn backside, and reach down for the coping with your back hand. It helps to simply replace your back wheels roll off the coping with your planting hand.
The first inclination most people learning have is that it will be easier to early grab. It really isn’t easier to get into the invert this way, because you will have to hold or push up your body weight to get inverted. Doing the grab while you’re on the way up, by clicking off the coping, means your practically weightless when you reach out for the coping. Now, you can let your weight fall as you dive back into the transition in one fluid motion.
Transition Trick #2 - Fastplant
The fastplant is the boneless’ cooler, less awkward cousin. Like inverts, fastplants are throwbacks to a simpler time. If they look difficult, well, they aren’t. The hardest part is getting up the guts to jump over the coping. Fastplants below the coping are not as cool, but they are a good way to learn the trick.
Start out with your back foot hanging half off the tail, so it will be easier to get it off the board. The frontside fastplant is easiest, and it is the best place to start. As you approach the coping, start reaching down for a frontside grab (back hand, front of board).
It’s okay to early grab a fastplant as you are learning to execute them properly. Use the arc in the transition to launch the board up in the air, and simultaneously pop your back foot off the board. Use your back leg to get a little more pop out of the trick. Remember to keep turning those shoulders frontside, and make sure you get that back foot on the board again while you’re still in the air.
Variations of Fastplant:
There’s no time like the start of a new year to start pushing yourself to a new level of skating. So, don’t stop with just one new trick. Just as the Gazelle Spin is a combination of several other tricks, you can build off each of the tricks in your bag to progress to your new heights in skating. We hope you had a great 2017. Let’s make 2018 the Year of the Skate!
On that note, check out the exceptional variety of skateboards we offer HERE