How to do a backside 180 on a skateboard

June 22, 2021 | Skateboarding
Backside 180: a fundamental skateboarding trick | Photo: Shutterstock

The backside 180 is one of the first rotations a skateboarder needs to master.

It's one of those tricks that will open a broad range of new opportunities, especially to street and park skaters.

The maneuver's name says it all - it's a 180-degree turn in which the rider rotates in the same direction their chest is facing.

But why is the backside 180 a fundamental skateboarding trick?

"It is very useful for getting around on your skateboard. Without being able to 180, every time you need to turn around, you'll need to step off the board," underlines Per Welinder, author of "Mastering Skateboarding."

In fact, with a simple and quick half rotation, you can get the board pointed in the opposite direction.

In the end, your back will be facing the direction you're moving.

The trick could also be called an ollie 180 or ollie backside 180, as it requires skateboarding's core trick to make it a reality.

It is paramount that you already feel comfortable pushing your skate, cruising around, doing ollies and, ideally, riding switch stance.

Backside 180: a maneuver that combines an ollie with an 180-degree rotation | Photo: Shutterstock

Backside 180 Tutorial

Let's break the backside 180 down.

Remember that this trick relies on your upper body turning, so make sure to fully swing your arms and shoulders.

1. Push your skateboard at medium speed;

2. Put your feet in the ollie position;

3. Bend down;

4. Pop the board;

5. Drag your front feet up the deck;

6. Turn your upper body and shoulders backward;

7. Let your feet's momentum move the board around;

8. Land and skate away switch;

Extra Tips

One of the best ways to practice the backside 180 is by initially approaching it as a kickturn 180.

In other words, instead of throwing the ollie into the mix, push your skate into a gentle bank and just do a kickturn.

Whenever you're confident, try a kickturn 180 on a flat surface, again, without the ollie or a huge pop.

Finally, you could also do a simple ollie, land on your front wheels, and then pivot the board with an upper-body motion.

The backside 180 requires you to turn your head and shoulders vigorously.

One of the most common problems beginner skaters face is not turning their skateboards enough while trying to complete the 180-degree move.

If that happens, try adding more speed - the faster you go, the easier it will be to perform the half rotation.

Also, ensure that you look down at the board while performing the whole trick - see where you're going to take any fear away.

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