Flat-ground 360: a full-rotation spin performed by sliding the wheels of the skateboard | Photo: Red Bull

The flat-ground frontside 360 is a full circular rotation kickturn on the rear wheels. Learn how to do it flawlessly.

The flat-ground 360 is one of the last skateboarding tricks a beginner should learn.

It is a full rotation with your board on the ground without popping it in the air, i.e., without an ollie.

In other words, it's two back-to-back pivot kickturns, so one of the secrets of the 360 is the stance.

You want to ensure your feet are far apart, more exactly past the wheels, so that you can lift both ends of your board up.

As a result, the flat-ground 360 could be harder to do on longboards.

The first thing you should be able to do is to pull off the regular and the fakie pivots and connect them smoothly over the tarmac.

You can start this trick going either way - the rule is to learn it in the direction that's most comfortable for you.

Obviously, you should also be confident riding both switch and regular.

Pivot 360: a skateboard trick that is similar to the endover | Photo: Silveira/Creative Commons

360 vs. Endover

The flat-ground 360 is similar to the endover.

The difference is that the endover involves back-to-back 180 pivots in the same direction.

"In the 1970s, it was a staple of the freestyle scene, with people routinely being able to easily do a dozen consecutive 360s," underlines Per Welinder, skater and author of "Mastering Skateboarding."

"Although the 360 may look like two 180s back to back, the body motion for the 360 is very different from the 180."

"Your 360s are different because you have to balance on your rear wheels for a lot longer than in a 180."

The more your feet are on the edges of the tail and nose of the skateboard, the more control you'll have of the move.

The trick sees skaters start spinning and looking over their back shoulder and making them move with their hips.

When it comes to balance, the goal is to apply a little bit more weight on the front foot as you spin around.

As soon as you get the complete 180, you're going to transfer your weight from your front foot (which is now in the back) to your back foot (which is now in the front).

Finally, you're gently putting the weight on the pivot foot and keep spinning your shoulders in a fluid motion.

To keep the board flat on the ground, don't lift the foot that's not pivoting.

With the pivoting foot, you can keep your pivoting foot's toes down to push the board down a little bit so that the wheels slide gently on the ground.

Flat-Ground 360 Spin 101

Here's how to complete a full rotation on your skateboard:

  1. Position your lead foot on or just in front of the bolts. Your back foot should be squarely on the tail;
  2. Before you begin, twist your waist and torso in the opposite direction you want to spin, and bend your knees just a little. Don't rotate your head. Keep it pointed in the same direction as before you started twisting. You are loading up the action that will cause you to spin in a circle;
  3. Begin to unleash your spin with your body. When your body is untwisted, you should have some good momentum. Precisely at the moment when your body is open and in its normal riding state, lift the front wheels a bit. Your momentum should bring them around with your body;
  4. As your body and board spin around, concentrate on where your balance is over the rear wheels. If your spin was good, you should have made it all the way around;

You can start practicing 360s by trying to pull your 180 out farther and farther.

"You may notice that you end up leaning more on your tail and that the spin is slower. Stay relaxed," adds Welinder.

"You can experiment with holding your arms out wide while you do your spins or pull them in close. When you pull your arms in, it should speed up the spin, which can help get you around a few more degrees."

Finally, you can put more or less dragging/sliding on the wheels over the ground during the rotation instead of lifting them to perform the 180-degree turn.

As you keep practicing 360s, you'll then be able to do them faster.

And you can start fakie or regular and then spin clockwise (frontside) or anticlockwise (backside). It's up to you to decide.

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