How to do a frontside 180 on a skateboard

April 27, 2021 | Skateboarding
Frontside 180: one of the most popular skateboarding tricks | Photo: CottonBro/Creative Commons

The frontside 180 is a very popular skateboard trick that can be used in various circumstances and scenarios.

It is basically an ollie with an extra halfway rotation - the skater gets into the air and lands with the board and body laterally, i.e., backward.

In other words, the rider starts the maneuver on his or her natural stance and lands its nollie.

The frontside 180 is also commonly referred to as a frontside 180 ollie, frontside ollie, or even FS 180.

It's a relatively simple intermediate skateboarding trick that could very well follow the sport's foundational move.

"Some people find that frontside ollies are actually easier than straight ones," explains Per Welinder in his book "Mastering Skateboarding."

"This is probably because these people tend to twist their bodies while they jump."

"On the one hand, this is good because the trick will come naturally. On the other hand, it can make straight and backside ollies difficult if your body becomes too accustomed to one way of doing it."

When it comes to foot position, the frontside 180 is also very similar to the ollie.

Interestingly, most of the trick's motion is performed by the back foot and the tail.

Make sure to have the front foot slightly below the front bolts, with your heel hanging off the edge of the deck at a 30-45 angle.

Your back foot should have the toe ball on the edge of the tail, with the heel pointing up a bit.

Then, it's all about executing a good ollie and initiating a halfway rotation.

Remember that there are many subtle variations to the trick.

Some of them will benefit beginners; others could be cool options for intermediate and advanced riders.

Frontside 180: an ollie with a 180-degree rotation | Photo: Shutterstock

Frontside 180 101

Here's how to perform a smooth frontside 180 on flat ground:

1. Start rolling at a moderate speed and adopt the ollie stance;

2. Drop your arms, but with the lead shoulder pointing slightly more toward the toes;

3. Pop up the board using your ankle and not your leg;

4. As you start your ollie, untwist your upper body;

5. While the front foot is bringing the board into the air, your back foot will start to push the deck around;

6. At the ollie's highest point, your shoulders should be facing forward, and the skateboard should be sideways to the direction you're moving;

7. Keep your eyes in the direction you want to go;

8. As the board starts the rotation, your lower body will also begin the lateral rotation using head and shoulders to bring the board around;

9. Use your front foot to get the board parallel to the ground;

10. Land with all four wheels touching down simultaneously and roll away;

Extra Tips

To speed up the learning process, practice your first frontside 180s on a bank. You'll train your muscle memory to perform the upper body motion.

A good, confident, and high ollie is key to success.

If you're struggling to keep the board close to your feet or falling backward after landing, try adding more weight on your toes before ollieing.

Also, if you cannot get the skateboard to rotate 180 degrees, try twisting your body more while crouched and getting ready to ollie.

It could also help land the front wheels first and pivot around before the tail touches the ground and completes the halfway rotation.

So, it's like getting into a manual before completing the 180-degree turn.

Finally, you can also replace the ollie with a pop shove-it.

It will not be the original frontside 180, but it could work out as a stepping stone to mastering the trick.