The rock to fakie is a classic and essential ramp technique/maneuver that involves three essential skills.
You'll drop in on one side of a curved obstacle and plant the bottom of the deck on the other side.
Then, after a few moments, it's time to roll back fakie and stall the nose/tail back again on the coping, on the original starting point.
The first thing is to feel comfortable riding a ramp, bowl, and ledge. Make sure you master the pumping technique and can roll smoothly across curved surfaces.
Then, it's time to drop in - a beginner-to-intermediate technique that allows skaters to enter a ramp or a bowl.
The steeper the slope, the harder it is to drop in without wiping out.
So, it might be wise to start from a gentle, low-angled ramp or bowl. Riding fakie is also a mandatory skill prior to trying the rock to fakie.
Also, you will not want to get stuck and hang up on the coping when stalling the board for a few seconds on the metal pipe.
Otherwise, you'll fall backward.
The trick is to balance the weight of your back and front foot so that the skate stays on the coping stalled in the middle of the deck's bottom.
Bodyweight distribution and practice are key ingredients to success.
"The fear of this trick is usually justified because it's easy to screw up and fall in a way that is difficult to jump away from," underlines Per Welinder, author of the book "Mastering Skateboarding."
"Getting into the rock to fakie is easy; getting out of it is hard at first."
Rock to Fakie 101
It's time to perform a flawless rock to fakie. Here's how to do it:
- Drop in a ramp or bowl with full commitment;
- Adopt a forward stance and roll toward the coping with enough speed to get your front wheels to lap over the coping and go onto the deck;
- As you approach the coping, lift the front wheels so they clear the coping;
- Rock the center of the skateboard's deck on the metal pipe, making sure the back trucks do not slam against the coping;
- Stall the board and keep a balanced momentum for a couple of seconds;
- Let your weight begin to come back into the transition;
- As you feel your body starting to go back down the transition, slightly lift the weight off the nose end of the board so it clears or rolls over the coping as it comes back in;
- Roll fakie back to the original starting position;
- As you approach the coping, extend your back leg and let your back foot stall the trucks on the coping;
- Keep your upper body leaned on the front foot and away from the back of the board, drop in, and roll away;
The approach to the coping while rolling backward often makes the rock to fakie harder and more challenging.
"Some coping will have lots of bonks and will be less forgiving than smaller coping," adds Welinder.
"The best ramps to learn the rock to fakie on don't have too much coping."
If the board hangs up when you are coming back in, try to widen your stance so that your feet are firmly on the nose and tail.
The trick will help you get used to lifting your front wheels over the coping when you're going into the rock to fakie and lifting them a split second later as you come back into the transition backward.
To practice this stage, lift your nose high, balance for a second, and then put it back down against the surface of the transition.
Try this on the tail and on the opposite wall to help your body get used to that lifting motion.
"Your first successful rock to fakie attempts will probably have the board lapping up over the coping just a little bit," concludes Per Welinder.
"The front wheels might even be touching the top side of the coping. As you get more confident, the board will go up higher onto the deck."
"The most committed rock to fakie will slam the back trucks into the coping, with the nose of the board all the way up on the deck."