Kicking Out: the 180
Kicking Out - Backside
Frontside Toe Drag Kickout
Flyaway Kickout


Kicking Out: the 180

The bottom of a hill is a good place to practice turning real hard. You want to turn your board all the way uphill. This is called a kickout, like ending a wave. It's a 180 turn. Whichever way your bottom turn went, frontside or backside, that's the way you should kickout.


Kicking Out Backside

The backside kickout takes a lot of rotation to bring all the way back uphill. It will take considerable force to overcome the momentum of the ride downhill. The skater gets down low to build up some spring and windup for the turn. From a slight clockwise windup here he is shown releasing his shoulders to the left. The hand is pressing back, thumb down.

The board has already been placed on a left rail and is bearing left. When the rotation develops in the upper body it will accelerate the turn of the board.

I usually feel two parts to a 180. The first is the twisting rotation that begins the turn. At this point the shoulders and arms lead the turn, that is they are a quarter turn ahead of the board.

The board is leaned back in a sharp kick carve turn. Notice the board is leaned back but the skater is not tipped back. He keeps his weight squarely over the tail stance. The front knee bends more than the back knee to accomplish this.

As the board comes a quarter of the way around, the shoulders rebound back in the opposite direction. You then push the board with the hips past your shoulders another quarter of a turn. This ending of the turn is called a "check" as it checks the rotation at the same time it gets your board the rest of the way around. You will end up with your board facing uphill and your shoulders facing downhill, your body twisted at the waist. You need to be stretched out to do this. Don't pull any muscles or strain your back.

Of course, if you really uncork a turn and have some speed to convert into rotation, you will come around 180 and just ride over the board as it swings. You can even do a 360 or more by rotating and holding it. But in a 180, there is usually some twist and some check in the turn.


Frontside Toe Drag Kickout

The frontside kickout usually is easier to bring around than the backside. This picture shows a toe drag which makes the board come around with very little effort to rotate with the shoulders.


Flyaway Kickout

After the kicks the skater has rolled a ways downhill and it's time to backpedal and kickout and end the routine.

This is a kickout where the idea is to stand the board up completely on end and swing it around and land on it. You see shortboard kids kicking their boards up to grab them all the time. With a big heavy longboard with no tail kick or rocker, the move has a totally different look and feel.

Actually, the idea comes from a clip I saw of Mickey Dora at crowded Malibu. On a small inside wave Dora kicks his ten foot board out so hard it flies up full length out of the water and almost hits another surfer who was in his way. The evil legend is then seen laughing as he catches his board. Likewise, you could seriously endanger someone nearby with this trick, as well as yourself. So be careful, and try to Surf Skate like Dora but don't have his attitude.

The skater backpedals to a tail stance. This is a kickout that has to be done at a very slow speed so he stalls with the back foot to bring the board almost to a stop.

He places his back foot on the back truck.

He then steps off onto the ground with the front foot. Next he will allow the board to travel a few inches under the back foot. The tip of the tail must be under the toe of the back foot.

The back toe is brought down very sharply on the tip of the tail. The board will fly up. Watch out-- potentially dangerous. Not so great for the unpadded tail either. If the board is taped up at the tail or has a kicktail pad on it the impact will be smooth and noiseless.

The board is caught while the skater is standing up straight. He rotates a half turn to the right, facing the board uphill. The back toe stays glued to the tail. The front foot doesn't have much weight on it.

The skater places his front foot back on the board as it's standing up on the tail. He drops the board along with his body weight, keeping hold of the board. It's also possible to let go of the board as it drops. The better the balance and back foot position, the smoother the drop. This one had a bit of a klunk as he did not let go with the hands.

The board rolls uphill a bit. The skater cross steps up as part of the motion to stand and regain his balance. It also shows control to be able to drop the board and just walk right up it.

It's possible to do the flyaway kickout without stepping off the board. It's pretty brutal though, as all the body weight is on the tail as it pivots. It's also much harder to get the sudden "flyaway" effect. Perhaps if the foot were heel or toe dragged somehow it might be possible. Or if there were a jump off the board a bit, like a mini ollie, it might work. Try it this way first then experiment.


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