The u turn cross step
The ocho, or eight, is a figure eight shaped sequence of steps that go up to the nose and back.
The ocho is another cross step pattern that mixes forward and back cross steps. It's difficult, about as hard as the grapevine. Instead of a back step up the board, the ocho features a front cross step that goes down the board!
The sequence starts with the board going diagonally across the road. This is the part of a turn that is the slowest and easiest to control. A little pressure on the uphill rail is maintained all the way through the traverse across the road.
The skater's first step is a regular cross step, with one variation. The foot is placed straight across the board, not diagonally. Already this is hard, because it's hard to balance on one foot this way. The board will want to shoot forward or back.
The legs are uncrossed and the front foot is placed on the nose. The foot is very turned in and not much weight is placed on it. It's more of a tap against the nose rather than a step. The upper body rotates counter clockwise to get ready for the next step.
The u turn cross step
This next step is the most difficult. The skater takes a front cross step, only it goes back down the board, toward the tail. So the left leg has uncrossed up the board and u turned back in a front cross.
The skater crosses his left leg in front of his right, keeping his weight toward the nose so the board won't fly forward. He concentrates on landing the foot smoothly without shifting weight side to side.
As a further level of difficulty, the tap against the nose on the previous step can be skipped and the left foot held off the board or even kicked up in the air. The left foot then crosses in front on one side of the right leg, then u turns back in front on the other side all in one fluid motion. It's very difficult to control the moving board while this is happening.
Another possiblilty is to pivot the right foot a little on the ball of the foot. I find this very difficult with the stickyness of rubber sole and traction paper. In these pictures, the right foot is stationary throughout the u turn cross step.
Next he unwinds the cross, moving his right foot to the tail. The feet are now back to a normal tail stance, and the next trick can begin.
Alternately, he can tap the tail rather than weighting the foot and a cross step can immediately be taken to start another ocho.
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