Layback Turns

  LAYBACK TURNS

Layback Turns
Rail grabs
Back hand drag
Lay back, but turn front
A note on tail sliding
Practice laybacks for conditioning

 

Layback Turns

The layback is a power turn done in an extreme crouch. The stance is on the middle or tail like a surfboard, not on the front truck like a power slide. The knees point over the rail to balance the lean of the upper body. The back shin or calf is laid down on the board.

 

Rail grabs

You can grab an outside rail or drag a hand for stability. Rail grabbing allows you to pull the board up on two wheels for a tighter turn.

Dragging a hand allows some weight to come onto the hand so the tail can be lightened or even slid. You need gloves or wrist guards for this. The variations come depending on which hand you drag. A front hand drag will twist your body into the turn.

 

Back hand drag

A back hand drag will twist you away from the turn. When you drag the back hand you lay your front foot and calf down on the board.

 

Lay back, but turn front

If you layback enough, you can actually change rails and turn frontside, in sort of an extreme frontside arch turn. Some people call this a cantelever turn.

 

A note on tail sliding

It's funny how what goes around comes around. The power slide was a crouching position used in skateboarding in the 70s. Cliff Coleman et al refined them into the Coleman Slide and various other slides. Now, laybacks and tail slides are the hot move in the surf mags. You can't turn a page without seeing them.

For surf style skating on big hardwood boards over 48 inches, the layback makes sense but the tail slide seems over-gunned. In my opinion, if you were going to slide, I think it would be easier using a shortboard, shorter longboard (say 42 inches) or shorter fiberglass old school board. You can weight the front truck and not have four feet of board behind you to have to slide.

 

Practice laybacks for conditioning

I include the layback as a basic because you will always wind up in this position if you over-lean a backside turn and have to counter it to recover. You will be pointing your knees and arching in a limbo dancer position to counterbalance your lean to heelside. If you're used to doing laybacks it will be no problem. If you don't do them and are forced into one, you may split your pants, or worse.

 

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