Here is is…
It’s been a while since I posted here. Summer got hot and miserable, then it started raining, and so those are my excuses. When I’ve been able to skate I’ve been concentrating on filming for a new old guy video project I’m participating in, which will be findable in mid-October on the NeverWas Skateboarding Youtube Channel.
In their first video, Can You Spare Some Cutter Me Brother, I did mostly freestyle and a little bit of freestyle-inspired street skating. In this one I am mostly skating the mellow banks of the little local ditch where I ride a lot. Honestly, I just haven’t learned a lot of new freestyle in the last year.
Well, the temperatures are cooling down now, so I’m going to get back to this project when I can. Tony Gale is doing a great job over on freestyletricktips.com, so you should check out his stuff every week.
In keeping with the simple movement/flow footwork kind of thing we’re looking at here, this week’s tip is for 180 shove-its. Again, you can learn these on a normal board. I’d love it if you’d go to Moonshine skateboard or Mode Skateboards (see the side-bar) and buy a freestyle board, but don’t let that stop you from working on this stuff.
Like any other trick, it’s easier to do a shitty shove-it. I did a bunch when I was filming the first version for this tip. Bad landings. Simple trick, but bad landings. Weird. I’ve been doing these tricks for 40 years, but still the bad landings plague me on the forward 180 shove-it. That’s OK. Just means I can still get better! So once you start landing these, start working on making good landings (I kept landing the forward shove-it with my back heel on the board, toes hanging way off, and it looked like crap).
Application of End-Overs to bank skating. Endlessly useful.
First, for a really comprehensive guide to learning this trick, I recommend you go to Tony Gales End-Overs tip on FreestyleTrickTips.com, on which Tony guides you from the very beginnings of this move. Tony gives you some variations that are very much part of the basic freestyle movement vocabulary that I’ll probably not cover here.
End-overs are one of the most basic elements of freestyle, and in my opinion skateboarding in general, and are often overlooked. Until I started this project I honestly had no idea that people have trouble with this. I suppose because it is one of the first things I learned back in about 1975 or 76, it has just never occurred to me that everyone doesn’t do these. But I think skating began to be so vert and later street oriented that people just didn’t learn this.
So here’s my tip. It is intended as “additional commentary aimed at the old guys” to Tony’s more comprehensive instruction.
I would also point out that when you can do endovers easily, stuff like this becomes easier as well, though it isn’t freestyle. Freestyle really should be, in addition to and end in itself, the fundamental building block of your skating.
My talking seems to be increasing rather than decreasing, but I swear to remedy this. Part of the issue is that I am not just teaching the trick, but I’m also trying to talk to the old guys out there and address what I think are particular concerns and issues they might face. So that simply requires more talking. Next time I may wear a mask so y’all don’t get too sick of seeing my face.
So, Walk the Dog is one of the primary footwork tricks in freestyle. It’s important. Like the moves I’ve described in previous tips, it is a move that emphasizes the ability for the skater to move atop the board. It requires that your feet not be glued to the deck. You must be able to move them with some ease and eventually some grace. That’s the goal.
One thing I failed to mention in my excessive talking is the idea of not overpowering the kickturn in this. This move is all about subtle weight distribution. You may not have it at first. That’s OK. This trick will help you develop it. But when you are doing the kickturn part, try not to beat it to death. Just relax. Everything’s gonna be OK. A calm, peaceful, centered kickturn is what you want. So calm your mind, get all Zen, and let it flow slowly and smoothly.
Practice your Walk the Dog along with the previous tips here. Over, and over, and over. That’s how you get better. Mix them all together. Be creative!
I know with 100% certainty that you can do this!
Also, you can always get better! Looking at this video, I really need to work on my arm style. Man, it’s not the worst I’ve every seen, but it could be a lot better. I generally don’t like to copy anyone’s style, but when I see something in my own that I find ghastly, I try to adjust a bit.
Finally, for additional trick tips, and additional more detailed info on these, check out FreestyleTrickTips.com , by Tony Gale.
First, let me apologize for the excessive talking in this video. I was tired from my work day. But since probably 10 people will watch this video, and they are all friends, I figured it might be OK anyway, so here it is.
The Walk-Around (that’s what I call it, anyway) is simple footwork move that you can apply to a freestyle run, as footwork or as the entry into various tricks. It is quite versatile. With some speed and control during the initial wheelie carve, it can be quite stylish too. It’s a nice little move to have for nearly any skating situation. Next week when I go film some bank tricks for the upcoming NeverWas 2 video, I’m going to do this on – you guessed it – banks. My friend Tony Gale taught me a version of this going the other way, where you pivot on your heel rather than the ball of your foot, and it’s really cool. I’m going to start practicing it obsessively too.
So when you go out to skate, work this move in. Practice it with focus. Obsess on doing it as fluidly as you can. Try to make each one smoother than the last — your feet moving across the grip tape with ease. Really, it is fun to do! When you get this down, think about doing 2 in a row, than doing the previous tip (2 endovers into the Shove-It Thingie) all as one line. YOU CAN DO IT!
As you go through these trick tips and tips on overall freestyle-ish-ness, I have a couple of challenges for you.
- Practice these every time you get on your board. At the end of any line you do, after any slappy, do one of these things. Make it a habit. That is how you learn.
- Shoot some video of yourself doing this stuff, put it on youtube or instagram, and share it on the Old Bastards Freestyle forum. Join the forum, on the Always Will message board, if you haven’t already. It is more fun to learn things when you share your progress and innovations with the like-minded.
- Ignore the ollie. Yes. Ignore it. So many skaters grew up doing ollies and ollie-based tricks constantly that they can’t do anything else. Even old guys do this, since guys who started skating in the mid to late 1980s are now OLD. Yet there are at least a million things you can do on flat without the ollie. So commit to practicing freestyle without the ollie, so it isn’t a crutch.
Once we have done 10 tips here, I’m thinking about doing a Cyber-Freestyle Challenge, where you will film a short run to share with everyone.
When you post something, use #TheInsaneFSChallenge. If you post on Instagram use @bibliosk8er as well. On Facebook, tag me.
So get on it!
- Old Bastard Freestyle Tip #1 — the Shove-It Thingie
- Old Bastard Freestyle Tip #2 — the Walk-Around
- Old Bastard Freestyle Tip #3 – Walk the Dog
- Old Bastard Freestyle Tip #4 – End Overs
This is a little move I use a lot in freestyle, but I tend to use it whenever I skate anthing. It’s a habit. One of the 7 habits of highly habitual people, or something like that. Anyway, its a useful move for freestyle, and also useful for changing which end of your board is forward without fumbling around with great spasticity.