The annual freestyle contest in Paderborn, Germany is coming up in early July. It, quite simply, the best freestyle contest. The ground there is magical and holy. It’s a grassroots gather. No corporate bullshit, no parades. No prize money. Just a great event, like a family gathering.
I’m starting to think about my contest runs. A run at Paderborn has to mean something to me. It isn’t just a bunch of tricks strung together. Corny as it may sound, it’s my art, and I care about it. I’m not that good, but what I do out there is all mine. We all skate like ourselves. No one skates like you, and no one skates like me. So when you do a contest run, it should come from within you. It should represent you — your emotions. I don’t give a fuck what tricks someone does. A run must not be hollow. Even a run where you mess up a lot can still be a beautiful thing.
So I’m working on a list of tricks and an approach to the run that I think exemplify me, and picking some music that will mean something to me, and I hope I can make it a gift to my friends there and connect with them.
Competition sucks, but like all grassroots skateboarding events, this isn’t so much a competition as it is a celebration.
I’ve been horrible at backwards walk the dog forever, but a few years ago I saw this particular cool way of getting into them in some Doug Saladino footage from 1977. So I started working on it. This stuff is from Spring 2018. Summer, as I’ve said, was rough that year. I think I was just a bit burned out. It happens. I’m ready to work on getting this really nice again.
You’ll want to be able to do an endover to a nice smooth backward roll.
I’ll explain a bit more in the video – but you get into a 1-footed tail wheelie position while rolling backwards. You take your front foot off and begin turning your body frontside. The board lags behind just slightly, as you used a little ankle control to life the front wheels. This will naturally cause the board to do a frontside kickturn as it try to keep up with your body. As the board swings around, surprise! Your front foot is already there to meet it and get back on!
Not complicated, but like all footwork tricks there is the potential for things to go horribly wrong. Don’t underestimate this move if you aren’t used to doing this kind of thing. Maybe put that helmet on until you really have it down, or may keep it on.
Old Bastard Freestyle Trick Tip 6 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.
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!
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.
OBFTrickTip1 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.
I’m restarting this blog. I wasn’t going to do a trick tips site, but I had the domain name lying around and I really liked it, so what the hell.
This site is about freestyle skateboarding, but I’m going to aim it more at older skater who 1) may have done some freestyle a long time ago but gave it up when it started getting technical and people started standing on the tail of the board, etc., or 2) maybe have never really liked freestyle because they didn’t really see any flow in it, or whatever.
I think every skateboarder should be able to link some nice tricks together on flat. Other than just rolling and turning, what is more basic than that? It bums me out that so many skaters decline to even enter or participate in freestyle events because they “aren’t good at it.” That’s not what it’s about. It’s about getting out there and showing a few skills, having a good time, listening to some good music, and having your friends holler for you — just like all of skateboarding.
I’ll be doing some simple tricks here, most of which you’ll be able to do on any board. I won’t be doing any foot-on-the-ground tricks here like no-complies or bonelesses. Those are great tricks for street skating, but I want to concentrate here on flowing ON the board.
After maybe 10 of these tips, if you work on them, you should have enough going for you that you could participate in a freestyle contest and have something cool to do, because as you learn this stuff you will come up with new ideas. You will make it your own.
I think it would be good if you got yourself a freestyle board, but I’m not going to stress over it. I want you to learn some skills from freestyle that you can use in your everyday skate session. I’m sure I’ll be dropping some opinions here and there.
So there it is. Get on it.