What Is Backside in Skateboarding? (Explained)

Discover the meaning of backside in skateboarding and learn how to perform backside tricks. Master the basics with our beginner's guide.

Do you know what’s more perplexing than a Rubik’s cube? Skateboarding terminology. From backside grinds to the 180s, the world of skateboarding can feel like a different language. But fear not, my friends! In this blog post, we will break down the meaning of “backside” and show you how to master some backside tricks.

Let’s take your skateboarding game to the next level. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive deep into the world of backside tricks. You’ll learn everything from foot and body positioning basics to advanced tips and tricks. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to impress your friends at the skate park. So grab your board, and let’s get started!

What does backside mean? Backside in skateboarding refers to the execution of a trick with the skater’s back facing the ramp or obstacle or when the skater rotates their body in the direction they are riding with their back facing downhill. It is an important concept in skateboarding, with many tricks using backside rotations, such as the backside 180, one of the first rotations a skateboarder needs to master.

Why is Understanding ‘Backside’ Important in Skateboarding?

Skateboarding boasts a rich vernacular that reflects its dynamic culture. To truly appreciate the sport, getting a grasp on terms like “backside” is crucial. Plus, as skateboarding continues to gain global popularity, having a firm grasp of its lexicon will only aid enthusiasts in fully immersing themselves in the community.

What Exactly is ‘Backside’?

Backside, in skateboarding, denotes any turn or maneuver wherein the rider’s back is oriented towards the direction of their movement or spin. It’s pivotal in the identification and differentiation of tricks. For a regular-footed skater turning clockwise, it’s a backside turn. On the other hand, if they were to turn anti-clockwise, that would be a frontside turn.

Are There Variations to Backside Moves?

Absolutely! Here’s a rundown:

  • Backside Flip: This trick combines a backside 180-degree rotation with a kickflip.
  • Backside Grind: This is where a skateboarder grinds on an object with their back facing it.
  • Backside Air: In a skatepark or ramp setting, this refers to aerial tricks initiated on the backside of the curve.

The depth and breadth of backside maneuvers make them an intrinsic component of skateboarding. Discover more skateboarding maneuvers.

How Does ‘Backside’ Compare to ‘Frontside’?

The primary distinction between backside and frontside revolves around the skateboarder’s orientation during the move. Here’s a quick comparative glance:

AspectBacksideFrontside
OrientationRider’s back faces the direction of movementRider’s front faces the direction of movement
ExampleBackside 180Frontside 180
This distinction, while simple, is fundamental in differentiating a vast array of tricks.
Image of two skateboarders skateboarding in a skate park. Source: stefano bucciarelli, unsplash
Image of two skateboarders skateboarding in a skate park. Source: stefano bucciarelli, unsplash

What are the types of backside tricks?

Here are some common types of backside tricks:

Image of a skateboarder skateboarding down the ramp. Source: nik, unsplash
Image of a skateboarder skateboarding down the ramp. Source: nik, unsplash

Backside 180

This is a trick in which the rider rotates 180 degrees with their back facing the obstacle or ramp. It is often one of the first rotations that skateboarders learn and can be a fundamental building block for performing other tricks.

Backside grind

A grind is performed with the skater’s back facing the obstacle or ramp. The skater approaches the obstacle with the backside facing it and then grinds across it with the coping balanced between the wheels of the back truck.

Backside slide

This is a trick where the rider slides with their back facing the obstacle or ramp. The skater approaches the obstacle with the backside facing it and slides across it using the tail or board’s edge.

With practice and dedication, skateboarders can develop various backside tricks to add to their repertoire.

It’s important to note that there are many variations of these basic tricks, and skateboarders often incorporate their own unique style and flair into their tricks. With practice and dedication, skateboarders can develop various backside tricks to add to their repertoire.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

What is backside in skateboarding? (explained) | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

How to do backside tricks

The instructions for backside tricks vary depending on the specific trick. However, here are some general tips for foot positioning, body positioning, and practice that can help with performing backside tricks:

Foot positioning

In backside tricks, the skater’s back is facing the obstacle or ramp. Typically, the skater will want to have their back foot positioned over the tail of the board and their front foot somewhere between the middle and the front bolts of the board. For specific backside tricks like backside heelflips, foot positioning may differ.

Body positioning

Depending on the trick, body positioning can vary. Generally, the skater will want to be crouched down and have their weight evenly distributed over the board. The skater’s shoulders should face the obstacle or ramp, and the head should be turned to look where the skater wants to go.

Practice tips

The best way to learn any trick is through practice. Skaters can try starting with basic backside tricks like the backside 180 or backside kick turn and then progress to more advanced tricks. It’s also helpful to practice on different terrain and obstacles to understand how the trick works in different situations. Finally, it can be helpful to watch tutorial videos or skateboarding competitions to see how other skaters perform the trick.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “Frontside vs Backside in Skateboarding | Telling the Difference” from the Sean Brown YouTube channel.

A video called “Frontside vs. Backside in Skateboarding | Telling the Difference” from the Sean Brown YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions about what the backside is? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is the difference between frontside and backside tricks in skateboarding?

Backside tricks are performed with your back facing the obstacle or direction of travel, while frontside tricks are performed with your front facing the obstacle or direction of travel.

How do I know if I’m performing a backside trick correctly?

In a backside trick, the skateboarder rotates or slides with their back facing the obstacle. Proper foot and body positioning, as well as practice, are necessary to master the technique.

Are backside tricks more difficult than frontside tricks?

It depends on the trick and the skateboarder’s individual skills and preferences. Some skateboarders may find backside tricks more difficult, while others may find frontside tricks more challenging. The key is to practice and master both types of tricks for a well-rounded skateboarding experience.

Conclusion

Well, folks, we’ve come to the end of our wild ride through the world of backside tricks in skateboarding. Did we grind your gears with all that technical jargon? Or did you skate through the content with ease? Either way, we hope you learned something new and exciting to take to the skate park and show off to your friends.

So, are you ready to “flip” the script on your skateboarding skills and master the art of the backside? Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s always room to improve and learn something new. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and try new things.

Did we answer all your burning questions about backside tricks in skateboarding? Let us know in the comments below (I read and reply to every comment). And if you found this article helpful, don’t be afraid to share it with a fellow skateboarder. Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep on shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the meaning of backside. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Backside in skateboarding refers to riding or performing a trick with your back facing the direction of travel or obstacle.
  • Backside tricks include backside 180, backside grind, and backside slide.
  • Proper foot and body positioning, as well as practice, are necessary to master backside tricks.
  • Common mistakes when performing backside tricks include leaning too far forward or back, not staying centered over the board, and failing to balance the weight.
  • A backside grind is a fundamental trick used in many other advanced tricks.
  • Practicing both frontside and backside tricks is important for a well-rounded skateboarding experience.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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