The backside rock and roll—sometimes called just backside rock—is a classic trick many skaters like to learn early on. On most miniramps it is easy to learn, and it doesn’t take any complicated motions to pull off.
The backside rock is like the rock to fakie except you do a 180 kickturn from the rock position instead of rolling in backward. There are two secrets to backside rock and rolls. First, push the board into the rock ahead of your body weight so you are not completely up on the board when it’s against the coping. The second secret is absolutely required to do this trick: Lead with your shoulders.
1. Approach the coping with the same amount of speed as you might for a rock to fakie. You’ll need enough speed to get the board over the coping so that the front is on the deck and the back end is still in the transition.
2. Before you reach the coping, rotate your shoulders so your chest is pointed toward your tail. This is the single most important motion your body must do.
You’ll be turning backside, so rotate your torso in the direction your board will soon need to go.
3. Lift the nose slightly so it crosses the coping smoothly. Once the front wheels are past the coping, let the nose come down so that the front wheels rest on the deck. This is a very quick motion; you just want to quickly tap the front wheels to the deck. There is no stall to this trick, at least not at first.
4. Immediately lift the nose of the board up and bring it around in a backside 180. You may feel the rear wheels slide down the ramp as you bring the nose around. This is okay as long as you keep rotating.
5. As the front wheels come down, make your adjustments and roll away.
It may seem at first as if nothing can go right with your backside rocks. Most of the problems people have are easy to fix.
If the front wheels clip the coping as you bring the 180 around, work on a few backside 180s below the coping and without the rock. Try to do your 180s so that you are traveling straight up the transition, doing a perfect 180, and then coming straight back down. Pay attention to what your shoulders are doing. Try to do the 180 as the board comes to a stop and not while it’s still rolling up the transition.
If the front wheels are still clipping the coping when you’re bringing the front end around, you may be getting up too high onto the rock. If you find you can pause for a second while the board is lapped over the coping, you are probably too high. To fix this, try to push the board forward so the front wheels tap the deck quickly and then are immediately pulled into the 180 kickturn. The motion should be quick.
If the board comes about only halfway around the 180 and stops sideways, you need to rotate your shoulders more. If you can slide the front wheels the rest of the way around, that’s fine, but improve your upper-body technique as you practice. Under-rotating your body is the main reason most people struggle with their rock and rolls.