Now that you can get into the miniramp and keep your speed, you will need to learn how to turn the board around. Going back and forth—forward and fakie—gets boring pretty quickly. The next technique you’ll want to get comfortable with is the backside kickturn.
The key to the backside kickturn is to start small, well below the coping, and get accustomed to repositioning your front wheels in toward the direction you want to go. The backside kickturn on transition is a fundamental skill required for dozens of tricks, so you’ll want to concentrate on developing good form. It shouldn’t take long to be able to do backside kickturns with a relaxed posture and casual confidence.
In the backside kickturn, you will do a backside 180 so your back will be toward the deck. You will probably start learning your backside kickturns with a much smaller angle at first, rolling up the transition at an angle (with your back to the coping) and then doing a small kickturn and coming back down the transition at an angle. As you build confidence, you can start approaching the transition more directly and doing a bigger kickturn. Eventually you will be able to roll straight up the transition, do a perfect 180-degree kickturn, and roll straight back down the transition.
1. Start with a few pumps and fakies until you are midway up the transition. As you approach the transition and are ready to try a backside kickturn, steer the board a bit until it is rolling up the slope at a backside angle. You shouldn’t be going straight up the tranny the first few times you do this trick. It may seem counterintuitive, but many people find that doing a kickturn midway up the transition is easier than doing one near the bottom because kickturns are easier when you have some speed and momentum to work with.
2. Before you reach the apex of your carve, turn your head and look directly in the direction you want to go. Lift the front wheels slightly (without looking at them) and reposition the board so it is pointed where you are looking. You can even slide the front wheels if that is more comfortable for you. Don’t lift your front end so high that your tail touches the ground.
3. As you pick up speed and begin going back down the transition, correct the direction of the board until you’re well balanced.
At first your backside kickturns may be about 45 degrees, but as you get better at them, you should try going straight up the transition and straight back down along the same path. You might even pick out a seam in the ramp or use a landmark on the ramp to measure your progress. If you want to take this further, you can try rolling up the transition in a frontside carve direction and doing a backside 270-degree kickturn. This is sometimes called an alley-oop.
Keep practicing backside kickturns until you can do them high enough on the transition that the front wheels go over the coping. This is the beginning technique for learning the backside 5-0 grind.