If you’re interested in learning switchblades, you should be very comfortable hitting jumps and have a control in the air. You should have your can cans and no footed can cans dialed in. You also want your seat foam shaved down as all FMX bikes are; the last thing you want is to hook a foot trying to bring it back.
The switchblade takes your traditional no footed can can and adds a bit of a twist, where your feet end up behind you instead of out to the side of you. The takeoff for this trick begins with your front end slightly looped out. You don’t want to get carried away, but if you jump with your front end low your body feels heavy and it’s hard to get your body in the right place to perform the trick. So try to focus on taking off with the front end slightly high, but don’t get carried away.
Next, focus on your pop. Once you pop off the lip of the ramp, instead of focusing on your legs, focus on continuing to twist your hips. As you twist your hips, you should keep your butt down low towards the seat. When you twist your hips, be sure your arm (right arm if your feet go left, left arm if your feet go right) bends. This allows your entire body to twist more than it would be able to if your body was upright and arms were straight. With an upright position and straight arms, you’ll end up doing a regular no footed can can instead of a switchblade. As you’re popping and rotating your hips, drop your opposite elbow and drop your butt down a bit.
The last thing to do on a switchblade once you have full extension and start coming back is to be sure to keep your legs tucked. This is important, as when you start to get lazy focusing on your feet is when bad things happen. You do not want to catch on the seat in this case, so focus on ensuring your feet clear. One suggestion is when you get close to returning to the pegs, squeeze the bike. It will give you a brief moment of control to adjust and brace for the landing.
Closing Remarks and Tips
Keep a nice slow progression. FMX is no joke, so take these tips and use them little by little. Don’t push it too quickly; this may take weeks or even longer after your no footed can cans are dialed. Be patient, and prioritize both committing to the trick and knowing your limits.