Fundamentals of Tranny
Pumping, kickturns, and carving make up the fundamentals of transition skateboarding. Once you can get around a bowl or ramp using these methods, you can start learning coping tricks, airs, and all sorts of awesome things. But first things first – dial in the basics. Let’s learn a frontside kickturn.
Doing the Frontside Kickturn
Frontside kickturns are harder than backside kickturns. For starters, you’re turning your back to the ramp which is always scary. It’s also just a little bit less natural of a body position, and requires a bit more balance and precision. But don’t worry – just like any beginner trick, with patience, determination, and – most importantly – the ability to commit, you’ll have this kickturn dialed in no time.
Start on a ramp with a small, smooth transition. A 3 to 4 foot miniramp/halfpipe is perfect. Begin to pump the ramp at a comfortable speed. Once you’re ready to try the frontside kickturn, there are a few things to focus on.
- Put enough weight on the tail of your board to lift your front wheels up slighly. Careful not to press too hard, as this will cause your board to slip out or for you to spin around on your tail.
- As you weigh your tail, do not lean back. It is a common mistake to associate pressure on the tail with putting your weight back. That is not the case. If you lean back, you will fall backwards. Simply apply extra pressure with your back foot as you let your front knee come up a little bit. This will bring your front wheels up with your weight still square over the board.
- Lead with your shoulders. Turn your head and shoulders so that you can see where you are trying to land once you bring your board around. As your front wheels come up, allow your front knee to rise and pivot around back down the ramp. Once your legs have followed your torso and your entire body has pivoted, bring your front knee back down, let your front wheels touch the ground, and roll alway clean.
When I’ve watched people try to learn the frontside kickturn, I’ve noticed a lot of people who try to lead with their feet and don’t get nearly all the way around. If your head and shoulders are still looking up the transition, your board is not going to spin around to face downwards into the transition. You must look where you want to go. Fully commit to bringing your head and shoulders around and letting your board follow.
As you get better at this, it will become one fluid motion. When you’re learning, the key is to bring all parts of your body all the way around. Focus on keeping your weight square over the skateboard as you turn your shoulders, lift your front wheels, and pivot your skateboard. It’s an odd feeling at first for sure, but once you’ve got it dialed you can start surfing pools frontside, grinding coping, stalling, and so much more.
Best of luck with this skill and let me know if you have any questions. Leave a comment below!