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How to Heelside Back Roll on a Wakeboard

Heelside Back Roll

The Trick

About the Backroll

The backroll is a backflip/sideflip on a wakeboard that some riders love and some riders hate. Personally, I think they’re tougher than tantrums but I have friends who think they’re way easier. Either way, I would say that the backroll or the tantrum should be your first invert on a wakeboard, so if this is the one for you then let’s get learning.

Back Roll Prerequisites and Setup

Obviously you need to be able to do wake to wake airs smoothly and consistently, probably with some grabs. That’s pretty much the only prerequisite, although I’d highly recommend being able to backflip and maybe sideflip on a trampoline for that body and air awareness. The backroll requires a somewhat aggressive heelside carve into the wake. Approach the wake with your knees and arms bent. As you rise up the lip of the wake, don’t forget to pop. This isn’t something you have to think about on every trick. It’s essential with a backroll. For years I struggled with lack of pop on backrolls, and it made them scary and inconsistent for me. I fell a lot and caught my nose a few times. Don’t do that.

Helpful Back Roll Tips

Be patient up the lip and extend your legs as you rise. As you pop, throw your back shoulder and head to the tail of the board. Keep both hands on the handle to maintain your axis with the boat. Keep your head turned towards the tail of the board. This will allow you to spot your landing at around the 1/2 to 2/3 mark of your rotation. Once you spot, either tuck your knees in to speed up the rotation or extend to slow it down. Put the board down flat and ride away like a boss.

Comment below with questions or tutorial requests. Get out there a stomp a backroll!

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The Athlete

Name: Todd Gonzalez
Profile: tgonzalez

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