The heelside frontside 180 is a fun trick on a wakeboard that can take a little while to dial in. It’s a good stepping-stone trick for frontside 360s and also helps you become comfortable landing switch. Before attempting this trick, be sure you’re very comfortable with heelside wake to wake jumps. It’s also a good idea to be somewhat comfortable riding switch. To do so, you can either get up switch or if you’re comfortable enough you can simply flip your stance while riding.
Frontside 180 Early Stages
When you’re first preparing to try a heel front 180, you don’t need to take it wake to wake. Similar to learning your first heelside wake to wake jump, start by hitting the wake with minimal speed and doing the frontside 180 but not clearing the wake. This trick can be odd at first, as it’s likely the first trick you’re doing that has you landing on your toe edge. You will pop and take off just like a normal heelside air. Once you’re at the peak of the jump, drop your front hand and pivot that shoulder in the direction you’re spinning. While we call it a frontside 180, you’re getting slightly less than 180 degrees of rotation.
You want to land flat based with a lean towards your toe edge. Your back hand (now your front hand) should be pulled somewhat behind you with a pull towards the boat. Focus on keeping your body balanced over the board throughout this trick. I’ve seen people struggle with washing out on their heel edge every time because they tend to lean back. While sometimes you can ride a simple wake to wake jump out with poor form, it’s much harder on a frontside 180. Once you’ve got this trick dialed on a small scale, it’s time to wake it wake to wake.
Wake to Wake Frontside 180
Really not much changes aside from the fact that everything becomes a little more scary. Your carve in doesn’t need to be too aggressive – just enough to clear the wake. Again, wait until the peak of your jump to drop your front hand and initiate the rotation. Patience is key. If you try to spin too early, it will often throw you off axis and cause you to wash out on your heels. Once you become comfortable with this trick, start grabbing your nose when you drop your front hand. I find that it actually helps smooth out the trick and you can literally pull your nose around with your hand. It’s more fun, more controlled, and more stylish.
Getting Back to Your Normal Stance
Now you’ve done a 180 – how do you get back to your normal stance? I remember struggling with this step when I first learned the 180. I had really never ridden switch. There are 3 effective methods that are somewhat easy.
- Do a small switch toeside frontside 180. It’s really not that hard! Take a super mellow carve back into the wake switch toeside. Airing back to your normal stance will allow you to keep both hands on the handle the entire time. All you have to do is pivot your feet under you! I think this is far easier than a switch heel front 180.
- Simply pivot on the water. This can be scary at first. You can have your driver slow down to allow you to practice this safely. Simply pivot your feet on the water in one fluid motion. Take care not to catch an edge.
- Pop off the water and do a quick 180. Bend your knees to push your board farther into the water, and as it rises pop up and get a few inches off the water. Pivot your feet in the air and you’re back to regular!
That’s how you do a heelside frontside 180 on a wakeboard. Feel free to comment with questions or progress!