Heelside Backroll


Tips by David Ngiam
Video : David Ngiam
Photo : Stephen Liew

The HS Backroll is one of the first few inverts you should attempt. If you can clear both wakes comfortably then this trick should be farliy easy to learn.

First of all, you need to remember is that you can’t throw the rotation for the roll. What creates the rotation is actually the line tension. Therefore, take a progressive cut into the wake, gradually loading the line, while keeping your handle low and close to your hip.

As you ride up the wake, continue to keep the handle close to you and edge your board up and away from the boat while looking over your forward shoulder. Remember, don’t flatten out or you’ll get a slack line and lose all your momentum. You really want to keep the line taut.

After you have left the wake and you are starting to rotate, keep you handle locked in. You’ll realize that you are actually rotating around the handle. If you let you handle out, your center of gravity becomes higher and therefore harder to rotate. Meanwhile continue to look over your front shoulder and try to spot the landing.

Common problems:

If you don’t get air, remember to try not to pop too hard or throw your board too hard. This tends to make you flatten your board at the wake, thus losing all you momentum.

If you have the height but still end up eating the wake, then you’re probably letting your handle out as you rotate. Just keep it in.

If you are over-rotating, you’re probably throwing the trick too hard. If you know you’re getting a lot of air, just let the handle out a little as you come down and that would help stall the rotation a little. Another problem could be that you’ve got to much weight on your back foot and you are sliding out on landing. You want to take off with even weight on your board.

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