Heelside Backside 180

Tips by Tan Kay Tuck
Video : Mark Griffin
Photo : Tan Suter

The first time you try a 180 blind; it should not be a wake-to-wake attempt. What I am trying to say is that a bit of practice is required before you actually attempt it wake to wake. That is, to either try it off the wake (inside out), one wake or try a ollie to blind. The two main things you need to accustom yourself to is getting the handle and air awareness when you spin blind.


DRY LAND – Before you attempt any of the above, try to jump 180 blind on land, passing either a handle or whatever you can get your hands on, behind your back. Each time you jump, make sure your hands meet at the small of your back at the same time that your feet touch the ground. This will train your muscle to go for the handle once you land (avoiding any unintentional wrapped landings) – Also, you want to lean forward slightly when you land, placing pressure on the ball of your foot. This will help you get on your toe side edge when you land with a board, allowing you to edge away as opposed to sliding on your heels and falling backwards. Do this a couple of times, and then go for the ollie blind 180 or one wake 180 blind.

OLLIE / ONE WAKE – When you attempt the trick on the water, it is very important to realize that you must jump up first, before you start to turn blind. Turning off the water or as you jump will swing the board, making the landings very very sketchy, if you actually make it.

*Try to get a feel for the 180 blind spin, you want to be able to “know”when you’ve actually hit the 180 spot, so you won’t over rotate, or worse – under rotate.


All right, now you are ready to do this. Just one thing to note – for a one wake 180 blind or ollie to blind, the delay in the trick is almost minimal. For a wake-to-wake attempt, you must delay the spin until you are at the peak of your jump.

APPROACH – Come in on a progressive edge and set up from a shorter than normal distance. Ideally, you want to do this wake to wake i.e. and on the downside of the second wake as that makes the landings almost effortless.

POP – Ride all the way up to the peak of the wake and stand tall (pushing you chest upwards and handle toward you hips to maximize your pop)

SPIN – At the peak of your jump, give the handle a slight tug with both hands towards your front hip, while turning you head across to your rear shoulder to initiate the blind 180. *** If you are trying this wake-to-wake, use the 2nd wake as a gauge. Start the rotation when you have either reached the peak of the jump or are over the 2nd wake as that is where you will be landing.

HANDLE PASS – Once you turn your head, let go of the handle with your back hand and pass the handle in the small of you back *** sometimes it is easier if you imagine that you want to curl you wrist and bend your arms when you go for the handle – that would avoid you swinging your arm out***

LANDINGS – If you were looking when you turned you head, you’ll see the water very soon. Once you have the handle in your back hand, keep it close to your new leading hip, place more pressure on the ball of your foot and ride away on your switch toe side edge.


No air or too much rope tension ? If you didn’t pop early, you were probably spinning too early and killing any air you might have gotten. Also, the rope tension during a wake jump is very strong on the way up. Thus if you spin early, the tension is likely to be much stronger, making the handle pass very difficult.

Can’t get handle? Apart from spinning early, if you spin away from the handle, you wont be able to get it either. When attempting any handle pass spin trick, you must tug/pull the handle before you go for the spin. This gets you closer to the handle, making you spin around the handle and not away from the handle. This is very basic and very crucial if you ever want to spin 360s and above in any direction.

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