What’s The Difference Between A Backside And Frontside 180?

Have you ever wondered what sets apart a backside 180 from a frontside 180? While they may appear similar at first glance, these two skateboarding tricks have distinct differences that can make all the difference in your performance. Discover the nuances of these tricks and understand how slight variations in body positioning and direction of rotation can elevate your skateboarding skills to new heights. Whether you’re a beginner looking to understand the fundamentals or an experienced skater eager to expand your repertoire, this article is here to break down the disparities between the backside and frontside 180. Get ready to unlock the secrets behind these mesmerizing maneuvers and take your skateboarding game to the next level.

The Basics of Aerial Skateboarding Tricks

Skateboarding tricks are not only thrilling to watch but also exciting to perform. Among these tricks, aerial skateboarding tricks stand out as they require great skill, balance, and precision. If you’re looking to take your skateboarding skills to the next level, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of these tricks. In this article, we will delve into the basics of aerial skateboarding tricks, focusing specifically on backside and frontside 180s. By understanding the difference between these two tricks and mastering their techniques, you’ll be able to elevate your skateboarding game to new heights.

Understanding Direction in Skateboarding Tricks

In skateboarding, direction plays a crucial role in determining the type of trick and its execution. When we talk about backside and frontside 180s, we are referring to the direction in which the skateboarder rotates during the trick.

Whats The Difference Between A Backside And Frontside 180?

Introduction to Backside and Frontside 180s

A backside 180 refers to a trick where the skateboarder rotates 180 degrees in the opposite direction of their backside, which is typically the direction their back is facing during the trick. On the other hand, a frontside 180 involves rotating 180 degrees in the direction of the skater’s front side, which is usually the direction their chest is facing during the trick.

Importance of Knowing the Difference

Knowing the difference between backside and frontside 180s is essential for two main reasons: style and execution. Firstly, identifying the direction of rotation enables skateboarders to showcase their unique style and flair. Secondly, understanding the difference helps in executing the trick correctly, avoiding common mistakes, and promoting safety during the process.

Whats The Difference Between A Backside And Frontside 180?

Backside 180: The Basics

Definition and Technique

The backside 180 is a versatile trick that forms the foundation for numerous other aerial skateboarding maneuvers. To perform a backside 180, you start with your feet in the regular stance, with your shoulders parallel to the skateboard. As you initiate the trick, you rotate your body, using your shoulders and hips as your axis, to turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction of your back.

Execution and Visual Cues

A crucial visual cue when performing a backside 180 is focusing on the rotation of your shoulders and keeping them aligned with the board throughout the trick. As you pop the tail of your skateboard and lift it off the ground, your shoulders initiate the rotational movement while your hips follow suit. Maintaining this synchronized motion ensures a smooth and controlled execution.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake skateboarders make while attempting a backside 180 is not committing to the full rotation. It’s vital to dedicate enough energy and momentum to complete the 180-degree spin. Additionally, failing to maintain a consistent axis through your shoulders can result in an uncontrolled rotation, leading to less stability and lesser control over the trick.

Frontside 180: The Basics

Definition and Technique

Similar to the backside 180, the frontside 180 is another fundamental aerial skateboarding trick that opens the gateway to more advanced maneuvers. To execute a frontside 180, begin with your feet in the regular stance, positioning your chest and shoulders parallel to the skateboard. As you initiate the trick, rotate your body 180 degrees in the direction of your front side, leading with your shoulders.

Execution and Visual Cues

When performing a frontside 180, visual cues play a vital role in achieving a fluid and controlled motion. As you pop the tail of your skateboard and elevate it, focus on the rotation of your shoulders, leading the way. Keeping your chest and head facing forward helps maintain stability and balance throughout the trick. Remember to keep your eyes fixated on the landing spot to ensure a controlled and confident execution.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake skateboarders make while attempting a frontside 180 is not fully rotating their shoulders. Inadequate rotation can result in a halt mid-trick and decrease overall stability. Additionally, failing to pivot on your shoulders smoothly can lead to an unbalanced landing and potential loss of control. Make sure to practice the rotational motion and commit to the complete 180-degree rotation to achieve a seamless frontside 180.

Whats The Difference Between A Backside And Frontside 180?

Angles and Body Movements

Body Positioning in Backside 180s

In backside 180s, body positioning plays a crucial role in achieving a balanced and controlled trick. As you initiate the rotational motion, ensure that your shoulders and hips act as your axis, maintaining alignment with the skateboard. Keeping your weight centered and your eyes focused on the trick’s direction helps maintain stability and precision during the rotation.

Body Positioning in Frontside 180s

Similar to backside 180s, body positioning is essential to master frontside 180s. As you rotate in the direction of your front side, maintaining symmetry between your shoulders and hips is vital. By aligning your upper body with the skateboard, you promote stability and enable a smooth execution of the trick.

Analysis of Angles

Angles play a significant role in aerial skateboarding tricks. In both backside and frontside 180s, skateboarders aim to achieve a 180-degree rotation. Analyzing the angles of your body, board, and the direction of rotation while performing these tricks helps refine your technique and maintain precision. Regular practice and self-analysis of these angles contribute to your overall progress as a skateboarder.

Difficulty and Style Factors

Challenges Faced in Each Trick

Both backside and frontside 180s present their unique challenges. In backside 180s, maintaining stability and control throughout the rotation, especially during landing, can be a hurdle for many skateboarders. On the other hand, frontside 180s require precise shoulder rotation and balance to execute the trick smoothly. Each trick has its learning curve and requires consistent practice to overcome these challenges.

Style Considerations in Backside 180s

Style is an essential aspect of skateboarding, and backside 180s offer numerous opportunities to showcase your personal flair. From the angle of your body during rotation to the way you land the trick, your unique style can be expressed through slight variations. Experimenting with different arm movements, body postures, and timing adds creativity to your backside 180s, elevating them from a basic trick to a visually appealing spectacle.

Style Considerations in Frontside 180s

Frontside 180s also provide ample opportunities to develop your personal style. The angle at which you rotate your shoulders, the way you extend your legs, and the position of your arms during the trick can contribute to your unique style. By experimenting with these elements, you can add your personal touch to frontside 180s, making them aesthetically pleasing and reflecting your individuality as a skateboarder.

Variations and Combinations

Advanced Variations of Backside 180s

Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to explore advanced variations of backside 180s. One such variation is the fakie backside 180, where you execute the trick while riding in the opposite direction. Another variation is the switch backside 180, which involves performing the trick while riding in your non-dominant stance. These variations add complexity and challenge to the trick, pushing your skills to new heights.

Advanced Variations of Frontside 180s

Similarly, frontside 180s offer advanced variations to expand your skateboarding repertoire. The fakie frontside 180 involves executing the trick while riding in the opposite direction, adding an extra degree of difficulty. Additionally, the switch frontside 180 requires performing the trick with your non-dominant stance. These variations require a higher level of skill and control, allowing you to showcase your expertise and versatility.

Transitioning Between Tricks

One of the most exciting aspects of skateboarding is the seamless transition between tricks. Once you have mastered backside and frontside 180s, you can explore combining them with other tricks to create dynamic sequences. For example, incorporating a backside 180 into a kickflip or combining a frontside 180 with a heelflip demonstrates your mastery of multiple tricks and adds depth to your skateboarding abilities.

Common Confusions and Mistaken Identities

Differentiating Backside from Frontside 180s

While both tricks involve a 180-degree rotation, differentiating between a backside and frontside 180 can be confusing for beginners. A common misconception is assuming that the direction the skateboarder is facing determines the trick. However, it is essential to remember that the trick’s name refers to the skater’s rotational direction in relation to their back or front. By understanding this distinction, you can accurately identify and perform these tricks.

Misconceptions and Mistakes in Identifying Tricks

Skateboarding can be a visually captivating sport, but it can also lead to misconceptions and mistakes in identifying tricks. It’s not uncommon for spectators to misinterpret or wrongly name skateboarding tricks, especially when it comes to aerial maneuvers like backside and frontside 180s. Educating yourself about the correct terminology and understanding the mechanics of each trick helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures accurate identification.

Personal Preference and Riding Style

Individual Challenges and Preferences

Every skateboarder brings their individual challenges and preferences to aerial skateboarding tricks. Some may find executing backside 180s more challenging, while others might prefer the flow and style of frontside 180s. It’s crucial to acknowledge and embrace your personal challenges and preferences to develop a unique skateboarding style that reflects your strengths and abilities.

Impact of Riding Style on Trick Preference

Skateboarding encompasses a wide range of riding styles, be it street skating, vert skating, or freestyle skateboarding. Each riding style influences the tricks you prefer, including backside and frontside 180s. Vert skaters, for instance, might incorporate these tricks into their high-flying routines, while street skaters may utilize them for technical maneuvering. Understanding your riding style helps align your trick preferences and guides your progression as a skateboarder.

Impact on Other Skateboarding Tricks

Influence on Other Aerial Tricks

Mastering backside and frontside 180s lays a solid foundation for various other aerial skateboarding tricks. The rotational mechanics and body control developed through these tricks directly influence more advanced maneuvers such as 360 spins, flips, and grabs. By building a strong understanding of backside and frontside 180s, you can smoothly transition into more complex aerial tricks, expanding your skateboarding repertoire.

Combining Backside and Frontside 180s with Other Tricks

As you progress in your skateboarding journey, combining backside and frontside 180s with other tricks opens up a world of possibilities. Linking these tricks with manuals, grinds, and slides allows for creative lines and dynamic skateboarding sequences. Experimenting with these combinations not only challenges your technical abilities but also strengthens your overall control and coordination on the skateboard.


Aerial skateboarding tricks, such as backside and frontside 180s, are not only visually stunning but also an integral part of every skateboarder’s repertoire. By understanding the fundamentals of these tricks, including their definitions, techniques, and visual cues, you can elevate your skateboarding game to new heights. The mastery of backside and frontside 180s opens the doors to advanced variations, seamless combinations, and the development of your unique style. So get out there, practice, and let your skateboarding skills soar as you embrace the basics of aerial skateboarding tricks.