A heelside back roll is one of the simplest inverts out there, and it’s probably one of the first flips people learn when they get on a wakeboard, but you can take this trick to the next level and make it really stylish with a few tips. Here are some steps to take your back roll from just a stock trick to a stylish head-turner. — Trever Maur, Axis Boats team rider
Go Step By Step
Take the same progressive edge you would for a wake-to-wake jump. When you’re going up the wake, try to edge into the board toward the boat instead of away from the boat or across the wake. I think about pushing my hips up into the boat to initiate my rotation. This breaks your line tension a little and lets you grab your board right off the wake. Focus on the grab first, then the flip. You can see your landing the whole time in a back roll, so just keep your eyes open and bend your knees.
I’ve been grabbing my heelside back roll nose for a long time. Even though it’s a front-hand grab, it’s the easiest. When you leave the wake, all you have to do is pull your front knee up to you and the board is right there. Concentrate on keeping your handle at your front hip so you don’t go to revert.
Add Some Style
When you get the grab, suck your knees into your chest as much as possible. The more compact you are the more stylish the trick looks in my opinion. I’ve been grabbing indy quite a bit lately, as well as stalefish. Both of those are super fun. You can really crank on the grab and tweak it out a bunch of ways to make it more stylish. With a nose grab, I think about really pulling the nose up toward my chest. With a stalefish or indy, I think about boning out my back leg to make it look a little different.
Get The Right Wake
The Axis Boats wake is really good for this trick because the transition isn’t too abrupt and it’s not too flat either. It has a nice, smooth transition with a little lip at the top to kick you, so you can get your takeoff consistent every time and just concentrate on getting the grab then flipping.
Go Next Level
The next steps are to either take this to blind or to revert. I think it looks cooler to go to blind, but it depends on how comfortable you are landing blind. If you can land regular 180s, then go to revert. If you can land backside 180s, then it will be fun to try to go to blind. When you’re going to revert and grabbing nose, all you have to do is let that handle drift away from your front hip to your back hip and concentrate on landing on your toes. To go to blind, I try to really exaggerate pushing my hips toward the boat on the takeoff, then commit to the landing. The Axis Boats wake has a long, smooth transition, and the consistency lets you get the trick dialed to the point where you’re going to land perfectly on the downside of the wake every time, so just get the rotation, hold onto the handle, and try not to freak out.
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