If you have ever seen a professional skateboarding competition in your life, such as SLS, X-Games, or most recently, the Olympics. You’ll know that there is a never-ending list of tricks that skaters have at their disposal and provided they can land them, they can place themselves firmly into the hall of fame if they do them at the right time. Well, the stakes may be much lower for those who simply street skate with friends, but the premise is the same. If you can land a new trick all your pals can’t fathom, you become the talk of the town.
It really depends on the level of the skaters that you ride around with. However, even if you are a complete beginner and learning the basics, skaters will be stoked for you if you land an ollie, right up to a Merlin Flip. It’s all about having fun and pushing to be the best you can be. That’s why we have created a series of trick guides allowing you to build up your repertoire of tricks and showcase them to the world.
In this guide, we take a look at the Pop-shuv-it. For many, this is one of the first tricks that you ever learn. Some even learn this trick before they learn to competently ollie. So if you’ve been frustrated that you can’t pull out a trick to impress your friends just yet, this guide may be about to change that. Here is our complete guide on how to Pop-Shuv-it.
What is a Pop Shuv-it?
A Pop-Shuv-it or Pop-Shuv is a basic trick within the world of skating that acts as one of the foundations for all tricks that involve spinning the board along a horizontal axis. This trick has the player stand on the board in the ollie position and pop the board with their back foot. However, their back foot is a bystander for this move, getting out of the way to the dominant foot can get to work. This foot pops and scoops the board around. Allowing the board to jump into the air and also spin for one-half rotation.
Many skaters will learn how to shuv-it before this trick as this allows them to practice the scooping motion. Plus, you don’t really need to know how to ollie. However, this trick takes what you already know about each of the two tricks mentioned and combines them to provide a trick that is more vertical and much more stylish.
What Is The Difference Between a Pop-Shuv-it and a Shuv-it?
As you would imagine, the word ‘Pop’ is the key to answering this question. A standard shuv is a 180 rotation that happens under the skater’s feet. However, this trick is purely executed through a forceful scoop with the back foot. Meaning that the board doesn’t really leave the ground. In fact, a lot of skaters will to a shuv-it by scrapping the board along the ground entirely.
Whereas a pop-shuv is a combination of an ollie and a shuv. The skater will pop and scoop simultaneously allowing the board to rise and spin before they catch it in the air and land on the ground. The Pop-Shuv is a much tougher trick to execute but ultimately looks much better in practice. That being said, this trick is still much easier than any flip trick in the sport, so do prioritize this before you go trying kickflips or Heelflips.
Who Invented the Pop-Shuv-it?
The Shuv-it and Pop-Shuv-it as we know them today were created in the 1970s by a founding father of skateboarding, the late Ty Page. He was a freestyle skater that was known to have also created tricks such as the Ty Slide, Half-Hop, Pay Hop, the Yeah Right Manual, Head Spinner (also called 360 Headstand), Foot Spin, Foot-Spin 360, Toe Spin, and the Toe-Spin 360. This trick has been perfected, modified, and adapted over the last forty or so years, with several tricks spawning off the back of this discovery. However, thanks to the simplicity and accessibility of the pop-shuv, skaters still do this trick regularly.
Are There Any Variations of the Pop Shuv-it?
Oh boy, where do we begin? There are so many variations of this trick that expand upon the simplicity of the trick. Skaters will add body rotations, flips, extra spins, and much more to this trick to make it a much more aesthetically pleasing one. This ability to make this trick more than it comes about due to this trick being a core part of all advanced flip tricks. The ability to flip and spin the board on both axis makes for a truly magnificent trick and without a simple shuv, that never happens. So with that in mind, here is a complete list of all the shuv-it variations that one can do when skating:
Firstly, we have shuvs with added rotations from the standard half rotation. The most common of these is a 360 shuv where the board does a full rotation. However, some skaters can perform 540s, 720’s and even 900 shuvs on banks, kickers, and flat ground. The best example of the latter we could find was Earnest Teamer’s 900 Shuv on a bank, check it out!
Shuvs with a flip
This is a pretty vague one but honestly, it’s because we could be here all day listing the flip tricks that incorporate the shuv motion. The most common examples are the varial heelflip the varial kickflip, the hardflip, the inward heel, and the 360/Tre Flip. However, with a little research, you’ll find that the extended list of tricks is rather long indeed.
These are shuvs that are still a 180 rotation under the skater. However, they will pop and execute these tricks in a different stance, making them more technical. However, it has to be said that fakie shuvs are actually much easier than regular shuvs due to the momentum being in your favor.
Shuvs with a pivot/revert
These are shuv-its where the landing alters the trick. When the skater lands the shuv, they may keep rotating their body on the same axis as the board, almost replicating a big spin. Or alternatively, they may catch the board and rotate it back in the direction that it spun, completing an aesthetically pleasing shuv-it revert.
These are shuv-its where the skater will take flight by doing a standard ollie and level out the board. Then as they reach the peak of their jump and begin coming down, they execute the shuv-it rotation. This, when done correctly, is a very visually pleasing and technical trick and shows that the skater has amazing timing and control of their board in the air.
Big spins are where the skater will turn the board in a shuv-it rotation, allowing the board to turn 360 degrees below them. However, to make it a big spin and not a 3-shuv, the skater will need to do a 180 body varial in the direction the board is spinning.
These are basically the same as the trick listed above. The board still turns 360 while the body turns 180. However, the key difference is that your body needs to turn in the opposite direction to your board. This is a very technical trick and is significantly harder than a standard big spin.
A Gazelle spin is a trick that truthfully requires an incredible amount of momentum or a hell of a lot of time in the air to complete all the rotations at play. This trick is the same idea as a big spin. However, for this to be a gazelle spin, the skater will need to spin the board 540° while they complete a body varial in the same direction. This isn’t a trick that you see all that often.
Then you have Spin Bigs, this is where the board only makes a 180 rotation but the skater makes a full 360 body varial. This is a trick that is surprisingly hard as you need to have a lot of control to only spin the board for half a rotation while spinning yourself round all the way, so don’t expect to see this one at the park all that often.
This is a trick that is very similar to a 3-shuv. However, instead of scooping the board. The skater will hook their back foot to the tail and turn the board in a shuv-it rotation on the vertical axis. This is, as the name suggests, one hell of a hard trick to master.
A plasma spin is a combination of two tricks already listed. This is when the skater performs a frontside big spin. However, they rotate the board along the vertical axis instead of doing a 3-shuv, this means doing a body varial and an impossible at the same time.
Mike V 3 Shuv
Then lastly, you have the Mike-V 3-Shuv. This is when the player turns the board in a 360 shuv-it motion. However, they kick the board out in front of them, allowing it to turn and scrape along the ground while they run alongside it. Then they hop back on when it completes the full rotation. This is a very cool trick to pull out when you are just cruising.
What Tricks Do I Need To Know Before I Try A Pop-Shuv-It?
The Pop-Shuv-it is at its core, a beginner move. In fact, it’s usually the first trick that you do aside from an ollie and is the first time that a skater learns how to manipulate the board to do anything other than jump. For that reason, there aren’t a lot of things that you strictly need to know before you try this one out. However, there are a few things that you should have locked down.
The first of these is the ollie. If you are going to do a pop-shuv, you need to know how the popping motion works and should be able to do that comfortably. So if you don’t have a decent ollie, we would begin there before you go trying this. We would also suggest that you can do standard shuv-its as this will make adding the pop a routine procedure as the bulk of the movement is already familiar.
There are several other tricks that can be helpful when learning how to Pop-Shuv, however, we wouldn’t say that any are essential. Here is a quick list of some of the other tricks you might want to learn first.
- Fakie shuv-its
- No Complys
- Fakie Big Spins
- FS/BS 180s
- Body varials
How to Pop-Shuv-It: A Guide
Ok, so now on to what you have all been waiting for, how to do a Pop-Shuv-it. This trick is simple in theory but can take a little bit of practice to get right, so follow the steps carefully and don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t happen for you immediately. Also, this will be a tutorial for an FS Pop-Shuv, just to clarify but the movement is pretty interchangeable. The first thing you are going to want to do is to get your feet on the board in the ollie position and get moving, it’s always best to learn tricks with a little bit of movement.
Then secondly, you are going to want to get your feet set. This will mean that your front foot is on or just before the front truck bolts, however, some people prefer having their foot slightly closer to the edge closest to your heel as this allows you to get the front foot out of the way easier. Then the back foot is in the ollie position with the ball of the foot nestled in the pocket. Again though, some skaters will prefer having the ball of their foot in the corner pocket closer to the toe-side of the board to allow for more scoop. However, This can cause the board to want to flip on its own though so experiment and see what works for you.
Now that you are all set up, you’ll now want to bend the knees and pop the board as if you are doing an ollie. However, as you pop the board, you’ll also want to be pushing the dominant foot back and scooping the board around. Meanwhile, the front foot levels the board and gets out of the way to allow the board to spin around.
It is also important to remember that when spinning the board, the end position will be slightly in front of where you started. So as you jump, try to move forward in the air ever slightly to compensate for the movement of the board. This will make your landing much more consistent.
Now you need to catch the board once again before you land. This is usually done easily by the back foot as it is basically in the same position that you began in. So plant this foot down on the board for stability and then bring your front foot back into the fold before landing. You can also catch the board with the front foot but this is a much more technical way to perform this trick and perhaps something you should try when trying other shuv variations. Next, bend your knees upon impact to absorb the shock of the fall and then ride away having completed your first Pop-Shuv.
What Are The Common Mistakes When Attempting a Pop-Shuv-It?
If you have just done a perfect Pop-Shuv, all we have left to say is congratulations. As for you guys that are still working on it and don’t know what’s going wrong, we are here to help. There are several well-documented common issues with this trick and we aim to highlight those so that you can iron out any problems with your technique. Check them out below:
Landing on the nose
While in some cases this can be helpful, especially when trying to combo a pivot or manual, for example, it’s not something you want to do by accident. When landing this trick you want to end in the position you began in. So to correct this issue, you want to make sure that you are scooping the board by popping down and then almost doing an upside-down semi-circle motion with your foot. This will bring the board around a keep it below you without you inadvertently pushing the board slightly behind where you need to land.
While this can happen for a few reasons, almost every time it will be due to something you are doing with your front foot. We cannot stress this enough. The back foot does everything here. The pop, the scoop, and the landing. The front foot is merely there to guide the board around and when you are very good, you won’t need it at all. So if you are applying any spin or added pressure with the front foot, try to cut that out as it will make a world of difference.
Opening up the body
While it may seem like the board will spin faster and easier if you open up the shoulders and swing that way too, that is far from the case. That is very helpful when trying big spins but will ruin your Pop-shuvs. This will cause your board to move out from under you in an unpredictable fashion. So keep your shoulders square and let the back foot do all the work.
Take it For a Spin!
As you can see from the information above, the Pop-shuv is a trick for beginners first and foremost. However, it is also an essential stepping stone to learning some of the hardest and most impressive tricks in the sport. So you would be a fool to skip learning this one. We hope that this guide helped you land your first one and if it did, we urge you to try some of those variations we listed too. Happy shredding.
If you have reached the end of this article and you still don’t have the information you came here for, don’t panic. We have a FAQ section that aims to answer any unsolved queries. Take a look below:
Answer: Can you do more than one backside shuv-it every single second for an entire minute? Well, Adam Żaczek of Stróża, Łódzkie Wschodnie, Poland sure can. This guy decided he would attempt to break the record for the most backside shuvs in one minute back in 2018 and in the process smashed the record. He managed to do a staggering 68 backside shuvs in the space of one minute. These shuvs were all recorded moving and we’re done consecutively with no falls or stumbles. Adam is also the holder of several other skating-related records and with that level of consistency, we aren’t surprised.
Answer: With a pop-shuv in your trick bank, the possibilities of skating really begin to open up for you. However, the trick that you focus on next depends on what you already have in your arsenal. If you haven’t got either a Heelflip or a Kickflip, you will need to try these as they open up the possibilities for 360 flips, varials, and many other tricks so that you would be our first choice. However, if these flip tricks are still out of reach, a great option is the fakie big spin as the fakie momentum will help you rotate the board, meaning you just need to learn how to rotate your body at the same time. So one of these two options would be ideal.
Answer: We mentioned a Shuv variation called the Mike V 3-shuv. However, we didn’t clarify who Mike V actually is. Well, Mike Vallely is part of the Bones Brigade alumni and rode for Powell Peralta back in the 1980s, serving as one of the breakout stars of the skating profession. He would then leave Powell Peralta at the height of their fame to team up with World Industries. Mike V was only the second skater ever to ride a board with a kick on each side and his second pro board would become the industry standard popsicle design.
Mike would also ride for Black Label, Vallely Skateboards, Element, and again for Powell Peralta. Mike is still an active skater but has now turned his hand to music with the Pro Skater forming and serving as the lead singer of a punk band, Black Flag.
So that is our complete guide explaining how to Pop-Shuv-it. What did you make of this guide? Was this helpful and informative for you? What other tricks would you love to see us cover in a guide? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.
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