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When you begin your skateboarding career, for some, standing on the board can prove quite a challenge. However, as you come to terms with how a board handles, learn how to manoeuvre and even do some tricks, different avenues of skateboarding begin to open up and one of those is transition skating.
In your local park, we assume that you have some quarter pipes, a mini-ramp, a bowl or if you are really lucky, a half pipe. All of these components offer you the opportunity to test your skating skill and learn a whole new style of skateboarding.
Transition skating is essentially a mix of flat ground and ramp components. It’s a style of skating that relies on momentum, flow, balance and weight distribution.
Now, if you haven’t learned to drop in, we would urge you to take a look at our guide and learn this first. However, if you have this beginner skill down and want to expand on your ramp tricks, the next one you should try is the rock to fakie.
This trick is a rite of passage when it comes to tackling ramps in a skatepark and while it may be intimidating at first. We assure you, this trick is much easier than it looks.
However, you may be wondering what this trick is, what it looks like and how to do it correctly. Well, we will tell you all these things and more in our essential guide to the skateboarding trick, the Rock to Fakie.
What is a Rock to Fakie?
The Rock to Fakie is a simple lip trick that will most likely be the first that you learn on a ramp, aside from kick turns and Bert slides perhaps.
This trick is when the skater comes at a ramp with speed in their standard stance and stay on their board as they go up the ramp, pushing the front wheels over the coping and performing a short stall on the coping with the board.
Then the skater will shift their momentum, lift the nose of their board slightly to bring it back over the coping again and then they will ride down the ramp and roll away in the fakie stance.
The trickiest part of this trick is committing to the roll back down the ramp in the fakie stance. A lot of skaters find this awkward as it is essentially riding backwards. So we would urge you to practice riding around fakie for a while before you try this. However, if you feel up to it, it’s certainly not essential to get this trick.
Who Invented the Rock to Fakie?
Lip tricks as a whole were not a traditional and well-documented form of skating until perhaps the days of vert competitions and the like. By this time there was a catalogue of we’ll known stalls, grabs and grinds that were commonplace on a quarter or half pipe.
However, before then skating was mostly just miscreants carving up swimming pools and as a result, there isn’t much known about who invented the rock to fakie itself. That being said, if you will let us be a little vaguer, we can tell you who was the first person to perform a lip trick was. This was the late, great, Jay Adams.
Jay was a member of the Z-Boys back in the seventies and eighties and was best known for his outlandish style which saw him why out of pools, stall on the ledges, without coping back in those days and in general, perform some of the most amazing vertical tricks of the era.
Adams sadly died of a heart attack in 2014 but his legacy lives on through those that push for the biggest air when they ride a ramp and according to Stacey Peralta, Adams, despite his limitations in terms of ability, has helped create the modern skating landscape that we know and love today.
Are There Any Variations of the Rock to Fakie?
The rock to fakie is many skaters entry-level trick that opens many new paths in their vert and transition journey. So as you would imagine, several skaters have taken this trick and put their own unique spin on it.
Plus, several tricks use the rock to fakie as a foundation, adding other components and aspects to the trick to make it more complex and stylish. However, you may be at a loss as to what these tricks are. Well, allow us to show you what we are talking about. Here is all the rock to fakie variations that you should know:
Rock N Roll
This is a trick that is probably the next trick that you will attempt after you learn a rock to fakie, if not an axle stall. This is when the skater travels up the ramp and pushes their trucks over the coping as you would for a rock to fakie.
However, to make this a rock N roll, the skater must lift their trucks away from the coping and pivot 180 degrees on the way back down, riding away in the standard stance.
Just a warning, unless you get over the coping and pivot well, it’s very easy to get hung up, so perhaps try this one on a mini ramp before going for something big.
Next, you have a pogo. This is similar to the rock to fakie in two ways. One is that you will push your trucks beyond the coping and two is that you will land in a stall before heading back down the ramp in a fakie stance. The key differences here are that to do a pogo, you will need to clear the ramp and do an air over the coping.
Then upon landing, you will land in a tail stall, before hopping back over the coping and dropping back into the ramp. It goes without saying that this is not a beginner lip trick.
Sally Rock/Pop Rock
The Pop Rock is very similar to a rock n roll. The motion and execution remain completely the same except for one key component. Instead of riding up the ramp and immediately stalling on the coping, the skater will pop to get some air from the ramp, then lock in the stall before pivoting and rolling away in the standard stance.
This is a great way of turning the standard rock N roll into a classy intermediate lip trick.
Blunt To Fakie
This one is very similar to a rock to fakie in terms of execution. However, it is a much cleaner, more complex and much more precise trick than the rock to fakie. The skater will still approach and push their front trucks over the coping, however, they will also push their back truck over the coping to make this a blunt.
The skater stalls in this position, leaning back on the tail to avoid clearing the ramp altogether. Then the skater rocks the board to clear the coping and drops back in maintaining the fakie stance. This is a tough one to master but we would call this an intermediate lip trick.
What Tricks Do I Need to Know Before Trying a Rock to Fakie
Honestly, not that many. Depending on your preference for street and ramp skating, you may only know the basics when you feel like trying this one. We would advise skaters to be comfortable navigating on the board and equally, navigating a ramp.
So that means skaters should be able to stand and stop on a board, roll around, turn, pivot and revert. Then more specifically with ramps, we would say that skaters should learn how to kickturn comfortably, they should learn to drop in and they should learn how to pump and ride up and down ramps in multiple stances.
The above tricks and skill would be our essentials to learn. However, there are a few others that would be helpful, so here a complete list of all the tricks and skills you should have in your locker:
- Riding on the board
- Nose manuals
- Dropping in
How to Rock to Fakie: A Guide
So now you know what this trick is and what it takes to work up to this trick, it’s about time we gave you a rundown of how to go about adding this one to your repertoire.
This one is mostly about bravery and guts but there is a little bit of technique involved that will make learning this one even easier. So with that in mind, here is our step-by-step tutorial on how to rock fo fakie:
So the first step is having the guts to commit to this trick. That means heading up the ramp and clearing the coping. To do this, you will want to come at the ramp with a decent amount of speed. Enough to clear the coping but not so much that you will shoot off the ramp altogether.
Then ride up the ramp and lift apply a small amount of pressure to the tail of the board so that your front wheels lift, allowing you to push past the coping.
Finding the ideal speed is tricky here so gauge the ramp first by riding up and down a few times, perhaps doing some high kick turns or pivots to see what it takes to reach the coping.
Once you have cleared the coping, the next task is to distribute your weight accordingly. What you will initially want to do when your front trucks go over the coping is lean forward. This will stop the board from rolling further up the ramp and will allow you to stall in place for a moment.
However, unlike an axle stall, momentum will not allow you to hang in this position forever. So once you have leaned forward and stalled the board for a second or two, you’ll need to lean back.
Now, it’s important not to lean back too aggressively. It’s a simple redistribution of weight that sees the board let gravity take its course. As you lean back, you will also need to apply some pressure to the tail of the board so you clear the coping.
However, not so much that you go into an awkward manual and lose control, but equally not so little that your board gets hung up on the coping. Finding this balance can be tricky so perhaps master this before committing to the final step.
The final step is riding away in the fakie stance. Now, the good news here is that so long as you commit to the change in direction, gravity does a lot of the work for you. However, that doesn’t mean you are a passenger. We would advise you to treat this like a drop-in.
You should try to turn your head so you are looking in the direction you are traveling and you should also lean into the drop as you would do when dropping in. If you do this, you should sail down the ramp in style and you will have completed your first ever rock to fakie.
Most Common Mistakes When Learning to Rock to Fakie
Every trick has small nuances about it that need to be understood before you can nail it every time and a rock fo fakie is no different. Several common mistakes can be the difference between a clean stall and a smooth ride away, and a hard bail.
So with that in mind, we want to make you aware of the usual pitfalls, allowing you to identify them and perfect your rock to fakies so that you can tear up the mini-ramp with ease. Here is a quick list of the common mistakes and how to eradicate them below:
This is quite easily the most common crime when it comes to trying a rock to fakie, or just about any lip trick for that matter. Unlike flatground tricks, a lack of commitment, depending on the size of the ramp in question, can have dire consequences.
So while kicking out or abandoning your board may seem like the safer thing to do, this isn’t always the case and simply sticking to the plan is best. So if you are struggling to shift your weight, really lean into the trick and exaggerate it, then adjust from there.
If your back foot is dropping when rolling back fakie, practice pumping and rolling up and down a ramp fakie to get your confidence up, and also, we know it’s easier said than done but have the courage to just go for it. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
This is the most common technical hitch that skaters will have when doing this trick and it all comes down to weight distribution. With this trick, skaters tend to find it easy to push themselves over the coping and stall on the coping.
However, there is an issue a lot of the time with leaning back and applying minor pressure to the tail. We admit that the pressure is something that takes a few tries to get right but there is no way to replicate the movement without simply experimenting on the way back down.
We would advise practicing manuals to understand what kind of pressure affects the board in what kind of way. However, there is no substitute for the real thing. So remember to consciously think about the weight distribution when you are up there on the coping and you will get there.
Not Sticking The Fakie Ride Away
This is partly an extension of our ‘not committing’ point. To finish this trick off, you need to commit to the ride away as bravely as you commit to the stall.
To make sure you have the best chance of riding away fakie, you will want to drop your shoulder parallel with your dominant/popping foot and lean into the direction you want to travel. Plus, it is super helpful if you can see where you are going, especially in the initial learning stages.
Become King of The Mini Ramp
As you can see from the information above, the rock to fakie is the optimal way to begin your transition journey. This trick allows you to gain confidence when performing lip tricks and opens up tonnes of avenues to harder, more nuanced tricks which will amaze your skater pals.
This trick with the help of this guide will be in your repertoire in no time and before you know it, you’ll be doing Indy Backside Disasters like it’s nobodies business. So get out there and take over that mini ramp!
If you have reached the end of this article and you still don’t have the answers that you are looking for, you may find them in our FAQ section. Check it out below:
Answer: No, not all ramp tricks are lip tricks. As the name would suggest, only the tricks that happen on the lip of the ramp count as a lip trick. The defining factor is usually, has the skater used the coping for a stall or a grind during the process of this trick.
If the answer is yes, then it’s a lip trick. Even if the skater clears the ramp and does a flip trick, rotation or grab. So long as they combine that with a stall or grind on the coping, we count that as a lip trick.
So with that in mind, tricks like rotations, flip tricks and grabs which only make use of the ramp to get air are vert tricks but not lip tricks.
Answer: This is a difficult question to answer as every skater masters different kinds of tricks quicker than others. However, we aren’t going to sit here and tell you that all lip tricks are created equal either. There are a handful of lip tricks that to even an intermediate skater look simply unattainable.
However, if we know enough about them to list them here, then you can rest assured that these tricks are doable if you commit yourself to learning them. Here is a list of the hardest lip tricks out there:
• BS Smith Stall/Grind
• Feeble Stall
• Backside Disaster
• Backside Tailstall
• Backside Pivot to fakie
• Blunt to fakie
Bear in mind that plenty of skaters add flips, grabs and rotations to these tricks but we are only listing the hardest standard lip tricks.
Answer: We would say that it depends on your comfort level. If you feel comfortable with big ramps and want to challenge yourself, there is nothing wrong with learning on a huge half pipe, quarter pipe or bowl.
However, what we would suggest is that if you want to workshop your tricks, especially in the beginning stages of your transition/vert journey, that you go for a mini-ramp. This allows you to practice pumping and maintain a certain level of flow, all the while keeping the risk of serious injury at a minimum.
So that is our guide explaining all there is know about the transition trick, the rock to fakie. What did you make of this article? Was this helpful and informative for you? What other tricks would you like to see us cover in the future. Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.
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