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How to Backside Air: 5-Step BS Air Trick Tutorial

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 9, 2020 • 1 min read

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Tony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding

It takes a lot of practice to pull off some of the best tricks in skateboarding. The backside air is a common trick that skateboarders can try once they’ve learned the basics, like the backside ollie, heelflip, and kickflip. A backside air requires a vertical transition, also known as vert skating, which means skaters need plenty of speed and momentum to get enough air to pull it off successfully.

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What Is a Backside Air?

Backside air (or BS air) is an aerial trick where the skateboarder rides up a vert ramp—like a half-pipe or quarter-pipe (or even a mini-ramp)—and uses their front hand to grab the heel side of the board, turning it backside towards the toes, and landing forward. This trick is similar to frontside air, an aerial trick where skaters use their front hand to grab the toe side of the board, turning it frontside toward their backs, and landing forward.

How to Do a Backside Air

The backside air is an aerial trick that skaters can learn once they have a few skate basics down. For how to backside air at the skatepark or in a pool, follow the step-by-step guide below to learn this new trick:

  1. Gain some momentum. Approach the top of the transition wall like you would when doing a kick turn.
  2. Lift and grab. As you lift your front wheels, grab the heelside of your skateboard’s nose beneath your front foot.
  3. Rotate. Instead of pivoting 180 degrees on the wall, allow your momentum to carry you up over the lip into the air, continuing your 180-degree rotation. Be sure to keep your back leg steady, with your back foot firmly on your board.
  4. Bend your knees. As you come back down to the ramp, keep your legs bent until your wheels have cleared the coping, so you don’t hang up.
  5. Land it. Once you’ve cleared the coping, extend your legs, and put your front and back wheels back down on the ramp.
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Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?

Whether you’re just learning how to ollie or ready to tackle a Madonna (the vert trick, not the singer), the MasterClass Annual Membership can help you find confidence on your board with exclusive instructional videos from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, street skater Riley Hawk, and Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armanto.

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