If you want to become a well rounded advanced freestyle rider, there’s one big tip that I can give to anyone starting off.
Learn your 180s and 360s in every direction.
The first spin you’ll probably learn is 180s and/or 360s and I highly recommend you learn them frontside, backside, switch frontside and switch backside before moving on to bigger rotations. It may be annoying at first, but trust me when I say you’ll be glad you did it.
Why should I learn to spin in every direction?
Everyone starts learning to spin in one direction, either frontside or backside, but what you want to avoid is becoming a one direction spinner. It’s very common for everyone to have a preferred spin direction, but you don’t want it to become the direction you spin all the time.
The big benefit of learning spins in every direction…
You become comfortable with the movement of initiating and spinning in every direction and it crosses over to all sorts of other non-jump freestyle tricks.
If you become very comfortable with all spin directions, you’ll find that learning 270s onto rails becomes really easy. And you won’t be limited to spinning onto the rail one way because it’ll feel natural for you to spin backside 270, frontside 270, switch backside 270 and switch frontside 270.
It makes everything a lot easier to learn because you’ll already have the muscle memory for spinning in that direction.
It’s harder to adapt later
It’s a lot harder to force yourself to go back to basics and learn other spin directions once you’ve become really good at one spin direction. When I first started learning, I wanted to learn to spin in every direction, but I got caught up in trying to get more rotations and before I knew it, I was spinning backside for everything.
It’s hard to force yourself to go back to beginner jumps and spin your weaker direction when you can spin a backside 720 with your eyes closed. No one likes feeling like a beginner again. It took me years to get my other spin directions into my muscle memory and I’ve always wished I had developed it more evenly when I first started.
It just becomes natural for you to want to spin that direction for everything and before you know it, you become a one direction spinner. I know that it can suck and learning a 540 or 720 your favourite direction sounds way better than being able to spin 360s in 4 directions, but trust me when I say that I’ll make your learning experience a million times easier when you become a more advanced park rider.
Don’t become a one direction spinner, learn your spins in every direction.