October 2004

Riding Fakie & Fakie Ollies

Before a couple of weeks ago I had not realised how easy it might be to ride about in fakie. I had an inkling that it might be much easier than switch, which confused me a little as Tony Hawks Pro Skater awards more points for fakie than it does for switch. Anyone familiar with both the console game and real skateboarding will tell you that the game is by necessity quite often misleading – in this case getting into fakie in the game takes more button pushes than getting into switch so it’s worth more points, but this certainly doesn’t mean it’s more difficult in real life!

The crucial point to understand is that when riding in fakie each foot is still performing it’s usual role in controlling the skateboard, ollying or performing any other trick. The only difference between fakie and your natural stance is the direction you are travelling in. In contrast the roles of your feet are reversed when in switch making it feel extremely uncomfortable.

Part of my original inkling about the relative ease of fakie came from attempting to do fakie ollies while watching TV (on carpet). Now that I can do them rolling I know that in many ways they are actually harder standing still, but it’s a good exercise to attempt nevertheless. You need to perform a normal ollie but land it further backwards from where you start instead of further forwards.

Before you try this, if you need more help with your normal ollie please check out the article about ollies.

If you can do a nice and high regular ollie while standing still, landing it further backwards is simplicity itself. As you pop, jump slightly backwards off your back foot rather than forwards. This sets the skateboard travelling backwards straight away. You have to interrupt this backwards motion in order to level out the board with your foot slide. However, as you will also be travelling backwards, once the skateboard is levelled out your friction with the deck will carry it backwards again. With a little practice, I was able to attain 12″ travel from a stationary fakie ollie.

Riding In Fakie

I could never get into fakie though. One way is switching out of natural stance, but at this stage in my skateboarding experience this was really hard and basically suicidal for me. You would have to have a lot of speed before switching and of course you have to switch off the nose – not the easiest thing to do at the best of times.

I was reduced to standing in fakie next to a wall and pushing off with my hand. Not exactly the ideal solution I think you’ll agree. I kicked myself when someone actually showed how easy it is a couple of weeks ago.

This will not work for a mongo foot skater.

1. Start to push off normally with your front foot in the middle of the skateboard. Reach a moderate speed (you don’t want to be going too fast for your first fakie ride).

2. Next you would normally turn backside, put your pushing foot onto the back kicktail and be in a comfortable natural riding position.

3. Instead, turn frontside as you get on and put your pushing foot on the front kicktail. It’s just a little more awkward because your non-pushing foot will have to twist more, but other than that you should have no problems – you’re now riding fakie.

How easy is that? I can’t really believe that it never occurred to me before but there we go.

Because a mongo foot skater pushes with his or her kicktail foot on the board instead it makes things a little more difficult. Your non-pushing foot will have to start over the front bolts. The same then applies – turn the opposite way to your usual getting on direction and plant your foot on the middle of the board. The price to pay as usual will be not being ready to trick immediately – you’ll have to shuffle your foot up on to the front kicktail first.

What To Do In Fakie

Once you are in fakie I recommend practicing switching out. So many tricks land you in fakie that it is invaluable to be able to quickly switch back to your normal stance before you lose balance. Luckily, switching out of fakie is probably the easiest thing you can do on a board. The most important thing to remember is that the body must always lead the legs. If you try and turn with the legs first you’ll slip or lose balance. Think of it as a kind of domino effect – your head turns to look, followed by the shoulders, then the body, then finally the legs and the board.

If you are comfortable doing rolling ollies you will now be able to fakie ollie on the move too. Just remember to do everything you would normally do when ollying. You don’t even have to worry about pushing the board in any direction as per the trick tip above – your backwards movement will ensure that you get a nice long fakie ollie. You just have to worry about height in the normal way.

As you get more comfortable in fakie, try moving on to fakie shuvits. The great thing about these is that they are easier than normal shuvits, but they sound more impressive. You can try experimenting with all kinds of shuvit variations.

You may also consider trying to do a half cab and later moving on to the full cabalerial.