Rolling Backwards?
or Switch?

Rolling backwards - Rolling backwards or rolling with your opposite foot forward has a few names. When riding backwards skaters call it fakie or switch. Learning to ride switch is key to doing many many tricks.

So, what does fakie or switch mean?

Just like writing with your right or left hand. We all skate with our right or left foot forward. Our stance can be either regular(left foot forward) or goofy(right foot forward).
When we roll backwards we call it fakie or switch. So, what's the difference?

Lets take a look:
Fakie means rolling backwards. Like rolling up a ramp and then back down fakie.
i.e. the fake way.
Back in the day, in skateboarding history when people started riding banks and pools they needed a name for rolling back down backwards. Fakie is what they called it and it stuck.
Fakie tricks are done from the front or nose of the board while rolling backwards. When in fakie stance the front of the board is actually still the tail.

Switch means rolling in your opposite or switch stance. In the late 80's skaters on the streets started skating in their switch stance. Doing so increased the difficulty of the tricks they were doing. Switchstance skating became a measure of how good a skater you were. If you could skate switch then your were pretty good. The same holds true today. Switch is the short form. Switch tricks are done from the back or tail of the board while rolling.

Learn It!

Riding transition or any kind of ramps is much easier when you can go fakie.
Learning switch will open up a huge new amount of tricks. Doing tricks switch will more than double your possibilities.
I didn't start trying to ride switch for years. I was already a decent skateboarder but I had not tried to go backwards.
Big mistake!
I wasn't able to skate on ramps because I couldn't ride down backwards. I could not roll out of 180 tricks because I was so weak rolling switch. When I first decided to try to ride switch I fell a lot. I was so used to having balance that I thought I could just hop on and do it. I was wrong. I had to re-train my balance from scratch to get this down. Again I fell quite a bit getting used to riding switch. I got the hang of it. This made riding ramps much easier. The bigger plus is that I could now try all sorts of switch tricks that I could not do before. Overall I was a much better skater after learning to ride switch.

Tricks you need to Know

Take everything you have learned until this point and flip it over. Do it switch now.
You will need to re-learn all the basic skateboard tricks. Only in reverse. Don't worry you just learned it so it will be fresh in your mind.

Things to Know

Always push with your back foot and ride with your front. This may feel awkward at first. The more you do it the better it will feel. Developing this balance will serve you well when you get into real tricks.


Ride switch. Do it a lot. Make it a game. See how long you can ride switch and then go back to your normal stance. Seeing how much better it feels. Then switch back. Just do it and get used to it. When you get bored doing other tricks try it out and keep learning.

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