I’m a bit of a nerd and after only cruising and learning an ollie, I decided that I will learn some flat ground tricks from scratch. I’m an adult but want to get better at skating.
I could already ollie so I started with a Frontside 180. I recorded all of my attempts and how many I landed including the time spent practicing them. My goal was to land the trick 70% of all attempts for two sessions in a row.
So let’s look at EXACTLY how long it takes to learn a Frontside 180.
How Long Does It Take to Learn a Frontside 180
Learning even a simple trick like a Frontside 180 can take some serious time and commitment.
Learning a Frontside 180 well takes about 16 to 20 hours of dedicated practice or 1,300 attempts of the trick. After putting in this practice, you should be able to land your Frontside 180s at least 70% of the time. Other factors can help you learn faster such as frequency of practice, skating a quality board, and having someone giving you advice on your form.
Specifically, it took me about 16 hours and 1,112 attempts to be able to land a Frontside 180 at least 70% of the time. I averaged about an hour of focused practice for each session over about 15 sessions. Now it feels like I land it almost every time.
I already sort of knew how to land a Frontside 180 and had landed one before trying this. Still, I progressed pretty slowly. There were things that I think slowed my progress like skating on uneven ground and skating on a cheap $35 board. After switching to a pro-model board, the percentage of attempts I landed jumped by about 15%.
The bushings on the cheap board were just absolute trash.
Compared to learning the Shuvit, which took about half of the time to learn, I would say the Frontside 180 is much harder to learn.
How I Collected My Data
To collect all of my data, I would go skate and spend either all of the session or part of the session focusing on learning Frontside 180s. I would then attempt the trick in sets of 10 and count the number of attempts that I landed as I did. I would then write how many I landed into my phone like “3/10” if I landed 3 out of 10 attempts.
I would also record the day that I skated and how long I spent focusing on that trick. I did this until I felt I had Frontside 180s on lock.
How Long It Took to Progress
Keep in mind that I had landed a Frontside 180 before trying to learn to get it on lock. So I didn’t start from absolutely nothing. Though I couldn’t consistently land it and couldn’t really do the trick with any speed.
I also was really only skating about 3 or 4 times a week at most during this time. I think if you can skate more frequently then this will accelerate the whole process. Some days felt better than others and early on it did feel a bit frustrating when I skated worse than the day before.
I think the true takeaway is that skating is hard and it really does take time to learn this. The Frontside 180 should be a simple trick and is one of the easiest to learn. It took me 16 hours to even learn that consistently, but I’m really happy with my progression. I’m happy because I so often see skaters who try loads of different tricks and have nothing consistent. They are a pain to watch and I decided I didn’t want to become that type of skater.
So slow and steady progression is the way to go.
If you want to see how long it takes to learn to do an ollie, check out my guide with data here. It probably takes longer than you think.
Frontside 180 Progression
Below are three gifs. The first one when I started trying Frontside 180s, the second is about halfway into progressing and the last gif is the most recent one. Yes, I wear the same clothes a lot when I skate.
My form still isn’t perfect and I can definitely improve by fully turning my shoulder every time and getting better air, but it’s a process. I still intend to work on this trick, but decided to stop recording percentage landed because I land it nearly every time now. I just need to improve my form.
You can see that I definitely got more comfortable doing this trick with speed and am a bit cleaner, but still my shoulders come around too late and I can clean it up by focusing on that. I have actually landed much better ones than in this final clip, but just didn’t get those on camera. I will keep practicing though until I land the trick consistently and with good form.
Tips to Learn a Frontside 180
Focus on Your Shoulders
Your shoulders are everything when it comes to controlling your board.
Naturally, when you want to spin your board you need to spin your shoulders. You can try and force it to turn with your legs, but your board will always follow your shoulders. The biggest breakthroughs I had with learning this trick came from realizing this and focusing specifically on two things:
- Keeping my shoulders flat and level as I ollie and turn around.
- Landing with my front shoulder pointing directly behind me.
Keeping my shoulders flat is important so I can catch the board with my ollie and land properly. Completely turning so that my front shoulder is now facing the tail of my board is important to have good form and roll away clean.
I had a lot of trouble completely turning my body as I subconsciously wanted to face forward. You need to fight this and build confidence to completely spin.
Imagine Spinning Over The Back Tail
When you are first starting and especially if you are struggling with fully turning your shoulders, you might jump to the side in an attempt to land your Frontside 180.
Yet, as with almost all tricks you want to jump straight up. Something that helped me do so was to visualize jumping and spinning over the back tail. This might sound strange, but it helped me jump in place and not spend a ton of effort jumping to the side.
So give this a try if you struggle with staying above your board.
Focus on Frontside 180 Until You Land 3 Out of 5 Attempts Everytime
I really believe that you should focus on landing a trick consistently before you start learning something else.
I see so many skaters who can only sometimes and sketchily land almost all their tricks. I would so much rather have 3 or 4 tricks on lock than be able to land 10 tricks poorly or only some of the time. These skaters tried to progress too fast and learned advanced tricks without a strong foundation.
So I recommend that you be able to consistently land your target trick 3 out of 5 times consistently before even trying another trick. It might seem slow to progress at first, but you’ll outpace other skaters who go too fast in the long run. Most importantly, you’ll develop a strong foundation that’ll allow you to learn advanced tricks more easily.
What to Learn After Frontside 180
After learning a Frontside 180, it can be difficult to decide what to learn next. Personally, I was tempted to try and go straight to learning a kickflip, but I’m glad I didn’t.
After the Frontside 180, it is best to learn the Backside 180. This is because a Backside 180 is similar enough to the Frontside 180 that you can apply some of what you’ve already learned to this trick. A Backside 180 is also important to learn and control your board while turning.
Honestly, I love Braille’s breakdown of the order of tricks that you should learn. They really do have a great methodology of learning tricks in a simplistic order so that you don’t challenge yourself too much too early. You’ll also get a great foundation by following their trick order.
For basic tricks, the order is as follows:
- Frontside 180
- Backside 180
- Pop Shove It
- Front Shove
- Heel Flip
Though keep in mind there are great other tricks to learn early on. For instance, the Revert and normal Shove Its are easy and great to learn to add some quick style to your skating.
If you want to confirm your suspicions that skateboarding is the most difficult hobby you can have, check out my guide explaining exactly why it is.
So that’s it.
I hope this helps you get a sense of exactly how long it can take to learn certain tricks well. Skateboarding is hard so be patient with yourself and enjoy the process.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.