Learning to Revert is one of the first things a beginner should learn after becoming comfortable pushing and riding on their skateboard.
This is because Reverts look cool, feel satisfying, and prepare you for later tricks such as the Frontside 180 and Backside 180. You can also learn to Revert literally in a single afternoon.
Let’s dive into it.
What is a Revert?
A Revert is a cool way to turn the board 180 degrees while dragging the wheels across the ground. You can do a revert frontside or backside, as well as on the front or back trucks. Before you can learn to Revert, you need to know how to kick turn. From there learning to Revert will come quickly and naturally.
The amount of satisfaction you will have with yourself after learning to revert is way more than the difficulty of the trick merits so enjoy. Most tricks don’t come this easy.
How Long Does It Take to Learn to Revert?
How long should it take a beginner to learn to Revert?
A Revert is a beginner trick that can be learned in a single afternoon if you are comfortable riding your board and already know how to do kick turns. Typically, it will take a skater literally an afternoon to land their first revert and then a few weeks to do them comfortably.
I actually tried to learn Reverts deliberately one afternoon, forgot about them, and then accidentally learned them while practicing for a Backside 180. My first attempt at learning Reverts was awkward and I maybe landed at most a couple of sketchy ones, but after I stumbled upon them again it was like I instantly knew how to Revert.
This was because I had ridden for a few more months and had a much more developed board feel and control.
Some skateboarding tricks take a long time to learn. A Revert is not one of them. Check out my breakdown with data on why an Ollie can take months to learn for a new skater.
How to Frontside Revert
Position Your Feet
The position of your feet is a bit flexible for this trick.
When I first started learning and doing reverts it really helped me to position my feet closer to the front of the board. This allowed me to more easily shift my weight up and drag the back trucks along as I turned.
Once you get more comfortable with Reverts, you will be able to keep your feet in an Ollie position and still easily Revert.
Wind up Your Shoulders
A Revert like most tricks is controlled with your shoulders.
To prepare to Revert, wind up your shoulders by first slightly turning the direction opposite of how you’ll turn. This will allow you to unwind your shoulders and use your momentum to easily and smoothly turn your skateboard.
Bend Your Knees
Something that is not easy to get a feel for with Reverts is how your weight shifts and you sort of jump, but also are not jumping.
Does that make sense? No?
Bend your knees before you unwind your shoulders so you can sort of spring up so that your full weight isn’t on your skateboard. You aren’t fully jumping. Instead, you will just make it easier for those wheels to drag.
Swing Your Shoulders Around
Now comes the actual Revert.
Unwind those shoulders into a full 180-degree turn while unbending your knees so that you slightly come up as your board turns. I think it really helps to focus on your shoulders while you turn. The board will follow your shoulders and you will get a feel for how much you need to jump.
Sometimes you will accidentally just kick turn 180-degrees. Other times you will leave too much weight on your trucks and will not rotate fully. It takes practice to get a good feel for this, but it also comes quickly.
Normally, I like to track my trick progress with notes, but I learned to Revert so quickly that I couldn’t even try and record lands and mess-ups.
Follow with Your Feet and Board
This part of the turn is largely unconscious. Once your shoulders turn, then your legs and board will follow. Focus on the shoulders. Trust me. Your board will follow your rotated shoulders. Some Youtube tutorials advocate otherwise and say that your board turns and your shoulders can come around after, but that’s a bad habit.
Watch any great skater like Nyjah or Andy Anderson and notice how their shoulders will lead their spin tricks. Be like them.
If you are interested in seeing a more complete list of great beginner skateboarding tricks, check out my guide here.
How to Backside Revert
Because a Backside Revert is so similar to a Frontside Revert, it doesn’t make any sense for me to rehash the entire same formula I wrote out for a Frontside Revert. Instead, I’ll just highlight a couple of notes.
The general process is the same.
- Position Your Feet
- Bend Your Knees
- Wind up Your Shoulders
- Swing Your Shoulders Around
- Follow with Your Feet and Board
A Backside Revert is different from a Frontside Revert in a few key aspects.
- You will be forced to lead with your shoulders.
- The Backside Revert really is great preparation for the Backside 180 which is not an easy trick.
- It can be easier to start with Fakie Backside Reverts.
I really enjoyed practicing at first by stretching out my arms when I swing my shoulders to start my Backside Revert. It felt like I had more presence and control of my board while doing it, but I’m sure it looked a bit silly.
The Fakie Revert can be considered like a fakie kick turn and there’s good reason for this. Fakie Reverts tend to be more difficult to drag your wheels on and so they simply end up being 180-degree kick turns.
A Fakie Revert refers to doing a Revert while you are riding Fakie. Fakie means that you are in your normal stance, but you are simply moving backward. Some pros set up certain tricks Fakie and there’s nothing bad about doing a trick Fakie.
That being said, shifting your feet forward and pivoting more on your front truck was much more natural for me when I first started learning Reverts. So don’t be afraid to try and do a Fakie Revert if you feel stuck on Reverts themselves.
What is a Pivot in Skateboarding?
What is a Pivot and is it just another name for a Revert?
In skateboarding, a Pivot refers to turning your board 180-degrees right as your first truck makes contact with the ground after a trick or air. You can do Pivots while simply riding off of a curb or you can do them after a trick. Sometimes Pivots are used to “save” a trick when the skater doesn’t fully rotate.
Pivots are a very common variation to add onto tricks but honestly, they don’t seem like they are talked about too much. This is a shame because Pivots definitely add style points to tricks.
What is the Difference between a Pivot and a Revert?
This is something that you can easily get confused with because the two tricks are very similar.
The difference between a Pivot and a Revert is that a Pivot is turning the board 180-degrees at the end of another trick as your trucks make contact with the ground while a Revert is typically a standalone 180-degrees turn. Pivots can also drag the wheels of the skateboard across the ground like a Revert.
Check out Aaron Kyro’s video on Pivots or watch pretty much any video where he plays SKATE. He always whips out some Pivot tricks and usually drags his wheels on the Pivot.
How to Turn Fast on a Skateboard
This last title is in the article just to catch any new skaters who don’t know what a Revert is even called.
Quickly turning 180-degrees on a skateboard is called a Revert. Reverts can be done frontside, backside, or fakie. A Revert is a beginner trick that is the natural evolution of a kick turn. The only real difference between a kick turn (turning your board by lifting one set of wheels) and a Revert is that a Revert drags your wheels across the ground as you turn.
You also might just get a great foundation for Frontside 180s, Backside 180s, and Powerslides from learning to Revert or turn fast, on your skateboard.
So, definitely consider taking the time to get some Reverts under your belt.
If you are working on your Ollie, but struggling to get air, check out my guide on how to Ollie higher here.
So that’s it.
Reverts are awesome and I hope you learn them. They really let you feel and look like a more experienced skater and you can learn them very quickly.
Personally, I love the scrapping sound of the wheels as they drag across the concrete beneath me. It truly is one of the most satisfying simple tricks in skateboarding.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.