The most common road traveled by riders aspiring to progress is usually the one that gets them to their first handle pass 360 wake to wake. And since most riders learn heelside jumps before toeside jumps the HS FS 360 naturally is the shortest route. However, most riders skip the process that can build proper fundamentals and engrave proper habits that lead to less falls and getting the trick consistent in a shorter period of time.
If you look at Trevor doing a HS FS 360 from the side you can see that since there is a pull present while in the air Trevor has to move his board and upper body in a way that not only helps him resist getting pulled over, but also in a way that helps him stop his rotation which makes the landing more stable and consistent. The board finishes the spin first and remains closest to the boat throughout while the upper body finishes last and leans away even after landing and riding out of the trick.
In this video I will take you through a quick seven step low impact process that takes the wakes completely out of the picture and helps you engrave this proper sequence with your board and body position building proper technique throughout the 360. This unorthodox approach will eventually set you up properly for future one wake and two wake attempts and just make the 360 a cinch to land no matter the situation. As you move through each step you will also use different boat speeds to lower the chance of taking a hard falls and this will build your confidence as you move forward.
OK, lets start step one of the Ollie 360 process with just some simple surface 180's. First have you boat driver slow down to about 13 mph so you can safely execute the two 180's that make up this 360 separately in the middle of both wakes. After finishing the first 180 put both hands behind your back so you are riding in the switch stance cuffed position. From here we are going to finish the last 180 and 360 by sliding the board only while keeping both hands behind in the cuffed position so your upper body stays leaning away from the boat. This is the most important part to the drill and the position that you are trying to engrave throughout this process. After the simple first 180, drop your lead hand off the handle and turn the handle down towards the water. Reach behind your back to put your free hand on the handle to get into the switch stance cuffed riding position. Next slide the board through the next 180 to complete the 360 but as you can see hear Chad continues to look back even though he is done with the 360 to force the lean away and the proper axis which resists the pull of the boat once you progress to air attempts. After riding with both hands behind your back for a few seconds slowly turn your head toward the boat while still staying back to complete the drill. Repeat this over and over in the middle to quickly engrave the proper movements and stop positions before moving on to the next step of the process.
In the next step we add an Ollie into the picture and increase the boat speed slightly by one mph to facilitate the bounce of the water. After landing the first Ollie 180 repeat the same previous steps by getting into the switch cuffed position and then sliding the board only through the last 180 of the 360 while finishing with your head looking away from the boat to further engrave the proper lean away and axis. Try to control your positions by staying directly in the middle of the wakes on the line in the water created by the propeller of the boat. Again repeat this a few times so you engrave the technique in your muscle memory before moving on to step three.
Step three is exactly like the previous step but just outside the wake. Increase the boat speed to about 16 mph and edge out outward on your heels. Flatten off the board so you are not edging so you can execute the first Ollie 180 while coasting. After the first 180 repeat the previous steps as you did in the first two steps and repeat this a few times to get used to the motion. Now during this step of the process we are going to add a cut back towards the wake into the picture. The cut back does two things. It increases the pop that you get with your Ollie so you will be able to pop the Ollie 360 high, but more importantly it forces you to push the board towards the boat more into the proper position so you don't get pulled out the front as you spin the 360. Again it is all part of engraving the lean away axis and the habit of finishing with the board first and not your upper body. Edge out on your heels like before but then cut back towards the boat quickly on your toes. As you start this cut back Ollie the first 180 and land switch and then proceed with the drill as you did before making sure to finish with both hands behind your back while looking away from the boat to complete the 360 outside the wake. Repeat this to get comfortable with the cut back and Ollie from your toeside edge before moving on to step four.
For step four we return back to the middle of the wakes and slow the boat down again to about 13 mph so we can practice switch backside slides. Switch backside slides are yet another skill that helps you push the board towards the boat while your upper body leans away. This push of the board occurs as you complete the first 180 of the 360 and helps you set the proper axis. Start in the middle of the wakes with your lead hand on the handle and start a little bouncing motion to bounce into the switch backside slide. You goal for this step is to build comfort taking a bit of impact while landing in switch slide. Repeat this a few times and then move on to step five where you perform the same Ollie into a backside slide outside the wakes. For this step increase the boat speed to about 17 mph and edge out on your switch toeside edge. Flatten off, release your back hand and then bounce into the switch backside slide. This step will help you feel the same sensation you will feel when landing the next step of the progression.
OK, we are almost finished. Step 6 is a Ollie 270 out beside the wake. Edge out on your heels like you did before for the Ollie HS FS 180 surface 180 with the cut back earlier in the progression, but this time try to Ollie off of the cut back turning the board 270 degrees instead of just 180. You don't have to land completely in the slide at first. You can push the board into the slide as you land the 180 and then work towards landing directly into the slide. After landing the 270, finish the other 90 degrees of the 360 just like you have in the previous steps. Repeat and engrave the movement into your muscle memory and then move to the final step of the progression.
By now you should have all the fundamentals and form down to attempt your first Ollie 360's. Increase the boat speed by one mph to 18 so that the water is a bit more firm. This should give you more height on your Ollie which will give you the added time to spin the board a bit further then 270. For this final step we just need to be a little more aggressive with the board, not necessarily our upper body. If you try to spin your upper body faster, it may force you over the front of the board. After edging out on your heels and then cutting back towards the wake on your toes, try to Ollie big and think of doing the same Ollie 270 that you did in the previous step. Before the board hits the water try to push it a little past the 270 mark and immediately get into the cuffed riding position to complete the 360. Make sure your head and upper body stay back and your eyes should be looking away from the boat even after completing the 3 so you resist over rotation and falling forward toward the boat.
Alright, that’s it. Make sure you repeat this sequence a few times before moving on to one wake and two wake attempts, it's the fastest road to your goal of landing your first wake to wake 360 and you won’t suffer as many unwarranted falls along the way.