There are many factors that go into landing a heelside off-axis spin. In this video, I am going to demonstrate how the axis at which you throw your board into will affect the outcome of your trick. This becomes more crucial on heelside off-axis spins when landing on your switch toeside edge. The physics and balance explained in this video can also be shared with other types of tricks, like batwings.
A common mistake riders have when attempting these spins, is that they peak their off-axis rotation in the wrong position. Notice where the peak of the off-axis rotation is on this heelside off-axis 180. The board is out in front of the rider, and this will put the rider in an un-balanced aerial position that will cause the rider to land on his heels.
Now, look at the same trick, but notice where the board’s off-axis peak is. The board stays under the rider on its way up to the peak position, and the peak position this time is tucked back behind the rider. This puts the rider into a rotation that will cause him to land on his toeside edge, edging away from the landing.
You can even feel these balance differences on land. If you try doing a mock off-axis 180, visualizing the trick, you’ll find that if you bring your knee up in front of you, you’ll fall back, and if you bring your knee up more behind you, you’ll fall towards the rope or onto your toes.
Heading back to the water, when we look at these two side by side you can see that both versions have the same edge into the wake, and the same pop off of the wake. The only difference is where I let the board out for the off-axis spin. I actually peak at the same time in both clips, it’s just that I completed more of my 180 rotation on the one on the left, before peaking, to keep me balanced. On the right side, I floated the 180 a bit slower at the beginning and went for the off-axis earlier, placing the board in front of me, and causing me to fall onto my heels.
So, I hope this illustrates how where you let the board out on a heelside off-axis spin can influence your aerial balance, and cause you to land on your heels or toes.