Jul 06

Back big, done correctly

You may remember back in Februray of last year that James Walker landed the first ever Back Big on a surf style board. We’ve watched self-promotion videos over the last year or so showing folks basically FAILING at landing a back big. Literally one video had something like 8 failed back bigs. We wondered if the message was: “hey watch me not be able to land this trick! SO MUCH!”

Is that what those folks want to convey? Hey look at how proficent I am at failing to land this trick! No, they know that most folks don’t know the difference, so they’ll just show you some crap and their board sponsor or boat sponsor or girlfriend/mommy/head cheerleader will fawn over it. Whatever. For us, that just feels like those folks are trying to dupe you. What would be perfect is a little subtitle at the bottom after every trick: ollie 360, failed back big or A NOTHING. Right?

Is that the current state of wakesurfing? Get away with as much as you can? Part of it, we think, is there is no governance or accountability. Folks gather in these weird little cliques and in those vacuums have these weird discussions. No one outside the clique is allowed, because quite frankly some of those folks are going to say: Are you kidding me? You can’t do that! So the clique becomes just those folks that don’t know any better, or that are supportive of whatever behavior is going on. The whole birds of a feather, dealio.

So lets take a look at the correct way to land a back big, in wakesurfing. It’s very different from on a skateboard and won’t be done on any board that has to be affixed to the riders feet, like a snowboard.

In wakesurfing, it’s this combination of an air 3, a body varial and a shuv. To be done correctly, the shuv and the body varial must be done in the air. Now the body varial is basically just NOT rotating with the board. Not that we are suggesting that’s easy, just that it’s the board rotating and the rider NOT. There shouldn’t be any real surface rotation out. So a surface 360 with a shuv at the top is a NOTHING. A hopped into sort of ollie 3, or just an ollie 3 not above the lip are NOT a back big. Those incarnations really should just be a failed trick, no different than if you fell on it. Also, you have to land the trick switch. For the back big, the rider winds up backside switch and it should be landed from the air that way. If at the end the rider over-rotates, winding up regular, that is a failed back big or a NOTHING.

In the pro levels why are we coddling these folks? You either land it, or you don’t. No baby bigs, no women’s back big. It’s a back big or NOT. The same as if you fell. It shouldn’t contribute to your scoring at all. For the guy or gal that busts their ass and lands the trick correctly, the yahoo that CAN’T land it should NOT be competitive. It’s much easier to NOT do the trick and still score some for that failure and what is the incentive to do it correctly? That sure seems to be the path of wakesurfing, reward the incompetent and punish those who work hard. Part of that is that folks watching the self-promotion videos don’t know any better and compliment and promote the failures. Not once do you ever read – uuummmm, that was 8 failed back bigs, wth?

Ok, enough of that rant, let’s look at a back big.

Some select sequence shots from the Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr album. You should be able to double click on any of the pictures to be taken to it, or you can use this link. BUT never say oops, missed that becuase most of the folks won’t know and heaven forbid you be honest and show that you didn’t land it!

So we are taking some of these out of order, we’ll start at the end! This is how the back big has to end

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Backside switch, if it’s over rotated and the rider winds up regular, that’s a failure. On surf style boards the fins tend to prevent the overrotation, but on skimmers it’s much harder to stop the rotation here. If you see a self-promoting video that doesn’t stop here, call ’em out – Hey you can’t do a back big? Come back when you’re ready for the big league and stop trying to dupe us, you failure! Ok that’s harsh, but you get the idea, they figure you don’t know and will try and slip it by you. It’s certainly worked so far for lots of folks!

Next picture, this is sort of at the height of the air 3, all of the rotations are done in the air and have to be done simultaneously. There’s a shuv above the lip and the NOT rotating body varial. Not landing the shuv pointing backwards and then spinning out of it, that’s the famous trick we call “FAILURE!” It’s all in the air, or just go home. 🙂  Ok, not really, but it sure would be good to have a clear definition and some criteria that says less than this, is NOT a back big.

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Ok, one last picture, it has to come around in the air, not down on the surface. If you’re spinning on the surface, you just completed the “NOTHING!”

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A little sloppy, but done correctly a backside big spin.

If you are visiting from a mobile device, here’s your link to James Walker landing a back big.

So that’s the back big and the things to look for in making sure it’s actually landed and not a FAILED or what we like to call the F-BOMB back big.

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it!  We should be heading out on the boat with Cole Kerby from Victoria, hopefully we’ll have some pictures or video of Cole landing a 5 shuv!


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