Stab Magazine | 540 or 720? (A video argument)
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540 or 720? (A video argument)

Words by Elliot Struck What fun the debate around Kelly Slater’s recent frontside spin in Portugal has been: Endless, impassioned, furious. The latest shot fired comes from snow auteur Pierre Wikberg. He’s cut together the above edit, which he believes clears things up. He suggests that Kelly’s frontside spin in Portugal is a 720. I wholeheartedly […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Elliot Struck

What fun the debate around Kelly Slater’s recent frontside spin in Portugal has been: Endless, impassioned, furious.

The latest shot fired comes from snow auteur Pierre Wikberg. He’s cut together the above edit, which he believes clears things up. He suggests that Kelly’s frontside spin in Portugal is a 720.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

A young gent named Sam Einstein approached Stab not so long ago with an article that he believed to be definitive. He agrees with Pierre. Sam’s dabbled in pro skating (as a doer, not a documenter) so the leg he stands on is way more firm than mine. Having said that, I’ve ridden snowboards, skateboard and surfboards (albeit really badly) my whole life. As an online editor, I watch and analyse more surfing than the average. And I’m sticking to my guns.

What I asked Mr Einstein in response, was how often you see a surfer hit the lip dead on 12 o’clock. I believe: Close to never. To do a straight air in surfing, you hit the lip with your nose already pointed down the line – 90s degrees further than a snowboarder or skater hit the lip. At most, you rotate 90 degrees through a straight air so that you can better land in the transition.

This, I feel, is the crux of the whole argument. So however you feel about that will be the basis on which your opinion develops.

When you do an air reverse, you leave the wave with your nose pointed down the line, and land with your tail pointed down the line (or, just a little further), making the majority of surfing air-reverses a 225 at the very most (and let’s not mix these up with finners, which do require a 12 o’clock hit but aren’t actually an air).

Then for a full roter, you take off with nose pointed down the line and land with nose pointed down the line (unless you’re the over-rotating Filipe Toledo).

And Kelly? Get to know your pause button and have a good look at where his nose is pointed when he takes off.

And, go.

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