Ralph Cooper’s Top 5 Tricks

FS Flip / Photo by Ian Sheer

While these are my top 5 tricks, I wouldn’t say that they’re in any particular order – It’s not a countdown as such. Just 5 dope tricks that hold a special place in my heart (likely due to 3 of them being a sure thing in games of SKATE). – Ralph

Nollie Flip

A simple, beautiful thing when done properly. Kickflips are great, obviously, but there’s something about the catch with nollie flips that make them so satisfying when they’re done well. It’s not even like they look the same as fakie flips – the natural body position, that elevated nose, front foot catch, landing bolts… Love it. This clip is so fucking sick, had it on loop for a while when I first saw it. It’s a perfect example.

Front Foot Impossible

So way back in the day I was always into trying more obscure tricks, because why the fuck not, right? It was fun. I remember seeing Menikmati for the first time: Tom Penny does it Switch at the end of his part, and having never heard of or seen this trick done before, it blew my mind. I thought “What the fuck just happened?!”.

I honestly couldn’t grasp it; I knew what an impossible was and I thought I was pretty savvy with the tricks that could be done on a board, but a front foot impossible? Fuck. So anyway, I obsessed over it for a while and worked it out over the course of a week or so. I wouldn’t say they’re consistent by any means, but they feel so fucking good when you get a clean land (and it always gets a board tap from your crew).

Late Flips (of any kind)

Another weird one, I know, but there’s something beautiful about a well-executed late flip. You know you’ve got them dialled when the flip is perfectly horizontal. You gotta level them out in the air and then get the flick. It was another trick I inconsistently added to my arsenal immediately after seeing it for the first time.

It’s weird – I feel like I’ve been quite lucky to see skateboarding evolve in the way it has. I wasn’t there back in the 80’s or whatever, but I’ve been in it long enough to see some really awesome shit develop. Anyway, I digress. Late flips are dope and you should learn them ASAP. Always a fun one to pull out in a game of SKATE, especially if everyone is on E, just so you can hear the moans of defeat.

Switch Heel Front Tail 270 out

A mouthful I know, but this one is all about the motion. Shane O’Neill or Luan Oliveira would be my go-to guys of good examples for sure – buttery smooth. I kinda see this as one fluid motion from start to finish and that’s why I like it. Some might disagree, but I actually prefer them with a bit of slide in the 270, too. It’s not a trick I’ll ever have the pleasure of doing myself, I’m pretty certain of that, but I love watching them (the shorter the ledge, the better).

Murder/Dolphin/Forward Flip

I can’t actually remember which clip or video I saw that got me into Murder Flips. When I think about it, I can’t actually think of a good example to stick in a link off YouTube, either. I must have seen it somewhere though, because it’s not exactly a common trick, and they’re not straightforward to learn, either.

I felt like murder flips were a good mental challenge because of the inherent risk of self-penetration, and I cannot tell you just how many times I sodomised myself with my own board learning these. I’m sure my arsehole still bears the scars. However, it’s another one of those weird tricks that you don’t often see.

I guess it made me feel good to know some tricks that other people didn’t. Not because I wanted to be better than other people as such – skating is more than just competing. You encourage your friends and they encourage you. You push the boundaries of what you can do and you progress. It was nice to think that people might recognise me for being a little quirky or whatever. Kind of like an identity within the collective. Anyway, just to blow smoke up my own arse, there’s an example at the start of my Batface part (starts at 4:15), where I did it switch over the hip at The War Memorial Park in Coventry. Those were the days, eh?

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