How To Backside Smith On Transition With Kyle Leeper

The TWS 10 in last month’s issue was devoted to the best back Smiths ever caught on video, so we thought it’d be nice if we actually showed you how to do it. Whether it’s done on tranny or in the streets, take it from Leeper, it’s all in the back foot.

1. Find a photo or some footage of Dylan Rieder doing this trick and check out his technique, like where he puts his feet. Study it and visualize yourself doing it like that.

2. Maybe you should learn pivots first. Once you can do that, poke your front foot out and lop your truck over the coping. Practice getting into it without grinding to get a feel for how to lock in.

3. Now come at it full speed-it’s all in the back foot. Get on top of it and lean back for maximum grindage. Use your front foot to balance yourself out.

4. Use your toes to push it along even farther.

5. Transfer your weight forward and come in.

6. Learn it on something bigger and steeper.-Kyle Leeper

Whether you’re skating the most famous of spots or just rolling around in your local schoolyard, there’s no escaping a run-in with the ticket-writing police. So keep these nine guidelines in your head the next time you’re on the street and steer clear of that $150-plus fine.

1. RUN
This is the classic defense-grab your sh-t and book it. Just make sure you’ve got a place to go where you won’t get caught. Otherwise, you’ll have a grown man tackling your scrawny skin and bones onto the hard cement, pulling out the cuffs, and making an episode of COPS outta you, not to mention the additional charge of “evading the police.”

Like your momma always told you, there’s safety in numbers. Writing a ticket for one or two skaters is easy, but writing twelve of ’em… the last thing cops want is more work. This may be the one time government laziness will actually benefit you.

Say something like, “After my grandma dropped me off at the skatepark, I met some Boy Scouts who were earning their skateboarding badge. They told me this school had some really smooth cement to ride on. Oh gosh! I didn’t even see that No Skateboarding sign here. I hope I’m not in trouble, officer-Grandma will kill me.” It’s more of a miss than a hit, but cops have been known to fall for it.

It’s a little clichà‡ for our tastes, but if you’re young enough and look helpless enough, it just might work. A single tear ain’t gonna do the trick, though. Give yourself a good punch in the nose, break open those tear ducts, and make sure to give an Oscar winning performance.

This one’s pretty popular on the streets and for good reason (it’s had its fair share of success), but here’s the catch: If you say your name is Chad Muska and the po-po runs the name through the system, you better be a 29-year-old, 5′ 11″, blonde-haired male that lives in Los Angeles, or you’re gonna have a problem.

If you can ethnically pull it off and if you actually paid attention in your foreign-language class, this one will frustrate the cops right out of writing you a ticket. From the first words outta their mouths, look confused and spout off your language of choice like you just came from customs. Just make sure the cop can’t speak that language too.

This one’s more of a precaution, but if a cop has you sitting on the curb and is even slightly considering letting you off with a warning, once he finds out you’ve been hiding a tall boy in your sock, you’re guaranteed a free ride to the police station with more than just a skateboarding ticket.

It’s the old unwritten rule that cops take care of other cops, but you gotta have your story straight to properly use this excuse. Once you throw it out there, get ready to be interrogated with a long list of questions: What’s his name? What station does he work for? For how long? What type of law enforcement? And if he actually checks, you’re screwed.

This is a taboo in the Homey Book Of Ethics and probably will get you capped in some neighborhoods, but if all else fails and you’re desperate enough, it’s bound to save you. So, if a ticket is on its way and you know the guy next to you knocked over the liquor store last night, make a quick mention to the cop and suddenly riding a skateboard on private property doesn’t seem so criminal anymore. Two wrongs may not make a right, but it works pretty well in this case.