Learn Inverts in 30 days: Day 3

ffej on inverts

When you run web site like this, you get to meet all kinds of interesting people, like Troy Sliter – AKA the freestyler that gets busted on the boardwalk in the Santa Cruz Video Wheels of Fire. OK, that’s not true. I met Troy at the now defunct vert ramp in Beaverton. Troy ended up getting married, and that’s how I met Jeff Hedges. (No, Troy didn’t get married to Jeff.) Anyway, Jeff flowed with the advice on inverts. We had a little miscommunication, and he ended up posting it as a comment, but I wasn’t about to let him deprive me of the chance to milk it for a self contained post. Besides, day three was busy for me and I only got a chance to play in the street for a few minutes.

Check out those shots of Jeff Hedges, aka Ffej as you might recall. This Ffej, not this guy, whom I’m sure you didn’t know existed. So Jeff, AKA Ffej, AKA Fudge apparently, had this to say about learning inverts:

Some good comments up there.

Note: I am an old fatass and can’t do ‘em anymore (ok, I can’t do much of anything anymore) so take this with several grains of salt and allow for cobwebs in my memory.

Your basic approach (in the photo here) seems right. low pivotal hand-on-wall / Bertleman style turns are really good to play with (as one commenter noted) to get your ass above your head. Reaching your plant hand down while the body goes up is a good way to get the reach-down and re-entry parts of this thing right if your learning from the bottom up.

Anyway, once you get used to putting your hand on the wall, just keep moving it on up. It’s really easy to knee-slide out of invert attempts below coping… and even on coping if you tend to hang-up (stay light on the landing, until you get used to it). If you do start hanging up a lot with on-coping invert attempts, your probably not pushing out enough away from the wall on the descent.

As Mike McGill once said “You gotta push, with your arm” (or something similar in one of the old Powell vids ;)

Other tips:

As noted in another comment, straight up and down is important (you can carve ‘em over the channel later).

Watch the coping as you go up, plant, and then keep your eyes on the spot you want your wheels to land, and ahead where you will be going next.

Beware over rotation. this was never really a problem for me, but I see how if you commit to the landing when you’ve already gone to far, it can wreck you. under rotate at first if anything.

As you come in to land, you want to use your arm to push you back over the transition, and not stay too close to the wall/coping.

With stalled inverts, you go up, push your torso over the coping/deck, then as you come in, use the planted hand/arm to bring your body back over the transition, instead of straight down onto the coping.

I’ve seen some people do invert-outs: hand-on-coping ‘roll-outs’, with the intention to land on the deck, as a way to get used to it as well. At least its a good idea (once you have basic hand on coping inverts working) to get used to trying to push them up where they are supposed to be, and work on stalling them out.

Inverts are (eventually) meant to be stalled, and then you can play around with all kinds of variations and goofiness :)

Here’s those two shots enlarged. What’s he doing now? Check out this 2003 interview about his game testing duties over at Nokia. The page layout is almost illegible. I had to select all the type to be able to actually see it. One funny thing is where the gamer geeks ask him what it’s like to have a “dream job” of testing games, and what his reaction was once he got the job. It’s amusing because a whole different set of geeks (skateboard geeks) he already had the dream job of skateboarding, which he does talk about. Anyway, it’s a short and interesting nostalgia read. I’m sure I’ve thoroughly embarrassed Jeff, who is a modest guy who will likely never return my emails again.

Photo credits?

Ffej inverted

This one said Page Mill ramp.

Jeff Hedges invert

10 Comments

  1. Dude, you’re totally blowing out the invert. Ffej once told me I needed to work on flapping my inverts over. I see what he was getting at, cool photos.

    Rich posted an annotated Andrecht sequence over at EPM.

  2. Slitburn on September 4, 2008 - Reply

    Maybe you should try to grow your hair and smoke lots of weed. But, that didn’t work for me.

  3. wonder what he looks like now. ha ha. ever see chicago blowout? he was the “flying tomato” (well at least the acne) before shaun white was squeezed out.

  4. Ffej still looks exactly the same as in the photo’s above. You’ll have to pull one of those out next year when we head down to SF to check out that new park.

  5. give me 90 days. I want ‘em back. meet you at hood river or windells.

  6. Slitburn on September 5, 2008 - Reply

    One thing to point out…Ffej would drop in first ride of the day, first wall and tweak an invert like it was nothing. I’ve seen more tweaked than above photos. He’s got a good pic in the Indy book taken at Lance’s.

  7. Note: ‘street plants’ of the kind Mike Vallely brought to the world, do not really help here. The ones you were trying on day 2 on curb cuts are a more reasonable approach for wrapping your head around it.

  8. damn. too bad you can’t see the puff of smoke being exhaled in that second photo….

  9. Ryan Heckler on September 6, 2008 - Reply

    the old vert-puff challenge, take a fat hit, drop in and see how many walls you can get before having to exhale:) I loved doing that on the old Avery vert ramp…

  10. @kilwag, did you ever get back to these? This needs to be revisited methinks… The funniest part is the comment above was made before I’d found vert again. at the time this article went up, I wasn’t sure I’d ever do one again.

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