What is a Fakie in Skateboarding?

A young man doing tricks on his skateboard at the skate park.
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There's nothing fake about riding fakie—or backward—on a skateboard. It can be a challenging move for beginners, but it's an essential skating skill to have, especially if you're riding the quarterpipe or halfpipe.

Fakie versus Switch and Goofy Riding

Don't confuse riding fakie with riding switch or goofy. If you're riding with your left foot forward, you're riding "regular" style. Riding goofy means you're skating with your right foot forward.

The stance you favor depends mostly on what feels comfortable.

Riding switch means you've reversed your usual stance on the board, leading with your left foot when you would normally have your right foot on the nose, for example. In both goofy and switch, the nose of your board is pointing forward. When you're riding fakie, you've got your feet planted normally but the board is leading with the tail instead of the nose. 

Knowing how to ride fakie comes in handy for rocking the halfpipe, where you'll be constantly switching from a forward-facing to a backward-facing direction. You can also master tricks like the rock to fakie on the quarterpipe and the fakie ollie.

How to Ride Fakie

Like any skateboarding trick, mastering the fakie will take plenty of time and practice. Wearing a helmet and knee and elbow pads is also a good idea, especially if you're a beginner.

  1. Get in position. Place your board on the ground. Make sure the tail is facing forward.
  1. Find your footing. If you normally push off with your left foot, you'll want to push off with your right when riding fakie. Place your front foot on the deck where your rear foot normally would go, then scoot it back a little bit. 
  2. Push off. Start moving by pushing off with your rear foot. Once you've built momentum, pivot smoothly on your front foot, swinging your back foot around and planting it at the forward moving tip of the board. You will now be
  1. Stabilize. Make sure your forward-facing foot is firmly planted before rotating your rear foot. You should now be riding as you normally would, except that you're leading with the tail of your board.

Tips for Beginners

It may feel awkward at first as you move forward with your feet in a fakie stance. If you're uncomfortable with your first attempts, practice standing on the board as you normally would and gently rock it forward and backward, just to get a feel for shifting direction. 

Next, practice riding fakie on a flat stretch of pavement using the technique outlined in the steps above. As with any new trick, know that you're likely to take a tumble or two. Safety gear is a must, as is practicing somewhere that's free of traffic.

If you're comfortable with that, it's time to hit your local skate park and practice. Find a halfpipe and begin riding the curves. You're not going for air or speed; all you need to do is get comfortable going in opposite directions on your skateboard.