13. The manual

OK, we’re going to learn how to manual. So first, what is a manual? You’ll probably know it as a wheelie on a bike. Iifting and holding the front wheels off the ground.

Why are we learning to manual?

What are we learning the manual? Well, practicing the manual gives you great balance, and develops control over the rear axle.

It will be used in many grind tricks like the 5.0. But the manual in itself is a popular trick to do. You will often find a manny pad in a skatepark, which is a freestanding rectangular pad, about 6 inches or so high, that you ollie onto, and manual across. There was a competition series that Red Bull ran for many years called Manny Mania, where all sorts of insane flip-in flip-out combinations were put down.

Building block skills

Ok. If you’ve learnt to kick turn you’ve already done a manual. Albeit a very short one.

Steps to doing a manual

Do it on the spot

Start on carpet or grass to begin with. Whilst on the spot, transfer 75% of your weight to the back truck, then gradually add more weight until the front trucks leave the ground. Hold your front trucks in the air. Don’t let the tail hit the ground. That’s cheating. Now count in your head, and try and see how long you can hold it up for.

Manual whilst moving

Now try it going along. Find two lines in the skatepark, or put down markers, and try and manual between them, making the gap wider each time.

That’s it. This skill can be practiced indoors at home, all day every day. So you’ve not excuse not to have great control over your back axle.

Next steps

We will use the manual when we learn the Drop Off to drop off a kerb.

Practice your manual on the nose. AKA a nose manual. This is something you should do now, and not put off as it’s something used in fairly basic tricks.

Once you can Ollie, you should find a manual pad, and learn to Ollie up it into a manual.

Where to go to learn a manual

Whitegrounds has a low section of ledge that can can be used as a manny pad.

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Simply tag your Instagram video with #sosthemanual to be featured here!

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