Photo: Chris Wellhausen 

Pressing Tail

Master tailpresser Darrell Mathes shows you how to put down a proper one.

Tailpresses. Tail wheelies. Five-0s. Call ’em what you will, just make sure you learn how to lock into one this season. We enlisted Mr. Mathes to help you along, because, well, Darrell really presses the piss out of his wheelies. And who better to school all you would-be wheeliers out there than the man who makes it look so dang easy? Work your way through the words, commit the sequence to memory, dig Darrell’s quote, and legitimize your tailpresses this winter.—L.G.

1. The first step is to know how to do frontside 50-50s on anything and everything. A solid 50-50 is a prerequisite for a tailpress. Don’t skip any steps—it’ll hurt you in the long run.

2. To get a feeling for tailpresses, try cracking little ollies and doing tail wheelies on the snow. Then, when you feel comfortable poppin’ an ollie into a press, take it to a down box. To do a true tailpress you should ollie on from one side or the other, not just straight on. Approach the box from the left if you’re regular or the right if you’re a goofy-footer.

3. Don’t pop too hefty of an ollie. If you ollie too hard, you might end up just tapping your tail rather than pressing it. A smaller ollie will help you lay into a solid tailpress.

4. Once you’re on the box and locked into the press, you should put all your weight on your back leg. Straightening your front leg will help you keep it pressed.

5. Keep your shoulders parallel to the box while you’re sliding. It’ll help you avoid the dreaded drift, where the nose of your board ends up veering in one direction or the other and your tailpress ends up looking like a weird frontside or boardslide. Keep it straight and look at the end of the box.

6. Pop off the end of the box, make sure you level out your board and land squarely on both feet, ride off, and start lookin’ for a good down rail to try your new trick on.

“The way to make it look legit is to hold it the whole way through and just put all that pressure on your back foot—that should help you keep the tailpress up all the way through the rail.”

 

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