The Best Hardest Tricks

I've searched high and low to no avail for a quote I once read from skateboarding's favorite skater, Andrew Reynolds. In it he referred to one particular switch backside flip executed by a Baker team member as 'the hardest trick'. Although clarification on whether it was meant that it was the hardest trick done that session, at that spot, or in all of skateboarding would require clarification from Mr. Reynolds, the quote stuck with me as a reminder of how difficult it must be to perform a switch backside flip at the expert level. 

Here's a list of our favorite 'hardest tricks'.     

#10: Austyn Gillette - Quik, 2012


Having spent little time in Los Angeles, it's still a place that's pretty foreign to me. I know bits and pieces of it, (skate spots) but in my head its just one big suburb where it's always sunny and everything looks the same. Austyn's part in Quik has a narative that gave me a better understanding of the city. Instead of the usual barrage of three second looks at schoolyards, Austyn is seen pushing in different neighborhoods and skating many spots we non LA-ers we don't recognize as 'spots'. He closes out the part with a massive switch backside flip on a once famous hip and is sent straight into a hill bomb (which he begins with a serious ass push how rad is that?), a trick so memorable that this list would surely be incomplete without it. 

#9: Mark Suciu - Search The Horizon, 2013


This part was released at the tail end of Mark Suciu's rampage of video parts last year, and in it we are reminded that the only thing more backwards than an alley-oop backside flip is a switch alley-oop backside flip. Mark isn't one to do things the easy way, and it shows as he goes both alley-oop and switch over a  handrail.  

#8: Lucas Puig - TWS Pro Spotlight, 2011


Let's get kinesthetic for a second: Lucas' foot positioning is absolutely bonkers on this one, kicking hard and pointing straight with his right foot while tightly tucking in his left foot. Lucas is truly someone to mimic when learning this trick. We've been treated to a slew of amazing switch backside flips from Lucas over the years, but this one is our favorite of the lot (I am not going to lie, it was a tough call).

#7: Keenan Milton - The Chocolate Tour, 1999


Keenan had that special ability to make his switch tricks better than his regular tricks but still let you know they were switch. The grate at Flushing Meadows fountain is long and the ground there is slippery, but neither of these factors seemed to inhibit Keenan from performing a perfect switch backside flip with a legendary amount of his classic timeless style.
For another amazing switch backside flip by Keenan, check out this game of skate with Gino and Pupecki :)

#6: Rob Welsh - Free Your Mind, 2003


Rob Welsh performs multiple impressive feats of style in this clip: he hauls ass while pushing switch mongo, wears enormous pants and rocks the power combo of a tee shirt + gloves. He pulls the entire package together so well that his boosted switch backside flip over this bump to barrier in the bay is almost an afterthought. Almost. 

#5: Dylan Rieder - Huf Quality Footwear Presents: The Dylan, 2014


It was difficult to pick between Dylan's switch backside flip from his most recent Huf part or this one. In the later he catches a switch flip on the way up and barely rotates his body, only snapping a 180 at the very last moment. Alas, the three feet of air Dylan catches on his switch backside flip off a bump to bump in The Dylan can't really be argued with.

#4: Pat "The Sinner" Paquale - Baker Has a Deathwish, 2008


We're fairly certain that The Sinner clips the stairs on this one. However, he boosts himself the top of the stairs with amazing style and lands in such novel position that we're willing to ignore the questionable legitimacy of his landing.

#3: Josh Kalis - Mind Field, 2009


It's known that Josh Kalis has a fear of flying, so we would like to formally thank him for getting on plane to Barcelona and doing what is undoubtably the highest switch backside flip on this list. 

#2: Justin "Figgy" Figueroa - Bake and Destroy, 2012


Figgy does a switch backside 180 down this monsterous stair set and proceeds to then go straight for 'the hardest trick', skipping the plethora of tricks that could have been done in between. As if a switch backside flip down this beast of a triple set weren't gnarly enough, a security guard makes his presence known as the session goes down.

#1: Stevie Williams - The Reason, 1999


This is the undisputed best switch backside flip that has ever been done. It tops off a line that despite being 15 years old could easily appear in a video part today. A brief play by play: Stevie does a nosegrind revert that is landed with him looking 100% back at the ledge. A switch flip frontside 5-0 is masterfully executed (documented by Ryan Gee sitting cross legged on the ground), followed by a flatground switch backside flip. The flatground switch backside flip. This switch backside flip is boosted it high enough that were it executed earlier in the line, it could have easily been done over the head of the photographer. Stevie's switch backside flip is done with so much authority that the line is definitively concluded. No more to see here, folks. Game over.

ArticlesSpencer Gillespie