photo: jon humphries
p-rod switch tre / photo: jon humphries
I’ve been skating a good portion of my life and I have never once landed a switch 360 flip. Ever. To me, the switch tre is the gold standard of skateboarding skill. It’s what separates men from boys. Whether it’s on flatground, the mega ramp, or down a set of stairs, it’s always gnarly. I’ve done my best to gather ten of the most memorable switch 360 flips caught on film to celebrate one of skateboarding’s hardest tricks. Enjoy.
Guy Mariano, Tim and Henry’s Pack of Lies (1992)
With any “best of” list it’s important to start where it all began. Blind’s 1992 promo was only eight minutes long but was loaded with heavy footage. Guy’s switch 360 flip down a four stair in the opening montage was the first time it had ever been recorded on film and just one of many NBD’s Guy has been responsible for throughout the years. *And before anyone tries to correct me and say that Jed Walters was the first to film it, Pack of Lies came out before Love Child in the same summer of 1992. So there.
Eric Koston, Falling Down (1993)
It’s hard to say anything about Koston that hasn’t been said before, the dude has literally been pushing it since day one. In 1993, 101 released Falling Down and immediately catapulted Koston to legend status. Just one year after Guy’s first switch tre, Koston took his down the infamous EMB 7. Dude could have retired 20 years ago and still been the sickest.
Rob Welsh, Free Your Mind (2003)
If you know me, then you know I’m a Welsh fanatic. So it wouldn’t be out of line to think I’m cherry picking, but let’s be honest: you know which one I’m talking about here. Welsh’s switch tre at SF’s Three Up Three Down is bonkers, even if it is just down a three stair. You’d be hard pressed to find a more textbook execution of this trick, I mean they slow-mowed it for christ’s sake! Long live Wu-Welsh.
Anthony Van Engelen, The DC Video (2003)
Despite how tempting it is to say that AVE’s switch tre at L.A. High in The DC Video is “fucking awesome”, I’m not quite sure that really does it justice. Skating mach 10 in the midst of a six trick line, AVE unleashes a switch 360 flip unlike any other. You know it’s good if you had to pick your jaw up off the floor for a flatground trick.
Josh Kalis, The DC Video (2003)
You can’t have a list about any type of 360 flip and not have Josh Kalis’ name on there. The two are inextricably linked forever. The switch tre attempt over the trash can at Love Park in the beginning of his DC Video part is so good it doesn’t even matter that he didn’t roll away from it. I’m not sure the world was really ready for a switch tre that good. Do I even need to mention he landed like five feet away from the trash can? Probably could have done it over two of those fuckin’ things.
Gonz, Real to Reel (2001)
Like anything and everything Gonz does it’s totally unique. He could make every list made about skateboarding for any reason. His line at Third and Army in Real to Reel ends with a switch 360 flip that compared to some others on this list would seem sub-par at best. However, for the Willy Wonka of skateboarding every trick he does is magic and if you went street skating today, you have this dude to thank. ‘Nuff said.
Johnny Layton, Suffer the Joy (2006)
J-Lay has taken his switch tre from here to Bangkok, and personally it never gets old for me. His most memorable up to this point (I’m assuming by the time his Vans part drops he’ll have one upped himself) was over the infamous Carlsbad gap in Toy Machine’s Suffer the Joy.
Zered Bassett, Vicious Cycle (2005)
At the time of this video’s release, there is a strong argument to be made that Zered was the absolute best on a board. Dude dropped an eight minute part with zero fillers in 2004…by today’s standards that’s a career’s worth of footage let alone one part. With corn rows and a filmer board Dr. Z prescribed a deathly dose of switch 360 flip madness off an unsuspecting bump, easily twice his own height (sincerest apologies for that awful doctor/prescription joke.)
Brian Wenning, Photosynthesis (2000)
I nearly broke my VCR rewinding this part so many times. Wenning’s ender in Alien’s classic Photosynthesis, wasn’t just huge for east coast skateboarding, it was just huge period. Completely asleep at the wheel Wenning roasts one of the sickest switch tre’s off the rugged-as-fuck Brooklyn Banks nine stair. Easily one of the gnarliest tricks to go down there.
Rune Glifberg, Sorry (2002)
Every list needs a wildcard but that doesn’t make Rune’s switch 360 flip at the end of his Sorry part any less gnarly. And yes, Danny Way did do some fucked up no grab switch tre’s in The DC Video, but Rune’s was first. At the time I didn’t care for vert skating at all, but watching Rune reel in that switch tre to regular changed my whole perspective. Next time you’re near fifteen feet of vert imagine even attempting that. Unreal.
Words: Rob Ridge
Say what up to Rob at Orchard Skateshop if you are ever in the area (@orchardshop)
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