Ishod Wair Trick Detective
People like to think that skateboarding is just random. You throw your board at this thing and then things just happen. In actuality, everything happens for a reason. The smallest measurements mean something. That’s why some people can be so particular about their board, wheels, anything—all of that actually matters. There were a lot of times I when I was younger, I would go on YouTube and put shit in slo-mo. Watch it over, over and over again in slo-mo. If someone is trying to do a trick, I’ll give them tips then try to show them. I’ll film a video for them and show them what’s happening. With the tricks I’m actually trying, I’m not just flinging shit. I’m actually thinking about shit very logically. I’d like to think I’m a very logical person. Every trick has a solution. It’s up to you to unlock it. —Ishod Wair
“When flipping into rails, it really depends on how long the rail you’re skating is. If you’re skating something that’s a 12 stair or lower, you can lock into it, but won’t sack it or land back on the rail if you miss. Usually bigger than that it’ll be harder to take a grind long enough to not land back on the rail. If you’re trying a kickflip 50-50 on a rail that’s 13, 14, 15, up there—you’re most likely going to sack yourself or fall back on the rail. Skating down stuff has a lot to do with speed and how fast you’re going, also with how steep or mellow said obstacle is. I went to Bricktown and it was pissing me off. I’ve been able to do this trick for over 12 years. I just kept switch flipping too fucking high. I don’t know, go a speed where you get in good. I actually don’t like how I did that trick. I was pissed. That trick is how I hurt my back.”
Kickflip 50-50, but where will the axles grind? Photo: Flynn
Switch kickflip front board Photo: Atiba
“With a lot of tranny skating, most tricks were invented on vert and that’s the way you should do them. They looked good in the early ’80s and they look good now. It makes the most sense to me to learn it on vert. Once I figured it out, I started learning a lot more transition tricks and getting over my fear of bonking on the coping. You have to be going fast enough to get the right trajectory to go straight up and down. If you’re going too slow and try to just rip above the coping, you’re probably going to hang up. I was always scared of hanging up when I was younger because I was skating quarter pipes where that would happen. I would try to do a stalefish and a frontside air on a quarter pipe that if you don’t ollie right, it’ll send you onto the deck, making you hang up. If anything, going the sufficient speed on vert will always send you to the flat bottom. Look at Pedro Barros! He can blast his shit so far. Sometimes he lands a little bit low, but he doesn’t have to worry about it because he ain’t hanging up.”
￼Madonna Photo: Jones
“I actually don’t like square rails that much because they determine where your weight is. With a circle rail you can adjust your weight, but with a square rail you have to lock in on top—stay right on top of the rail. You have to stay flat. If you try to balance, especially with the way my trucks are, my shit will just flip off. That’s not good. It’s square, so wax the middle of the rail. Sometimes with the width of your board and the rail, if it’s dry in the middle and your board is perfectly flat on it, it’ll stop you. So I wax the middle of the rail, then I play around with it. It’s like a boardslide on anything. On this rail if you went fast enough you can just boardslide and gap the fuck out. I had to actually go slower to catch a little piece of that down rail. I try to stay clear of square rails, depending on what trick I’m doing. The way I think about skating and the way I am, it really just depends. It’s all relative.”
Ishod could clue you in, but good luck cracking the case on this one— switch big heel boardslide to fakie Sequence: Jones
It’s round, but this bluntslide definitely still requires a bit of balance Photo: Flynn
￼“Waiting ’til I’m actually comfortable enough to do a trick and know what I really want to try is best for me. If I’m having a good day, shit just be working. I don’t really have to try that hard. Bad days are a bad day. I don’t know if you want to see me having a bad day; I get pretty mad. I know my skate ability more than anyone else will ever know. No one ever really skates that much. I travel so much, that it’s like I’m not really always skating with the same people ever. People don’t know what the fuck is good. I’ll be freaking out and people will be looking at me crazy. Especially coming out to California. I’ve been able to do this trick for, like, 12 years. Just because you haven’t seen me do one on video, doesn’t mean shit. I’ve been doing this trick since I was a little kid; I’m fucking mad. I know I can do this trick, do you know what I mean? I can break it down in my head. I know what I need to do. When I get pissed, people be looking at me mad weird. You don’t know what’s good. At all. I’m literally the only one. I mean, that’s with everyone, though.”
What’s good? Not square rails. Ishod slide-dropped it anyway, though Photo: Atiba
Backside 5-0 front shuv looking pretty comfortable Sequence: Flynn
“It depends on how fearful you are, whatever you’re trying. Fear usually brings doubt and doubt makes you not be able to perform as well. It makes your brain just act up. Skateboarding is so mental! I feel like skateboarding is almost as mental as it is physical, sometimes more. Someone can kickflip perfectly fine. They’ll have the most perfect kickflips. As soon as they try to do it down something, they’re scared. Sounds like it’s pretty mental. If I’m going to jump onto a 20 stair switch, it’s not going to work as good as an eight stair switch. In actuality, you’re probably going to get on at the same point of the rail. It’s just the fear of how big it is that changes your mentality of the whole spot. The chances of me actually missing this if it was smaller are slim, I should just approach it like that. It’s all about balls, pretty much. To dumb it down, if you have the balls and the actual skill, you’re doing good shit.”
Switch crooks after dark no doubt Photo: Flynn
“If you don’t lock in on the right side of your truck, you’re shit is just going to go over and you’re gonna sack. I’d rather lock in like a noseslide rather then lock into a boardslide. I crooked the eight-stair then ran into the kink, feeling how much weight I had to put into it. Then I just leaned into it and ended up making it. You gotta be directly over top of it and push through it.”
Balls, skill and a solid crooks took Wair safely through the kink. Some things can’t be learned Photo: Brook
“Something that matters a lot is how far your tail is from the ground and how quick your pop is. For a lot of people, they ride different boards, different concave, risers, trucks; what’s really interesting is the timing in the pop is different for everyone. If I’m riding wheels for a month and I put back on some 52s, my shit is going to be all fucked up. The timing of my shit is all fucked up and I’m all pissed. Nothing is flipping right and I have to get used to the timing and everything. I think that’s a pretty big part of skating consistently: a consistent pop. The board I ride has two tails. I prefer a quicker snap than a snap that will get me higher. With switch and nollie, I’ve always had a problem popping off my nose and whiffing. I would always miss, more so when I was younger. On the other hand, if you have a steeper nose and your nose pops later, your front truck is higher off the ground by the time your nose makes contact. You could potentially pop higher but I’d rather be able to pop my nose every try rather than getting a little higher pop. Nollie or switch ollieing into a rail, I’m trying to hit my tail. I wanna know that I’m going to snap. I don’t want to miss. That was a little problem I had when I was young. I needed something a little bit more mellow—a tail.”
Are hardflips still hard for Ishod? Maybe when he sails them into steep-ass banks. Another problem solved for skateboarding’s top scientist Photo: Colen
Popping off the tail but backwards, half-cab flipping, not missing Photo: Flynn
“I will probably be critical and very logical for the rest of my life, as much as people like to think that I’m not because I’m really goofy and play around a lot. I think about a lot of things that people probably wouldn’t imagine. I also don’t need to let people know where I stand all the time. I don’t always have to share my opinions or my knowledge. I may come off as dumb to people because a lot of times I’ll be in a goofy mood. If they think that, they’re greatly misinformed. Breaking it down, skating takes a lot more concentration and involves way more variables than most other things. There are few things more complicated, unless you’re doing some sort of math equation. Just skating, you learn how the board works and all this random shit from being around it. Trial and error. Every time you ride your skateboard you’re figuring out more of the details. Actual numbers and physics, you gotta ask Rodney Mullen, though. I ain’t got you there.”
Mixing up calculated and goofy for a bigheel seems very logical Sequence: Flynn
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