Handplants with Markus Keller

Handplants are fun, stylish if done well and will get you chicks. Or guys. Former Swedish team coach Andreas Aavik talks you through three different variations as performed by Swiss stylemaster Markus Keller – also known as our favourite rider at the Olympics, bar when Shaun White tweaked that frontside 5.

Text: Andreas Aavik
Photos: Peter Lundström

Andrecht

Up the wall
Go up your backside wall as straight as possible. Carve up on your heel edge so that your line is straight up the wall. When your line is straight, move over to a flat base. Spot the point where you want to put your hand down. Start pushing your board up and in front of you, and move your weight to the rear leg. Your shoulders have to be square to your board. Drop your rear arm behind the tail of the board. Put all the pressure on the tail.

On the lip
As soon as the tail leaves the lip, put down your hand on the tracks your board left, right behind the tail. Take your eyes from the lip and spot the landing. This will keep your head down. Your legs and board should be thrown up and over your head so hard that it feels you are over rotating. Then you hold it back with your right arm. By now, the left arm should be close to your heel edge. Grab it.

Landing
Before you feel that you are going to fall down, pull your legs in fast under you. Take your hand off the lip and throw it behind you. Put down the board on your toe edge and look up towards the next hit as soon as you can.

El Guerial
…is one of those natural tricks that just seem to be made for human bodies.

Up the wall
Go up your backside wall fakie (backwards). Your pressure is on your toe edge until you have about 40-70cm left up to the coping. At that point, change your weight over to a flat base. Look at where you want to put your right hand (left if you’re goofy) down. Start pushing your board up and let your ass have the centre of your weight as you start reaching for the coping with your right hand (left if you’re goofy).

On the wall
At the time your hand touches the coping, search for your toe edge, between your binding, with your other hand. It’s important to get the grab early so that your legs and board don’t fly up and away. You have to stay compact not to end up on the coping. As with most handplants, the feeling should be like you have too much weight over into the pipe. Hold the grab as long as you can and always look in to the pipe (at this time in the trick, at your landing spot). As I said, these moves will come really naturally. It’s just a matter of where the centre of your weight is.

Landing
When you feel that your weight is falling in and down into the bottom of the pipe, bend your knees and get them under you. Holding your grab longer will help bending your knees. Let go of the coping and then your grab. Try to land on your toe edge to be ready for the next wall.

Frontside invert

Up the wall
Ride up your frontside wall on your toe edge. Try to have your line as straight up the wall you can. Stare at the spot where you want to plant your hand. Push your board up and above you. Make your ass a little bit heavy. Reach for your toe edge between your bindings with your back hand.

On the wall
Plant your front hand on the wall. This should be just to the left and behind your take-off spot. The arm has to be locked straight. You are not strong enough to hold up your body weight with a bent arm. By this time your grab should already be glued to your board. The sooner the better. The invert should be thrown so hard (almost like a backflip at the moment of take off) that by grabbing your board you prevent over rotating the invert. The board is supposed to be over your head, as you can see Markus doing here. What a textbook example! This is very hard to do so don’t expect too much the first few tries. Take it step by step. Also, look at Markus’s legs: they are totally straightened like they’re supposed to be. But maybe try it first with bent legs as you might find it a little bit easier. As with most hand plants you should feel like you’re over inverting.

Landing
When you feel like you are over inverting pull your legs in quickly under you, still holding your grab. Try to put down your board exactly where your planted arm was. This will really work! Just remember to move your hand…

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