- Before you attempt gymnast plants, practice handstands on a soft surface or against a wall
- Plant your back hand, push up with your back foot
Gymnast plants are a family of tricks that involve balancing in a brief one handed handstand as you manipulate the skateboard with your other hand. The most basic version of the gymnast plant is done from the tail stop position.
Before learning the gymnast plant, we suggest practicing regular hand stands. It’s important that you are comfortable balancing in a handstand and know how to properly fall out of a handstand before you attempt gymnast plants.
Begin in tail stop position, with your back foot in the center of the tail and your front foot somewhere behind the front truck bolts. Bend down and grab the side of your skateboard with your front hand. Try to grab the board near the center of the rail. Next, lean forward and plant your back hand on the ground. Notice that Danimal places his hand about one foot in front of the board. As you plant your hand, begin to swing your front foot up and over your body. Shift your weight forward, over your back hand and push off of your back foot into a brief hand plant. Once your feet leave the ground, lift the board up and out to the side using your front hand. Try to stall this pose out for as long as you can. As you drop out of the gymnast plant, lower the board back to its original position and attempt to plant your back foot on the tail. Push off of the ground with your back hand to shift your weight back over your feet and return to a tail stop position. Good work!
If you are struggling with the gymnast plant, spend some time practicing regular hand stands. In time, you will develop the strength, balance, and awareness that will make tricks like the gymnast plant much easier. If you are struggling with the transition from two-handed handstand to one-handed gymnast plant, practice swinging into a one-handed stand without your board. Next, practice the same motion but begin in a tail stop, without grabbing your board. Once you have mastered this grabless hand plant, give proper gymnast plants a try. You can do this! You just need to break it down a little.