What is “Tick-Tack?”
The Tick-Tack is a momentum gaining maneuver achieved by swinging the front end of your board from right to left and left to right back and forth like a pendulum. Repeating this motion generates forward momentum and speed.
You may think something to the effect of, “Why would I practice this? It looks idiotic and I can just gain momentum and speed by pushing.”
While it’s true you won’t be using this ‘trick’ in more technically advanced maneuvers later on, it’s still a very effective way to familiarize yourself with being on your skateboard. Tick-Tacking will help you learn to turn on your board, to manual, to ollie, and so on. For these reasons, plus that it’s fun to just mess around and tick-tack, we strongly recommend you spend some time practicing this maneuver!
How Tick-Tack Works?
The Tick-Tack works through a continual transfer of weight and force.
As you apply movement to the board with one swing of the nose, the kinetic potential you maintain over your skateboard increases. With a pre-established momentum, you can swing your body stronger during your second swing, and more on the third, and so on.
The resulting tension of these back and forth movements done at a high enough speed will cause you to move forward as opposed to side to side. By repeating this motion in a well timed and proper way, you can go forward and generate a good amount of speed without pushing your board.
How to Tick-Tack?
Stance for Tick-tack
To tick-tack, place your back foot on the edge of the tail, with the big-toe near the center of the tail’s edge. Your front foot should be roughly on top of the nose-side hardwares.
Make sure the weight of your body is centered over the skateboard. Balance is very important for all skateboarding tricks, so stay loose and agile.
From your ready position, swing your body roughly 45 degrees in the direction you want to turn your board. As you do so, press gently down on the tail and allow your front wheels to pull up off the ground. Practice preparing your body to anticipate the balance it will require as you begin enacting these opposite swings in direction.
Getting Ready to Next Swing
Having cut roughly 45 degrees in whichever direction you chose, let your front wheels return to the ground. Just before you let the front wheels back to the ground your mind and body should begin anticipating its next swing in the opposite direction.
Swinging to Opposite Side
Swing your body to the opposite side as soon as you are ready. Push gently down on your tail and pull up on your nose with about the same timing as on your first swing. If you time it in order, you should notice an increase in speed.
Repeat these motions back and forth while finding the timing and rhythm that suits you. However well you time your Tick-Tack, on flat ground the amount of speed you can generate by Tick-Tacking is nevertheless limited, so don’t worry!
How to Ptactice Tick-Tack?
Choose some smooth flat ground away from traffic and go ahead and get at it. Take your time and enjoy the process. Once you get used to tick-tacking, why not have some tick-tack races with your friends? It’s actually fun, and to enjoy the time you spend skateboarding is one of the best shortcuts for leveling up your skill-set. So enjoy!