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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Studies In Longboard Dancing: The Sixteen Cross Steps

There are eight variations of the basic Cross Step and Backward** Cross Step depending on stance: 
  • Cross Step
  • Switch Cross Step
  • Fakie Cross Step
  • Fakie-Switch Cross Step
  • Backward Cross Step   **Henceforth "Reverse Cross Step"** 
  • Switch Reverse Cross Step
  •  Fakie Reverse Cross Step 
  •  Fakie-Switch Reverse Cross Step 
      **: "Backward-" is sometimes confused between riding backwards (fakie stance) and doing a trick with sequence of steps reversed, so I'll use "Reverse-" for the latter instead throughout my entire blog.

The eight variations can be carved Heelside or Toeside, meaning that there's actually sixteen basic Cross Steps: Heelside Cross Step and Toeside Cross Step moves.


Heelside Cross Step moves

Figure 01: Heelside Cross Step variations

The most common basic Cross Step among riders is a "Heelside Cross Step" done in Normal stance. And the second most common is a "Heelside Reverse Cross Step" in Normal stance. 

With Heelside Cross Step moves, after carving Heelside, there's an interval of carving Toeside just before the next move (Figure 01). Instead of doing a move that also carves Heelside, the rider can do a Toeside move within that Cross Step move's Toeside interval, for the sake of better flow. For example, "Heelside Cross Step > Toeside Cross Step" or "Heelside Cross Step > Toeside 180 Step". Cross Step moves in general can be more 'seamlessly' blended with each other and with moves in other categories - most notably 180 Step moves - by eliminating one foot-step between moves. 


Toeside Cross Step moves

Figure 02: Toeside Cross Step variations

There's no significant reason why riders should learn Heelside Cross Step moves first, other than that they're two of them are touted as the very basic Cross Step moves and thus more popular than the other 14 Cross Steps. The Toeside Cross Step is arguably easier to learn as the rider's first Cross Step because the crossing of the feet happens while the board carves Toeside  

Toeside Cross Steps mirror Heelside Cross Steps in the way they carve, and are hence compatible with Heelside 180 Steps in terms of blending.


Extensions

All 16 Cross Steps can be adapted into advanced moves such as "Cross Step Sexchange To Cross Step", "Cross Step Over" and "Cross Step Walkdown".

It's also worth noting that Cross Steps are only half of a genus of moves - the other half being Cross Switch Steps, which also have sixteen basic variations. They are the other side of the coin, as it were - so that it would be perfectly agreeable to be a rider who only does Cross Switch Steps and no Cross Steps at all.. 

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