Remember that clip in Brian Anderson’s Epicly Later’d where he shows his process for watching skate videos in a mirror? Well, we were talking about that recently, and it inevitably led to the topic of mirror lines — lines in which someone does one set of tricks, then immediately switches stances and repeats them.
Great mirror lines are special because they can only be executed by people who have both a deep bag of tricks and impeccable switch game. We’re all for switch that looks switch, but to make your mirror line pop, it really has to look like someone just hit the invert button on a clip and flipped you around.
So to indulge ourselves, we dug up 10 of the best instances we can recall of perfectly executed mirror lines. Obviously, there are more where these came from, including lines that feel mirror-ish but don’t quite fit our definition, but we had to set the cutoff somewhere.
Be sure to tell us who we snubbed, then try watching these mirror lines in a mirror, upside down, with the colors inverted, in reverse, for full effect.
Arto Saari – Flip, Sorry
The opening minute of Arto’s Sorry part is the ambidextrous epitome of mirror lines, and it is the standard on which all others will be judged. Was that goofy or regular? Is Arto stanceless? Does that song sound like the theme to “Shaft”? If you didn’t know better, you might think these lines were just French Fred’s early special effects experiments, or at least some Finnish wizardry.
Lucas Puig – Adidas, Away Days
Are Lucas Puig’s mirror lines at Republique disrespectfully difficult to the average skateboarder? Yes. Would we expect anything less from a Frenchman who skates in short-shorts and gets so emotional while filming that he once focused an entire outfit? No.
Dylan Rieder – Supreme, “cherry”
A lot of people kick their backside heelflips straight into the ground and pray that they land them, so seeing Dylan flick and catch his over two picnic benches in a row makes this line that much more impressive. The nollie back heel on flat afterward was probably thrown in to make sure this line wouldn’t end up on some silly recap list later on. Whoops…
David Clark – Threads Idea Vacuum, Supervisual
The comments section will likely say these don’t count as true mirror lines, since the second one isn’t done completely in the opposite stance as the first. But the clips warrant enough rewinding and are close enough that we had to include them.
Consider David’s unorthodox wallie shoves and body varials to be the wild cards of this list. Love ’em for their playful simplicity or hate ’em for making you realize that a body varial is just a pop shove-it done with your body instead of your board. Damn…deep.
Ronnie Creager – eŚ, Menikmati
OK, now we’re really breaking the rules. This one is more of an hourglass / inverted funnel situation than a true mirror line, but it’s so perfectly balanced and fulfilling to watch that it couldn’t be left out. Really, it’s like a math equation: balanced on both sides, disturbingly precise, and something I definitely used to lie about doing myself.
Danny Way – Plan B, Virtual Reality
Can you even call a series of tricks done on a vert ramp a line? If it’s done in a video part, sure. If it’s done in the X Games, that’s called a run, and it has no place here. So this Danny Way line, which feels like something I’d try in THPS 1, makes the cut. Almost makes me wish VCR manufacturers hadn’t invented the Vert Button to fast forward through all halfpipe skating. Oh well.
Bobby Worrest – Nike SB, CORE CPH
The backside nosebluntslide is often thought of as a stereotypically difficult trick, so when Bobby Worrest made a mirror line out of them, he was really showing off. The fact that this all took place on foreign soil makes Bobby a true American hero.
P-Rod – Plan B, Me, Myself, & I
P-Rod was going right for Arto’s throne as the mirror line king with these back-to-back nosegrind lines. Starting the clips with a diss from Kanye West certainly intensifies this suggestion, but ultimately, Arto’s has too much nostalgia to lose out to anything from a post-’90s Plan B video.
And yet, we have to admire P-Rod’s attention to detail. Each clip contains the same number of pushes in between tables and identical pant tugs and wiggly toe setups. He was really on Target® when he went to Dew® these mirror lines.
Rob Welsh – Aesthetics, Ryde or Die Vol. 1
Rob Welsh’s opening line in the Aesthetics video hits you so fast you almost miss it. It takes a rewatch or two to realize what a great clip it is: two tricks Wu-Welsh is known for, done flawlessly with barely any setup time, at a classic spot. As the video title said, you either ryde or you die, and it’s clear Rob was ryding high here.
Ali Boulala – Flip, Really Sorry
Ali Boulala might seem like an unlikely candidate for this list, since he’s not exactly a “techy” skater, but his switch skills were advanced enough to supply a couple of mirror lines. The spot this was filmed at is tailor-made for some back-to-back shit, so Ali probably spent more time coordinating his outfit than figuring out how to coordinate the line.
Bonus hot dog clip at the end to cleanse our brains of some of this skate nerdery.
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