Mike Michalchuk first started doing this sick trick back in the mid 90's. He was incredibly ahead of his time with a full bag of tricks including 900s, double flips, ally oop 900s and so on.
Their are 2 common versions. It is basically an side flip facing down into the transition blended into a backside air. Some riders start it out a little more back flip and some are more sideflip (like a wildcat). If done a bit more backflip off the backside wall to start, the second half of the trick is much like the side flip version. Like many other off axis tricks, there are a variety of ways to do a Michalchuk.
How-To do a Michalchuk
Find a good spot on the pipe wall, and work out the speed and pop required to do a smooth 5-6 foot air, and land high on the wall in good body postion. Start getting yourself excited to attempt the new trick. Visualize it. Over and over again. Know you can do it. Believe it. Visualize it more. Pick a good song, if you like music when
you ride. Now think about how it will feel to land the new trick. Take a moment and breath deeply. Charge up on the energy around you. Feel your body and connect to it.
Now, shake off the hesitation and get ready to commit to the trick.
- Approach - Carrying good speed, the rider will get low and slightly wind for the backside 90 of the trick. Just like the would for just a backside air. As the rider pumps up the wall, they will thrust their hips forwards as they set the back flip. Be very patient and smooth with the motion into the trick. It is crucial to be low, wait, and resist the G-forces through the whole transition in a smooth push that finishes at the top of the wall.
- Take-Off - As the rider releases the wind up, shoulders will rotate slightly backside as the rider rocks off of the tail into the back/side flip motion. Most grab melancholy with the Michalchuk, but it is also great with tail grab, indy, or other grabs. The riders vision will look right down at the landing transition the whole way around. Fully seeing the landing. Those who do a more barrel roll backflip to start will be blind of landing for a split second, then it will come around.
- Maneuver - The rider has released into the side/backflip. Now, core in or pull the knees in quickly and powerfully to get the grab and hang on through the flip. Tilting the head towards the tail while hanging onto the grab the rider flows through the trick.
- Spot it and Stomp it - Landing - Fully lock onto that landing with your eyes and head and stay agressive to finish the trick. Pull your feet underneath of your body and set down the landing gear. Drive your hands and shoulders into the landing transition to recover the uphill edge and a low stance to push out of transition into the flat bottom and carry speed to the next hit.