The tailwhip is a bike trick typically performed on a BMX, in which the frame of the bike performs a complete rotation around the front end (bars and forks), which remains stationary throughout the move. The same trick may also be performed on a kick scooter.
To do the trick there are a few main methods: these both include whipping the bike around using your arms in a gyrating motion whilst holding the bars, but some riders also kick the bike with their back foot to give it extra momentum. It also helps if you approach a jump crooked, which will throw the bike from under, allowing you to start a tailwhip.
Footplant tailwhip: Combination of footplant and tailwhip on any obstacle. The rider rides up to any obstacle that is capable of having a footplant done on it. The rider then whips the frame as he would normally with a tailwhip, but instead of keeping his legs sucked into his body, he puts one foot down in a footplant. The rider then waits for the frame to come a little past 180 degrees before he hops out of a footplant and prepares for the frame to complete its rotation before putting his feet on the pedals and riding away slowly.
- Footjam tailwhip
- The rider puts their foot on the front tire and pedal, while leaning forward, enabling the frame to spin around. This is the original tailwhip variation as invented by Brian Blyther in the early 1980s.
- Tailwhip air
- The rider performs a tailwhip while 'airing', usually done on a quarter pipe.
- Superman tailwhip
- The rider does a tailwhip as he normally would, but the rider then extends his legs straight out (like he would do when doing a superman) when the frame is about 180 degrees around the rotation. The rider then sucks his legs back in and waits for the frame to come back around, then finds his/her pedals and lands. This is an advanced variation, only to be attempted when the basic form of a tailwhip is thoroughly mastered.
- Double/Triple/Quadruple Tailwhip
- The rider instead of only allowing the tail of the bike to rotate around once they use more force to spin it twice/three/four times. The triple tailwhip is a rare feat, attempted by very few starting with Joe Johnson and including, James Foster, Dave Mirra, Cameron White, Dennis Enarson, Nicholi Rogatkin , Mike Spinner , Daniel Dhers and Scotty Cranmer. And the quadruple is incredibly rare. Currently only done by Mike Spinner, Andy Buckworth, and Nicholi Rogatkin
- 360 Tailwhip
- The rider spins in a 360 degree circle while the tail of the bike rotates in a tailwhip. The origination of this maneuver is widely disputed (bmx plus ran photos of the trick being pulled in 1992. Americans recognize Brian Vowell as the first to pull the trick to the pedals over a set of doubles. Mike Spinner was the first to pull the 360 Triple Tailwhip at Dave Mirra's personal warehouse ramps in 2006, and the first with a quad in competition in Cleveland in 2008.
- Backflip tailwhip
- The rider first performs a back flip and in the middle of it throws a tailwhip (still upside down) and catches the tailwhip while pulling out of the back flip. First attempted by Mat Hoffman in 1993 and landed in 2001 by Adam Strieby, this maneuver is common among today's pro class.
- Downside Tailwhip
- The rider basically spins one direction while doing a tailwhip in the opposite direction of the spin. The rider can either do a regular spin with a switch/opposite tailwhip, or a switch/opposite spin with a regular tailwhip. This trick is commonly done on hips as it is easy for the transition into the position.
- This is similar to a footjam tailwhip. However, the rider goes into a hang five position and gradually pulls his non-dominant leg up and over the frame, allowing the bike to rotate all around in the opposite spinning direction.
- Flat tailwhip
- A bunnyhop tailwhip performed on flat land, without the aid of a ramp. Invented by Bill Nitchske - The name derives from the Burger King Hamburger of the same name. The trick was first pulled on the parking lot of Nitchske's local Burger King joint.
- Windshield Wiper/360 Windshield Wiper
- The rider spins a tailwhip and, while still in the air, spins another tailwhip back the other way. Matt Sparks was the first rider to do it on a bmx bike in 2006, calling it a Windshield Wiper. A 360 windshield wiper is when the rider spins a 360 degree rotation while doing a windshield wiper at the same time. James foster did it in 2008 at the Jomopro contest in Joplin, MO. Foster also landed it in the fifth Cameron White Annual Dirt Jam
- The rider spins the frame with one hand while holding the handlebar with the other, instead of whipping the frame around with both hands on the bar.
- One-Handed Tailwhip
- The rider does a normal tailwhip in the air, and, as the frame is 1/2 way through the rotation, the rider lets go one of his hands and catches the bar while hopping back on the pedals before he lands.