Trick Tips: Icarus


Here is a simple tutorial for the Icarus, as requested!! Sorry for the delay in getting it on the blog. And if you’re just joining us, check out the full list of trick tutorials here— there’s about 50, and they’re free, and they’re pretty awesome.

I love this trick. I think it’s beautiful. But a couple caveats: This trick is WAY easier on spin pole, spinning forwards. Also, I have a long torso and I think that helps a lot in getting placement secure. If you have a short torso or very different build, you will have to play with the positioning of your hips, legs, knee, and neck in relation to the pole. You may need to rely more on a different point of contact than I am describing here.

Okay, all that out of the way? Good. Here’s a video (click here for the link to YouTube). It shows the trick at normal speed, and then slows it down:

Now that you’ve seen it, let’s go step by step:

Start from a climb. Outside hand should be high, inside should be in forearm hold to give you some distance away from the pole. Take your legs off the pole…


Hook your inside knee with your hips high and close to the pole. If you let your hips drop low, then you will have trouble crossing the pole with your body to get the pole behind your neck (unless you have the longest torso in the world). Use your muscles to actively squeeze the knee closed and also press your thigh inward while turning out at the hip and externally rotating the leg. Use your back leg to press the pole into the knee hook and make it super secure. This is important!! The knee hook is all that keeps you from falling DOWN the pole in the trick. All other points of contact keep you from falling OUT.


Switch your outside hand to cupped just above your head. If you grip too high, you won’t be able to thread your body through.


Use that cupped hand to PULL your upper body past the pole. This will shift your body weight to stack better over the knee hook and make you less prone to fall away. Keep pulling the pole past yourself until the pole is basically in the back of your inside armpit. Let your head follow and pass the pole as well.


Use the back of your upper arm to press into the pole. THIS is what keeps you from falling away.


For extra reinforcement of the knee hook, and to increase the security of the inside arm hold, you can grasp your ankle with the inside hand.


At this point, lift your outside leg out and away from the pole. As you lift, you should feel your weight shift further– it will change the direction of the weight of your torso. If you are feeling secure, take the top cupped hand off.


That’s it! If you nail this version you can work to rely less on the back of the arm squeeze and use the notch you create with your head/neck to keep you from falling away instead. To come out, reverse the movements you just made: regrip with the cupped hand, set your back leg behind the pole, ease your head out, and regrip with the inside arm.

Good luck! Hope this helps. If you have a trick tip to share, please post in the comments! And if you’d like to request a particular tutorial, leave that in the comments too :)