The back somersault is similar to a backroll except that it is thrown straight back instead of to the side. Begin by launching off of the wake the same way as the backroll. Once you are in the air, throw your head back hard and let go of the handle with your outside hand. If you don’t let go, you’ll get twisted into a regular backroll. Keep the handle at your hip because this is your axis of rotation. It’s very important that you don’t let your arm out. As you come around, pull your knees to your chest. Make sure you land with the tip of the board higher than the tail or else you’ll have a painful experience.
The animation shows an alternative method of completing a back somersault. If you’re having trouble getting around or you’re having trouble keeping the handle at your hip, let go of the handle with your inside hand. Now, if you keep the handle low, it will stay at your hip. (Envision rotating around your arm.) You may also find it useful to grab the front of the board with your free hand and pull it towards your chest. By doing so, you’ll have less dependence upon your stomach muscles to keep the board from lagging behind. If you open up, your rotation will stop.