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SofaKingSickwhen i first started doing them it helped me to remind myself to lift my feet up at the knees (and this is a key in tons of tricks period!)
also, you said youre a noob, which makes me think youre probably not getting a lot of air/hang time. the bigger you go (within comfort, of course) the easier it is to do a shifty without worrying about having enough time to get your landing gear back straight. so what im saying is, just keep practicing, youll get comfortable going bigger and being in control as you do so