An aerial skateboarding trick that involves a kick to the deck which causes it to flip. Probably the most simple aerial trick after the ollie, but for the newbie it is still by no means necessarily easy. To understand the kickflip I recommend you read up on the ollie and basic skateboard terminology, if you'll excuse blatent but necessary node-vertising.

In its most vague and general sense, the kickflip involves an ollie, except that the feet seperate from the board instead of sticking. The leading foot is used to 360-flip the board along the lengthwise axis, such that the edge behind you moves down initially (anti-clockwise for natural, clockwise for goofy).

True to general skateboarding form, the technique for flipping the board varies widely between two the main extremes:

  • Using the toe to push directly down on the back edge of the deck while in the air. This causes a fast flip.
  • Sliding the front foot on the deck, forwards and slightly to the back of the skater, but not pushing down. As well as causing the same drag effect as in teh ollie, when the foot hits the curved nose off-center, it causes an angiular spin to be applied.

    Generally the second method is the most popular, and significantly harder, as it gains extra height - which is often the goal in aerial tricks. Usually however, a hybrid combination of both are used as it's fairly difficult to induce sufficient spin simply by dragging.

    After the flip, the feet then 'catch' the board as it spins simply by allowing the top of the deck to hit the soles of the feet. Ideally the feet hit above the trucks with maximum contact between soles and deck. For kickflips that go for air, the deck is often 'caught' fairly high, but otherwise catch height varies.

    A more difficult offshoot of the kickflip is the double kickflip - not easy at all. You need lots more air, and lots more kick, to get lots of flip - 720 degrees worth. Often it's done off stairs to get that extra height needed.

    Oh and ads skates. badly.

    Acknowledgements to my mate GaZ for teaching me all of this. I doubt he learned it all himself but this info isn't exactly the stuff that makes intellectual property.

  • I notice that no-one who has written up about the kickflip actually knows how to do it, maybe because none of you skate, but here's how its done anyway:

    Firstly, you should already have a confident ollie from most feet positions, next you need to experiment with your personal preference as to where and what angle you place your feet at, this takes some time and you should practice as much as possible, even when you think you've got kickflips perfect, you don't. No one can do a kickflip every time and anyone who says they can is lying, even pro's need a few tries sometimes. Anyway the following is my technique which you might find useful.

    Place the front foot with the leading toe just covering the nearest bolt at about 45 degrees to it. Pop down the tail and jump at the same time (basically ollieing with your foot in the wrong position) and when in the air push your front foot up the board and off the nose, not off the side as many people think it is done. Keep your eyes on the board and when it has flipped, put your back foot on to catch it closely followed with the front foot to level out the board. There's how to kickflip, I hope it helps someone.

    The kickflip is currently seen as the holy grail of basic skateboarding tricks. All groms (beginners) seem to aspire to this particular form of foot based flippery.

    There are several things that a skateboarder who wishes to learn how to kickflip should be able to do before they even think about an attempt at this trick.

    1. Learn how to roll around and feel very comfortable and at ease on your skateboard.
    2. Learn how to ollie at least a foot high if not more. The ollies should be solid and relativly easy. They should also not 'rocket' (when the back of the board does not level out with the nose in the air). If the ollies are not good the kickflip will be much worse and harder to land.
    3. Be prepared to look stupid. Kickflips are hard and you will not get them styled or consistent for months.

    Ok, hopefully that's got rid of all the non-dedicated types. Now onto the good stuff. It is impossible to give a step by step instruction for how to kickflip perfectly straight away. It takes a lot of practice and is a very individual action, but here are some hints at how to get going and common problems.

    • First stand on your board with your feet in the ollie position. Your front foot should be just behind the front bolts to give you more control and make sure the kickflip doesn't go too high this time. I find that angling my back foot slightly outwards on the middle tip of the tail improves my flip, but it may be a personal thing.
    • Now angle your front foot outwards at roughly a 45 degree angle to begin with. This is not strict, feel free to move it around until it feels comfortable and you will be more likely to flip it. The perfect angle will be discovered in time as you practice.
    • Crouch down as for an ollie and pop the tail whilst jumping up. As soon as the board is in the air get the back foot out of the way by pulling is up underneath you. At the same time as popping the tail begin dragging the front foot towards the nose (front) of the board and towards the crease where the nose and concave meet.
    • Remember to consiously let your front foot bend more than the back one. Think front foot bendy, back foot solid. As the foot is about to hit the crease flick your toes forewards so the drag very quickly on the griptape. The should also flick off the end.
    • The timing of the front foots flick is the essence of a good kickflip. Too late and the board will not flip or travel with you, too early and it will fly out in front.
    • Make sure you are centered over the board. Don't jump backwards to help the board flip as this will put your front foot below the board, making the trick virtually impossible. If this is your problem, try jumping straight forewards, in line with your shoulders, slightly. It is better to land on the board upside down than not at all.
    • Pull your front foot back so it is over the board again and wait for it to finish flipping. A good kickflip should flip up into your feet and it will be caught at the highest point of the trick.
    • When the board is done flipping put your back foot on the griptape to stop it flipping too far. The back foot is used because it hasn't got to move much. Next put your front foot back on and get ready to land.
    • Land on all four wheels and crouch down to absorb the shock of landing, if the board slips out, try moving your weight further forewards during the flip. Don't be afraid, it doesn't hurt that much and what doesn't kill you, can only make you stronger.

    That's everything, happy flipping!

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