Alright, so you have mastered the basics of skateboarding. Good stuff! Seems like the perfect time to start broadening your trick repertoire. Kickflips are one of the most common skateboard tricks and usually one of the first ones people learn. Here’s a few pointers to learn the perfect kickflip.

”Kickflips are one of the most common skateboard tricks and usually one of the first ones people learn”.

Find the perfect foot placement

Just like with ollies, you need to stay on your toes. When learning how to kickflip, you need to place your front foot close to the bolts of your front truck. Your toes should be slightly pointing towards the nose. Sometimes it might be easier to inch your front foot closer to the edge of the board. Having your toes closer to the kickflip side can make the flick easier. However, we suggest you place your foot more centered on the board for better balance. It will also be easier to set up your feet when jumping down stairs or hitting a kicker. 

Just as with ollies, your back foot should be in the ”pocket” of your tail. As said before, stay on your toes for better agility and faster pop. There’s nothing really weird going on with your back foot when you learn how to kickflip. As long as you have your ollies down, you should be able to move to kickflips pretty quickly. 

As you squat, try to keep your balance centered. Also, don’t hunch forward but rather try to keep your shoulders leveled with the board. This will help you stay on top of the board. 

Learn to pop and flick your kickflips

The ”flick” is the most important factor when learning how to kickflip. In skateboard terms it means that as you kick with either one of your foot, you’ll also ”flick” the board to rotate it. There are tons of variations of this. The are called flip-tricks.

For kickflips, the most important thing is to kick forwards and upwards with the toes of your front foot. If you just kick downwards to flip the board, you won’t have a lot of pop, or height, to your kickflip. While you might be able to land your first kickflip this way, we still suggest you practice to get more height. Remember, the higher your flips are, the more time they have to rotate. That is why you should aim your flicks to the pocket of the kickflip side of your nose. This will both create the flip as well as straighten the board in the air. 

Note, if your board starts turning into varial flips (board does a flip and a pop shove it), it usually means that you are ”scooping” with your back foot. Scooping means kicking away with your back foot, which is commonly used in tricks like the 360 flip. To alleviate this, don’t let your toes hang over the tail. So, move your back foot back to the pocket and stay on your toes. 

The higher your flips are, the more time they have to rotate.

Catch and land your flips

Once you’ve got the gist of flipping the board, it is time to land your first kickflip! If you have done the first steps properly, your board should stay right under your feet. Once you see that your deck has completed its full rotation, try putting your feet on the bolts. You have to keep your eyes on the board while your board is still flipping. Sometimes it might even be easier to catch with your back foot first. However, it is all up to you and how you learn to do them. Landing on your bolts will also make your skateboard last longer. Plus it’ll look really clean when you land on ’em. 

But more importantly, remember to bend your knees to absorb the shock. Your knees and your back will thank you for it. 

Step-by-step for beginners

  • Learn how to ollie
  • Flick the board upwards and forwards
  • Just try to create the flip. Don’t even try to land
  • When you get the flip down, try to land with just one foot on the board
  • If your board spins sideways, check the positioning of your back foot
  • The higher the pop, the more time you’ll have to land
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Flick catch & land on bolts
  • Celebrate!

Practice makes perfect when learning how to kickflip

As with anything in skateboarding, practice makes perfect. There is no shortcut to success when learning how to kickflip. The most important thing is that you don’t feel discouraged because we guarantee that you will learn it eventually. Often times skateboarding is a mental battle with yourself anyway. So get out there and prove yourself that you can do it!

Do you have any other tips in learning how to kickflip?

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