The kickflip is the oldest and most fundamental of all flip tricks.
It was invented by freestyle-skaters in the 1970’s before the ollie existed. The original technique for the keeper involved hooking the side of your shoe over the edge of the board and flipping the deck over without popping.
This technique remained unchained until the early 80’s when Rodney Mullen combined the flatground ollie with the 70’s kickflip and invented the ‘ollie kickflip’ as we know it today. Having a good clean ollie will make this trick much easier to learn, so make sure you have mastered that first
Roll along at a comfortable speed with your feet in ollie position but with your front foot slightly angled at the heel side. Foot placement varies from person to person but angling your foot like this will make the flipping motion much easier.
Crouch and visualise as you would for the regular ollie.
Begin to lift yourself upwards and prepare to pop and flick with your foot almost immediately after your tail hits the floor. This must happen as one fluid motion.
Pop the tail and immediately scrape your front foot upwards as you would with the ollie.
The main difference here is that rather than staying on your board and heading towards the nose, your front foot will exit at the heel side of the board with the toes flicking the edge. You need to jump upwards; high enough to clear the board and allow it time to flip in the air.
As your toes flick off the board, you should be above your board to allow it the space to flip cleanly. It might help to visualise doing a ‘ninja flying kick’ motion here. Wait for the board to complete a full flip and you can see the griptape beneath your feet.
This is the point where you ‘catch’ the board with your feet to stop its rotation and control your descent. Catch the board with your back foot first to control it in the air.
Once you’ve caught the deck, replace your front foot and concentrate on having both feet over the truck bolts, as it’s really easy to break boards on flip tricks if you land too heavily on either end.
Land with all four wheels down at once, bend to absorb the impact and prepare to roll forwards.
Bend your knees into the ride away and keep your weight centred.
As you regain your composure, stand up again and enjoy the ride away.
Repeat until the whole process feels natural.
Taken from Sidewalk’s Skate Basics in partnership with Nike SB. Available for Free at your local skate shop.
For more step-by-step trick tips see these links: