The Secrets of Skateboarding

  • 145 Page in depth guide of tricks
  • Features how-to, troubleshooting, and other skate secrets
  • Written by underground skater Tony Waters
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How to Kickflip

The Kickflip

Troubleshooting the Kickflip

The Kickflip

One of the most difficult tricks to learn as a beginner, the Killer Kickflip is also one of the most rewarding. Once learned, the Kickflip can be performed along with spin tricks to create an almost endless possibility of tricks.

The Kickflip is the trick that separates beginner and intermediate skaters. After you learn the Kickflip you’ll find that other, more advanced flip tricks that are variations of the Kickflip (such as the Varial Flip and Backside Flip) become much easier to learn.

A Kickflip should be done like the Ollie. You pop up the tail and slide your front foot up the board, flicking out your ankle at the concave, causing the board to flip. You’ll want to stay over the board as it flips and land with your feet on the bolts.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Kickflip:

Requirements for Learning Kickflips
Before learning Kickflips, you’ll need to be able to Ollie while rolling. A measly 6 Ollie won’t cut it. You need to be able to Ollie at least 2 decks (about a foot) consistently before attempting Kickflips.

Kickflip Foot Placement
Place your back foot straight across your tail, with your toes in the middle of the tail. Some would say to place the ball of your back foot on the tail, but this decreases your stability and results in the board rotating backside.

Place your front foot about an inch or two behind the front set of bolts. You want about half of your front foot on the board, with your toes slightly facing the nose.

You want to have the majority of your weight on your front foot, so you stay over your board throughout the trick. Bend your knees to prepare for the pop, keeping your back straight.


  • Pop the board hard with your back foot.
  • Give a strong, solid pop on the tail, but make sure you’re not scooping the tail at all. Just slam straight down.
  • The Kickflip should start out feeling like an Ollie.


  • As your front foot drags up, flick it out and down toward the corner of the board, where the board starts to bend upward.
  • You simply want a nice little flick with your ankle, just enough to spin the board.
  • As soon as you flick, suck up your legs to give the board some room to spin and prepare for the landing.
  • A common problem with the Kickflip is flicking with the entire leg rather than just the foot. This results in kicking the board in front of you or a “rocket flip”, which we’ll discuss later on in the troubleshooting section.

The landing of this trick is all instinct. When you start, the board will probably flip low and you will land as the board hits the ground. However, as you get comfortable with the flip, you will start to catch the board while it’s still in the air. As you land, aim to place your feet on the bolts and give a slight knee bend was you land.

Learning the Kickflip
The Kickflip is perhaps the most frustrating trick to learn, so have patience when learning it! When first learning this trick, your goal is to get the board flipping. After that, focus on staying over the board while it’s flipping.

This is key to learning the Kickflip and what most beginners tend to ignore. Most people focus on the flip, but if you focus on staying over the board, the flip will come naturally and the Kickflip will come much faster.

When you land your first Kickflip, chances are it’s going to look nowhere near as clean as Andrew Reynold’s. It’ll probably pop up only a…

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