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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Troubleshooting the Kickflip

Problem: The board does a “rocket flip
Solution: In a rocket flip, the board flips while tilted on the tail. To fix this problem all you have to do is pop a few Ollies beforehand and then do a Kickflip, feeling the dragging motion of the Ollie. This helps you concentrate on dragging your front foot UP and out.

Another reason why the board is flipping on the tail is that you are kicking with your entire leg. Remember, all you need is a nice, gentle ankle flick to get the board spinning.

Problem: The board doesn’t flip
Solution: First of all, make sure you have your Ollies down. Some people move on to the Kickflip before being able to land clean Ollies and wonder why they can’t get the board to flip.

As you drag your front foot up, flick your front foot out in front of the bolts, where the nose begins to form. Many try to kick their foot back in attempts to flip the board, but this does not cause the board to spin.

Problem: Board does a “nose dive”
Solution: If the board is tilting toward the nose, you are flicking down too much. Focus on flicking UP and SOUTH FRONT. When starting out, it is very easy to want to flick directly down to cause the board to spin. Again, the Kickflip should feel like an Ollie- you want to drag your front foot UP and let it leave the board around the bolts, giving it a little flick.

Problem: My board only flips half way.
Solution: This is a very common problem, caused by not flicking enough. The farther north you place your front foot, the slower the board will flip.

To adjust, all you have do is adjust your front foot more north or south, finding the spot which will cause the board to spin exactly once in the air.

Problem: Board turns backside
Solution: The most common reason for the board turning backside and going into a varial is not having shoulders parallel to the board. You want to keep your shoulders square with your board as you pop up.

Another possibility is having your foot too much off the board, and scooping the tail as you pop. Fix this by placing your back foot straight across your tail, with your toes in the middle of the tail.

Problem: The board lands towards in the back or in front of me
Solution: All of the landing problems are caused by being off balance when popping. If the board lands behind you, you are leaning too forward. Make sure your head is aligned with the rest of your body and your back is straight.

If the board lands in front of you, you are not staying over it while you flip. Imagine the Kickflip as an Ollie- have your weight of your front foot and stay over the board the whole way through. Do not shift your weight onto your back foot and lean back when you pop- this will cause you to kick out too much, causing the board to flip out in front of you.

If you are still having trouble, this tip will definitely help you out: simply jump forward a little– you will easily stay over your board.

Problem: Board lands to the north or south of me
Solution: A common problem with the Kickflip is landing with only toes the board. Simply fix this by keeping your weight centered and not leaning towards your heels when you pop. Lean a bit towards your toes if you have to, keeping the board directly under you at all times.

If the board lands south, you are out jumping the board. Although this problem is rare, it is easy to fix. Just focus on popping the board moving forward (toward your front foot) and not sideways (towards your toes and heels).

Problem: I land with one foot
Solution: If the board flips fine, but you are still landing one footed, it’s a matter of commitment. When starting out, many skaters have landed Kickflips into manuals, have the board shoot out, sliding off onto their butts, making them terrified of Kickflips for the rest of their lives.

As with any trick, you need to stay committed to landing the trick in order to get it down. If you are landing one footed because the board is not under you, then you need to check out another troubleshooting tip to see what exactly the problem is.

Problem: Board flips and lands before I do
Solution: Remember the Ollie? Well, the Kickflip should feel like one. I think that’s only mentioned about 200 times in this chapter. Remember to flick…

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