Learning how to do a kickflip on a skateboard for beginners is tough. There are many things you have to learn before you can flip your board, and flipping the skateboard is only part of the trick. If you hope to ever kickflip over, onto or off of obstacles, you need to catch the board in the air with your feet.
The good news is that anyone can learn to kickflip. After you get it down, you cans start working on some of the other skateboarding tricks for beginners. The key is to get the basics down, and then build up from there.
First thing’s first: You must be able to ollie before you can kickflip. Before that, you must be able to keep your balance, steer and stop on a skateboard without falling. As soon as you can do all those things, you can start learning to kickflip. You do not need to have any other tricks wired. If you don’t have the basics down yet, watch this Video and learn to ollie before moving on to kickflips.
It does not matter much whether you learn to kickflip while rolling or if you do it at a standstill. Just know that if you learn it without moving, you will still have to learn how to do it while rolling. So, it may be best just to skip ahead to kickflipping on the move.
It is much easier to kickflip if you set up for the trick before you pop. To set up, simply slide your front foot over to the side of the board at a 45-degree angle, right behind the front truck bolts. Allow your heel to hang off the board a little. You will need distribute your weight evenly between your feet. Otherwise, your board will lean and you will turn in the direction to which you slid your foot — left for a regular-footed skater.
Pop, then Slide
To start the kickflip, pop the tail down as if you were doing a regular ollie. Jump high, and start sliding your front foot up the board just like you would in an ollie. This next part is key: Instead of sliding your foot up toward the nose, throw it out sideways off the board. You will use the outside of your front shoe to flip the board. I like to picture my shoe as a paint brush and paint the edge of the board.
Kick out and slide up in one smooth motion. Kicking out gets your front foot out of the way and flips and levels the board. You will need to suck both your knees up toward your chest. The higher you jump and the more you raise your knees, the higher you will be able to kickflip. No one ever pulls this off on the first try. Just keep at it, and soon the board will be flipping. At first, it is okay to flip the board low to the ground and simply land on top of it, like the kid in this Video does.
Catching the Board
In the old days, it was acceptable to flip the board beneath your feet, let it land on the ground and land on top of it. Those days are over. The modern skater catches all flip tricks. The secret to catching a kickflip is to ollie first. Learn to flip the board by setting up first, then move on to catches.
To catch a kickflip, forget about setting up with your heel off the board. Or, more to the point, set up only a little bit. Simply slide your front foot back away from the front truck, then move it only slightly over toward the board’s edge.
Next, pop a big ollie. Once you begin sliding your foot up to level the board, throw your foot off the edge just as you did to flip the board beneath you. When you do this correctly, the board will nosedive as it flips, and it will flip as it continues to rise. Continue sucking up your knees, and the rising tail will stick onto your back foot.
Once you have this motion down, you will be able to kickflip into slides and grinds, as well as flipping over stairs, gaps, obstacles and anything else that gets in your way. Watch this Video to see how to catch a kickflip. Just remember: Ollie first, then kick.
The Roll Away
Everyone who can kickflip takes it for granted after a while. It soon becomes as easy as an ollie. It’s nice sometimes to look back and remember how cool they looked when you didn’t know how to do it. This is real skateboarding. Enjoy! And if you fall in love with these tricks, you can take a try on heelflip, and we have an instruction of how to heelflip for you to learn.
If this article played some small role in your progression, please share it so that the next new skater can learn to flip it and catch it. If you think I did a good job, or if you think I left something out, please say so in the comments section. Just remember: Some people get kickflips before they can ollie well, but for most of us it takes a lot of repetition. Just keep at it, and don’t give up.