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How to Kickflip: A Comprehensive Guide to Landing the Ultimate Skateboard Trick

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Master the kickflip and take your skateboarding skills to new heights!

Master the kickflip and take your skateboarding skills to new heights!

How to Kickflip Step-by-Step

A kickflip is a skateboarding trick where the skateboarder flips the board using their back foot while simultaneously jumping off the board. The board rotates around its long axis, and the skater lands back on the board with their feet in the same position as they were before the trick.

Here's how to perform a kickflip:

  • Position your back foot on the tail of the board and your front foot near the front trucks.
  • Then bend your knees and push off the ground to get some air.
  • As you jump, use your back foot to flip the board by pressing down on the tail and kicking it away from your body.

It's important to practice this trick slowly at first and get a feel for the motion before trying to do it at full speed. It can also be helpful to start by practicing the flip holding onto something before attempting it on flat ground.

Go through the 5 Steps for Landing a Kickflip so you understand the entire process and are able to perform kickflips with confidence.

1. Stance

For the setup of a kickflip, place you back foot in the middle of the board, right at the center of the tail, like you would for an Ollie.

Place your front foot just under the front truck bolts - slightly pointed, with the heel of your front foot hanging off. It will be your toes that will flip the board.

2. Pop

With your back foot, press down on the tail to snap your Ollie.

But instead of dragging foot up the board, use your toes to flip out towards the corner of your board.

Jump up as you pop your board, to give it room to spin the full rotation.

3. Flick

At the peak of your Ollie, flick out towards the top corner of your board. This will cause the board to flip.

Use your toes and kick out so the board flips. Work on your timing and flipping the board so that it levels out in the air. This will make catching it a lot easier!

4. Catch

Once your skateboard has spun a full rotation, use your back foot catch it and stop the rotation. This means closely watching your skateboard.

Once you catch the skateboard with your back foot, you'll want to put your front foot on the skateboard too.

5. Land and Roll Away!

The timing of a kickflip can be tricky, but with enough practice you can master the Kickflip like all those who tried before you.

Believe in yourself and see yourself landing kickflips.

Kickflip Trick Tip Video

Importance of the Kickflip

Learning a kickflip can be an important step in improving your skateboarding skills for a few reasons:

  1. Develops better balance and coordination: Performing a kickflip requires a combination of balance, coordination, and body control. By learning to perform the trick, you can improve these skills and become a more confident and capable skateboarder.
  2. Expands your trick repertoire: Once you've mastered the kickflip, you'll have a new trick that you can add to your repertoire. This can help you mix things up and keep your skateboarding interesting and challenging.
  3. Helps you progress to more advanced tricks: Many skateboarders find that learning a kickflip helps them progress to more advanced tricks. For example, once you've mastered the kickflip, you may be able to move on to more challenging flip tricks like the heelflip or the varial flip.
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Overall, learning a kickflip can be an important step in improving your skateboarding skills and taking your riding to the next level.

Kickflip History

The kickflip was invented by Rodney Mullen, a professional skateboarder and inventor who is credited with developing many of the skateboarding tricks that are commonly performed today. Mullen first performed the trick in the late 1970s, and it quickly became popular among other skateboarders.

How to Kickflip Tutorial

Common Kickflip Problems & Solutions

Skateboard flips vertical instead of horizontal

If your board flips vertical (e.g. like a rocket flip), it means you're missing the Ollie aspect to the kickflip. Pop a few Ollies before attempting the Kickflip. Get use to dragging your front foot up and levelling out your board mid-air.

It's that split- second after you've popped an Ollie, when you give your board a gentle flick of the ankle to spin the Kickflip.

Nose Dive

If your board does a nose dive, it means one of two things:

  1. Front foot is too close to the nose
  2. Flicking down with too much force

Remember the proper way to kickflip is by flicking up and out. This gives your board time to spin and your front foot time to return to the board.

Beginner skateboarders just starting out, often think its easier to flick directly down to get the board to spin. Not saying it can't be done, but nosediving is a problem you will run into.

Kickflips should feel like Ollies. Only difference being the flick. Drag your front foot up and once your board is about to become level, give your board a light flick.

Landing Upside Down

This problem is caused by not flicking enough and/or not having enough pop. The closer you place your front foot to the nose, the slower the board will flip.

Move your front foot further down. Try placing your foot further below the front bolts. Find the sweet spot which will give the skateboard just enough time to spin exactly one rotation.

Landing Sideways

This is one of the most common problems for beginner skaters. The reason for landing sideways is because of not having your shoulders parallel to the board. Keep your shoulders square with your skateboard as you pop your tricks.

Scooping the tail as you pop could be another cause for this problem. Fix this by placing your back foot on the tail with your toes in the middle. When you pop the kickflip, avoid scooping the tail by pushing the force directly down.

Gap Kickflip

Gap Kickflip

Not landing on the skateboard

Being off balance when popping can cause a lot of landing problems. Leaning too far forward could cause the board to land behind you. Make sure your back is straight, and your head is in alignment with the rest of your body.

If your skateboard lands in front of you, it means you are not staying over top of your board when it flips. It could be that you need help with either:

  1. Overcoming fear and committing to landing tricks.
  2. Keeping your weight centered over the board.

If being afraid isn't the problem, try jumping in the direction where your board tends to land. See if that helps you land the kickflip.

Landing kickflips with one foot

Landing tricks with one foot could be a matter of commitment. Having a bad experience can scare someone from fully committing to a certain trick.

To land any trick, staying committed to landing the trick is key.

Bailing can be a bad habit that can cause much more pain than necessary. Like when you're learning to kickflip a five stair for the first time. If you bail enough times, you will leave with bruised heels. It hurts less to land on your board.

Board landing first aka. "air-foot"

Air-foot is when your skateboard lands before you do. Remember, you are using your lead foot by dragging it up towards the nose, then flicking off the side just under the front bolts.

When flicking the skateboard, it's up and out.

  • Flick UP to bring the board as high as possible
  • And then flick OUT to spin the board.

Just as you would for an Ollie, suck up your legs as you flip your skateboard. This allows the board to stay close to your feet, instead of flipping and hitting the ground before you get the chance to catch the trick.

Last minute tip:

One very important lesson you have to learn from skateboarding is not to let frustration throw you off your game.

If you begin to feel frustrated, take it as sign to chill out for a while. Being frustrated is not productive when learning tricks. Take it as a sign to try a different trick or do something else. Refresh yourself and come back to the trick later.

Stay positive. As long as keep a positive outlook and never give up, you can land any trick you want. It's not easy but trust that its worth it.

Can you Kickflip yet?

Let us know. Have you figured out the kickflip yet?


Pete on June 19, 2012:

When I do a kickflIp I land It 1 out of the 100 times I try it but when I do land it I land it like both of my feet are parallel next to each other and my toes are facing the nose so it's like I'm standing instead of On the bolts any tips?

jonathan on March 06, 2010:

lol when i skate in a normal speed i can do one flip but when i go fast i can do 2 flips and land is mad crazy but yeah. im trying heelflip is hard. im goofy lol almost everyone that i skate they are regular.

Online Skate Store on January 20, 2010:

The best way to learn kickflips is to go as fast as you can and flip it as hard as you can off a flight of stairs. Jk their is some useful advice here though, seriously.

Practice makes perfect :)

Jordan on July 08, 2009:

Nice video this is the one that helped me learn how to do a kickflip. I am looking to get my kickflips a little cleaner. Mine are better than most people's but im not fully satisfied with them yet. Thanks for the great vid i bet it will help alot of other people too!

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