Basic instructions for landing a kickflip on a skateboard.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are at your wits end with the infamous kickflip. By now, hopefully, you have learned to ollie, both frontside and backside 180's, shuv-its and frontside shuv-its, and maybe a few rail tricks. You are sick of all of those and want to step up to the big leagues and learn this staple trick. Well hopefully this step-by-step walkthrough will help you learn it, or at least give you some new insight into learning this difficult trick.
First of all, this trick will not come over night. I repeat, will NOT come over night. One of the biggest parts of skateboarding is the mental aspect of it. You need to be patient and work out all the kinks before you can get everything on the same page. Some people wont ever learn this trick, but will learn other flip tricks. Some people will learn heelflips(which we may get into later), but not kickflips. Everyone is different. So always remember to be patient, stay focused, and most importantly stay consistant. Now that we have gotten all the boring stuff out of the way, onto the fun part.
1. Foot Placement- The easiest way to start this trick and get the feel for everything, is to stand in the ollie position. Not only is this important in the whole body and board movement of the trick, it is most likely the most comfortable stance for you in this stage of your skateboarding. Now, your foot placement may change for other flip tricks that involve the kickflip, or when flipping in and out of rail or ledge tricks, but for now since we are doing the trick by itself, start out in the ollie position.
2. Movement- You are going to pop your board just like and ollie, but instead of going straight up the nose with your front foot, you want to flick your toe off the side of the board closest to you. Your goal is to flick your foot off where the beginning of the incline of your boards nose starts. Once the toe reaches that "pocket" you want to flick your foot up and out. As your front foot is flicking the board, your back foot should be coming up and hovering over the top of the tail, or the rear of your board. It is a lot to process, but reading it makes it seem much more complicated than it actually is. Some good ways to practice and to get a better feel for the motion are things like practicing on carpet, or grass, or taking your trucks off of the bottom of your board and "carpet boarding" in your bedroom.
3. Landing- After flicking the board and jumping over the top of it, you want to watch it as it flips under you. Wait until you see the griptape, or black, side up, and stick your feet down on top of your board.
Now here is a tricky part. The best way to land is to land on top of the bolts. One foot over the front four bolts, one foot over the back four bolts. It will give you the most stability when landing tricks and will keep you from losing your balance. With more practice, you will be able to land basically wherever you want to on the board but that will come with improved balance and much, much more practice.
After you land it, you just have to ride away, and do another one!
Like everything, however, its not that easy. Sometimes the board will go too far in front of you, or way behind you. Sometimes it will land "primo", or on its axels, and you will land on top of it. The board may not flip enough, or flip too much. These are the fun things you get to figure out while learning the trick.
If it goes in front of you, you are using too much of your front foot to flip the board. If it goes behind you, you are jumping forward before you get a chance to flip the board. If you land primo, you are on the right track. That means you are staying above the board while it is flipping, which is a huge part of the trick. If that is indeed the case, you just need to flip it more or less depending on how many times it flipped under you before you landed. The board isn't flipping enough? Flick harder. The board is flipping too much? Use less front foot. Little things like those make all the differences.
Keep at it, don't give up on it. It will be very, VERY frustrating at times. But if you put in the time, effort, and work, it will be one of the best feelings when landed.