If you have learned how to achieve air on your skateboard and can do an ollie, you’re ready to learn a flip trick. The big question is which awesome stunt do you want to learn? Would you prefer to start with heelflips or kickflips?
You’re probably wondering if one of these movements is easier for someone in the learning process. In reality, both have their own set of challenges, but you may find one is easier for you personally.
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Everything You Need to Know About Flip Tricks
Many people believe that a kickflip is slightly easier since your upper body has an open posture. However, setting up this stunt is more challenging when it comes to balance. This is because your feet are close together and your weight is across the deck.
The best way to determine which flip trick is easiest for you is to practice both of them. You’ll likely find one is simpler to flick.
Pulling off flip tricks is often the second major milestone while skateboarding. The first is the humble but equally exciting ollie. However, once you manage to pull off your first heelflip or kickflip, you’ll likely feel amazing and experience a sense of true accomplishment.
What Distinguishes a Kickflip from a Heelflip
So, before you choose which tricks to try on your skateboard, let’s talk about what separates the two. First, know that flips are tricks where you do a 360-degree rotation of the skate around its horizontal axis.
The heelflip and kickflip are two parts of a more advanced flip that you can learn once you get down the basics. It’s a great way to make skateboarding even more exciting.
Starting with the kickflip, it’s a 360-degree rotation using the skateboard on its horizontal axis while the board is behind you. It’s clockwise if you are goofy footed but counter-clockwise for everyone else.
Doing this trick involves using your front foot toes to flick out toward the nose at the heel side pocket.
On the other hand, heelflips use the same rotation and axis, but the skateboard moves in front of you. It’s clockwise for regular footed and counter-clockwise for goofy. The trick involves the front foot heel making a flick toward the corner and top of the nose.
Choosing Whether to Learn a Heelflip or Kickflip First
Choosing which skateboarding stunt to start with depends on what you are most comfortable with. You should also consider preference if you like one option better than the other.
Heelflips leave you with your shoulders more closed while you look toward the tail with a wide stance. A kickflip has a more open upper body posture so you can flick behind you.
Some people are comfortable with both; others find one is easier to stick the landing.
Selecting which to do first is a personal choice. Select the one that’s natural to you and keep doing it until you can land it. Once you have one down, the other will be easy to roll into your rotation.
Once you know both, you can jump into a wide variety of fun stunts and techniques.
Landing either can be challenging when you start. Some people have been skateboarding for years before they manage it. However, those who ride a skateboard regularly will usually get it done within six months or so.
Try not to get discouraged if you see videos of people who learn these flips in a single day. The changes of that happening are slim to none unless you are both lucky and talented.
One tip to keep in mind is that you should break down each part of the process and then master the small details. This helps you figure out what is keeping you from landing the flip you chose.
As an example, don’t jump on the board before you can form a flip regularly.
Are Kickflips Simpler When Moving?
If you have trouble doing a kickflip while still, you might be able to land it through rolling. The spinning process is easier and faster, but it’s harder to keep the board under your feet.
Those who do well with rolling stunts usually are comfortable on their board and have the basics down to the extreme. If that describes you, give your kickflips a shot while moving.
Remember that the easiest way to learn is by standing still and holding onto something like a fence or rail. This prevents you from slipping and falling and lets you catch yourself. It also can help you remain in the air for longer.
Even a second of extra time off the ground might let you finish rotating to land on your feet. After you can manage heelflips holding onto an item, moving to a standing method won’t take much time.
Mastering a Flip Trick with Excellent Technique
Skateboarding can take a lot of effort. You can’t step onto a skateboard and expect to avoid falling the very first time. Even professionals who have been skateboarding for ages can get intimidated on occasion.
Skating has an element of danger, but that can also make it an empowering experience. The adrenaline you get when you learn something new can make you feel more alive than ever.
As with other fears, the best thing you can do is take it on. Know that you can master heelflips and you’ll manage to do it. Skateboarding can be done by anyone, no matter your age or gender.
But just to make things a little easier, make sure you know the fundamentals listed below.
Wear the Appropriate Gear
Before you start trying to pull off crazy stunts, make sure you’re geared up and ready for skateboarding. The most important thing to have available is a helmet. This will prevent you from severe injuries if you get in an accident. Knee pads are also helpful, especially for a beginner.
Beyond that, you can gear up even more for skateboarding. For example, experts recommend putting on elbow pads and wrist guards for the best possible safety. It’s also helpful to wear clothes that cover the skin, like jeans and long-sleeved shirts or hoodies if you’re worried about injury.
Learning a new sport is always going to take some time. Practicing just standing on the new skate is a great start. Then you can move into rolling and take your time learning the basics before you practice things like ollies and shove-its.
It can take hours to move from one technique to another so don’t feel like you need to rush yourself. When you work slowly, you have time to really get down every aspect of what you are doing. This will pay off later when you’re doing more complex things.
The most important thing is that you go at your own pace. Make sure you are comfortable before you start adding in new movements and stunts. Focus on learning to ride and being comfortable in the sport before you move on.
Related: Trick List
Know How To Fall
Most people are terrified of the prospect of falling, even those who are into extreme sports. What can help with that is having the training needed to fall in the right way. Then, when you know that you won’t injure yourself, you’ll feel confident even when things aren’t going the way you expected.
You’ll fall while you learn new things. Every time you learn something new, it will involve failing dozens or hundreds of times. You might end up hurt in some cases. You should know what danger is there but still keep trying.
Check out: How To Fall On A Skateboard
Whether you’ve been skateboarding for months, weeks, or days and want to do a flip trick, there’s no better time than the present. If you’ve pulled off an ollie, you’re ready for something more complex that can lead to even more exciting tricks. So whether you choose to practice a kickflip or a heelflip, it’s a significant milestone for you and your board.
Don’t worry if you don’t catch on immediately. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to reach your goals. The most important thing is getting back on your skateboard and giving it another shot. So get out there and give it a try. You might be surprised by what you’re capable of!