In skateboarding, the kickflip is one of the first defining moves that separates the curios novice from the hardcore skater. First comes the ollie, then comes the pop-shuvit, and then comes the kickflip. Landing your first is one of those ‘great’ accomplishments and truly rewarding. There are lot’s of tricks after the kickflip, and lot’s of tricks that seem more impressive, but at the core of every skater…. there’s a clean, snappy kickflip.
In the 1970s freestyle skateboarders learned to flip the board over beneath, them by lifting an edge of the board with the top of one toe. While the board flipped completely over, It did not gain much clearance from the ground, and the setup required the rider to stand more parallel to the direction of motion, with both feet facing the nose. The kickflip was invented by skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen in 1983. He originally called it the ‘magic flip’ but the name has since evolved. It is viewed as a defining moment in the sport, especially street skating, as it opened the floodgates to a wave of innovation and creativity. No longer were riders bound to their board as they willed their decks to flip and rotate in every way imaginable.
For the uninitiated; the kickflip is where the skater drags his front foot at an angle up the nose of the skateboard, and then kicks his foot ‘out’ to make it flip 360 degrees along the board’s axis. It is also the most common base for a variety of other tricks.
Still to this day the kickflip remains a staple for any video part, magazine cover, or game of S.K.A.T.E. at the local park. It is probably the most recognized trick by non-skaters, so much so that you can find numerous videos of Eric Koston and Tony Hawk yelling out their car windows for random people to “Do a Kickflip!” The kickflip is a staple and always will be.
So… go DO A KICKFLIP!