The kickflip is perhaps the most popular trick for skateboarders, second only to the ollie. It's a trick that defines style and ability. But before someone can attempt a kickflip, he or she must first learn how to ollie.
If you don't know the ollie, first take a minute and see our "How to Ollie" article at HowToDoThings.com.
The kickflip begins very much like the ollie. Start by placing your feet in the proper position on the board by shortening up your stance towards the tail of the deck with the rock centered between both feet.
Your feet should be approximately 10-14 inches apart; place the ball of your back foot on the tail of the deck, and your front foot halfway up the board and parallel to the rock. The only difference for the kick-flip stance versus the ollie is that the front foot should be off-center towards the heel edge of the deck. (This sets up the deck rotation).
After you set up your stance correctly, begin to lower your center of gravity by bending at the knees and keeping your hands low, and arms in close to the body at the sides.
Just like the ollie, begin the motion of the kickflip by stomping the tail of the board towards the floor using the ball of your back foot. As the tail lowers and strikes the floor, drag the outer edge of your front foot towards the nose of the board. However, at this point, the toes of the front foot should flick off the heel edge of the deck, thereby creating the deck rotation.
By dragging the front foot and extending the arms, the rider generates the extreme height required to get the board off the rock, while the toe-flicking motion allows for a full 360 degrees of rotation by the deck.
Once the board completes its full rotation, you need to catch the deck with both feet and begin to spot your landing. As the board begins to descend, extend your legs and prepare for the landing, where you will compress your knees at contact to absorb the high forces of the landing.
If you land off-balanced, immediately initiate a shift in body weight and foot position to return to a balanced state, just like the ollie. The goal is to achieve the gracefulness of completing the manuever in a balanced position without additional body adjustments..
Congratulations dude, you've just nailed your first kickflip!
Remember, even though this maneuver was described using a balance board, the body mechanics and technique are identical to performing a kickflip on a skateboard or a snowskate. This is one of the many ways in which riding a balance board can help develop technique for all board sports while strengthening and conditioning the total body.
For more info on how to perform other action sports tricks on Vew-Do's, go to Vew-Do Balance Boards.