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There are many ways to add value to a trick, even if that is a beginner trick. If you are doing an ollie, you can bone it or ollie north/south. If you are doing a manual, you can opt for a nose manual or even a one-footed manual.
Or perhaps you are going for a rock to fakie on a quarter pipe. Well, why not pivot your body and make it a rock-n-Roll? What we are getting at here is there are tonnes of ways to adapt a standard trick and make it into something brand new, and the skater’s favourite, the kickflip, is no different.
If you are trying to find new ways to re-invent the trick flip, you could do late flips, dolphin flips, hospital flips, double flips, varial flips and more. However, the one we want to focus on today is a trick that adds a little bit of rotation to the common kickflip. We are, of course, referring to the frontside and backside flip.
This is a great trick to have in your locker and one that can really diversify your portfolio in a game of skate without ever leaving your kickflip comfort zone. However, you may be wondering what this trick is and how to go about learning it.
Well, that’s exactly what we are here for. In this guide, we aim to show you how to backside and frontside flip in a clear step-by-step format—allowing you to land this one in no time. So without further delay, here is our how to frontside and backside flip guide!
What is a Frontside/Backside Flip?
Both the backside and the frontside flip are variations of the standard kickflip. A frontside flip is when the skater does a kickflip while also rotating 180 degrees frontside before catching the board, landing and riding away fakie.
Whereas a backside flip is when the skater does the exact opposite, flicking a kickflip and rotating 180 degrees backside before riding away fakie.
The backside flip is the harder of the two as, during the rotation, there is a portion of the trick where the skater will not have sight of the board. This is why most skaters learn the frontside flip first, master the rotation and flip, then replicate it with the backside rotation.
Who Invented the Frontside/Backside Flip?
Rather predictably, it was the main man himself, Mr Rodney Mullen. Rodney created the kickflip, then known as the Magic Flip, back in the early 1980s and in the years that followed, he found expand upon this trick adding variations and other tricks to his arsenal, two of which being the backside flip and the frontside flip.
Seeing as these tricks are natural progressions of the kickflip, it’s hardly a surprise that the inventor of the kickflip is credited with these too.
However, the fakie version of this trick, the half cab flip, is largely credited to Steve Caballero, for this timeless vert legend was the creator of the Caballerial, which is a 360-degree ollie from a fakie stance. So naturally, a half-cab is a 180 rotation from fakie, and a half cab flip is a 180 fakie rotation with a kickflip added into the mix.
What Variations of the Frontside/Backside Flip are There?
There are so many variations of the kickflip and, therefore, so many variations of both the backside and the frontside flip.
However, if we listed every single one, we would be here all day. Plus, we would be retreading old ground that we covered in our how to kickflip guide. However, there are some more direct examples that we can absolutely include here. So check out the most popular variations of the frontside and backside flip below:
FS/BS Half Cab Flip
Firstly, we have the trick mentioned above. This is when the skater starts in a fakie stance and does a 180 rotation frontside or backside with a kickflip added into the mix.
Switch/Nollie BS/FS Flip
Fakie isn’t the only other stance you can try this with. You can ride switch or pop the board with a nollie and do a kickflip with a 180-degree rotation in the direction of your choosing.
Then if you are better at heelflips than you are at kickflips, which can often be the case if you learned them first, you can flick a heelflip while doing a 180 rotation instead.
This one is like a dialled down FS/BS flip but can still look cool if you commit to it. This is when you do a standard kickflip, and then as you land, you push your back foot forward, drag your front foot back and do a quick spin in place with your wheels screeching along the ground. This is known as a revert.
This one isn’t something you will often see unless the skater is jumping down/over a huge gap, leaping from a huge height or skating vert/transition. Basically, what we are saying here is that if you can perform this one on flat ground, you are the real deal.
This is a 360-degree turn with a kickflip included. If you do it in the standard stance, it’s a kickflip 360, not to be confused with the 360 kickflip or Tre-Flip. Then if you do this fakie, it’s a caballerial kickflip.
Then lastly, we have a new-age flip trick called the alpha flip. We believe this one comes from the brain of the Youtube skating sensation Jonny Giger. This is when you to a hospital flip and then also add in a 180-degree rotation as you wrap the board. This one is tricky, but if done on a bank, it can be managed much easier.
What Tricks Should I Know Before I Learn to Frontside/Backside Flip?
So you have gotten this far, and you think you are up to the task of doing an FS/BS flip. Well, maybe we should check and see if that is, in fact, the case.
As with many other tricks, the FS/BS flip requires the skater to know some core skills and some beginner tricks before they even attempt this one. However, you may be scratching your head, wondering what they are. Well, allow us to inform you.
In terms of essential tricks, we would say that the skater needs to be able to comfortably ollie. The skater needs to consistently land standard kickflips, and the skater should also be able to do FS/BS 180’s so that they are comfortable with the rotation required for each trick.
However, aside from these bare essentials, we believe that there are other skills that will serve you well when learning this one.
For example, learning pivots and reverts can be invaluable, as when you begin doing FS/BS Flips, you will find that you will only get around half or three-quarters of the way, so being able to pivot the rest of the way is a legitimate way to bridge the gap and land this trick.
Here is a quick rundown of all the tricks we would suggest you learn before you FS/BS flip:
Essential Tricks to Know:
Helpful Additional Tricks to Know:
- Half Cabs
- Varial Kickflips
- Kickflip Sex Change (Disco Flip)
How to Frontside/Backside Flip: A Guide
Well, if you have read the above section and you are still here, that means you are ready to learn how to backside and frontside flip.
In this handy step-by-step guide, we are going to break down each trick in detail, allowing you to get these tricks under your belt fast and immediately rush to the skate park to amaze your fellow skaters. So let’s get into it. Here is our step-by-step how to backside and frontside flip guide.
Also, here is a demo of a Half Cab Flip (A fakie FS Flip) to help you understand what you should be trying to do.
Let’s initially talk foot positions before we get into the trick. You may think that a standard kickflip position will do the trick, but that wouldn’t be the case. For a frontside flip, you will want to place the ball of your back foot more central on the tail than usual, as this will help accommodate the flip and rotation.
Then as for the front foot, you will want to mimic the standard kickflip position, with the only major change being that you should angle your toes closer to the nose of the board. This will allow for a more substantial flick.
Then for a Backside flip, the front foot remains the same, but your back foot will be hanging off the heelside pocket more, which will make the alternate rotation much easier.
Now that we have our foot position locked down let’s break down the trick. We would suggest that you try to catch these tricks with one foot first to get a feel for the trick. You see, unlike the kickflip, you will be catching this trick with your back foot, which can take some getting used to.
So initially, set up your feet as stated above and roll to gain some momentum. Then pop and flick the trick, standing off with your front foot after the flick and trying to catch and control the board with your back foot. This will probably feel awkward at first, so make sure you have this down before moving on.
Now it’s time to commit to the trick properly. Begin in the correct position and wind your shoulders back in the opposite direction to the direction you want to rotate. Then release your shoulders and pop the board. Focus primarily on the ollie and rotation first, and get some air before you flick the kickflip.
The flick will feel slightly different here as the rotation will throw off your usual method. You almost have to kick up rather than out to get enough flick for this to work. If you haven’t got this on lock, go back a step and get it that way.
Now that the board is in motion, you need to immediately try and adjust your body to catch the board. The simple fact of the matter is that the board will only rotate about 90 degrees, especially as you are learning. So it leaves it up to you to catch the board and use your body to rotate the rest of the way.
So after you flick the board, bring your knees up to allow the board space to complete the flip, then bring your back foot down and catch the board to stabilise the trick and prepare for landing.
It’s time to land, but there is still quite a lot of work to do here. Firstly, you will want to bring your front foot down to meet the board and try to place it as close to the truck bolts as possible. Meanwhile, you should still be maintaining that momentum created by the wind up before you popped this trick.
This rotation should be carried all the way through the trick. A good way to ensure this happens is to try to turn your neck in the direction you want to go in, and your body will follow.
This should bring the board around the rest of the way, and then you simply land, bend the knees to absorb the impact and then ride away victorious.
Common Mistakes When Learning to Frontside/Backside Flip?
While this may just be a kickflip with a spin, in theory, these tricks are much harder to pull off in practice. There is a lot of technical ability and commitment needed to pull these tricks off, and as a result, there are a lot of common issues that pop up when beginners take these tricks on.
However, we being your skating guardian angels, have listed some of the common issues below so that you can spot your error, fix it real quick and then land these tricks without any more frustrations. Check it out:
Not Winding Up
This trick is all about momentum, and the more you can generate, the easier it will be to get the full rotation. So if you are trying to get this 180-degree turn without winding up before take-off, you are going to have a hard time.
So when next trying this trick, really accentuate this wind-up and release, and we assure you, you will see an immediate difference.
Mastering The Flick
If you have so much as attempted to do either of these tricks, you will know that the kickflip motion feels a little odd. Doing the usual flick just doesn’t feel right, and you will maybe only manage a half-flip if you try it this way.
This is because this trick requires you to move with the board and flick more up than out. It’s a fine balance to find, and you may find that you either underflip or kick the board in front of you for a while, but when it clicks, it will become second nature.
Front Foot Catch
A really common issue is that, due to the requirements for a successful kickflip, skaters will try to complete FS/BS flips by catching the board when it completes its rotation with their front foot. Well, the problem with that is that you might catch the board, but you will never be able to complete the rotation this way.
The skater has to lead with the back foot, catch the board and use that foot to manoeuvre the board around further, allowing for a safe and smooth landing. So if you are trying to catch this with your front foot, this is a clear sign to switch it up.
Learn These From Front to Back!
As you can see from the information above, the front side and the backside flip are great tricks to add to your list. They offer a greater understanding and mastery of the kickflip. They allow you to keep a game of skate going longer, and best of all, they look fantastic.
We hope that this guide serves you well in your quest for these tricks, and know that when you land one, we will be stoked for you. As always, thank you for reading.
Answer: It depends on your preference as some skaters really enjoy backside tricks. However, generally, we would say that the backside flip is the harder of the two.
This is because of the lack of vision the skater has on their board when completing the trick. This is why a lot of skaters learn frontside flips first, get the fundamentals of the trick down and then use this to master the backside flip.
Answer: It depends on the leniency of your peers, we suppose. However, if we had to make our own criteria here, we would say that if you are getting the trick about halfway rotated (90 degrees) and then reverting/pivoting the rest of the way, that’s a hard sell.
Whereas if you get the trick round the majority of the way and then make a slight adjustment to square up your landing, we would say this is more than acceptable.
Answer: Again, this depends on your preference for fakie and standard tricks. However, speaking objectively, an FS Half Cab Flip can be a little easier to pull off for the same reason that a Fakie Big Spin is easier an a 360 Shove-it.
The momentum works in your favour, and therefore, all you have to worry about is completing the kickflip. So for some, this trick will be a little easier.
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