How to Inward Heelflip: The Quickest Way to Learn

Within skateboarding’s vast catalogue of tricks, there are a handful of tricks that simply can’t happen without others. Without an ollie, you will struggle to do just about any flip trick.

Without the scooping motion of the shuv-it, you will struggle to spin your board and without kickflips and heelflips, you will be unable to flick and flip your board in more nuanced and intricate ways. These are the tricks that act as the foundation for the harder tricks out there and with regards to the inward heelflip, the heelflip plays a vital role in the process of perfecting this trick.

The inward heelflip is a very technical and stylish trick that has the same relationship with a heelflip as the kickflip has with a hardflip. These tricks are very similar in terms of their movement in the air.

However, as the inward heelflip is a trick that requires the skater to move out of the way and let the board pass through their legs, there is an argument that this trick is the superior of the two and certainly the more difficult one. Which makes it a brilliant one to add to your arsenal for a game of S.K.A.T.E.

However, you may be wondering what this trick looks like, what variations of this trick are out there and most importantly, how to land this trick. Well, we aim to provide all this and more. So without further delay, here is our essential guide on how to inward heelflip.

What is an Inward Heelflip?

Inward Heelflip

An inward heelflip in the most simple terms is the reverse of a varial heelflip. This trick is the combination of a backside shuv-it and a heelflip. When combined, this allows the board to rotate 360 degrees in the heelflip motion, while simultaneously spinning 180 degrees in the backside shove motion.

Then the skater catches the board and rolls off feeling accomplished as ever. The reason why this trick is so much more difficult than the varial heel is that all of the flipping and spinning happens between your legs. So the skater has to essentially extend both their legs out like a pair of scissors to accommodate the board.

This trick is somewhat similar to the hard flip as we mentioned. However, due to the contorting that the skater has to do to make this trick work, this one is just that little bit more impressive in our books.

Who Invented the Inward Heelflip?

We know that Rodney Mullen is the man who invented the heelflip along with a wealth of other freestyle and flat ground tricks that are popularly used today. However, we aren’t completely sure if the godfather of skating was responsible for the inward heelflip. We know that this flip trick would have been created in the 1980s and we also know that names like Tom Stano are linked with the trick.

Tom Stano was responsible for gracing the world of skating with the first-ever big spin inward heel. So it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe that this guy also popularised the inward heel itself. What we are trying to say here is that the history books have a blank spot here.

Are There Any Variations of the Inward Heelflip?

Inward Heelflip

Yes, there are quite a few ways that you can take the inward heel and add aspects to the trick to make things more stylish and aesthetically pleasing. We won’t include the heelflip or the backside shuv-it as these would be a step backwards but we will give you some examples of trick variations that step up the difficulty level. Here they are down below:

Inward Heel With Rotation

Firstly we have the inward heel with some added rotations. This is when the skater does a standard inward heel. However, they also add at least one 180 degrees rotation where both the skater and the board rotate. You could see some very talented skaters perform 360-degree rotations on flat ground, or if ramps are involved, 720-degree rotations aren’t out of the question.

Inward 360 Heel

Next, we have the inward 360 heels. Not to be confused with the above trick, the 360 in this trick relates to the motion that the board makes in the air. So rather than making a 180 backside shuv-it spin, this trick requires an extra scoop to perform a 3-shove combined with a heelflip.

This trick is very similar to a lazer flip but instead of a frontside shove-it motion, the skater scoops it backside and allows the board to move through their legs. So you’ll need quite a bit of hang time to make this work.

Big Spin Inward Heel

This is when the skater performs a 360 inward heelflip as listed above but also spins their body 180 degrees either backside or frontside. If the skater moves in the opposite direction to the spin of the board, this is technically considered a anti-bigspin.

Nollie Inward Heel

This is the same trick as the standard inward heelflip. However, to make it a nollie heelflip, it needs to be done with a nollie. So the skater will pop the board with their non-dominant foot and flick with their dominant foot while riding in their standard stance.

Fakie/Switch Inward Heel

This is when the skater performs an inward heel but does this in a different stance. Fakie is when the skater does this while essentially moving backwards. Whereas the switch variant is when the skater does this while in their opposite natural stance, either goofy or regular.

Inward Double Heel

This is when the skater goes for an inward heel but flicks the heelflip harder to allow for a double rotation. The scoop for the backside shuv-it aspect of this trick remains the same. Otherwise, you might try a 360 inward heel double flip. Picture it as the inward heels answer to the nightmare flip.

Inward Heel Sex Change

Then lastly, we have the inward heel sex change which is when the skater performs a standard inward heel but while in mid air, the skater will turn their body at least 180 degrees.

What Tricks Do I Need to Know Before Trying a Inward Heelflip

Ollie

While we would say that an inward heelflip is an intermediate/advanced trick and there are a lot of things you should try first. Speaking factually, there are only really three tricks that you absolutely need to learn to land this trick.

You will need to have a good ollie in your locker, you will need to have your backside shuv-its on lock and you will also have to be able to comfortably heelflip. We would suggest that if you aren’t catching these with time to spare in the air, keep practising those first until you are.

That being said, there are a wide variety of tricks that we would urge you to learn before you go about learning inward heels. This is not a beginner trick and for that reason, you shouldn’t treat it as such. Give this trick the respect it deserves and build a foundation with the following tricks listed below:

  • Ollie
  • Frontside shuv-it
  • Backside shuv-it
  • FS/BS 180
  • Kickflip
  • Heelflip
  • Big spins
  • Varial kickflips
  • Varial heelflips
  • Tre-flips
  • Hard flips
  • Pressure flips
  • 3-shoves
  • Hospital flips
  • Hospital heels

How to Inward Heelflip: A Guide

Skate

Now the moment we have been building up to, the how-to guide. You will likely be wondering how you go about adding this difficult but rewarding trick to your arsenal and thankfully, we have the answers that you seek. This guide will break down this trick and give you a step-by-step guide on how to land this trick consistently. Check it out below:

Step One

Let’s begin with the foot position that you’ll want to adopt for this trick. With your dominant foot, you will want to manoeuvre it so that it’s in the inside pocket of the tail.

Then with your flicking foot, you will want to be as far up as the truck bolts closest to the nose and you’ll also want to hang your toes off the outside edge of the board. This will put you in the best position to follow through for a solid heelflip.

Step Two

Next up is body position. For this trick as with many others, you will want to keep your posture strong, your head up and your shoulders back and square. This will put you in a strong position and ensure that the board has the best chance of staying directly under you during the trick.

Step Three

Now you are in a position where you can begin the movement for this trick. To begin with, you’ll want to bend down and pop the board as if you would with an ollie. There can be a temptation to scoop the board as if you were attempting a backside shuv-it. However, the foot position in the pocket will provide all the spin you need, so simply ollie as you normally would.

Step Four

As soon as you have completed the pop, slide your foot down the grip tape and flick the board with the typical heelflip motion. Be sure to follow through with the heel rather than kick out with the heel.

Step Five

This is arguably the most important thing about this trick. You need to get yourself out of the way. To do this you will need to keep your knees high, so as soon as you pop and flick the trick, get those knees up. Then you will also need to keep your legs wide to allow the board to do its thing. So you can make this room by sticking your dominant foot behind you and your flicking foot in front of you. Kind of like a pair of scissors. This will create room for the board and allow it to complete a full rotation.

Step Six

Then lastly, you will need to watch the board in flight, keep your knees out and your legs wide until you see grip tape again. Then all you have to do is catch the board by bringing your feet down to meet it. Be sure to bend your knees to absorb the impact on the ground and just like that, you have lander an inward heel.

Most Common Mistakes When Learning to Inward Heelflip

Skate Falling Down

As we have said, this trick is an advanced one and not for beginner skaters. This is because there are a lot of moving parts to this trick and therefore, a lot of things can and will go wrong. So we are going to make you aware of the most common mistakes that occur when skaters try to inward heel and hopefully, this will mean that you don’t fall into the same trap. Here they are listed below:

Not Getting Out of the Way

This is hands down the most common issue with this trick. The majority of skaters that attempt this trick will have a varial heelflip under their belt. This means that they expect this trick to be a simple variation of that movement. However, in reality, this trick is hard to master as you need to hang in the air for an age and flick the trick before proceeding to get as far away from the board as possible.

To combat this, all we can suggest is be aware of where your limbs are meant to be and really emphasise the high knees and wide stance, at least until you can comfortably flick the board in the right way.

Unnecessary Scooping

Another common error that ruins this trick is emphasising the backside shuv-it motion by adding more scoop. So long as you have your dominant foot in the inside pocket on the tail, your board will spin just enough to complete the 180 rotation.

If you add a scoop to this trick, you will end up rotating a 360 inward heel which is a much trickier task. So if you feel like you are up to it, by all means. However, if you just want an inward heel, you’ll want to cut this out.

Kicking Out

Then this one is a common issue with heelflips that can creep back into this trick. This is when the skater tries to kick the board around by slamming their heel into the board. This can work but not consistently and it will look messy. Instead, emphasise the ollie and flick motion, then follow through with the heel as opposed to relying on this movement solely.

FAQs Section

If you have reached the end of this article and you still don’t have the answers that you are looking for, you may find them in our FAQ section. Check it out below:

Question: Should You Learn a Heelflip or Kickflip First?

Answer: This is a question that doesn’t have a concrete answer. Mostly because this really comes down to the preference of the skater. Skaters tend to learn one trick or the other first and it’s usually down to a factor as simple as they tried one before the other. Speaking from personal experience, I found kickflips much more comfortable and easy to learn.
Which has led to my kickflips looking steezy and my heelflips looking average at best. This is a common story with a lot of skaters out there and it’s completely fine. Just find the tricks you enjoy and do what makes you happy.

Question: Who Has The Nicest Inward Heel?

Answer: Again, another tough one to answer as it’s a very subjective question. However, it does give me a chance to shout out one of my favourites. In my humble opinion, the skater with the nicest inward heel is Chris Cole who rides for Zero.
He is particularly good as nollie inward heels and he has been known to use this as a death blow in games of skate. He also has a mean nollie crook inward heel which he first showed the world at Woodward in 2011.

Question: Is There Such a Thing as An Outward Heel?

Answer: Yes, there is but we don’t call it that. The trick this would be referring to is a varial heel. This is the combination of a front side shuv-it and a heelflip.
In terms of the flight of the board, it’s almost identical to the inward heel. However, many would consider this a much more accessible trick as the skater doesn’t have to hang in the air as long or move their legs as much to accommodate the movement of the board in the air.

So that is our guide explaining all there is know about the Inward Heelflip. What did you make of this article? Was this helpful and informative for you? What other tricks would you like to see us cover in the future. Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.

Learn Heelflips Inside and Out

As you can see from the information above, the inward heelflip is an excellent trick to learn. Not only because it is a difficult trick that gives you bragging rights in the skate park.

It also has some fun variations you can aim for when you get this trick and best of all, it looks fantastic. So if you were looking for your next trick to learn after mastering varials, hard flips or whatever you’re last learn was, why not consider this awesome trick.

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