Freestyle skateboarding tricks
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (May 2013)|
A freestyle skateboarding trick is a trick done on a skateboard while freestyle skateboarding. Some of these tricks are done in a stationary position, unlike many other skateboarding tricks. The keys to a good freestyle contest run are variety, difficulty, fluidity, and creativity. It should also be noted that this is a partial list, and a full list would never be possible, because new tricks and new combinations are always being created.
- "fakie" means "riding backward"
- "nose of the board" means "the part of the board that is usually in the riding direction"
- "tail of the board" means "the part of the board that is usually opposite of the riding direction"
- "pivot" means "kickturn", or "spin", or "turn the board horizontally"
- "tailstop" means "standing stationary with the tail of the board on the ground"
- "frontside" means "facing to the outside of the turn"
- "backside" means "facing to the center point of a turn"
- 1 360 Spin
- 2 Anti-Casper
- 3 Broken Fingers
- 4 Butter Flip
- 5 Calf Wrap (Flamingo/Figure Four)
- 6 Casper
- 7 Casper Disaster
- 8 Carousel
- 9 Coco Wheelie, Coco Slide
- 10 Daffy
- 11 End-Over
- 12 Fan Flip
- 13 Finger Flip
- 14 G-Turn
- 15 Gingersnap
- 16 Godzilla Flip
- 17 Handstand
- 18 Helipop
- 19 Impossible
- 20 Incredible
- 21 Incredible frontside-backside
- 22 J-Roll
- 23 Jaywalk
- 24 Kickback
- 25 M-80
- 26 Manual
- 27 Monster Walk
- 28 Multiple-board tricks
- 29 No Comply
- 30 Nosehook Impossible
- 31 Old School Kickflip
- 32 Ollie
- 33 Ollie Airwalk
- 34 Pogo
- 35 Pressure Flip (or Pressflip)
- 36 Primo Slide
- 37 Railstand
- 38 San Francisco Flip
- 39 Saran Wrap, Wrap Around
- 40 Shove-It
- 41 Sidewinder
- 42 Spacewalk
- 43 Street Plant
- 44 Switchfoot Pogo
- 45 Toc toc spin
- 46 Tre flip
- 47 TV Stand
- 48 Walk The Dog
- 49 YoYo Plant
- 50 YoHo Plant
- 51 Varial kickflip/heelflip
- 52 Darkslide
- 53 References
1970s skate competitions such as the ones shown in Lords of Dogtown would often have an event to see who could do the most consecutive 360 spins on a skateboard. Variations include one foot spins (on the nose or tail, or grabbing the foot while spinning), two feet spins (on the nose or tail), crossfoot spins, 2-board spins, etc.
A casper with a balance point of the nose of the skateboard.
This is a Half Truckhook Impossible caught in a 50/50. The rider stands on the tail, puts his front foot under the board and starts to jump backwards, while also scooping the board in front of him. This will cause the board to flip over and get upside-down. The rider catches the tail of the board with the front hand and lands with the foot which was under the board on the truck. There is also a no handed version of this trick which has not really a name. Commonly called "No-Handed Broken Fingers" by some freestylers. It's a crossfooted Half Truckhook Impossible caught into a No Handed 50/50. The reason why this trick got the name "Broken Fingers" is because how dangerous it can be. If you don't jump high enough and want to catch the board you are going to crush your own fingers.
This trick was invented by Keith Butterfield. To do the Butter Flip, you stand in Heelside Railstand, and hop both feet to one side of the board. Both feet are side by side with no gap larger than an inch or two between them. The rider puts pressure onto the end of the board, using the foot that is not on the wheel. It pops the board up and you grab it with your hand on the same side of your body as the foot that was on the wheel. This trick is the method used to go from Heelside Railstand to a Pogo or 50/50. You can catch the board with your foot as well rather than your hand making it a Butter Flip to a No Handed 50/50.
Calf Wrap (Flamingo/Figure Four)
A trick where the skater using one foot wraps the board around their other leg which is planted on the ground, then unwraps it to land back in a riding position. Mike Vallely helped bringing popularity to the trick. "Flamingo or Figure Four" was the original way of doing it because it looks like a Flamingo or the number 4 - where the board is touching the inside knee/thigh. This trick had little use till later faster versions were perfected (to accommodate the backside 180 re-entry on banks and ramps)Thus "wrapping your calf" instead of your knee. Invented by Derek Belen, made popular by Rey Gregorio, then perfected by Dorian Tucker, and Kris Markovich.
A freestyle stance where the skateboard is upside down and balanced on the point of the tail. The skater's back foot is on the underside of the tail and the board maintains its angled position by the skater's front foot being hooked under the deck. It is important to note that having the front foot on the floor is considered cheating, and not a proper casper.
- On the other side, you could try to drop the front part of the board and then catch it with the front foot repeatedly, which is a real crowd pleaser (because of the rhythm) and attention-grabber (because of the noise).
Also invented by Bobby "Casper" Boyden, this trick has nothing to do with the Casper stance. While rolling fakie or nollie, enter a Heelside Railstand one footed. The foot that's not touching the wheel will point down and nudge the griptape side of the skateboard while the rider spins 180 degrees towards the direction of the trucks. After the board and rider have rotated 180 degrees, the feet work together to nudge the skateboard down into a rolling position
This is a specific Truck-To-Truck Transfer. Think of it as a half Impossible from a 50/50 to a switch 50/50 - still standing on the back foot. The rider starts from a 50/50, "throws" the board over the foot that stands on the truck and jumps up. When the board has done the "half wrap", the rider lands on the truck and catches the nose of the board with the same hand he used to flip it.
Coco Wheelie, Coco Slide
This trick was invented by Pierre André Senizergues. A Coco Wheelie or Coco Slide is like a Primo Slide but the deck never touches the ground, so you hold it in a Wheelie on the side.
- Variations include handstands, grabs, transfer to spacewalk, etc.
This trick is done with two boards, one foot in a tailwheelie on one board and another foot on the second board in a nosewheelie. This trick was seen in the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right!, Gus Van Sant's film Paranoid Park, and the Lords of Dogtown movie. The Tony Hawk's Underground game calls this a "Yeah Right Manual".
It's one of the oldest freestyle tricks.
Variations include rollerskate-like double-board tailwheelies and double-board nosewheelies, but also crossfoot wheelies and spins, or a one-foot double-board daffy, possibly invented by Kilian Martin (2010). It's also possible to "lose" one of the boards and continue with a one-foot wheelie.
A series of 180 degree pivots. Can be done both ways but both start on the nose (or on the tail while rolling fakie). While rolling forward, pressure is placed on the nose just enough to lift the back wheels. Once the back wheels are lifted, the rider turns either frontside or backside 180 degrees with the nose acting as a pivot point. This is all done quickly, you do not stall on any part. When the 180 pivot is done, you quickly do another in reverse. If you originally did a 180 Frontside Pivot, you will now do a 180 Backside Pivot. When these 180 pivots are done in consecutive lines, they are considered End-Overs (End Over End). It is not uncommon for freestyle skateboarders to throw in harder pivots in to the mix of 180 pivots. A rider may do a string of 180 pivots where every two 180 pivots he follows with one 360 pivot.
Fan Flip is the name when you do a Pogo Fingerflip back to Pogo. The rider pogos and once he got balance, he does a Fingerflip, jumps up high enough and kicks his legs to the side. After the board completes the flip he catches the board on the truck.
A Finger Flip can be considered an umbrella term for a series of tricks involving the use of the hand (or a few fingers) to flip the skateboard. The rider rolls forward, grabs the nose of the board with the front hand and flips the board while simultaneously jumping up in the air. The rider will come down on the board or catch the board in mid-air. Many variations have been done including the Double Finger Flip, Varial Finger Flip, Backhand Finger Flips, and 360 Finger Flips. There are fakie versions of all the Finger Flips. An Ollie Finger Flip is considered the hardest variation of a Finger Flip because the rider must Ollie first before initiating the Finger Flip. Professional Darryl Grogan is known for his Ollie 360 Finger Flip. Rodney Mullen is known to use an Ollie Varial Finger Flip in many of his runs and video footage.
This is a Nose Manual, but without facing the riding direction. The rider increases speed, then places the front foot on the nose while keeping the back foot over the back wheels. While riding, the board tends to turn frontside or backside, ending with a spin.
Variations: One-Wheeled, Backward
While in a Hang Ten position, the skater pops down on the Nose, causing the board to do a Nollie Hardflip motion, traveling vertically between the riders legs and landing back in normal position. If the half flip is done with a Nosegrab, the trick is referred to as a Hazze Flip, named for Hazze Lindgren.
This trick involves standing on the board in Tailstop with just one foot and spinning the board in an Impossible around that foot with your lead or back hand. You can use either foot and either hand. The foot must not touch the ground. Basically a hand use one footed version of the Nosehook Impossible. Not to be confused with the Godzilla Railflip, which is a Triple Varial Railflip with a Body Varial.
A One Handed Handstand, where one hand is planted on the floor and the other hand holds the board in the air. This trick can be done from Tailstop or a Railstand. There are many variations of this trick, because you can do every kind of Fingerflip with the other hand. You can also do "Varials" by grabbing the wheel of your board and spin it. The trick can be landed straight, in Tailstop, in a Casper or even in a 50/50.
A Handstand on a skateboard. Many variations evolved from this, including One Handed Handstands, Headstands, Frogstands, Handstand Wheelies, Handstand Pivots, and Handstand Handflips/Fingerflips. The Handstand was taken to the other stances too such as Railstand Handstands, with the Single, Double, Varial and 360 Flips out of them and flips which were landed in Railstands again. Also TV Stands, which are Handstands done in 50/50s.
A Backside 360 Nollie which was invented by Rodney Mullen. Its done by placing your front foot on the nose of the board and your back foot in Nollie Heelflip position. Then right before you begin the Nollie start to pivot just a little. Then begin your Nollie. If you can't get a full Nollie 360, try landing it in a 270 and pivot the rest of the way. Once you learned it good enough going 270, then go for the full 360. If you want to pivot at the end, never pivot on the nose, always do it on the back wheels. Variations: grabs, frontside, flips out.
A trick originally invented by Rodney Mullen where the board is "scooped" up by the back foot and wraps over the back foot in a 360 degree rotation and is then landed. There are many variations of the Impossible or "Ollie" Impossible that have been created over the years. Darryl Grogan is known for doing many different variations. He was the first to land Impossibles Crossfooted, Halfcab, and to one foot landing. Rodney Mullen has done many variations off the nose, also known as "Nollie" Impossibles.
This trick goes from a pogo, the top hand pushes the board around the standing foot and turns the board upside-down, again landing in a pogo while your hand catches the top of the board.
The same as Incredible, but this time the hand that catches, immediately pushes the board back to the direction where it came from and again around your foot. So this trick is actually a double Incredible.
Accidentally discovered by Jon Mandrozos, this trick is often used as a safer alternative to bailing out of a sequence. Using momentum that would otherwise cause the skater to fall forward, the rider grabs the board by placing their hands on the nose/tail respectively and then absorbs the impact of the fall with the surface of their back by doing a forward shoulder roll upon landing. Once the motion is completed, the rider is crouching on top of their board with both feet planted and the momentum of the fall pushing them forward.
Another freestyle footwork trick. Set up with your one foot, or your other foot, on the tail of the board, put your one foot on the nose of the board. Two things will happen now, and both must be done at the same time. Pressure is applied to the nose and you pivot 180 degrees on the tail to the side your other foot's heel was facing. Your one foot is also removed prior to the 180 degree pivot and brought to where your board will end up after the 180 degree pivot. It is an advanced version of the End-Over or 180 pivot on the nose or tail because your other foot is detached from the board.
Invented by: Brian Remmer
The Kickback is a really old freestyle trick. Its a half flip backwards and then a full flip back forwards. Its done by placing your front foot on the front bolts and your back foot only with your toes in the middle of your board. You start pushing down on your toes and when the board catches your toes, you jump, give the board a flick and after the board flips you catch it and land back on the griptape.
Flip an Old School Kickflip, but as soon as its done flipping, instead of landing on the board with all 4 wheels touching down on the ground, land on it with more weight on the nose for a split second Nose Manual before you pivot on the nose. If you did the Old School Kickflip and landed in fakie, you would pivot out to forward. If you did it out to forward, you would pivot into fakie. The M-80 can be used as a compensator if you don't like the direction you end up in when you do Kickflips because you can only do them to fakie, or only do them to forward. Kevin Harris did his Old School Kickflips into multiple 360 Spins on one foot.
A trick similar to a bicycle wheelie where the rider balances with the front or back wheels off and without the tail or nose on the ground. Manuals can be done with both feet, with one foot or on one wheel. In One Foot Manuals the rider places one foot parallel to the board and balances on the nose or tail. A Manual in which both feet are straight on the nose is called a Hang Ten; its tail counterpart is called a Heelie. The rider can also do English Manuals, by keeping the back foot somewhere where the back bolts are and the front foot underneath the nose and hooks the board up until he manuals. The most difficult variation is the Swedish Manual, most likely named after Swedish pro Stefan "Lillis" Akesson. This is the same as the English Manual, except you place your front foot on the nose pointing forward and use your back toes to hook the board up until you Nose Manual. One of the most difficult manual maneuvers is the Hang Ten Nosemanual, where the skater places both of his feet on the nose of the board and performs a nose manual by balancing on the front two wheels. A crossfoot variation is also possible.
Another type of End-Over. Rather than a rider doing a 180 pivot on the nose frontside and then doing one backside or doing one backside first and then frontside after, the rider pivots backside and backside or frontside and frontside giving the rider the appearance that he/she is taking very large steps forward or backward. The frontside variation has the rider always facing forward, and for the fakie version the rider always twists blind or backside.
Multiple-board tricks expand the versality in the height. Balancing on two, three or more boards placed upon each other may increase the freestyle experience for some novice skaters.
However, it is possible to increase the difficulty by making real tricks out of them: Multiple-Board Handstand, Multiple-Board Handstand Flip-out, Ollie-To-Multiple-Board, Rock'n Roll-To-Multiple-Board "Slide", Multiple-Board Wheelie, etc.
In this trick the front foot slides off the side of the board, with the body weight on the back foot over the tail, the board 'snaps' up and can be guided with the back leg/knee. To ride away the rider jumps with his/her front foot back on. The No Comply was commonly used by street skaters in the mid to late 1980s, most commonly being done off parking blocks by bumping the tail off them. This trick has many variations, including 180, 360, Varials, Flips, Fingerflips, Impossibles, etc. Ray Barbee is noted as a master of No Comply variations to many who have watched the earlier Powell videos.
A trick that flips in the same fashion as the Ollie Impossible, but done with the assistance of the other foot. To do it, the rider starts in Tailstop. Then hooks their front foot under the nose of the board, and pulls it to the side as they jump off the back foot. Causing the board to flip over their other foot. This can be done crossfooted or with the front foot near the truck rather than the nose. in this case it would be called a Truckhook Impossible.
Old School Kickflip
Originally just called the Kickflip (aka "Classic Flip"/"Magic Flip"), this trick and many of the variations were also invented in the 1970s by Rodney Mullen, including the first recorded Kickflip in vert skateboarding. You stand in the middle of your board, feet close together, pointed towards the nose. Hook the foot you're most comfortable flipping with under the board and turn your body. That puts your foot under the board. From there you give a kick, jump, turn side ways, and land when the board is done flipping. There were many variations such as Double Flips, Varial Flips, 360 Flips and M-80s. Your feet should never touch the ground in the trick.
This trick was what allowed flatland skateboarding to reach a vertical height and has given rise to obstacles to the merger of freestyle street creating a completely new style of skateboarding: skateboarding streetstyle. Skateboarding streetstyle made it possible for tricks so they could be done on obstacles. The Ollie was originally developed by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand in a bowl. This was done by simply picking up the tab in the air. The version of the flat ground ollie was then invented by Rodney Mullen. He understood that with the proper positioning of the foot, the board could pop into the air.
While standing still, the rider taps the board fast down on the tail with the back foot and then the front foot changes the upward move into a slightly forward move, thus leveling the board horizontally. In the air, the rider bends his knees and allows the skateboard to launch.
This trick can be done standing still or moving forward or backward. It can be done in an impressive number of variations including all kinds of combinations of spins, jumps and combined rotations of the body making it truly the most versatile freestyle trick in the existence of skateboarding.
This trick involves the combination of an Ollie with an Airwalk. The rider initiates an Ollie and grabs the board with the front hand. While this is being done the rider kicks the front foot forward (diagonal on the riding direction) and kicks the back foot backwards (diagonal on the riding direction).
Like many others, this trick was invented by Rodney Mullen.
Variations on this trick are: fingerflip, 180 fingerflip, scarewalk (kicking the front foot backward and the back foot forward), etc.
Done with the board straight up against your legs, this move uses the skateboard as a pogo stick. One foot is on the bottom truck, and the other usually presses on the grip tape side of the board for grip. An easier variation involves one foot off with the rider grabbing the nose. The skater can also do this with both feet on the truck, or with the feet crossed.
Invented by Skating Legend, Kyle Jensen.
Pressure Flip (or Pressflip)
Pressure Flips were invented before Ollies. This is basically a flip using only one foot (back foot or front foot). Pressure Flips can be done nollie or fakie. There are many different types of Pressure Flips which flip like an Ollie Flip. The "normal" Pressure Flip flips like an Inward Heelflip, a Pressure Hardflip flips like a Hardflip and a Toeflip flips like a Varial Kickflip.
This is a Railstand but done while moving, so you slide along the ground on the side of your board. Invented by Primo Desiderio. For added style you can turn the board 90 degrees while sliding doing sort of a Primo Power Slide from there you can do any trick you want to get out of it, flips, spins, grabs, etc.
A Railstand is when one edge of your board is on the ground and you are standing on the other, usually with your feet also on the wheels. From this position you can do many tricks, including Flips, 180s, 360 Spins and combinations of the above (landing into another railstand if you wish), landing into Casper, into 50/50, etc. The railstand and many variations were invented in the 1970s by Bobby "Casper" Boyden. A Heelside Railstand is to stand on the board in railstand, with your griptape facing your back, and toeside is the reverse. There are several ways to get into Heelside Railstand as opposed to the limited ways, if not just one way of getting into Toeside Railstand. A common variation of a Railstand is a Cooperstand, which is a Railstand with one foot on a wheel, and the other on the nose. While in Railstand, the limit to what you can do is almost non existent. You do not have to just flip. You can varial the board under you so it spins without flipping, you can stand on one wheel, on one foot and kick the board forwards or backwards so it spins around the one wheel.
San Francisco Flip
The San Francisco Flip is a type of a Truck-To-Transfer, where the rider enters a No-Handed 50/50 does a "No-Handed Carousel" to a Crossfoot No-Handed 50/50.
Saran Wrap, Wrap Around
This trick was invented by Rodney Mullen. Usually done from a Pogo or a Truckstand. This trick involves the front leg tracing a circle around the nose of the board not touching the ground when in Pogo or a Truckstand. Experienced skaters can do several Saran Wraps continuously.
A Shove-It or Varial rotation is regarded as a 180 degree spin (instead of a flip) of the board. Which direction it spins is usually described in the name, such as frontside or backside. When called just a "Shove-It", it is assumed it is only a Varial 180 degree Shove-It. If it is any higher in degrees, it is stated. For example, a 360 Shove-It must have the 360 stated or it should be assumed to only be 180 degrees of spin.
The Shove-It was always a freestyle trick as was every other skateboarding trick used in streetstyle skateboarding. It was done with the front foot facing forward towards the nose, on the nose of the board and your back foot would be used to throw the board. In today's modern streetstyle skateboarding, the Shove-It is either done frontside or backside and the point of action originates from the tail of the board. Only when the rider pushes down and forward or down and backward can the board spin 180 degrees frontside or backside. The back foot begins the trick and the front foot either assists in the spin by influencing the board or just jumps if the back foot influenced it enough. In the Shove-It done off the nose, this is done in reverse. The front foot assumes the role of the back foot in that it pushes down and initiates the action, and the back foot either jumps or assists in the spin. It can be done frontside and backside from this way. This is considered the freestyle and streetstyle Shove-It.
Sometimes the difference between the Impossible and the Shove-It is not clear to see; in that case you should watch the pivot foot. If this foot is under the board during the rotation, then it is an Impossible. If its not, then its a Shove-It.
A truck-to-truck transfer, where the rider switches the foot from pogo on one truck, to pogo on the other truck. All the time, the board is upside down, and during the trick turns over about 90 degrees. Variations: switch foot, same foot and flips.
Another kind of "Walk" in freestyle skateboarding. The rider enters a Manual on the back wheels and swings the nose of the board around. The wider the swing the better the Spacewalk looks. The front wheels cannot touch the ground while the Spacewalk is being done. Many variations exist including Nose Spacewalks, Hang Ten Spacewalks, Backward Spacewalks, One-Knee-Kneeled Spacewalks (invented by Günter Mokulys) and many more.
An Old School Hand plant trick in which one holds the board in one hand, does a One Handed Handstand, puts the board under the feet, then comes back down. It is used as a fancy way to get onto one's board. This is like an Invert on Vert, but done on flatground. This trick was one of the first street tricks.
A trick invented by Rodney Mullen. To do the trick, get into a Handed Pogo and then continuously switch your feet from the truck and pogo a little to keep your balance. The trick should look like you were "walking" on the truck.
Toc toc spin
A shove it after a 360 spin
A 360 Pop Shuvit with a kickflip, 180 version is called a Varial Kickflip. Also called 360 flip (Also invented by Rodney Mullen in the early 1990s)
A Handstand done in a 50/50. While in a 50/50 or Pogo the rider grabs the bottom truck (the one with the back foot on) hops up into a Handstand with the other hand holding the nose of the board. Land the trick by doing a half flip out of it. If you grab the top truck its called a "Jawbreaker", which was invented by Primo Desiderio.
Walk The Dog
Freestyle Footwork in which you put one foot in the middle of the board, step to the nose with the back foot, and bring the nose to the back, spinning the board 180 around the center foot. With practice this move can be done quite fast and many times in a row or even backwards. Although its better to do it slower, maintain balance to create an illusion of speed as suggested by Bob Loftin.
Considered as one of the most difficult tricks, it was invented by Joachim "YoYo" Schulz (YoYo is his nickname) in the early 1980s. This is the same as the Street Plant but done without the feet touching the ground. Usually done by rolling fakie and with one hand planted on the ground as the other is grabbing the board. Schulz has invented numerous variations of this trick, like very stylish One-Foot Yoyo Sadplants.
Terry Synnott is seen doing this trick which is a cross between the YoYo Plant and the HoHo Plant. The HoHo Plant involves a Handstand with both hands, and only your feet in the air holding the board up as if you were upside down. The rider starts to roll fakie into the YoYo Plant with one hand on the ground and one on the board, once he is in the YoYo Plant, the rider's legs go off the board and he does a normal handstand on the ground.
A kickflip with a twist. While doing the kickflip, you must also do a shuv-it.
A slide where you flip the board upside down and slide a ledge, rail, hubba, etc.