Freestyle skateboarding tricks

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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.

Notes:

"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"

360 Spin[edit]

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.

Bigspin[edit]

A 360-degree rotation of the board while the skater turns 180 degrees in the same direction above it. Can be done in any direction from any position, and is often seen done out of a Casper in freestyle.

Higher rotations are possible, with the rotation of the board noted before the name of the trick; a 540 Bigspin combined a 540 Shove-It and a 180 turn of the body, for example. Once the body turns another 180 degrees, the trick becomes a Gazelle.

Broken Fingers[edit]

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. The reason this trick got the name "Broken Fingers" is because how dangerous it can be; if you do not jump high enough or don't lean back enough on the landing, there's a good chance you are going to crush your own fingers. There is also a no handed version of this trick - a crossfooted Half Truckhook Impossible caught into a No Handed 50/50.

Butter Flip[edit]

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)[edit]

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.

Casper[edit]

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).

Casper Disaster[edit]

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.

Carousel[edit]

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. Marco Sassi became the first person in the world to do a 360 Carousel in 2014, successfully completing a full impossible around the foot to land back in the original 50-50 position. To date (July 2015), only two other freestylers have managed to do the same.

Coconut Wheelie, Coco Slide[edit]

This trick was invented by Pierre André Senizergues. A Coconut 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.

Daffy[edit]

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.

End-Over[edit]

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, or alternate between two-footed and one-pivots.

Fan Flip[edit]

Fan Flip is the name give to a Pogo Fingerflip back to Pogo. The rider does a regular pogo, fingerflips (typically with his front hand), jumps up and kicks his legs to the side. After the board completes the flip he catches the board on the truck, usually landing back on the side he started from. It can be also be done from or to a no-handed pogo (still using a fingerflip), or from a no-handed 50-50 back to a no-handed 50-50 using just the feet, in which case it is called, unsurprisingly, a no-handed Fan Flip.

Fingerflip[edit]

A Fingerflip can be considered an umbrella term for a series of tricks involving the use of a flick of the 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 Fingerflip, Varial Fingerflip, Backhand Fingerflips, and 360 Fingerflips. There are fakie versions of all the Fingerflips. Ollie Fingerflip variations are typically considered to be harder than regular fingerflip variations because the rider must Ollie first before initiating the Fingerflip. Professional freestyler Darryl Grogan is known for his Ollie 360 Fingerflip, and Rodney Mullen is known to use an Ollie Varial Fingerflip in many of his runs and video footage.

Note that fingerflips are different from handflips, which involve grabbing along the edge of the board and use the full hand to throw the board into a flip.

Gazelle[edit]

A 540-degree rotation of the board while the rider spins 360 degrees in the same direction above it. Usually done off the front end of the board and spun backside while travelling forwards, but can be done in any direction and combined with flips. Effectively, this is the next step up from a Bigspin.

G-Turn[edit]

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, Hang Ten (two feet on the nose)

Gingersnap[edit]

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.

Godzilla Flip[edit]

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, but both feet must not touch the ground. Not to be confused with the Godzilla Railflip, which is a Triple Varial Railflip with a Body Varial.

Gymnast Plant[edit]

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 or pogo.

Handstand[edit]

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.

Helipop[edit]

A Backside 360 Nollie, invented by Rodney Mullen. It is 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 cannot 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.

Impossible[edit]

A trick originally invented by Rodney Mullen where the board wraps vertically over the back foot in a 360 degree rotation. The original Impossible involved hooking the front foot under the nose to lift the board before the back foot began its scoop; later, Mullen would figure out how to "ollie" into the trick by simply popping from a regular riding position. There are many variations of both the Nosehook Impossible and Ollie Impossible that have been created over the years, and Darryl Grogan in particular 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.

Jaywalk[edit]

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

Kickback[edit]

The Kickback is a really old freestyle trick, involving a half flip backwards and then a one and a half flips forwards. It is done by placing your front foot on the front bolts and the toes of the back foot along the heelside edge in the middle of your board. You start pushing down on the toes of the back foot and when the board catches your toes, you jump, kick the board forwards, and catch it on the grip tape.

M-80[edit]

Flip an "Old School" Kickflip and turn your body in the air, catching the board with the back foot on the nose, and pivot 180 degrees on the front wheels before the back wheels hit the ground. Invented by Matt Barden in 1980, the trick has since spawned countless variations; some people omit the body varial, landing with their front foot on the nose (a "nose M80"), some start rolling fakie, some do a double flip instead of a single one, and some replace the pivot with a fakie bigspin. Other variations include doing the turn in a casper or casper disaster or following the pivot with an immediate spacewalk.

Manual[edit]

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.

Monster Walk[edit]

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[edit]

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.

No Comply[edit]

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.

Nosehook Impossible[edit]

The original Impossible, this is a trick that flips in the same fashion as the Ollie Impossible, but done with the assistance of the other foot. In it's most basic form, the rider starts in tailstop before hooking their front foot under the nose of the board and pulling the board upwards until it is in a vertical position, allowing the back foot to push "through" the board and continue with the standard end-over-end Impossible wrapping motion. This can also be done crossfooted, with the front foot hooked under the truck (a "Truckhook Impossible"), or rolling (typically done backwards with a 180-degree turn before the Impossible).

Old School Kickflip[edit]

Originally just called the Kickflip and also known as the "Classic Flip", this trick dates back to the 1970s and was invented by Curt Lindgren. You stand in the middle of your board with your feet side-by-side, pointed towards the nose. One foot - typically the back foot, although either is acceptable - is hooked around the edge of the board, and as the other foot pushes down, the hooked foot kicks sideways as the rider jumps upwards, turning his body to land back into a normal riding position. Many variations - such as Doubleflips, Varial Flips, 360 Flips and M-80s - have been invented over the years, and more continue to be invented today.

Note that your feet should never touch the ground in the trick, and turning the hooked foot so that it points directly at the other foot is technically an underflip and considered bad form.

Ollie[edit]

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, but was bought to flat ground 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.

Ollie Airwalk[edit]

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, and comes with an array of variations, including fingerflips and 180 spins.

Pogo[edit]

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 one or both hands grab the nose to help lift the board up as the rider hops. It can also be done by squeezing the board between both legs in a no-handed variant, or stood with one foot on the truck and the other crossed over behind it with the toes of that foot pushing against the griptape for a cross-footed pogo.

Pressure Flip[edit]

This is basically a flip using only one foot (back foot or front foot), where the board is both launched into the air and flipped with one motion. Like Ollie Flips, Pressure Flips can be done nollie or fakie in any combination of flipping and rotational directions. The most common Pressure Flip spins backside, flipping in a heelflip direction - resulting in something very similar to an Inward Heelflip.

Primo Slide[edit]

This is a Railstand but done while moving, so you slide along the ground on the side of your board. Invented by Primo Desiderio. The original Primo Slide involved sliding backside 180 degrees, but many skaters now hold them in a straight line, flipping into and out of them.

Railstand[edit]

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 kick the board under you so it spins without flipping while you stand on one wheel, you can walk along the rail in a series of cross-stepping maneuvers, or you can spin a 360 on one wheel while the board remains in place.

San Francisco Flip[edit]

The San Francisco Flip is a type of a Truck-To-Transfer where the rider enters a No-Handed 50/50 and does a "No-Handed Carousel" to a Crossfoot No-Handed 50/50. Invented by Guenter Mokulys in the 1980s, and very rare.

Saran Wrap/Wrap Around[edit]

Invented by Rodney Mullen, and usually done from a Pogo or a 50-50, this trick involves the front leg tracing a circle around the nose of the board without touching the ground. Experienced skaters can do several Saran Wraps continuously.

Scarewalk[edit]

Not, contrary to popular belief, merely an Airwalk with the legs kicked in the other direction, a scarewalk is a back handed Airwalk, resulting in the board being held worryingly close to the rider's crotch - hence the name.

Shove-It/Shuvit[edit]

A Shove-It is 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 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.

In freestyle, Shove-Its are usually done off the front end of the board while riding forwards, as this combination helps ensure flat and fast spins. In streetstyle, Shove-Its are often popped (unsurprisingly called a Pop Shuvit) and can be done from either end of the board. In both styles, frontside or backside rotations are possible.

Sometimes Shove-Its are passed off as Impossibles; it's worth mentioning that a Shove-It should spin totally flat, and a good Impossible should spin totally vertical, with the foot pushing it around during the vertical rotation. A Shove-It where the back foot stays with it throughout the spin is not an Impossible.

Sidewinder[edit]

A truck-to-truck transfer where the rider switches from a pogo on one truck to a pogo on the other truck where the board remains upside down throughout; during the trick, the board turns over about 90 degrees. Variations: switch foot, same foot and flips.

Spacewalk[edit]

Another kind of "Walk" in freestyle skateboarding. The rider enters a Manual on two wheels and swings the other end of the board from side-to-side; 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.

Street Plant[edit]

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.

Switchfoot Pogo[edit]

A trick invented by Rodney Mullen. To do the trick, get into a Pogo and then continuously switch from on foot to the other, with one "bounce" of the pogo to keep your balance for each step. The trick should look like you were "walking" on the truck.

TV Stand[edit]

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 it is called a "Jawbreaker", which was invented by Primo Desiderio.

Walk The Dog[edit]

A classic footwork step 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 - but it is generally better to do it slower while maintaining balance to create an illusion of speed.

YoYo Plant[edit]

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.

YoHo Plant[edit]

Terry Synnott is often 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 on the ground and the board resting on your feet while the skater is upside down. The rider starts to roll fakie into the YoYo Plant with one hand on the ground and one on the board, and once he is in the YoYo Plant, he removes his hand from the board to enter the Ho-Ho position.

Varial kickflip/heelflip[edit]

A kickflip or heelflip with a twist; the kickflip is combined with a backside shove-it, and a heelflip is combined with a frontside one.

References[edit]