By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
So… we meet again. Look at you! You can ollie and kickflip as much as you like even without thinking. Now that’s impressive. Congrats. Still let me tell you what a long road ahead has now appeared before you. This right here was never a game or one single trial to overcome; you’ve chosen this path and it’s up to you to sway your way through. You just reached the gate, and so you must cross it without ever regretting not coming back. Ollies and kickflips are now far behind, now you must aim for new heights. The true virtue that is the heelflip is the step to make to survive from here on. Once you heelflip, I can assure you that there’ll be no mountain too high and no city too far for you. This is how to heelflip.
Ollie, Heel and Flip
If you don't know what to do, do a heelflip. Photo: Unknown
The simplest way to understand a heelflip is thinking of it as an inverted kickflip. While doing a kickflip you flip the board in midair by pushing it behind your feet and then landing on the deck. The heelflip however needs to be done by pushing and flipping your deck in front of your feet. The same principle for the kickflip is used, but actually it doesn’t involve your heels at all. You’re using your toes and the tip of your shoes to push it to your feet’s direction and then your heels adjust to the movement making it look like you used them.
The trick lies in always placing your frontal foot horizontally in the nose as much as you can, so when you ollie and catch air you use the instep of your foot as the trigger of the flip. The instep must always scrap the surface of the nose to get the heelflip ready. If you slide your foot with grace, the flip will be done and then you’ll have to time the landing on the upper face of the deck. This is the most difficult part; since you flipped to the opposite direction of the kickflip, you’ll lose sight of your deck for an instant, so you must be fully aware of your timing. You’ll have to leave your butt-print on the floor while you train, for it’s very common to land on your deck’s edge and falling backwards if you don’t do it correctly.
Heelflip All The Way
Many times, you will have to fall in order to get back up and repeat as much as it takes. You must muster enough courage and self-awareness to get the knack of it. If you ollie high enough and you use your foot’s instep well then you’re pretty much done; the timing is something you improve every time you rehearse; just be patient and shake off the dust from your ass and continue on.
This may currently be the trick that will make you fall various times of all the tricks we have seen. But if you practice hard and fair, then someday you’ll realize how achievable it is even blindfolded. Great skateboarders depend on a keen sixth sense that years of training start to harvest deep inside of them. That sense is the inexistence of the gap between you and your board: once you learn to heelflip I can assure you that you and your deck will remain as one single entity with one mind and one body for the rest of your days.
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