The inward fingerflip is a trick which doesn’t seem to make much sense at first. Usually fingerflips which spin backside are done with the back hand, and front handed fingerflips go frontside. The inward fingerflip switches this up, bringing the front hand – and the nose of the board – across the front of your body.
It should go without saying that before you begin with this one, you want to make sure you can do the rolling fingerflip. The stance and take off are slightly different, but the core principles are the same.
Your foot position for the inward fingerflip is a lot more slanted than for the straight rolling fingerflip. The back foot should be on the toes at the side of the tail, and hang the front foot off the heelside of the board, pointing about 30º away from the nose.
Your front hand, however, wants to be in the classic fingerflip position – fingers underneath, thumb on top, in the centre of the nose. Resist the urge to grab the side of the nose and throw the board – you won’t get a clean flip that way.
Here’s what those positions look like when put together. You’ve got to ball up pretty tightly – don’t just lean forwards at the waist. Squat good and deep.
Take off using the same method as with a rolling fingerflip – switch your weight back as if you’re going to tail, and then jump from there. Here I’m hanging my hips out over my back foot to begin that weight transfer.
As my tail hits, I can start to jump upwards and away from the board. Note the front foot is already barely touching the board – that’s why we had it right on the edge of the grip to begin with.
As soon as my weight is off the board, my front hand can start the inward fingerflip motion. I’m pulling up and slightly across my chest while my thumb pushes down and my fingers pull up. It should feel like I’m clicking my fingers here.
Notice as I let go how vertical the board is. Like a lot of hardflips, this trick is largely end-over-end. The key is to pull the front hand across the body enough that there’s still a noticeable backside rotation.
The board’s flattening out, and I’m having to suck my knees up into my chest to stay above it. Because of the vertical motion, this trick needs a lot of space – you really have to jump.
I make contact with the board in mid-air, catching it like an ollie trick. This isn’t one you can let fall away from you – it’ll tumble out of control very easily.
This frame is the make-or-break part of the trick. Because of how vertical the board gets and how quick the take off has to be, there’s a tendency to come off backwards here. Make sure you lean forwards slightly to counteract that – and get your hips back over the wheels!
It’s fairly common to catch these slightly short of a full 180º rotation. Part of that is because of the way they take off, and part of that is because it’s hard to pass a board across your chest – you get tangled up. Going faster helps smooth this bit out.
With a minor bit of readjustment, I stand up and roll away from the trick, ready for whatever comes next. I like doing these in long rolling lines, but as ever, some footwork wouldn’t go amiss here.
Unlike back handed fingerflips, this fingerflip trick works fairly well on both single and double kick boards. You get a bit of an advantage from both; a flat nose makes the flip a lot easier, but the double kick means you don’t have to reach quite so far to start the trick.
Board length and kicktail angle will play a factor here, too. The longer the board, the more you’ll have to bend over, and the less comfortable you’ll feel. A board with a steeper nose and tail will be at a steeper angle before it leaves the floor and will feel heavy to throw.
That said, no matter what you use, this trick should work – it’s just worth trying it on multiple different setups if you have an opportunity to see how the setup affects the way the trick feels.
As mentioned in the video, this trick really needs some speed going into it. The take off will stop you dead if you’re rolling too slow, and it becomes much easier to break through the friction between the tail and the floor if you’re travelling at speed. A bit of speed will also help you compensate for any shortfall in the rotation. For similar reasons, they’re much easier on smooth surfaces than rough ones.
It should go without saying that you probably want to have skid plates before you start trying this. I learned most of my fingerflips on street boards in the mid-2000s when freestyle equipment was hard to come by; trust me when I say that tearing the fleshy underside of your finger open on a razortailed nose is not a fun experience. The inward fingerflip is even worse than most because of how vertical you need to pull it; if your weight isn’t off the board properly, you just rake your hand across the sharpened end of the board. It sucks!
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