The 180 kickflip is an incredibly versatile and snappy trick. Once you get this one down, there’s almost as many variations for it as there are with the regular kickflip.
This trick has had a few names over the years; for a while, it was known as a Pineapple flip in honour of its creator, and is often called a “varial old school kickflip” today. However, as with the kickflip, I’m going to stick with the pre-1990 terms. I’m stubborn like that.
It’s also worth noting that in the speed recommendation above, I list this one as a “slow” trick. This only really applies when you’re learning the trick; a lot of freestyle tricks have a relatively narrow window of speed in which they work well. This one can, with some practice, be done at any speed you’re comfortable with.
The major difference between a 180 kickflip and a normal kickflip in terms of technique is the foot placement. You still want your front foot at the heelside edge, facing the nose, and your back foot hooked around the toeside edge, but now you’re going to spread the feet as shown here. The ball of the front foot should be over the front heelside wheel, and the arch of the back foot should be hooked over the rear toeside wheel.
As I’m rolling into the trick, I’m facing exactly forwards. My shoulders want to point squarely at the nose, otherwise I won’t get the rotation properly. I’m also leaning forwards, with most of my weight on the front foot; this stops the front end of the board from moving as my back foot pushes the back end round later.
Pay attention to the difference in the position of my hips in this frame compared to the last. Even though I’ve not taken off yet, my whole body is lunging forwards; my hips are also coming into line with the board already, and it’s this movement that’s going to help get the board complete the spin.
At this point, my front foot has left the board, and the board is starting to move into the 180 kickflip. My front foot has barely done anything – it only acts as a “chock”, stopping the board moving early, and giving the back foot something to push against before it gets out the way. The back foot is now pushing across for the flip, much like it would in a kickflip.
Here you should be able to see where the rotation comes from. The back foot hasn’t just moved straight across, but it’s pushing slightly towards the heel of the front foot, pushing the rear end of the board around with it.
This is the finishing position of the back foot – it’s traced a diagonal line from the back of the board, up and through it, meeting the heel of the front foot. The higher you pull it upwards and forwards, the more flip you’ll get, and the further you pull it to the heelside, the more rotation you’ll create.
Because of the fact you’re flicking this behind your heels, the chance of being able to spot this landing is slim; you’ve basically got to know when it’s done by feel and timing. Although I still can’t see it coming round, I start extending my legs, expecting to meet the griptape in a moment.
Much like with the 180 shuvit, you’re going to want to get into the habit of putting your back foot down slightly earlier than the front one. There’s a good chance you’ll catch tail-heavy anyway as you’ve pushed the board ahead of you, but getting a back foot catch allows you to wind round any extra rotation. Just don’t lean back!
Compressing at the knees, I get both feet back onto the griptape and roll away. Don’t straight leg the landing on this one – as mentioned in the last frame, you’re likely to end up in the classic board snapping position, with one foot on the tail and one in the middle, so be as soft as you can!
The 180 kickflip is a great trick because you can do them on pretty much any board (within reason – 46″ dancers can be tough to get round with this technique!), but if you’re finding it tough to get them clean, try swapping out to taller trucks and/or put some chunky risers into your setup. A taller board will be easier to lift and flick through the trick; lower boards, oddly, take a lot more effort.
Although I’m unlikely to start doing tricktips for things on banks, this one translates perfectly. If you master the back foot catch, it’s a very easy trick to “revert” out of.