There’s a couple of different ways of doing the original 360 kickflip. The way I do it is an extension of the 180 kickflip – which, oddly, is not the most common version, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most fun way to do it. There’s a really great flow to these when you get them right.
It’ll really help if you’ve also learned backside 360 shuvits before this trick. Although they use the front foot a lot more than the 360 kickflip does, the take off feels very similar.
Finally, we’re starting to get into more advanced tricks now. I consider these to be a top-level am or a low-level pro trick; surprisingly, they’re considerably harder than the ollie “tre flips”, and they might take some real effort to get right. Don’t be disheartened if this one takes a while. Persevere – they’re worth it.
That lock in with the side of the foot is crucial. Don’t turn your foot in weirdly to sneak the toes underneath – that’s only going to give you less control. It’s the side of the foot, not the toes, which will flip the board.
Start the trick rolling at a decent speed, with your chest facing the nose. This is a very forward-facing trick; if you’re approaching this with a sideways ollie-inspired stance, it won’t work.
As I get ready to take off, two things happen – I crouch low, ready to explode upwards, and put a bit of weight on my back foot to carve slightly backside and preload the flip. I’m also about to throw my back shoulder backwards slightly to generate some rotation for the trick.
To get the 360 kickflip going, I push down on my front foot slightly, lifting the back wheels, and kick my back foot up, forwards and to the side in a diagonal motion. I always compare this with passing a football – the inside of the foot has to lift the board upwards.
(I mean a real football, not an American hand-egg, before anyone gets confused.)
Here you can see how the back foot has moved to manipulate the board – it’s come right up to the heel of the front foot. If I was trying to get a double flip on this, I’d have to flick up so much higher and harder that I’d probably kick the back of the my front leg.
With the front foot now moving up and out of the way, look at the angle of the back foot – you can really see how the flick works in this shot. My ankle has turned in so much that I would easily roll it if I landed now.
This is my favourite moment in the whole trick. As the board starts finishing the 360º rotation, I position my legs in mid air, ready to catch the board and wind it round the rest of the way if it comes up short.
My front foot is the first to connect with the grip, keeping the board under control and preventing it from flipping more than it needs to. At this point it can start pushing the nose around a little more, but I’m not going to put that foot down first.
Nope, the back foot takes that duty, pushing the board down onto its back wheels a split second before the front wheels hit. This gives me another chance to wind the board round that bit further if needed.
Finally, both sets of wheels are down, and I’m back in a solid (but, again, forward-facing) position, ready to either shoot out of the frame or crash into the camera, depending on how fast my reflexes are.
As this is an extension of the 180 kickflip, in theory, it can also be done on almost any board. However, because this is more difficult, you’re probably going to need every bit of help you can get!
If you’re finding it tough to get enough flip, 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.
If you’re not getting enough rotation, play around with the front foot position. All tricks based on the 180 kickflip are determined by where the front foot is; small changes can make a huge difference in how successfully they make it through the full spin.
Another key to rotation is going faster. The slower you roll, the more effort you have to put in to get a full 360º rotation on this trick, and the further forward you have to leap on the take-off. If you go fast, that forwards momentum will make this a lot easier.
Surprisingly, unlike most kickflip tricks, the nose angle will play a big part in this trick. A steep nose, typical on a street board or similar, will make the take-off feel dead or heavy. The flat nose of a single kick will make this feel light and effortless, but may hit the ground on the take-off if you’re not careful. As a result, it’s actually a bit easier to do these on a longer board with a flat nose than a shorter board with a super-steep one.
Finally, shoes can make a big difference here. Some cupsole shoes don’t have enough flex or board feel to grip these comfortably. A thinner and more supple vulc shoe can really help. That’s a good general guideline for all kickflip tricks, but especially crucial in anything that involves rotation.