The Irish flip was invented in the early 2000s by American truck-transfer master Tommy Harward, but unlike most of his early-2000s shenanigans, you don’t need to be a pogo expert to learn this one. All it really takes is a mastery of the no handed 50-50, some good timing, and a fair bit of patience.
It should go without saying that, like the no handed 50-50 itself, there’s no real right or wrong stance for this one. I’m a regular skater and am doing this starting with my back foot on the truck. If you find truck tricks and caspers easier standing on your front foot, you’ll want to do the Irish flip the same way.
The Irish flip starts with a no handed 50-50, so I’m skipping the first few frames, as you should know how to do one of those by this point. However, notice I’m leaning back more than usual to prepare for the flip.
I start the Irish flip by pulling the front foot back towards me as I start to fall out the back of the no handed 50-50. I also start straightening up again, centering my weight back over the truck.
As the board reaches a vertical position, I hop upwards off my back foot, jumping straight upwards while keeping my back foot as low as I can.
I’m going to change the camera angle for the rest of this sequence, as my feet are the most important element now. From this angle you can see how low that back foot is as I jump.
As the board goes past vertical, my back foot can finally start coming up to the same level as the front foot. It’s very important that it goes straight up here, or you’re not going to get the correct flip.
And this is where the flip comes from. As it pulls up through the board, the toe is going to kick the underside into a flip. Notice how close I am to the front truck and wheel – this is why I need to pull straight up. If I move out slightly, I’ll get caught in that wheel and the board will stop dead.
Now my feet are at the same level, and I’m hanging above the board as it tumbles through a flip in mid air. Compare the position of the bin in the background in this frame with the first frame from this angle, though – I’ve had to move quite far backwards to stay with the board.
Because of how much you lift the board by kicking it from underneath, it should come up to your feet quite easily. If you don’t hop high enough, you’ll end up catching it before it finishes the flip. Make sure you do catch it, though – you don’t want it bouncing away from you.
Having reconnected with the griptape, I can push the board back down and land solidly. I tend to find these create a lot of sideways momentum, and I can rarely land without needing an endover to soak up that momentum. As long as it looks smooth, it shouldn’t matter.
In theory, you can do all 50-50 tricks on basically any board, but they become significantly easier on a squarer tail, as it’ll help stabilise you when you’re standing on the truck. If you’re using a popsicle-shaped street board, consider flattening off the end of the curve; I used to use an orbital sander when I was 14 or 15 years old, but I’m sure you can find something better than that.
That said, steep concave and this trick don’t mix, especially if you like thinner shoes. Swap to a flatter board or pad the top of your foot with something in your shoe if you’re going to be trying these for an hour or so. You’ll also snap a lot of laces in the process of learning these, so stronger alternatives like Bulletproof laces are highly recommended.
If you’re using a single kick, you might want to start off on the flat nose, and land on the front truck; that way the kicktail will stop your front foot sliding out from under the board as you pull the board backwards for the flip. This is especially important on early 80s style designs like Mullen’s Chessboard, where the nose is so short that it’s very easy to slide off the end and drop the trick.
It’s also worth picking up some skid plates before you start working on these. Razortail and truck tricks don’t mix; standing on the end of a razortailed deck is an easy way to totally ruin your board.
I should also point out that while this is ostensibly a stationary trick, once you’ve learned the Irish flip it lends itself quite well to the rolling no handed 50-50 due to the fact you’re coming out of the trick backwards. There’s no real change in the technique – it just requires perfect accuracy to roll away from smoothly.