How to do a casper flip on a skateboard

October 27, 2021 | Skateboarding
Casper flip: an advanced flip trick invented by Rodney Mullen | Photo: Red Bull

The casper flip is an advanced skateboarding maneuver and a contemporary variation of a trick invented in the late 1970s.

It all started in the old-school freestyle skating days when Bobby "Casper" Boyden created a movement with his nickname.

Later, in the early 1990s, and according to most reports, skateboard virtuoso Rodney Mullen added a flip variation to Boyden's original maneuver.

The casper flip looks unreal and requires a lot of speed and accuracy.

Technically, it is a 180-degree board rotation and flip that, at some point, will require your feet to be on opposite sides of the deck.

While mid-air, your back foot will be over the bottom side (and close to the tail), and the front foot will be underneath the flipped board (and close to the nose).

The trick is often mistaken as a hospital flip, but there's a subtle difference.

The difference between a casper flip and a hospital flip is that with the former, you hit the deck with your back foot, and with the latter, you hit the board with your front foot.

In theory, the higher you pop, the more time you'll have to get the flips and rotations together.

But the secret definitely lies in a fast feet technique.

Remember that the back foot is responsible for quickly shooting the skateboard forward, and the front foot will always remain under the deck and assist the flip.

Skateboard flip tricks: a combined effort of both feet | Photo: Red Bull

Casper Flip 101

Are you ready to add the casper flip to your bag of skateboarding tricks? Here's how to do it:

1. Put your feet in a kind of kickflip position;

2. Place your front foot close to the front bolts at a 45-degree angle, similar to a kickflip position;

3. Position your back foot toward the front edge of the skateboard while channeling and applying pressure on the ball of the foot, similar to a pop shove-it position;

4. Kick the back of the deck with your back foot to make it go forward;

5. The front foot will start performing a half kickflip motion, gently lifting the skateboard;

6. Simultaneously, the back foot will come forward, and the board will start to turn over;

7. As the 1800-degree rotation comes close to an end - with nose and tail switching positions - your front foot brings the board under control, flat and parallel to the ground;

8. Land your feet on the board;

9. Bend your knees slightly to absorb impact;

10. Land and roll away;

Practice and Extra Tips

There are three basic stages you really need to practice separately.

To get things started, let's get accustomed to the initial motion.

To do so, stand still and try a few half kickflip rotations, i.e., make sure the board ends up turned upside down.

Don't try to land on it - just kick the deck over.

The faster you do it, the better. But take your time and repeat the process over and over again until you start developing muscle memory.

The next step is to practice landing with your back foot on the tail of the board turned upside down.

It looks and feels odd, but that's the way to go.

Finally, the third and final practice step is to scoop down with your back foot and bring your front foot up to generate the flip motion.

The goal is to flip the board over like you're blending a pop shove-it and a half kickflip.

The hardest part is putting all these two main components together while airborne.

You can begin by getting to the air and landing the first half kickflip and then immediately popping up and completing the final part of the trick.

Again, fast feet and speed are critical. The faster you're able to complete both motions, the easier it will be to land the maneuver.

It's similar to learning to play a scale on the piano.

Initially, it will take you three seconds to go from C to B, but after an hour of practice, you'll do it in half a second.

With the casper flip, the challenge is to glue two independent tricks together up in the air as quickly as possible.

Yes, you will underrotate the board, and yes, you will land primo.

But with persistence and resilience, it's only a matter of time before you've mastered the casper flip.

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