How to hardflip on a skateboard

March 19, 2021 | Skateboarding
Hardflip: a flip trick that combines the kickflip and frontside shove-it | Photo: Red Bull

Despite its name, the hardflip isn't the world's hardest skateboarding trick. Here's how to do a hardflip.

The hardflip. Some skaters will tell you it's a very tricky maneuver; others will say it is actually pretty easy to do.

The first person anyone saw landing a hardflip was Dan Gallagher, but the first skater to get it on tape was Daewon Song in the 1992 video "Love Child."

So, why was this flip trick named hardflip? The trick's name comes precisely from its (apparent) complexity.

And why do people say it's hard to pull off? Probably because the hardflip is a combination of a kickflip and a frontside shove-it.

"The biggest difference is the tail comes under the board so that it flips almost end over end rather than in a lateral rotation," explain Per Welinder and Peter Whitley, authors of "Mastering Skateboarding."

"Your body does not rotate; you will land with your lead foot forward."

"If you are confused about what the board should be doing, move it through the action with your hands so you can visualize the trick clearly before you try it with your feet."

That is why, before you start practicing the hardflip, you need to be comfortable riding your board, learn how to ollie, and master the frontside 180 and the frontside/pop shove-its.

Hardflip: learn how to ollie and pop shove-it before trying this flip trick | Photo: Red Bull

Front Foot Tips

In the hardflip, the trick is to flick the board and get your front foot away so the deck can rotate. So, foot position is crucial.

Ideally, you should place your front foot in the middle of the deck, almost pointing forward, compared to when you're about to kickflip.

The reason for that is because it is easier to then get the front foot out of the way and get the board to spin.

In other words, your front foot should be going up and then behind, while your back foot will do the opposite, i.e., going down and in front of you.

Some riders prefer to have their front foot further back in order to land the hardflip skateboard trick, and that can work too.

In the end, you'll need to pop it, flick it, and complete the rotation with your front foot on the bolts and your back knee bent.

Keep in mind that the front foot controls the axis rotation, and the back foot forces the lateral rotation.

A good learning tip is to practice it standing still and landing the hardflip with your back foot on the ground to build muscle memory.

Once your brain memorizes the hardflip mechanics, try doing it while rolling slowly on a flat, smooth surface.

Some of you will find it a lot easier with a forward motion, so try it out and see which way makes more sense to you.

Hardflip: the first person anyone saw landing a hardflip was Dan Gallagher | Photo: Red Bull

Hardflip 101

Here's how to land a clean hardflip:

1. Place your front foot slightly below the bolts at a 45-80-degree angle;

2. Put your back foot on the tip of the board's tail;

3. Pop your skateboard at a diagonal angle toward your toe side to send the board into the frontside 180;

4. As the nose of the board gets to the air, scoop and flick the board with your front foot;

5. Raise your knees to allow the board to rotate;

6. Pay attention to the rotation;

7. As soon as the skateboard is more or less leveled to the ground, trap it with your front foot;

8. Land and skate away;

If you overrotate, underrotate, or don't flick the board enough, you might land primo, sideways, or diagonally, so make the necessary adjustments.

Remember that, depending on the board's rotation, a hardflip could look like an exotic or strange pop shove-it.

In a legit, clean hardflip, you can clearly see the board rotating and combining both the kickflip and the frontside shove-it.

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