How to heelflip on a skateboard

March 4, 2021 | Skateboarding
Heelflip: a skateboard trick in which the deck rotates outward | Photo: Red Bull

The heelflip should be your go-to trick after being able to land kickflips consistently. It was invented by Rodney Mullen.

Actually, they're pretty similar. It's just a different area of your foot sliding off and flicking the deck.

In both tricks, the skater pops the board, flicks it along its axis, lands it, and rolls away.

The only difference is that the kickflip spins inward while the heelflip rotates outward.

In a kickflip, you'll spin the board toward your heel side (counterclockwise for regular, clockwise for goofy); with a heelflip, you rotate the board toward your toe side.

Most skateboarders find it easier to pull off a heelflip, but with practice training and muscle memory, everyone can perform it.

If you're already familiar and comfortable with the ollie, the frontside 180, and the pop shove-it, you'll get it in no time.

All you have to do is bring your front foot off the toe side of the deck so that your heel creates the flick.

"The hardest part about this action is that your legs don't like to move quickly in that direction," explains Per Welinder, author of "Mastering Skateboarding."

"So, it takes lots of practice before the action is smooth and the board starts responding in the desired way."

Switch heelflip: a regular heelflip performed in your switch stance position | Photo: Red Bull

Heelflip 101

Let's break the heelflip down step by step:

1. Push on your skateboard;

2. Place your front foot below the bolts with your toes hanging off the board and ball of the foot on the edge of the deck;

3. Place your back foot on the tail of the board with the ball right on the edge of the deck;

4. Adopt a low stance, pop an ollie, and lean back toward your heels;

5. As the skateboard starts to rise in the air, slide your front foot up the deck;

6. As your front foot starts coming off the edge of the board, flick it, or press your heel down into the edge of the nose;

7. Watch the board spin around its axis underneath you;

8. When the rotation is complete, catch the board with your back foot and immediately put your front foot on it;

9. Drop your legs down to get the board parallel to the ground;

10. Land the skateboard with your knees bent and roll away;

The feet positioning is key to good heelflips.

For the ollie part of it, the trick is to even out the board's pressure, i.e., have your front foot toes and back foot heel hanging off the deck.

While performing a heelflip, both feet are always above the board. If you are not doing it, there's something wrong.

Avoid kicking out with the heel of your front foot; otherwise, it will just send the board flying away from you.

The trick is to time the flicking and the leveling before all four wheels touch the ground.

The heelflip is a skateboard trick in which the rider's front foot heel flicks the deck, making it spin along its axis. Learn how to land it.

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