Today, we’re combining kickflips and pop shove its into the kickflip shove it, more commonly known as the varial kickflip. Let’s do it!
Of course, you’ll need a good kickflip and shove it. Well, you really only need a good shove it. Some people find varial kickflips easier than straight kickflips. So if you were never able to get that one, give this one a try anyway and see if it works.
It’s okay to learn this one stationary if you want, but I’ll recommend rolling. Like most spinning tricks, the technique is different rolling forward and backward. But when you add in a flip, that can change the way the board spins. So it’s not as important as it would be for a shove it.
Set your feet up like a kickflip and a pop shove it combined. I move my front foot a bit further toward the nose, and a little more centered in the board. That’s because the flick doesn’t have to be off the side as much. With the board rotating, the flick is more toward the middle of the nose, or even forward. For me, the ankle flick is like a kickflip, but the leg movement direction is more like a heelflip. That’s why some people find this easier than a kickflip. The angle feels more comfortable for some.
Pop the tail like a pop shove it. As it starts to spin, flick off of the kickflip spot, right where the nose starts to curve up. As it flips, make sure you get your back foot bent and pulled up. For me, this is one of the harder parts. Getting the board flipping isn’t so bad, it’s the landing that’s most likely to cause you some problems. So pull them up higher than you might think, and give the board time and room to come together before you start to put them back down.
It’s okay to give this one a little bit more pop than normal. I made a special effort to do this trick lower to make it more relatable, and because it’s a bit easier to keep your balance with lower stakes.
Let the trick come together under your feet, commit, and land it.
There are a couple things you can run into when you’re working on this trick. The first is the trick angle and control. Keeping the board with you and keeping it flat enough to land can both cause headaches.
So what if the board is flying away from you? Most likely, you aren’t getting a solid pop on the pop shove it part. If you’re doing a regular flat shove it, it’s not going to work. You need a bit of height for this trick to make any sense. Picture popping the board almost vertically, and having the board do one and a half flips. Realistically, even if you’re trying that, it’s not going to happen exactly like that. But sometimes you need to exaggerate a motion to get where you need to be.
But that’s not the only thing that can happen. If you’re popping the board and it’s staying with you, it’s still possible to flick hard enough that the board flies away. This is definitely a two-footed trick. So far, we’ve mostly just been moving a foot out of the way so the board can move freely. But not this time. The angle of your flick is important, and how much contact you get with the board is important. You’re aiming for the edge of the nose, like you do with a regular kickflip. But if you flick more toward the center, you can get the board to level out and spin flat. Or even nose dive completely and turn into a dolphin flip. There are endless variations of this trick, in the way the flip and the spin relate to each other. It can be tough to fine tune it, but try changing the front foot position and the angle of the flick. You’ll find a pairing that makes sense.
The next part, and the hardest for me, is keeping balance and knowing when to commit. The board often grabs my front foot a little in the flick, and it ends up drifting a bit ahead of me. If I tried to commit on those, I would definitely bail. With this one, you can get a feel for the trick and know when it is and isn’t safe to land it. Then again, I’m pretty sure I broke my foot trying this one, and I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.
Getting height on this one is easier than with a lot of other tricks. The flick can pull the board up in the air with you pretty well. It would be a nice goal to work on these until you can get a solid catch on them. Of course, you can also try them fakie. If you’re feeling especially spicy, you can try to mix this with the fakie bigspin and do a fakie bigspin flip. But that might be a bit further down the line. It can’t hurt to try though… except literally.
Tip of the Day
Give yourself injury recovery time. I’ve learned this lesson many times, and I keep falling into the same trap. Years ago, I sprained my ankle really badly on my left foot. After a little while, I tried skating again, and it went fine. I could roll around, ollie… but when I tried to kickflip, it re-tore my ankle and put me back out of the game for a few more weeks. And then I’d do it again. From the time I hurt my ankle to the time I could comfortably kickflip again was about a year. If I didn’t spend so much time working on no comply tricks in the mean time, it probably would have been a small fraction of that.
When I was filming for this trick, I cracked a bone in my foot. It doesn’t look like much, but it definitely did a bit of damage. Remember when I was talking about being off balance and not committing? This is one of those attempts. I decided not to try to land the board, and to just plant my foot so I don’t slip out. But the board came all the way around and landed right on top of my foot, with my front foot still on the board. It hurt, but I was able to finish off this recording session and get a couple more tricks. But about a month later, it still hurts when I step at certain angles. Give yourself time to recover. If you don’t, you’ll end up getting re-hurt and just extending the time that you’re out.
Try a couple of 360 flips. I won’t be teaching that in this course, but there is a trick tip already on my channel. It’s most likely out of range for you at this point, but what if it’s not? Scoop the board harder, and see if you can get that extra spin. If you can’t, it’s no big deal. Most people can’t learn those until they’ve been skating for years. But if you get close, there’s no rulebook that says you can’t skip ahead and try to land it. It can be helpful to ‘mark’ tricks and get an idea for what they should feel like, even if you aren’t ready to learn them yet.
Also, make sure you show me by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #ShredSchool101. At the end of this, I’ll pick a winner to get this prize from Quasi!
Next week, we’re going to learn the casper. A trick so cool, that it’s almost single-handedly responsible for me wanting to start skateboarding in the first place. It’s a fun one! I think you’ll like it.