Your sh*t is mob!
I think that’s what they used to say. Or maybe that was a term that got stuck in my head from watching old Baker videos.
First…The History of the Kickflip
We need to go way back. The old timers are the reason why so many of us have sh*tty kickflips. But it isn’t really their fault. The main reason was because of them old boards.
Old skateboard decks were wide. Not only that, they weren’t in today’s Popsicle stick shape. They came in all kinds of funky shapes. I think the best way to describe the old shape: fish shape. They rounded out in the middle. Or near the top. They had bulges.
So the first dudes that were trying kickflips…geez…probably circa 1984-ish, were on some weird, heavy, fish looking boards. They didn’t have noses. So if you wanted to do a kickflip, you had to ollie and then flick straight away from your board (think about how you might do a heelflip). You almost had to do a late flick after you ollied.
1991 was an insane year for skateboarding. I remember Thrasher did an article that year showing how much had changed. Wheel sizes had went from 60mm to 40mm. Board shapes had completely changed to popsicles. Vision, Powell and Santa Cruz were basically dead. Steve Rocco owned ALL the skateboard companies that mattered at that point basically.
Now people were skating the traditional popsicle stick shape with “kick noses”. Not sure how to explain this in a good way, but basically the noses we have today. The noses that let you nollie. Because in 1989, 2 years prior, you couldn’t find a board you could do a nollie on.
That new nose was key to the evolution to the kickflip.
Now people hadn’t really figured this out yet. They were still doing kickflips the old school way. Ollie and then flick out.
The P-Rod Kickflip
P-Rod didn’t invent this way of doing kickflips. But he’s a good example of how to do them right. He probably learned them from Kareem Campbell. The idea is you want to pop and then move your foot up to your nose and then away from your board. That will give you a more fluid kickflip that comes right up to your feet.
So what does the nose have to do with better kickflip? There’s something about the nose, right where it starts to curve up, and how your toe flows away from that point of the board that makes buttery kickflips. It’s like the nose prevents your foot from going too far and pushes your foot away just at the right point. Maybe some dudes had figure this out in 1991 – not sure who that would be. If you know, please leave a comment below.