How Do You Tweak a Kickflip?
A skateboarder trying to tweak a kickflip.

If you’re just begun your skateboarding journey (kind of a corny thing to say…), there’s a good chance that you’re still trying your best to handle some beginner tricks. That being said, know that a kickflip is one of the first technical tricks a skateboarder learns. Once you master it, it’s safe to assume that you’ll ask yourself: how do I tweak a kickflip?

What does it mean to “tweak” a kickflip? What kind of skateboarding terminology is that anyway? We’ll tackle those questions, too. In the text you’re about to read, you’ll find plenty of useful info suited for beginner skateboarders. So, shall we begin?

Don’t get into the habit of trying to flick off the side or straight down. You’re far better off by flicking harder on the kickflip or angling the flick down a little bit. That way, your skateboard will tweak down. However, you’ll need to have some good practice before any results show up. 

Reading only the snippet ain’t a sign that you’ve mastered being patient. Learning new tricks requires patience. Therefore, read the whole thing!

Table of Contents

What is a kickflip?

As always, here at Go Extreme Sports, we’ll tackle some basics first. Before we continue, let’s learn a thing or two about a trick known as the kickflip.

So, here’s the standard definition of a kickflip: a skateboarding trick in which the skateboarder flips their skateboard 360° along the axis that goes from the skateboard’s nose all the way to the tail. If a skateboarder is regular footed, the board itself will spin counter-clockwise once viewed from the side. If a skateboarder is goofy-footed, the board will spin the other way around (obviously).

Although kickflip was originally invented by a skateboarding pioneer called Curt Lindgren, it was heavily popularized & modified by none other than Rodney Mullen. Here’s some fun trivia for you: there’s even a kickflip in surfing (and here’s where you’ll find some surfing tips). The first time someone did it was just a decade ago, in March of 2011, by a guy called Zoltan “The Magician” Torkos.

How difficult is a kickflip?

You’ll want to know that kickflips are among the most difficult of the basic skateboarding tricks. In other words, you’ll need to be patient, besides practicing on a regular basis. It will take a while before you learn how to do a perfect kickflip. This, of course, shouldn’t discourage you. Practice is key!

Also, if you’re wondering why you have to push so much on your trusty skateboard, click right here.

Is kickflip easier than ollie?

Since ollie is the first trick most skaters learn, it’s safe to assume that a kickflip’s a bit harder to master than an ollie. Most skaters would recommend you learn ollie before anything else, so yeah… Basics are basics.

How long does it take the average person to learn a kickflip?

There’s no average period of time here that we’re able to share with you. It can be a matter of weeks, months, or sometimes – years before you learn how to do a proper kickflip. It all depends on the individual and the number of hours invested into practice. The more you practice, the more consistent you are, and the faster you’ll learn. We suggest you first fill out your trick portfolio with tricks that are considered more basic than flipping your board.

Avoid making one of the most common mistakes certain beginner skaters make: immediately practice kickflips. Most of them can’t even ollie in a proper manner. To sum it up: don’t think you’ll turn professional in a matter of weeks. Practice regularly and you’ll see results.

What does it mean to tweak a trick?

Let’s take a peek inside the old dusty skateboarding dictionary. We’ll open it under the letter T, wait for a second. There, we’ve found it!

  • TWEAK – to tweak a trick means that you point a certain trick out into a stylish pose, stretching it as far as possible before you begin to land the trick. Also, keep in mind that most tricks look awesome once you point the front of the skateboard down, lower than the back. Once you tweak a trick, you get additional style points.

Alright, so now that we’ve learned the basic terms we’ll use in the rest of the article, let’s see just how should one tweak a kickflip!

A person trying to learn how to tweak a kickflip.

How do you tweak a kickflip?

As we’ve said, tweaking a trick means making it more stylish & appealing. Therefore, it’s only natural to ask how riders make a kickflip more stylish. So, yeah, how should one tweak a kickflip? How it’s done?

If you were to check a YouTube tutorial on how to tweak a kickflip, you’d notice something very funny: a tweaked kickflip involves doing a dab just with your legs mid-jump before you land on the board. Anyway, we suggest that you steer clear of watching any tutorials and similar things. Why’s that so? Let’s find out.

Here’s the thing: by watching various clips on how to tweak a kickflip, you’ll get into the habit of imitating someone else’s style, trying to flick off the side or straight down. Our suggestion is that you flick harder on the kickflip or angle the flick down a little bit and the skateboard will tweak down.

Also, here’s an expert’s advice: the best way to learn how to tweak kickflips is simply to skate for years. Once you develop a good relationship with the board, once you gain expectation control over it, you’ll be good to go. Lastly, try not to worry that much about how your kickflips look, just think about what you’re able to do with them.

How do I get over my fear of landing kickflips?

They say that there are two very important things most kickflip-tips posts seem to miss. Here we’ll consider the pair!

The first thing

Some folks ignore that the most difficult part of doing a kickflip isn’t the flick or flipping the skateboard. That’s right, it isn’t. Staying over the skateboard as it flips might just be the most strenuous part. Okay, so you can do two things to make sure you stay over the board:

  • Keep your weight on the front foot. That way, you’ll prevent it from shooting out in front of you.
  • Pop directly in the center of the tail. That way, you’ll prevent it from staying behind you.

The second thing

The second thing we want to mention is, of course, the jump! Here are some tips on how to jump in the correct manner:

  • Simply such your knees up to your chest once the board begins flipping. You’ll have a much easier time landing with both feet on the board.
  • Jump straight up over the board. Jump directly over it, with keeping some pressure on your toes.

How to do a proper kickflip?

For our last segment in our how-you-tweak-a-kickflip-and-other-related-info text, we’ll introduce you to a step-by-step guide on how to land a proper kickflip. Stay with us a little bit more!

Step #1: Foot placement

First things first, you’ll need to place your feet in a proper manner. That being said, place your back foot as if you’re preparing to do an ollie, on the tail. As for your front foot, it will need to be a little bit behind the bolts of your front truck. Also, it should be slightly turned with the toes of your feet turned toward the nose (of your skateboard). That way, you’ll be able to slide your foot up the skateboard and off the nose right behind yourself.

Speaking of the feet vs. board relationship, here’s an article on how your feet should look on a skateboard.

Step #2: Pop the tail

Once you’ve popped your board’s tale, you’ll want to drag your front foot over the grip in the direction of the nose. Another thing: your toe side will have to slide off the nose at a slight angle. That will make your board step into flipping mode. You’ll see that it’s something of a karate kick. That’s how the trick got its name.

Step #3: Patience is key

As you can assume, once the toes of your front foot are off the nose, your skateboard will begin to rotate. You’ll want to be patient and simply practice finding the correct amount of power that’s required in the kick, the correct timing, and, of course, the right front foot position.

Step #4: Catch your board (it’s landing time)

Once your board has finished rotating, you’ll want to try to catch it with your feet landing on the bolts of your trucks. Keep in mind those tips we’ve mentioned in the previous section of the article and you’ll be totally fine.

Step #5: Simply ride away

If you got it right, if you’re happy with the results – it’s time to celebrate! Now, of course, it will take some time before you learn how to do a proper kickflip. We’re repeating ourselves here, but just try to be patient!

Also, if you’re still not sure if skateboarding’s right for you, this article might change your mind.

Final thoughts

Alright, so we’ve reached the southern border of this article on how to tweak a kickflip. Hopefully, this one’s helped you progress in your skateboarding practice. If you’re looking for more similar tips and useful info, click right here.

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