Frontside Heelflip Definition
Before we get started, what is a frontside heelflip? It’s simply a frontside 180 with a heelflip, and is also known as a frontside 180 heelflip. It’s a simple trick that combines both of these tricks together but there are some things that make it difficult.
First things first…
Before you get to this trick, there are a few others you need to learn. Here’s that list:
- Riding and pushing
- Pop Shuvit
- Frontside 180
- Backside 180
- Frontside Shuvit
- Backside Shuvit
As you may have noticed, Braille teaches skateboarding on a step by step basis. When learning this trick specifically, it’s important to learn these in order so you know you can control your board.
The most important tricks are your frontside 180s and heelflips. If you don’t have these down, the trick is still possible to learn but it’ll be a million times harder. It’s self explanatory why these two are the most important, but nonetheless, you should get all tricks in Skateboarding Made Simple Volume 1 down first.
The foot placement is one of the most important parts of this trick. You want to have your front foot (left foot if you’re regular and right foot if you’re goofy) in the heelflip position.
As a reminder, the foot position for the heelflip is as follows. Your front foot is about the same distance up the board as an Ollie or Kickflip, but instead you are going to have your toes hanging off the board. The back foot is going to want to be in the pocket of your tail closer to the side your heel is and you are going to want to stand on the balls of your foot. You should have your back foot should be slightly angled with your heel turned a few degrees toward your front foot.
The back foot (right foot if you’re regular and left foot if you’re goofy) is really simple. You want it to be in the frontside 180 position which is, right on the corner/edge of the tail. Here are some images showing the foot placements for both regular and goofy stances.
The other important thing when doing this trick is your shoulders. When doing an Ollie, you keep your shoulders straight and parallel to your skateboard but when it comes to a frontside 180 you wind up your shoulders before you pop your board up. This creates that momentum you need to spin the 180-degrees. Setting up and winding your shoulders right is very important to this and any 180 tricks.
Most of the work for this trick goes into the shoulders. So how do you set and wind them up? You’re going to have your front shoulder (left shoulder if your regular or right shoulder if your goofy) in front of your chest. As for the back shoulder, (right shoulder if you’re regular or left shoulder if you’re goofy) have it to the side of your body and slightly dipped down. This helps create the power you’ll need to rotate your upper body.
Once you’ve got your shoulders and feet set up properly the next thing is winding up your shoulders. Wind them up by turning to the opposite direction that the frontside 180 turns, which is towards your back shoulder. After that start turning towards your front shoulder and lift up your front shoulder then your back shoulder as you turn.
Practice doing this with your shoulders for a couple of minutes. It’s a strange motion that you’re doing even on the ground. So when you take it to your board, you should be very comfortable. Once you’ve practice these steps with your shoulders, move on to trying it on your board and do some frontside 180s to really make sure you have those down.
Popping the back foot
As you’re turning, you’re going to be doing a couple of motions all at the same time. You have to bend your knees, pop your tail, bend your front ankle as you would for a regular heelflip. Then, you slide your front foot up the board and flick it off the corner pocket with heel to make the board flip under you. Then all you’ve got to do is make sure your legs follow your upper body. Make sure the board finishes the flip so you can catch it and roll away.
Sounds complicated, right? Well, the good part is it’s the hardest part about the trick. By ensuring you have the timing of it down, you’ll be able to land it in no time.
Now let’s go over some problems you’ll come across when learning this trick. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to be facing barriers for any skateboard trick.
Your board may be landing behind or in front of you. This is happening because your jumping forward when you’re popping and for the board being in front of you, that’s probably because you’re putting your feet down before the flip is completely done.
To fix this, just make sure your legs are being guided by your shoulders. Also make sure you’re lifting your legs up and not jumping forward or trying to step down in the middle of the trick. You can also take a look at your foot position to make sure it’s correct.
Only landing with your front foot
Another problem could be you’re catching it with only the front foot (the foot that flicks/kicks for the heelflip) and your back foot lands on the ground. That’s a very small problem that is mostly coming from not 100 percent committing to the trick. You also could not be comfortable with the turning of your shoulders and shifting your weight. There are two things that I believe will help you out.
The first thing is doing a front pop shuvit motion with your back foot instead of popping straight up when turning. Doing this will make your board and feet move more easily with your upper body. This may also help with the weight shift between the front and back foot when landing/rolling switch.
Not catching before you land
The last big problem I see is not being able to catch the board right before you land or not being able to do the whole trick in the air. Which both can be fixed doing a “pivot” instead of landing the complete 180. This is going to be another step but it’s not too hard to learn.
A pivot is when you land on your front wheels and turn to complete the motion of 180 when you come short of landing one. Think of it as landing at 90-degrees, and completing the rest of the rotation on the ground.
You’re going to want all your weight on the front foot, turn, flick, once you’re in the air you’re going to want to land on the front wheels, keep the back wheels in the air for a millisecond to finish turning all the way for the 180, then your weight should shift to your back foot to land the back wheels, and finally roll away like a boss.
That’s all the step, tips, and problems you need to know to learn a frontside 180 heelflip. I hope this tutorial has helped out anyone learning or trying to fix this trick. Now go out their progress and master this trick. Also, go fast and commit! Trust me it’ll help out with this any trick in skateboarding.
Show us your best frontside heelflips! Braille Skateboarding wants to see you landing these tricks from all over the world. Film a quick clip of you doing your best frontside heelflip and post it on Instagram tagging @brailleskate and #brailleskate. Let us know which piece of advice helped you the most so we can highlight that and we can get more people landing this awesome trick!