Welcome to another edition of our Trick Tip Presented by Vans Blog section! This week, we pay our respects to Andrew Reynolds, one of the greatest to ever do it, with his signature flip trick and one of the best-looking move to do down gaps: the Frontside Flip!
To give you more chances to succeed with your frontside flip learning curve, start by checking a few Andrew Reynolds video parts and study his technique. It will obviously also help you a lot if you already know how to do a frontside 180 and a Kickflip.
Before getting to the trick, let’s talk about the shoe we skated to do it, the Vans Slip On. The Slip-On was introduced to the world in 1977 and quickly became the solution for skateboarding lovers for simple, easy to wear footwear that can yet hold up to the battering and abuse dealt by the nature of skateboarding.
Almost 60 years later, the Slip-On is still one of Vans most popular shoes and we’re stoked that the brand decided to introduce it to its Skate Classics Program. Built exclusively for skating, the Classic Skate Slip-On is the same shoe we all know and love, but with upgraded grip, durability, boardfeel and style. Find out the technical info below.
INCREASED DURABILITY - DURACAP™ reinforced materials, deeper knurl texture on the toe bumpers, and higher sidewall heights provide a more heritage look with increased durability and protection.
FULLY REDESIGNED UPPERS - Reconstructed with a molded heel counter and internal tongue straps for a locked-in fit and more board control.
POPCUSH CUSHIONING - Vans best cushioning and impact protection. POPCUSH™ energy return footbeds help protect your feet while helping to lessen leg fatigue for longer skate sessions.
THE FOOT POSITIONING
The foot positioning is one of the most important aspects of the Frontside Flip. As you start to practice, focus on where you place your feet so you can find your ideal stance, repeat it and help your muscle memory to take care of the rest.
So, put your back foot with the ball of your foot on the back edge of the tail, just like a fs shove it. You need the back foot to get enough scoop to rotate the entire 180, so you want a bit of heel hanging off at that level.
Place your front foot in the Kickflip position, but tilt it so it is slightly more angled and your toes point towards the nose of your board. Place your front foot a few inches behind the front bolt to be able to kick it to the side. Because the front foot is responsible for both flipping AND rotating the board, it is important that you have most of your front foot on the board.
THE ROLL UP AND THE POP
Roll forward and bend your knees to gather pop. As you prepare for takeoff, your shoulders must be open and looking forward instead of being turned to the side like a kickflip. Rotate your shoulders smoothly as you extend those legs and keep doing so all the way till you smack that tail on the ground and jump in the air. Just have your torso facing forward when you start the trick, and keep turning slowly, that shoulder movement will cover the 180 part of the trick.
Your back foot plays a major role in this trick. You need to pop hard with your back foot, but at the same time, you must scoop around so you get the board to rotate. This scooping motion should feel the same way as the Frontside 180 Ollie. It may take a while to get used to, but stick with it and you’ll develop a feel for it.
A frontside flip flick is done as soon as your tail hit the ground. As you take off, you will want to slide your front foot it diagonally and a bit behind you to start the flip. Unlike the Kickflip, in which you kick on the nose of your board and give a nice little flick at the end, you will need to kick out harder and to the side of your board in order to get the board flipping and spinning at the same time, reason why it is extremely important to tilt your front foot a bit so the toes point towards the nose. If your front foot is angled and your shoulders look forward, your flick to the side will be way easier to do.
The front foot also must be timed precisely to flip the board as it spins and rotates at the same time. There isn’t much else to say about the flick. The Frontside Flip, along with other more advanced tricks, requires you to experiment around before they stick.
The hardest thing about this trick is getting your back foot to scoop and come around properly. The Frontside Flip is done with mostly legs and lower body. Your upper body just faces forward the whole time.
A very important step is the catch as it needs to be done a certain way for a fs flip to look good. Once you rolled, popped, flicked and jumped in the air, you will want to catch that board as soon as possible. Think about it in three parts: A kickflip while turning 90 degrees frontside, the catch and a second 90 degrees rotation.
Learning how to catch your board in the middle of the 180 will make it a lot easier to understand the motion and the mechanics of the FS flip.
Not much to say about the landing other than the fact that pivoting the rotation’s last few degrees on your nose can be a good way to get the hand of the trick at first. As usual, bend your knees to absorb the impact once you hit the ground and turn your shoulders all the way so you can roll away smooth in switch stance.
You know the drill! Put your shoes on, grab that board, hit the streets or the skatepark and get to it! Always remember that in skating, practice makes perfect.