Master the mechanics behind these notorious skate tricks

Perfectly grasping notoriously tough tricks, these skaters make it look easy.

Mastering board control and the footwork needed to defy gravity is no walk in the park. Get to grips with the basics first and then move on to something a little more tricky.

It’ll take patience, a few scrapes and plenty of practice to nail these infamous moves, but once you’ve got them locked down you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the best of them.

Ollie Impossible

Living up to its name the Ollie Impossible was never going to be simple. You’ll need to conquer these basic tricks before even attempting it:

  • Frontside 180°
  • Backside 180°
  • 360°
  • Ollie

When you’re ready, practise popping the tail with your back foot and scooping the board around the same foot in the same movement. Remember, the whole trick is controlled by the back foot, the hardest part is getting the board to land flat.

PRO TIP: Before jumping straight in, practise whipping the board around your back foot while standing still with your front foot on the ground.

This will help you get the trick down before committing with the front foot on the board. Use a bar to master the footwork once your confident with the flip, get your balance point down and put all the steps together in one fluid motion.




Hospital flip

Dividing opinions on its ‘real’ name, the Hospital (or Casper) flip is a real challenge. And it actually feels counter-intuitive as you flip the board back on itself in a slow rotation. Nail a standard kick-flip first or it will be near-impossible to complete this trick.

PRO TIP: Everything you need in this trick uses your front foot. Get used to the complex footwork by practising flipping the board the same way as a kick-flip, but only to halfway and let your front foot stay under the board. This gets you used to not fully flipping the board, while keeping one foot underneath it.

Gazelle flip

Essentially a Backside 360 with your body, while your board does a 540° flip. Think of the trick in three separate components:

  • Big-spin
  • Gazelle spin
  • Revert

The key to mastering this trick is to deconstruct it. Pull it apart and put it back together after grasping all the steps separately.

PRO TIP: Start with the same setup as a kick-flip, keeping your back foot right at the back of the board, foot slightly tipping off the board to pop it. And don’t put too much power into the scoop. There’s no rush with this trick, take it slow and it’ll come together nicely.

Laser flip

Different names bounce around for this trick. To get everyone on the same page, a laser flip is also known as a frontside 360 varial heelflip.

Learning this trick is dangerous as you have to really work to keep control. Avoid nasty falls by spending time just rolling back and forth practising the flick of the trick.

PRO TIP: Put maximum effort into flicking the board, while keeping balance in the air. As you gain consistency with the trick, the board will gradually be brought closer to your feet to land.

Caberial Kick-flip

Warm up with a few kick-flips and full cabs.

Take a Fakey stance with feet in a half cab position. After popping the board catch it with your front foot in the air and follow up with your back foot, land at 270° to nail it.

PRO TIP: Get nice and low and turn the shoulder before you flip. When facing forward keep the shoulders facing back which keeps you in prime position for the flip.


Adam Shomsky eats, sleeps and breathes skating, subscribe to his YouTube channel for more close-up tricks and first-rate footage.