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Sports & Gaming

How to Heelflip: 3 Tips for Landing a Heelflip

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Jun 22, 2020 • 2 min read

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Tony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding

In the 1980s, skateboarder Rodney Mullen brought about the age of flip tricks. The heelflip trick is an important move for every skater to master. The heelflip can open the door for other versatile moves, advancing your skate game and taking it to the next level.



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What Is a Heelflip?

A heelflip, also known as a heelie, is a skateboard trick similar to a kickflip. A heelflip starts with the skateboarder performing an ollie then kicking their front foot out diagonally, using their front heel to flip the board in the air for a full rotation along its nose-tail axis. This move makes the board spin outward from the toes—the opposite of a kickflip. The move can be modified into a double heelflip, which is when the board spins two full rotations, and a triple heelflip, which is three spins.

What’s the Difference Between a Heelflip and a Kickflip?

A heelflip and a kickflip are skateboarding tricks similar in execution, but different in their rotation. Heelflipping starts with an ollie—a skateboarding trick that involves snapping the tail of the board off of a surface, bringing the entire board up into the air. During the ollie, the skater adjusts their foot position to flip the board mid-air, a full rotation outward and away from the toes.

A kickflip is a similar skateboard trick to the heelflip, in that it pops the skater up into the air, using their foot placement to flip the board a full rotation. However, with a kickflip, the board flips mid-air toward the skater’s toes, rather than away from them.

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How to Heelflip in 3 Steps

If you are looking to incorporate more tricks into your skateboarding game, read the steps below to learn how to heelflip:

  1. Position your feet right. Position your back foot in the middle of the tail and your front foot just behind the nose of your board, with your heel on the board and your toes hanging off. Be sure enough of your heel is on the board so it will catch your board as you kick out.
  2. Kick it. As you ollie, kick your front foot out diagonally toward your toe side, catching the board with your front heel to initiate the flip.
  3. Catch it. When your board has flipped a full 360 degrees beneath you, catch it with your feet and land the heelflip.

Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?

Whether you’re just learning how to ollie or ready to tackle a Madonna (the vert trick, not the singer), the MasterClass All-Access Pass can help you find confidence on your board with exclusive instructional videos from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, street skater Riley Hawk, and Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armanto.


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