The Secrets Of Skateboarding



The Secrets Of Skateboarding
The Secrets of
By Tony Waters
Secrets of Skateboarding © 2008
Please note that the author and publisher of this book are NOT
RESPONSIBLE in any manner whatsoever for any injury that may
result from practicing the techniques and/or following the
instructions given within. Since the physical activities described
herein may be too strenuous in nature for some readers to
engage in safely, it is essential that a physician be consulted
prior skateboarding.
First published in 2008 by Secrets of Skateboarding Inc.
©2008 by Secrets of Skateboarding Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without prior written
permission from Secrets of Skateboarding, Inc.
Distributed by:
Secrets of Skateboarding, Inc.
First edition
Printed in the United States of America
Secrets of Skateboarding © 2008
Table of Contents
Part I: Comprehensive Trick Guide
Beginner’s Guide
Q& A
Flatground Tricks
The Ollie
How to Ollie Higher
Pop Shove-it
Backside Pop Shove-it
Frontside Pop Shove-it
180 Ollie
Backside 180 Ollie
Frontside 180 Ollie
Varial Flip
Backside Flip
Frontside Flip
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360 Flip
Backside Heelflip
50-50 Grind
5-0 Grind
Board Slide
Nose Grind
Crooked Grind
Nose Slide
Smith Grind
Tail Slide
5 Most Common Mistakes
Getting your Tricks Higher
Part II: Skating for Success
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Introduction: How to Make the Most
of this Book
Dear Reader,
Congrats on taking the first step to becoming a better
skateboarder! You are about to uncover some of the most
valuable secrets of skateboarding.
The methods and techniques you are about to learn will not only
dramatically slash the time it takes for you to learn a new trick,
but can also be applied to any other area of life to achieve
Applying these techniques to directly to skateboarding will
significantly improve your skateboarding skills. Applying these
techniques to other parts of your life will yield financial
abundance, lasting relationships, and a fit body.
Again, I want to congratulate you on making a decision that may
carry you to your skateboarding goals.
The reason I say “may” is that there is only so much I can do to
guide to you. The rest is entirely up to you. If you’re the type of
person to carefully read this guide, actively take notes, and most
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importantly, take action, then you are about to reach a level of
success you can hardly imagine.
Whether you skate for fun or aspire to skate for a living, this
guide will help you reach your goals. Part I of this guide explains
how to properly execute the tricks. Park II is about goal setting
and how to truly make this program work for you. It is crucial
that you study this information carefully, since it is the
foundation of this course.
You may be tempted to quickly dive into Part I and learn the
tricks, but the real secret to success at skateboarding lies in your
attitudes, beliefs and habits. Part 1 of this guide will teach you
how to condition your brain in order to reach your goals as
quickly, efficiently and effortlessly as possible.
Most importantly, have fun when skating. Skateboarding is a
privilege and having a good time is what skateboarding is all
about! Do not become so frustrated or upset when you meet an
obstacle that you forget the purpose of skateboarding.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, “Nothing great in the world
has ever been accomplished without passion.” Love
Tony Waters
Secrets of Skateboarding © 2008
Chapter 1- Beginning Skateboarding
Beginner’s Q & A
Q. What’s a good board for beginners?
A. Anything but a Wal-mart deck. If you are seriously striving to
become a good skateboarder, you need a good deck to practice
on. A $19.99 K-Mart board definitely won’t cut it! I recommend
starting out with a blank complete. Blank decks are cheap and
are constructed very well, so they last a long time- they’re great
for beginners.
As you get better and better, you may want to start looking into
brand name decks. offers great blank completes
starting at $69.99!
Q. Does it matter which end of the board I use?
A. Not really- Most use the shorter and lower end as the tail.
The higher and wider end is the nose. However, it’s all a matter
of personal preference. For example, some find that the tail has
better pop but the nose is easier to scoop.
Q. Do shoes matter?
A. Obviously, you don’t want to be skating in sandals or dress
shoes, so I strongly recommend getting a pair of skate shoes.
They are a great investment because they provide comfort and
can withstand the stresses of skateboarding.
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Skate shoes have a larger surface area to allow more balance,
and many come with ankle support to prevent yourself from
rolling your ankles.
Q. How should I push?
A. You always want your front foot on the board and push off the
ground with your back foot. The opposite is called pushing
mongo. Make sure you develop the habit of pushing your board
the right way- pushing mongo makes it more difficult to set your
feet up for tricks.
Q. How do I turn?
A. To turn, you simply lean in the direction you want to turn into.
Just bend your knees and place more weight on your heels or
toes, depending on the direction you want to turn into.
For a tighter turn, do a quick manual by placing more weight on
the tail, lifting the front wheels off the ground and turning in the
direction you want to go in.
Q. How do I stop?
A. To stop you can simply put your weight on the tail, and drag
your tail on the ground. This is called a tailstop and can wear
away your tail. You can use an alternative method and use your
pushing foot to slow yourself down.
Q. When can I start learning tricks?
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A. Before learning any trick, you must be comfortable standing
and riding a skateboard. If you can’t even stand on the board
without falling, there is no way you’re ready to learn the Ollie.
Practice riding around everyday until you can easily push, turn
and stop. Then, you know you are ready to learn the Ollie.
Q. Why is your method so much better than tutorial
A. You see, most trick tip videos give so little information that it’s
almost impossible to get a good idea of all the details of the trick.
If you have lots of free time to explore and mess around with
learning a new trick, then a traditional video tutorial might be a
good place to start. But if you want to learn new tricks in the
fastest, most effective way possible, then most likely, video trick
tutorials won’t do much to help you.
Even if the video gave you the instructions in detail, you’ll still
have trouble remember exactly what to do. That’s why a written
guide is so important. However, a visual can still be very helpful.
That’s why I encourage you to watch a few videos on how a trick
is supposed to be executed so you have a clear image of what to
Q. What can I do to ensure I learn these tricks quickly and
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A. Have fun when skating! Read the trick tips thoroughly, watch
videos of pros, ask questions on discussion boards but most
importantly, practice, practice and practice…
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Finding your Stance
Walk up to your skateboard and stand with one foot in the middle
and the other foot on the tail. Which foot is in front?
If your left foot is forward you are regular.
If your right foot is forward you are goofy.
If you still have trouble deciding which foot goes where try this.
With out giving it too much thought, walk up to a soccer ball and
kick it.
The foot you used to kick it will most likely be your back foot,
since you want the balancing foot in front and the kicking foot in
the back.
The stance you choose is entirely up to you. One stance is not
better than the other. It’s all personal preference and you should
stick to whichever feels more comfortable.
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How many times have you been given ambiguous skate tips such
as, “just move your front foot up a little as you Ollie.” What does
“up” mean? Toward the nose of your skateboard? Toward the
direction of your toes? Up in the air? It is very difficult describing
3 dimensional movements in words.
For this purpose of this guide, we will be using the
north/south/front/back system to refer to a particular direction.
This may seem strange at first. Saying “front”, “forward”, “up”,
“down”, “back”, and “behind” seem perfectly fine. However,
these words become ambiguous (i.e. when we use words like
back, do we really mean back or south?) so it’s better to have an
absolute system when describing direction.
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Throughout this guide, north will refer to the direction you point
your toes. South will be the direction your heels are facing.
Front is the direction the nose of your board is facing and back is
the direction your tail is facing.
Up will refer to straight up in the air and down will be towards
the ground.
On flatland, backside refers to rotating in the direction you are
facing, and frontside is rotating in the opposite direction you are
When grinding, they are reversed. Backside refers to the rotating
toward the skater’s back and frontside refers to rotating in the
direction the skater is facing.
Now that we covered the basics let’s begin!
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Chapter 2- The Ollie
Ah, the Ollie. If skateboarding tricks were represented as a tree,
the Ollie would be the trunk of the tree. Terrible analogy, I know,
but the Ollie is truly the foundation of almost all flatland
skateboarding tricks and is usually the first trick a beginner
Once you master the Ollie, you can begin exploring more
advanced tricks such as the Kickflip or Heelflip, or you can take
your Ollies to the next level and jump off/over/onto obstacles!
Requirements for the Ollie
Before learning the Ollie, you want to be comfortable riding
around on your skateboard.
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Ollie Foot Placement
Place your back foot, with the ball of the foot on the middle of
the tail.
Place your front foot an inch or two behind the front bolts, in the
center of the board. Generally, the farther back (toward the tail)
your front foot is, the higher you will Ollie.
When beginning, it’s a good idea to have you front foot a little
farther back to get a feeling of the dragging motion.
You want to stay over your board as you Ollie, keeping your
weight in the center. Make sure you have all four wheels on the
ground and you are not leaning towards one side.
• As you get ready to Ollie, bend your knees. Experiment
with how far down you bend.
• The more you bend your knees, the higher your Ollie will
be. However, it can be easy to lose your balance when
bending down too much.
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• Slam down on the tail with your back foot. Give a quick,
hard, clean slam. Slam straight down; do not “scoop” the
tail as you pop
• As you slam, you’ll also want to jump into the air off of your
back foot and pull your foot up. This part of the Ollie
requires some practice to get the timing down.
• The dragging motion of the front foot is what actually gets
the board up in the air. Timing the drag along with the pop
and jump is by far the most difficult part of learning the
Ollie. Take your time with this step
• As you pop and jump, drag your front foot along the
griptape up towards the bolts. This dragging motion pulls
the skateboard higher off the ground.
• You’ll want to lean forward as you drag. If you have you’re
the majority of your weight on the tail, your board will pop
up crooked and will not level out.
• As you reach the end of your drag, you’ll want to “suck up”
your knees, bringing them as high as you can.
• Focus on hitting your chest with your knees. As long as
you’re not leaning too forward to too backwards, the board
will flatten out by itself.
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If you maintained your balance through out the whole trick, your
feet should land on the bolts. Bend your knees to absorb the
shock of the landing and ride away!
Learning the Ollie
Many skaters learn the Ollie by practicing stationary on the grass
or carpet. This keeps the board in place, so you don’t have to
worry as much about your balance and your body can focus more
on the actual motions involved in this trick.
However, learning tricks stationary can cause bad habits to form.
For this reason, I strongly recommend learning the Ollie both
moving and stationary. Start on the carpet or grass.
When your Ollies begin to look somewhat decent, start practicing
moving at a slow speed. As you get higher and more comfortable
with Ollies, completely abandon practicing them stationary and
do them at faster speeds.
After you are able to Ollie while rolling, take your Ollies to the
next level by Ollying off of curbs, ledges, and stairs.
You’ll be in the air for a longer time now, so landing becomes
more important. It is vital that you remain balanced over the
center of your board, and bend your knees to absorb the landing.
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Troubleshooting the Ollie
Problem: I land one footed
Solution: One footed landings are caused by lack of
commitment. Usually, it’s your front foot that lands on the board
and the back foot that lands on the ground to catch yourself. To
fix this, just focus on keeping the foot that comes off on the
board. You may want to try Ollying lower so, you will land more
Problem: My board slides out in midair
Solution: Losing your board in mid air is usually caused by
kicking the board out instead of staying over the board and
dragging. Remain balanced as you pop, leaning slightly forward
as you drag and you will have no problem keeping the board
directly under you.
Problem: My Ollies are too low
Solution: Low Ollies are caused by not getting enough pop
before your Ollie. It is easy to fix this problem- simple crouch
lower and move your front foot back a little, so it has more room
to drag. When you’re in the air, remember to suck up your
knees! Read the Ollie Higher section for a more detailed
explanation on how to get more height.
Problem: My landings are sketchy
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Solution: If you land unbalanced, with your back wheels hitting
the ground first, you are not keeping your shoulders level in the
air. Focus on keeping your shoulders stationary in the air and use
only the sucking up motion of your legs to control the board.
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How to Ollie Higher
Danny Wainwright sets the world record for the highest
Ollie with an amazing jump of 44.5’’!
Low Ollies are quite common for beginner skaters. There is a lot
to take in when first learning the Ollie so the timing of the trick
can be difficult.
However, once you learn how to get your board at least a little
bit off the ground, you won’t have any trouble learning how to
get your Ollies higher and higher.
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Low Ollies almost always result from not picking up your feet
high enough. However, you need to be perfectly balanced in
order to be able to suck up your legs.
While preparing for the Ollie, have your shoulders centered, and
your weight over the center of the board. As you pop your tail,
suck up your legs and pull your feet into the air! Aim for hitting
your chest with your knees.
When practice getting your Ollies higher, it is not important that
you land your Ollies. Just focus on getting the board up into the
Don’t worry about your front foot; it might slide off the board a
few times, but for now, don’t think about it. Concentrate on
popping up, dragging your lead foot up all the way, and sucking
up your legs. I can not stress how important the sucking up
motion is.
A great way to practice Ollying higher is to pop the tail to begin
an Ollie, take off your back foot and plant it on the ground, but
continue to drag your front foot and slam down on the board.
Basically, you are doing an Ollie with only the front foot. If you
can get the board pretty high in the air, you are doing it right.
This practice method will instantly help you feel the appropriate
dragging motion of the front foot.
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Right now, take a break from reading and go skate for a while.
Anyone, including pro skaters, can benefit from practicing getting
their Ollies higher. Practice the techniques I described and focus
on get that Ollie high. Happy Ollying!
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Chapter 5- The Pop Shove-it
Pop Shove-it’s are not difficult to learn. It is very easy to rotate
the board 180 degrees, but the landing can be a bit tricky. When
starting out, it is a good idea to learn backside shove-its before
frontside shove-its, since they are easier and give you a feel of
the trick.
Requirements for Pop Shove-its
You should be able to consistently pop Ollies before learning Pop
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Backside Pop Shove-it
Foot Placement
Set up your foot as you would for an Ollie, with your front foot a
little higher up, about 1-2 inches away from the front bolts. You
also want to move your back foot up more, with your toes higher
up. This allows you to “scoop” the board, causing the spinning
• You don’t need much pop for this trick. A slight knee bend
will be adequate to get the board in the air.
• As you pop, you want to scoop the back foot south towards
you. At the same time, push your front foot up and north.
• Your feet should be doing sort of a scissors kick. As the
board is spinning under you, you want to completely stay
over it.
• The board will most likely spin if front of you (towards your
toes) so you will have to compensate for that by jumping
forward a little.
Stay over your board as you land and keep your feet spread
apart. A common problem is landing with the feet close together
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and losing your balance. After the board spins the 180, catch it,
bend your knees and land!
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Frontside Pop-Shove-it
Foot Placement
For the Frontside Pop Shove-it, have your front foot in the middle
of the board about 1-2 inches away from the front bolts. You
want your back toes a little lower on the tail, so you can scoop
forward to get the board rotating Frontside.
• As with the backside Pop Shove-it, you don’t need much
pop for this trick. Just bend your knees.
• As you pop, you want to kick your back foot north.
• At the same time, bring your front foot toward you (south),
guiding the board to rotate 180 degrees.
• Stay over the board through out the spin and jump
backwards a little, since these tend to go south of you.
The board will probably go south of you, so jump back a little as
you land. Also, keep your feet spread apart and aim for the bolts.
Learning the Pop Shove-it
Initially, this trick may be pretty scary, since you might land on
the tail and have the board shoot out. Regardless, you should
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learn the Pop Shove-it while moving since it’s a completely
different feeling landing these stationary and moving.
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Troubleshooting the Pop Shove-it
Problem: Landing one footed
Solution: One footed landings are due to one of two thingshaving the board stray from you in the air or lack of
commitment. This trick may feel scary at first, but you need to
commit to the landing.
Practice these moving slowly, focusing on landing with both feet.
Then, take them to higher and higher speeds.
Problem: Board flips while rotating
Solution: Landing this trick while the board is flipping can lead
to a nasty spill. Flipping the board (in a backside pop-Shove-it) is
caused by the front heel hitting the edge of the board, causing it
to flip in the Heelflip direction.
Simply fix this by kicking out your front foot and scooping with
your back foot at the same time. If you scoop first, and then
kick, the board will hit your heel and naturally flip.
If the board flips in a frontside shove-it, you are hitting the edge
of the board with your toes, sending it into a Kickflip. Simply
adjust by kicking both legs at the same time.
Problem: Board flies out from underneath me
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Solution: Usually, the board will end up in north of you if you’re
doing this trick backside and south you if you’re doing a
Frontside Pop Shove-it.
To have the board stay under you the whole time, just jump
slightly forward or backwards depending on which direction you
rotate it. Generally, just lean and jump in the direction the board
flies out in. It seems overly simple, but you’d be surprised how
consistent your Pop Shove-it’s are after doing so.
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Chapter 6- The 180 Ollie
The 180 Ollie is a simple trick that is a lot harder than it looks. It
is a basic flatland trick that sets the foundation for more
advanced tricks such as Backside or Frontside Flip. Like all
rotation tricks, the 180 Ollie can be done backside or frontside.
Requirements for Learning the 180 Ollie
The Ollie. Knowing pop shove-its would definitely help, but they
are not absolutely necessary.
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Backside 180 Ollie
In the backside 180 Ollie, the skater spins 180 degrees in the
direction he is facing. In other words, a goofy skater would spin
to his left, and a regular skater would spin to his right.
Foot Placement
Your back foot should be set up in the middle of the tail, in an
Ollie position. Your front foot should be a little closer to the front
bolts than in a regular Ollie. You want to have your feet a little
wider, so you have more control over your board.
• Before you pop, have the majority of your weight on your
back foot. You also want to have your shoulder wound up
• As you pop, start rotating in the backside direction.
• When you reach the apex of your Ollie, your board should
have already rotated 90 degrees.
• You should remain centered as you rotate.
• To complete the 180 Ollie, just quickly twist your legs.
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• You want to turn your head around so you are facing
forward again- doing so will help you regain balance
It is especially important to bend your knees after you land.
When doing the Backside 180 Ollie, you weight shifts from your
back foot to your (now) front foot so there is a tendency to fall
off when landing.
You can regain your balance by bending your knees- a little more
than usual.
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Frontside 180 Ollie
Foot Placement
Your back foot should be set up in the middle of the tail, in an
Ollie position. Your front foot should be a little closer to the front
bolts than in a regular Ollie. You want to have your feet a little
wider, so you have more control over your board.
• Before you pop, you want to have your shoulder wound up
already, with your arm across your stomach.
• As you pop, scoop your foot forwards, unwind and start
rotating in the frontside direction.
• As you reach the apex of your Ollie, your board should have
already rotated 90 degrees.
• As with the backside 180 Ollie, remain centered when you
• You don’t want to be moving all over the place- you just
want your legs and the board to rotate 180 degrees.
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• After you reach the height of your Ollie, quickly twist your
legs, bringing your back foot forward, to complete the
turning motion.
Landing the frontside 180 Ollie is easier since you are facing
forward the entire time and you get to see where you land.
However, there is still a tendency to land with too much weight
on your font foot and having the board shoot out from under
you. Fix this by remaining centered and staying over your board
while bending your knees as you land.
Learning the 180 Ollie
With both the frontside and backside 180 Ollie, you want to
practice while rolling at a slow, comfortable speed. It is very
difficult to learn this trick stationary because you need some
momentum to turn the whole 180 degrees.
Practice this trick moving at a slow speed at first, then do them
at faster and faster speeds, and you will find that the board will
rotate better the faster you do them.
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Chapter 3- The Kickflip
One of the most difficult tricks to learn as a beginner, the Killer
Kickflip is also one of the most rewarding. Once learned, the
Kickflip can be performed along with spin tricks to create an
almost endless possibility of tricks.
The Kickflip is the trick that separates beginner and intermediate
skaters. After you learn the Kickflip you’ll find that other, more
advanced flip tricks that are variations of the Kickflip (such as the
Varial Flip and Backside Flip) become much easier to learn.
A Kickflip should be done like the Ollie. You pop up the tail and
slide your front foot up the board, flicking out your ankle at the
concave, causing the board to flip. You’ll want to stay over the
board as it flips and land with your feet on the bolts.
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Lets take a more in-depth look at the Kickflip:
Requirements for Learning Kickflips
Before learning Kickflips, you’ll need to be able to Ollie while
rolling. A measly 6 Ollie won’t cut it. You need to be able to Ollie
at least 2 decks (about a foot) consistently before attempting
Kickflip Foot Placement
Place your back foot straight across your tail, with your toes in
the middle of the tail. Some would say to place the ball of your
back foot on the tail, but this decreases your stability and results
in the board rotating backside.
Place your front foot about an inch or two behind the front set of
bolts. You want about half of your front foot on the board, with
your toes slightly facing the nose.
You want to have the majority of your weight on your front foot,
so you stay over your board throughout the trick. Bend your
knees to prepare for the pop, keeping your back straight.
• Pop the board hard with your back foot.
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• Give a strong, solid pop on the tail, but make sure your not
scooping the tail at all. Just slam straight down.
• The Kickflip should start out feeling like an Ollie.
• As your front foot drags up, flick it out and down toward the
corner of the board, where the board starts to bend
• You simply want a nice little flick with your ankle, just
enough to spin the board.
• As soon as you flick, suck up your legs to give the board
some room to spin and prepare for the landing.
• A common problem with the Kickflip is flicking with the
entire leg rather than just the foot. This results in kicking
the board in front of you or a “rocket flip”, which we’ll
discuss later on in the troubleshooting section.
The landing of this trick is all instinct. When you start, the board
will probably flip low and you will land as the board hits the
ground. However, as you get comfortable with the flip, you will
start to catch the board while it’s still in the air. As you land, aim
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to place your feet on the bolts and give a slight knee bend was
you land.
Learning the Kickflip
The Kickflip is perhaps the most frustrating trick to learn, so have
patience when learning it! When first learning this trick, your goal
is to get the board flipping. After that, focus on staying over the
board while it’s flipping.
This is key to learning the Kickflip and what most beginners tend
to ignore. Most people focus on the flip, but if you focus on
staying over the board, the flip will come naturally and the
Kickflip will come much faster.
When you land your first Kickflip, chances are it’s going to look
no where as clean as Andrew Reynold’s. It’ll probably pop up only
a few inches, bounce off the ground, and you’ll catch it in a
manual. Don’t worry though! Congratulate yourself for landing it!
As you continue to practice, focus popping harder and sucking up
your legs more to get them higher and cleaner. You’ll soon begin
to see how easy and effortless Kickflips can be.
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Troubleshooting the Kickflip
Problem: The board does a “rocket flip
Solution: In a rocket flip, the board flips while tilted on the tail.
To fix this problem all you have to do is pop a few Ollies before
hand and then do a Kickflip, feeling the dragging motion of the
Ollie. This helps you concentrate on dragging your front foot UP
and out.
Another reason why the board is flipping on the tail is that you
are kicking with your entire leg. Remember, all you need is a
nice, gentle ankle flick to get the board spinning.
Problem: The board doesn’t flip
Solution: First of all, make sure you have your Ollies down.
Some people move on to the Kickflip before being able to land
clean Ollies and wonder why they can’t get the board to flip.
As you drag your front foot up, flick your front foot out in front of
the bolts, where the nose begins to form. Many try to kick their
foot back in attempts to flip the board, but this does not cause
the board to spin.
Problem: Board does a “nose dive”
Solution: If the board is tilting toward the nose, you are flicking
down too much. Focus on flicking UP and SOUTH FRONT. When
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starting out, it is very easy to want to flick directly down to cause
the board to spin. Again, the Kickflip should feel like an Ollie- you
want to drag your front foot UP and let it leave the board around
the bolts, giving it a little flick.
Problem: My board only flips half way.
Solution: This is a very common problem, caused by not flicking
enough. The farther north you place your front foot, the slower
the board will flip.
To adjust, all you have do is adjust your front foot more north or
south, finding the spot which will cause the board to spin exactly
once in the air.
Problem: Board turns backside
Solution: The most common reason for the board turning
backside and going into a varial is not having shoulders parallel
to the board. You want to keep your shoulders square with your
board as you pop up.
Another possibility is having your foot too much off the board,
and scooping the tail as you pop. Fix this by placing your back
foot straight across your tail, with your toes in the middle of the
Problem: The board lands towards in the back or in front
of me
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Solution: All of the landing problems are caused by being off
balance when popping. If the board lands behind you, you are
leaning too forward. Make sure your head is aligned with the rest
of your body and your back is straight.
If the board lands in front of you, you are not staying over it
while you flip. Imagine the Kickflip as an Ollie- have your weight
of your front foot and stay over the board the whole way
through. Do not shift your weight onto your back foot and lean
back when you pop- this will cause you to kick out too much,
causing the board to flip out in front of you.
If you are still having trouble, this tip will definitely help you out:
simply jump forward a little- you will easily stay over your board.
Problem: Board lands to the north or south of me
Solution: A common problem with the Kickflip is landing with
only toes the board. Simply fix this by keeping your weight
centered and not leaning towards your heels when you pop. Lean
a bit towards your toes if you have to, keeping the board directly
under you at all times.
If the board lands south, you are out off jumping the board.
Although this problem is rare, it is easy to fix. Just focus on
popping the board moving forward (toward your front foot) and
not sideways (towards your toes and heels).
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Problem: I land with one foot
Solution: If the board flips fine, but you are still landing one
footed, it’s a matter of commitment. When starting out, many
skaters have landed Kickflips into manuals, have the board shoot
out, sliding off onto their butts, making them terrified of Kickflips
for the rest of their lives.
As with any trick, you need to stay committed to landing the trick
in order to get it down. If you are landing one footed because the
board is not under you, then you need to check out another
troubleshooting tip to see what exactly the problem is.
Problem: Board flips and lands before I do
Solution: Remember the Ollie? Well, the Kickflip should feel like
one. I think thats only mentioned that about 200 times in this
chapter. Remember to flick UP and out, as you are dragging your
lead foot up.
As you flick, suck up your legs as you would in an Ollie, allowing
the board to stick with you rather than flip and fall down before
you do. Sucking up your legs allows the board to stay
underneath you.
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Chapter 4- The Heelflip
Some argue that the Heelflip is much easier than the Kickflip, but
I personally feel that it’s a tough trick to learn, and should be
treated like a difficult trick. Pay attention to the details of the
trick to build a good foundation to work with.
Requirements for Learning Heelflips
The only requirement for Heelfips is a solid Ollie. This trick will
come to you easier if you can already Kickflip, but it is certainly
not a prerequisite.
Foot Placement
There are many ways to position the front foot. The front foot
should be placed 1-2 inches behind the front bolts. Generally,
skaters will have personal preferences when it comes to how
much toe should hang off, but his is entirely up to you.
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Because everyone is different, experiment with your front foot
positioning until you can find a comfortable spot for your foot.
You will probably find that having 2 inches of your toe hanging
off will feel right.
The back foot should be set up like an Ollie. Here is a general
rule of thumb- the farther north your have your toes of your
front foot off the board, the farther south you should place your
back foot. This is to maintain good balance during the Heelflip.
• Give the board a clean, hard pop!
• Like the Kickflip, the Heelflip should start out feeling like an
• As your front foot drags up, flick it out toward the northfront corner of the board, where the board starts to bend
• You want to slide your front foot diagonally off the board
while Ollying. It’s an up and out motion. I cannot stress this
enough. Most Many beginner skaters kick down or north
with their front foot when attempting to Heelflip. Sliding it
off diagonally will make the board flip much smoother.
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• But this trick is essentially the same as an Ollie- you drag
up with your front foot, but you drag towards the north
front corner and give a little flick.
• Remember to suck up your legs after you flick.
With the Heelflip, it is common to catch the board with with both
feet simultaneously. As long as you suck up your legs as you
flick, the board will naturally find its way to your feet in the air.
As soon as you catch the board, stomp down and ride away.
Learning the Heelflip
I recommend to start learning the Heelflip by practicing
stationary on carpet or grass. As you get comfortable with the
board flipping underneath you, begin to do Heelflips while moving
at a slow, comfortable speed.
It’s important that do not practice all the time standing still. This
will cause bad habits that will be hard to fix when you start doing
them while moving.
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Troubleshooting the Heelflip
Problem: The board flips vertically
Solution: You are kicking out too much with your front foot
and/or leaning back. Remember that this trick is just like an
Ollie, so remain completely centered over your board. Also, focus
your weight on your front heel- this will help you stay centered
and balanced as you pop.
Problem: Board goes south of me
Solution: This is perhaps the most common problem when
learning Heelflips. Because your front foot is hanging off the front
edge of the board, there is a tendency to hunch over and lean
north. When you Ollie, you will jump north, but your board will
flip in place and end up south of you.
To overcome this, focus on leaning south and have your weight
overtop of the board when popping up. Doing so will keep the
board underneath your body through out the trick.
Problem: Landing with the back foot only
Solution: One footed landings are caused by lack of balance. If
you are landing with your back foot on the board, and your front
foot on the ground, you are still leaning forward too much.
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Stay centered of the board, or even lean back just a bit and
imagine doing and Ollie. Your front foot should drag, flick, and
immediately come back on top of the board.
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Chapter 7- The Varial Flip
(180 Varial Kickflip)
Varial Flips are a lot easier than they look. They are one of the
best looking flatland tricks, while also one of the easiest to
Requirements for Learning the Varial Flip
Backside Pop-Shove-it is definitely a must-know. You want to
able to land reasonably high Pop Shove-its. The Kickflip,
however, is optional. Although Varial Flips will come to you
quicker if you can already land Kickflips, they are certainly not a
requirement to learning Varial Flips.
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Many skaters I’ve worked with skaters who have learned Varial
Flips before Kickflips! While you don’t need to be able to land
Kickflips with both feet, you should know how to flip the board
Foot Positioning:
Your front foot should be set up in the Kickflip position, but with
a more exaggerated angle and farther south.
Set up your back foot flat on the tail, as you would for a backside
Pop Shove-it. You may want to move your toes more north to get
more scoop and pop.
• Pop the tail and pull south with your back foot in a scooping
motion to start the spin.
• You don't need a huge scoop to get the spin, just enough to
get 180 degrees.
• You want to pop hard, getting the board up in the air;
otherwise the board will spin a pitiful Varial Flip on the
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• After board has popped up and is slightly angled backside,
then flick your front foot off the side of the board causing it
to flip and spin at the same time.
• As you flick, you also want to give a tiny backside “shove”
with your front foot, to help the board rotate.
• It’s important that you don’t pop and flick at the same time.
Doing so will cause the board to stay and flip on the ground
resulting in an ugly looking Varial Flip. Remember, the
secret to this trick is popping first, then giving a shove to
get it spinning and flipping. This will allow the board to flip
and spin smoother and higher.
• The board will now spin and flip in a smooth motion.
Experiment with the positioning of your front foot, since
where your front foot is determines how the board will flip.
• The more angled or further south and back your front foot
is, the faster the board will flip.
• After you flick, remember to lift your back foot up and suck
up your legs, so the board may spin and flip freely.
• You will find that sucking up will cause the board pop up
higher and “stick” to your feet as you land.
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Your front foot, after flicking out, will naturally find its way back
to the board, so you do not have to worry about bringing your
front foot back. Just focus on staying over your board during the
At first, you may have to jump forward a little to land on top of
the board. After landing a few, you’ll find that you can make the
board stay underneath you by giving the proper amount of scoop
and flick.
Spread your leg as you catch the board to keep balance, bend
your knees and ride away.
Learning the Varial Flip
As I mentioned earlier, the Varial Flip can be learned at the same
time as Kickflips, but you’ll unlock them much quicker if you can
already Kickflip. When starting out, practice them rolling at a
slow speed. This is another trick that you’ll need momentum for,
so doing them stationary isn’t going to cut it.
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Troubleshooting the Varial Flip
Problem: Landing on the board upside down
Solution: You are focusing more on the pop shove it than the
Kickflip. You can fix this several ways.
1. Angle your front foot more to get a faster flip
2. Pop harder, letting the board get more air and having
more time to flip
3. Suck up more to give the board more room to flip
Problem: I land with one foot
Solution: You're not committing. The landing feels just like a
Pop Shove-it. If you can land Pop Shove-its, there is no reason
you cannot land Varial Flips. As always, be as balanced as
possible. Staying centered over your board will place you in the
optimum position to land on the board with both feet.
Problem: My board only flips half way
Solution: One possible reason for a half flip is having too much
of your front foot on the board as you flick. Fix this by moving
your front foot south, letting more of your heel hang off the
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Chapter 8- The Backside Flip
(Backside 180 Kickflip)
The Backside Flip is something every skater should have in his
bag of tricks. Watch any skater’s part in any skate video and you
will see some Backside Flips. It is one of the most stylish tricks
out there and looks awesome down stairs and gaps.
Requirements for Learning the Backside Flip
You need to get your Varial Flips and backside 180s down before
attempting Backside Flips. When you are able to 180 Ollie over
about 2 skateboards, you are definitely ready to learn Backside
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Foot Positioning
Foot positioning is vital in pulling off a clean Backside Flip. Your
front foot should be set up like a Kickflip- set up your front foot a
couple inches behind the front bolts and angle it 45 degrees, with
the heel just hanging off the board.
Your back foot should be set up just like a Kickflip. You want the
ball of your back foot on the center of the tail. This is crucial!
• Give the board a good amount of pop, as you would for an
180 Ollie.
• Start turning your body in the backside direction as soon as
you pop.
• You don’t need much scoop for this trick since it’s mainly
the front foot that guides the board, but you still want to
get a good amount to get the full 180.
• When you have turned about 30-40 degrees, you want to
start the flick.
• Like the Varial Flip, you are going to slide your foot
diagonally (front-south) off the board to start it flipping.
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• Because the board is rotating backside, away from you, you
do not need a powerful flick to get the board spinning. But
you do want to push your front foot a little north, to help
the board rotate.
• Remember, you are doing this while your body is rotating
backside, so it’s important to remain in control and over
your board.
• The timing of the flick is tough and varies from person to
person. Experiment with this step until you find a
comfortable time to flick
The Backside Flip is caught at about 160-170 degrees, unlike the
Frontside Flip, which is caught at 90 degrees and brought
Because of this extended rotation, the catching the board will be
extremely scary at first. Commit to this trick and jump with your
As soon as you catch the board, square your shoulders to keep
your balance. You need to remain centered and balanced when
landing, otherwise the board will shoot out from under you and
you’ll be served some lovely concrete for dinner.
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You can keep your balance by shifting your weight to your (now)
back foot as soon as you land. As you catch, stomp on the board
to prevent it from flipping further. And as always, bend your
knees and ride away smiling.
Learning the Backside Flip
Practice these on flatground first, moving at a slow speed. You
will land some backside 90 degree flips at first. Don’t worry, as
you get more and more comfortable with the timing and rotation
of the trick, you will start throwing down some clean looking
Backside Flips!
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Troubleshooting the Backside Flip
Problem: The board won’t spin all the way.
Solution: Pop higher and get more scoop with your back foot.
Problem: The board does not flip properly
Solution: The flip is all due to the front foot. So you need to
focus on sliding the front foot down diagonally. If the board is
over flipping, adjust by moving your front foot north, and just
give a nice sharp flick. If the board is only flipping half way or
barely flipping at all, move your front foot south or angle it more.
Problem: The board hits my legs
Solution: You are not giving the board enough room to rotate
and flip. Fix this by sucking up your legs.
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Chapter 9- The Frontside Flip
(Frontside 180 Kickflip)
When you think of Frontside Flip, a name immediately jumps to
mind: Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds has the one of cleanest and
best look Frontside Flips and he makes landing Frontside Flips
down huge stair sets and monster gaps look effortless.
Taking careful notice on the execution of this trick and practicing
Frontside Flips regularly will help yours look just like Andrews!
Requirements for learning the Frontside Flip:
Obviously, you want to be able to frontside 180 Ollie and Kickflip.
You want to get your 180s higher, since the board needs room to
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Foot Positioning
Pay close attention to the foot positioning of this trick. It is one of
the most vital aspects of the Frontside Flip and it is a good idea
to focus on where you place your feet and develop good habits.
Put your back foot with the ball of your foot on the southern edge
of tip of the tail. This is crucial! You need the back foot to get
enough scoop to rotate the entire 180, so you want a lot of heel
hanging off.
Place your front foot in the Kickflip position You want your front
foot slightly angled (about 30-45 degrees) and a few inches
behind the front bolts. Be careful that your front toes are not too
close to the southern edge of the board. 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.
• Your back foot plays a major role in this trick. You need to
pop hard with your back foot, but at the same time, scoop
around so you get the board to rotate 180.
• 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.
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• With your front foot, you want to slide it off diagonally
(front-south direction) to start the flip. Unlike the Kickflip,
in which you give a nice little flick at the end, you will need
to kick out hard in order to get the board flipping properly.
• The front foot 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.
• Because this trick is done frontside, you do not have to turn
your body much to complete the 180 rotation. Before
popping though, turn your upper body 90 degrees frontside
to prepare for the trick. Just have your torso facing forward
instead of north when you start the trick.
• 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.
The Frontside Flip is caught in the air after the board rotates 90
degrees. Basically, the board flips, spins 90 degrees, you catch it,
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and bring it around the rest of the way. You need both of your
feet to catch the board at the same time. Otherwise, you will
have a fun time doing Ffrontside 180 splits. After you catch, shift
your weight over your back foot, and stomp the board to the
ground to prevent it from over flipping.
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Troubleshooting the Frontside Flip:
Problem: I can't get the full 180.
Solution: Get more scoop! Move your back toes more south,
have only the very tip of your back foot hanging on the tail. You’ll
need to get lots of scoop for this trick.
Keeping this tip in mind will save you hours of practice! If you
position your back foot like a Kickflip, you’ll just land sideways.
Move your toes back so you can get that extra scoop.
Problem: The board hits my leg.
Solution: You are not catching early enough. Aim to catch the
board at 90 degrees so that you can bring it around with your
legs already on it. You can fix this flicking harder.
Problem: The board always lands upside down
Solution: You are not flipping hard enough. To correct this
problem you should move your front foot (flipping foot) further
south, so less of your foot is one the board. This will help give a
quicker, more efficient flip to complete the trick.
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Chapter 10- The 360 Flip
(Tre Flip/ 3 Flip)
Invented by Rodney Mullen in the 1970’s, the 360 Flip has
become the “king” of flatland tricks and is an instant crowd
pleaser. Watch any skate video and you’ll see footage of Tre Flips
down stairs and gaps.
The trick is actually a lot easier to learn than it seems. While
practicing, the main thing to focus on is the scoop. You will hear
me mention that a million times in this guide, but it truly is the
most important technical part of the trick!
I will go into much more details later, but you want a clean, hard
scoop that gets the board spinning. Add a light ankle flip and you
got a stylish 360 flip!
Requirements for Learning the 360 Flip
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Kickflips and Backside Pop Shove-its are must knows for learning
the 360 flip. One very common misconception is you have to be
able to 360 Shove-it or Varial Flip.
In fact, using 360 Shove-its or Varial Flips as templates for the
360 Flip may hinder your learning of the since they each spin
differently. The only real requirement is being comfortable
rotating and flipping the board before attempting 360 Flips.
Foot Positioning
Place your front foot as you would for a Kickflip, but at a sharper
angle. The exact positioning of the front foot is not that
important since the front foot only flips the board and guides the
The back foot is mainly responsible for the 360 degree rotation of
the board. The ball of your foot should be in the northern edge of
the tail, along the curvature. You may even want to hang your
toe off.
The reason you have your foot so far up in the top right corner is
that you need a lot of scoop in order to get the board rotating
360 degrees.
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• With your back foot, pop hard (get the board as vertical as
possible) and pull back with in a sweeping motion to get the
full 360 degree rotation.
• This scoop is the most important part of the entire trick.
Scoop the hell out of that board!
• You want to scoop in such a way that it feels like the board
is spinning behind you. You do not want the board to spin in
front of you.
• After popping and scooping immediately lift your back foot
up so the board has room to rotate. Your back foot is what
powers this trick- if you have a good amount of scoop
you’re all set.
• With the front foot, just give a gentle forward flick towards
the corner where the concave is to get the board flipping.
Do not give a little backside “shove” with the front foot as
you would with the Varial Flip.
• The front foot simply “gets in the way” and causes the
board to flip. You do not need to worry much about exactly
how to flick; just focus on the back foot scooping.
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• Experiment with the timing of the front foot flick with the
back foot scoop until the board flips and spins smoothly.
Landing is the most difficult part of the 360 Flip. Everyone lands
them differently so you need to discover your own style of
flipping and landing. You’ll want to stay over your board through
out the entire trick, so lean forward a little to keep your board
under you.
When first learning these, notice which way the board tends to
go and jump in that direction. For example, if the board lands
north and back, you need to jump in that direction in order to
catch the board.
As you catch the board and land, you will most likely have a
tendency to fall over forward. Overcome this by bending your
knees and leaning back slightly.
Learning the 360 Flip
Though it is possible to do these stationary, it’s best to learn the
moving. Start practicing at a slow speed until you feel completely
comfortable executing the trick while rolling.
At first, the board will land away from you, but just practice
jumping with the board and pretty soon, you’ll get the flip down
and can naturally stay over the board.
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Troubleshooting the 360 Flip
Problem: I’m always landing on the nose
Solution: You need to put more power into the spin. Scoop the
living daylights out of the board and make the effort to get the
tail to go in front of you. Pop the board harder and try to get it
vertical to get a more powerful spin.
Problem: The board hits my shin
Solution: You need to focus on jumping higher and sucking up
after you start the trick. Make sure to lift you back foot up as
soon as you scoop.
Problem: The board lands away from me
Solution: It will be hard to stay completely over your board
when you first start learning these. Your body will soon adjust
with practice, but to help you land it quicker, you can do two
1. Give the board more pop before you start the scoop. This
means you try to get the board as vertical as you can with
the pop. This motion carries the board into the air along
with you, as opposed to scooping it right away and having it
spin away from you.
2. Jump in the direction the board lands. This technique never
fails- just jump with the board. Your landing may be a little
sloppy, but at least you’re close to landing it. As I
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mentioned before, over time, you no longer need to focus
on jumping forward as your body will naturally adapt to the
trick and keep the board under you.
Problem: I land primo
Solution: Landing primo means the board is either over flipping
or under flipping. If the board is over flipping, you need to ease
off the front foot. The front foot gives a gentle flick- not a violent
kick. If the board under flips, angle it more or move it back so it
provides a more efficient flick.
Also be sure to suck up your legs, giving the board more room to
spin and flick, so you manage to catch the board in the air.
Problem: I can’t get the full 360 degree rotation
Solution: Since the rotation is all in the back foot there is only
one way to fix this- scoop harder! Your front foot may be
interfering with the spin- be sure to give nothing more than a
gentle kick forward with the front foot.
Remember: it’s all in the scoop!
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Chapter 11- The Hardflip
Hardflips are almost always every skater’s “goal trick”. Your
flatground bag of tricks won’t be complete until the Hardflip is
added to your arsenal. They are extremely stylish and look nice
in every situation, whether you do them on flatground, down
stairs or over gaps.
Requirements for Learning the Hardflip
Know the Frontside Shove-it, Kickflip, and Frontside Flip before
learning the Hardflip. Although the Hardflip is a combination of
the frontside Pop Shove-it and Kickflip, knowing the Frontside
Flip will accelerate your learning of the Hardflip.
Foot Placement
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Like many advanced flip tricks, your foot positioning is extremely
vital to pulling off a clean Hardflip. You want to set your back
foot at a 30 degree angle on the middle of the tail. Moving your
back foot a little more south can help you get the board spinning
the full 180.
Your front foot should be 3-4 inches behind the front bolts,
turned at a 50 degree angle. You want about half of your foot
hanging off the board.
• The pop of the Hardflip is the toughest part of the trick. The
board will flip vertically and go through your legs.
• At first, it will be very scary committing to this trick, so you
may want to practice on a mini deck to build your
• As you prepare to pop, turn your upper body to face the
nose. With your back foot, you are going to scoop, not pop,
the tail in a Frontside Pop Shove-it motion. This will get the
board rotating frontside. Make sure you give a powerful
scoop so the board completes the full spin.
• After scooping, lift your back foot north and up so the board
has room to spin freely. Remember to jump high and suck
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up your legs, since the board needs a lot of room to flip and
• To get the board flipping, use your front foot and slide it
diagonally off the board when the board has popped up
about 45 degrees.
• Since the board is already rotating in the frontside
direction, you only need a slight flick to get the board
flipping. However, you need to kick your front foot out to
give the board room to spin and flip.
Catching and landing are the toughest parts of this trick. After
the board completes the flip and spin, focus on catching the
board with your front foot first, to stop further flipping and spin.
Then, bring down your back foot and stomp it to the ground. I
have seen some skaters catch the board with their back feet first,
but you need to be careful when doing this, since the board will
tend to shoot out.
Finally, land with your knees bent and a huge grin on your face.
Learning the Hardflip
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It is best to learn the Hardflip rolling at a moderate speed. You
might want to practice with a mini deck, if you’re worried about
popsicling yourself.
Many skaters don’t commit to the Hardflip since they fear getting
hurt, so a smaller deck will help you overcome that.
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Troubleshooting the Hardflip
Problem: The board always hits my front leg
Solution: The board is hitting your front leg because you are not
providing enough room for it to spin and flip. Make sure you kick
out your front farther.
Problem: I have trouble flipping the board
Solution: By this time, you should know what causes the board
to flip too much or too little. Simply adjust by flicking harder or
softer, or adjust your foot position.
Problem: The board goes in front or behind me.
Solution: If the board shoots out in front of you, you need to
lean forward. Similarly, if the board ends up in back of you, you
are leaning forward too much and you need to lean back more.
Problem: I get popsicled when I Hardflip
Solution: Ouch! First, check to make sure you’re not bleeding.
Then make sure you give enough scoop on your subsequent
Hardflips. Not enough scoop causes the board to stop vertically in
the air, putting you in a very unhealthy position. Also, jump
higher and suck up your legs more to ensure the board has
enough room to flip.
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Chapter 12 The Backside Heelflip
There isn’t really much to say about backside 180 Heelflips. They
are just a combination between backside 180 Ollies and Heelflips.
It requires much practice to get these down, but they are one of
the best looking tricks around.
Requirements for Learning Backside 180 Heelflips
Obviously, you’ll want to know Backside 180s and Heelfips pretty
well. Get your backside 180s pretty high, since you need a lot of
room for the board to spin. Knowing Backside 180 Kickflips isn’t
crucial, but it can definitely facilitate the learning process.
Foot Placement
Place your front foot a little further back than you would for a
normal Heelflip, and set up your back foot as you would for an
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Ollie. You may even want your back foot a little further south on
the tail so it doesn’t get in the way of the board flipping.
• Give a good, hard pop to get some decent height. Because
this trick spins a little slower, you’ll need a bigger pop.
• As you pop, start turning your body backside, just like a
backside 180.
• Put some weight on the heel of your front foot before you
start the trick.
• After you pop, give a good, clean flick with your heel by
dragging it towards the front northern edge of your board.
The motion will feel pretty natural.
Catch the board after you have rotated about 90-100 degrees.
Catch with your back foot first and bring the board the rest of the
way with your leg. You can also give a little pivot if you can’t get
the full 180. The motion of this trick is remarkable similar to the
Frontside Flip, since it is a mirror image of the Frontside Flip.
Reread the landing tips for the Frontside Flip and apply them to
this trick.
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Learning the Backside 180 Heelflip
Learn this trick moving at a slow speed. There is almost no way
you can spin the full 180 if you’re doing it stationary.
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Troubleshooting the Backside 180
Problem: I can't flip the board all the way.
Solution: As always, experiment with your foot positions and try
to place your feet in different places. Focus your weight on your
heels, and give a quick, sharp, flick.
Problem: I land one footed
Solution: Either you’re not committed enough to the trick, or
you do not have your weight even distributed. While you want to
have your weight on your heels, you don’t want to be leaning
forward. Stay centered over your board and keep it under you at
all times.
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Chapter 13- The 50-50 Grind
The 50-50 is the most basic of grinds. 50-50s set the foundations
for the other grinds, and once you have them mastered, other,
more advanced grinds will come to you naturally.
• Come up to the target at a slight angle. When you get close
enough, Ollie up onto the target, letting both trucks hit at
the same time. Slight bend your knee as you land to keep
your balance and ride out the grind.
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• During your grind, it’s important to stay centered over your
board to keep your balance. If you’re leaning too forward or
backwards, the board can easily shoot out from you.
• To get off of the grind, you can do one of two things. You
can simple lean back a little and lift up your nose to finish
the grind. OR, if you have time, pop an Ollie to get off of
the grind.
When first starting out, a great way to practice 50-50s is to lay
down a small pole or hockey stick and practice Ollying on to that.
You don’t necessarily have to grind it; just get comfortable
getting in the 50-50 position on top of it from different angles.
Practice from both the right and left side, getting used to
backside and Frontside 50-50’s. Once you master that, find a
nice, waxed curb to practice your 50-50s on. You need to be
rolling at a moderately fast speed so you have enough
momentum to grind properly, otherwise, you will just suddenly
When you’re comfortable with curbs, you can now take your 5050s onto higher surfaces such as ledges, rails, and eventually
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Chapter 13- The 5-0 Grind
• Ride parallel to your target as you would for a 50-50 grind.
Ollie on to the target and shift your weight on your back
• Get into the grind with your back foot pressing on the tail,
but still leaning forward so you don’t slip out.
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• To get out of the grind, simply shift your weight back onto
your front foot. Just simply pivot out of the grind and ride
Practice the 5-0 grind by rolling up to your target at a slow,
comfortable speed. Pop an Ollie, shifting your weight onto your
back foot as you land on top of your obstacle. Repeat this until
you become comfortable Ollying into the 5-0 position.
Next, roll up and 5-0 at a faster speed, but not too fast. You
want to gradually increase your speed so you get a good feel for
how much you should lean as you are grinding.
There’s not much else to say about this trick; just practice until
you can stay balanced throughout the grind.
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Chapter 15- the Board Slide
• This is another basic trick, but unlike grinds, you will be
sliding much faster. For the Frontside Board Slide, you’ll
need to know how to Ollie in the Frontside direction.
Likewise, you need to be comfortable with backside Ollies
for backside Board Slides.
• Begin by riding toward your target a comfortable speed.
Depending on whether you want to do a backside or
frontside Board Slide, Ollie up 90 degrees frontside or
• A key aspect of the Board Slide is to land into the slide
balanced so the board doesn’t shoot out from underneath
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you. You can accomplish this by a slight knee bend. If you
are leaning back, even the slightest bit, be prepared slip!
• During the slide, you just need to keep your weight
centered and your shoulders parallel with the board. This
will be extremely easy if you land into the slide balanced.
• To complete the slide, do a quick 90 degree turn, either
frontside or backside to get out of the slide.
A great way to practice Board Slides is to do them on parking
blocks. When first practicing, just get comfortable with going into
the slide without falling. Parking blocks are at a low height, and
are very smooth, reducing the risk of injury. It is best to start off
practicing on low blocks rather than rails so you won’t be scared
of falling and can focus on balancing your body throughout the
As you start to get a feel for the slide, focus on getting out of the
slide until you can slide out smoothly.
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Chapter 16- The Nose Grind
The Nose Grind is another basic grind that looks great down
handrails or across ledges. The toughest part of learning the
Nose Grind is figuring out how to balance yourself over your front
trucks as you grind. Before trying the Nose Grind, it is important
to be comfortable with the 50-50 grind and the nose manual.
• Approach the target at a moderate speed, depending on the
length of the target. The faster you go, the longer you will
be able to grind for.
• Since the Nose Grind relies on only the front trucks, it is
important to find a smooth target. You will find it extremely
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difficult to Nose Grind a ledge or curb with many cracks and
• Ride parallel to the object and prepare for the grind by
setting your feet as you would for an Ollie. Give a good,
clean pop to the tail and Ollie up.
• As you come down on your Ollie, you want the nose pointed
down towards the target, as you would for a nose manual.
Hold this position by keeping your front leg straight and
bending your back leg.
• Put a moderate amount of pressure on your back foot to
keep the board straight and prevent it from turning
• You want enough weight on the nose so you are locked into
the grind, but you don’t want the nose to drag and cause
you to lose momentum. In other words, it is best if you
grind solely on your front trucks, but having the nose touch
a little is okay.
• You want your weight on the front nose, but you don’t want
to be leaning forward. This is where many skaters have
trouble. Leaning forward will cause the board to shoot
backwards and throw you forward. Instead, you want your
body to be centered over your board, keeping extra
pressure on the nose with your front foot.
• To complete the grind, simply do a small Nollie and land
back on the ground.
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One of the best ways to practice the Nose Grind is to practice the
nose manual, since the nose grind is basically a nose manual
performed on a rail, coping, or ledge. Practice Ollying into nose
manuals and holding them for at least five to ten seconds.
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Chapter 17- The Crooked Grind
The Crooked Grind is an extremely good looking grind. However,
before learning the Crooked Grind, you should be able to Nose
• Crooked Grinds are very much like nose grinds. Come up
parallel to your target, with your front foot a little closer to
the nose.
• Pop your tail and Ollie onto the target. Putting your weight
on your font foot, straighten out your front foot while
keeping your back leg a little bent. When your front trucks
lock onto your target, push your back foot so the tail out at
an angle (so that it’s crooked)
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• Push your nose all the way down and keep your weight
centered over your front trucks as you’re grinding.
• It will take some time to learn the correct balance, but
experiment with different foot placements after you get a
feel for the grind. Remember you have to press the nose
completely down on the target, so they are easier to
balance than Nose Grinds.
• To get out of the grind, you’ll want shift your weight off the
nose. Then pop a semi-Nollie out and ride away!
You must be rolling at a moderately fast speed in order to grind
smoothly. For this reason, it’s a good idea to learn the Nose
Grind first so you can start trying this trick moving at a quick
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Chapter 18- The Nose Slide
The Nose Slide is a clean looking trick that’s pretty easy to learn.
Before learning this trick, you should be able to frontside or
backside 180 Ollie in the direction you want to Nose Slide in.
• Ride parallel to the target at a good, comfortable speed.
When starting out, it is a good idea to try these on ledges
and curbs rather than rails, since with rails, there is the
possibility of leaning too much and falling over to the other
• As you approach your target, you want to set up your feet
in 180 position. Have your front foot a little closer to the
nose, so it can reach and press down on the nose quicker.
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• Pop an Ollie and shift your weight over your front foot,
which should now be over your nose. Lock your nose onto
the target and stay balanced throughout the slide. A good
tip for balancing the Nose Slide is keeping your arms
parallel to the target rather than your board.
• To get out of the slide, simply press down with your front
foot and give a slight scoop to turn the nose of the board
off of the target. Land on all four wheels and ride away.
A great way to practice Nose Slides is to practice olleing into
nose stalls on a curb or ledge. Once you get good nose stalls by
approaching straight on, practice olleing into nose stalls riding by
parallel to the obstacle, so you’ll have to do a quick 90 degree
Don’t worry if lose you’re leaning over too much after getting into
the nose stall- the important thing to focus on is shifting your
weight over the nose and locking it in place.
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Chapter 19- The Smith Grind
The Smith Grind is definitely a tough trick to learn. The most
frustrating part of this trick is figuring out the right amount of
pressure on the tail. However, once you experiment and get that
down, you will be able to pull off one of the nicest looking grinds
• Before learning the Smith Grind, it is important to be
familiar with 50-50s and Lipslides as well. Knowing the 5-0
grind is not a must, but will definitely accelerate the
learning of this trick.
• Approach your target a good speed. The faster you go, the
longer you’ll be able to grind for. Set up your feet as you
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would for an Ollie. Some like to set up their front foot a
little more toward the front. This will help you balance the
grind better, since your legs are further apart.
• Pop up your tail and Ollie, bringing your tail towards the
object, sort of like a Lipslide.
• Lock your back trucks onto the target, and push down with
your front foot, so the middle on the deck is also touching
and your front trucks are hanging below the target.
• Be sure to stay centered over your back truck; if you’re
leaning forward too much, your board just stick and you’ll
quickly fall out of the grind.
• To complete the grind, simple give the tail a slight pop and
land your wheels.
This is a hard trick to learn and will take much practice before
mastering it. Start out by practice on grind rails rather than curbs
or ledges. Grind rails can be scary to learn on, but it’s a good
idea to start out by practicing on them because it’s much easier
to learn the correct balance on them, since your board won’t be
as tilted as they would if you were using a ledge.
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Chapter 20- The Tail Slide
The Tail Slide is a little harder than the Nose Slide, since the tail
is slightly shorter, so you have a smaller sliding surface. Before
learning this trick, you should be able to frontside or backside180
Ollie in the direction you want to Tail Slide in.
• Ride parallel to your target at a confortable speed. Like the
Nose Slide, it is best to try this trick on a ledge or curb first
since they’re easier to balance on. Set up as you would for
a backside or frontside 180 Ollie.
• Pop your tail and do a quick 90 degree Ollie to get your tail
locked onto the obstacle. Apply pressure to your tail and
shift most of your weight over it. Again, keep your arms
parallel to the obstacle so you remain balanced throughout
the slide.
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• As you near the end of the slide, shift your weight evenly to
both legs. Give a quick press with your front foot and turn
out of the slide. Land on the ground and ride away!
Like the Nose Slide, a good way to practice the tail slide is Ollie
into tail stalls. Do this by rolling parallel along a curb or ledge at
a moderately slow speed. Pop an Ollie and turn 90 degrees away
from the curb, locking your tail onto the curb. Be sure to shift
your weight to your back foot so you remain locked onto the
ledge or curb.
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The 5 Most Common Skateboarding
1. Not Popping Hard Enough- This may sound like
common sense, but you’d be surprised how many skaters do no
pop hard enough. This is because we’re not really consciously
aware of our movements- they have become completely
habituated. Strive to slam down on the tail hard as you can every
single time you pop. Whether you’re doing a flatground Kickflip
or Ollying a 7 set, aim to pop as hard as you can every single
time. Over time, your body will develop a habit of popping hard,
and your tricks will be naturally higher. This is one of the most
overlooked parts of skateboarding.
2. Leaning Over your Board- As you bend down to
prepare for the pop, be sure to squat- do not lean over the edge
of your board. This throws off your balance and leaves you with
less control over your board and body. The only exception to this
is when you’re learning a new trick and the board is going away
from you. Leaning in the opposite direction when you first learn
the trick will help keep the board under your feet. As you become
more and more comfortable with doing the trick, your body will
naturally stop leaning and the board will stay under you without
you adjusting.
3. Bending Down Too Much or Too Little- This is
something I have discovered recently. I found out that bending
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down too much slows down the popping motion and, as a result,
you lose height on tricks. Bending down too little doesn’t give
you enough power for a good clean pop. This is like bending your
knees before jumping. If you bend them all the way so your butt
is practically touching the ground, you won’t jump very high
because it’ll takes longer for your legs to extend, and you lose a
lot of the force. If you don’t bend enough, you won’t be able to
generate enough force to jump as high as you can. The trick is to
bend the optimal amount- somewhere in the middle. Personally,
I like to bend slightly more for gaps and stairs and not as much
for flatground.
4. Letting a Bad Day Affect You- Everyone has bad dayseven professionals. The key is seeing past them and not letting
them affect you. Skateboarding is a wonderful journey with many
ups and downs. After you land a huge gap or learn a new trick,
you feel like you’ve conquered the world. But when you have
days when you get hurt or can’t land anything, you’ll think about
giving up. If you’re having a bad day, make the most out of it.
Read some motivational quotes if you have to. Just remember
that the harder you work, the greater your rewards.
5. Skating without a Goal- In section one, we learned
about the importance of goal setting and how it gives us a
purpose and direction. Many skateboarders skate without really
thinking about why they’re doing it and what they want to get
out of it. Think about why you started skateboarding. Was it
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because your friends did it? Was it because skating is the “cool”
thing to do? Well whatever the reason may have been, I’m sure
they have changed by now. You probably want to skate because
it creates a sense of freedom, creativity, and thrill. Make sure
you know why you’re skateboarding. If you’re doing it to “be
cool” or to “fit in” I can bet you won’t last long. Also, think about
what you want to get out of skateboarding. Set goals and think
about where you would like to be in 6 months, 1 year, and 5
years. Maybe you want to go pro. Maybe you want to skate a
famous spot. Maybe you just want to skate for the sake of having
fun. Whatever, you want, just be sure to write it down and
remember it every time you skate. Of course, your goals can
change over time and you are encouraged to stop every once in
a while and reflect upon what you really want.
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How to Get Your Tricks Higher
The main problem with executing tricks low is not enough pop.
Simply put, all you have to do is pop harder. However, there
are others factors that influence how much air you get. Here
are some additional ways to increase the height of your tricks
Sucking up- Sucking up your legs will give the board more
time to stay in the air. As you drag your front foot up after
you pop, the board naturally follows. Thus, if you suck in your
legs, the board will have a tendency to go higher.
Moving your front foot back- Moving your front foot back
gives your front foot more room to drag, which naturally
brings the board closer up to your body.
Using more of your toe to pop- Using the toes of your back
foot to pop allows you to give a sharp, quick snap, which in
turns gets the board moving up faster. Having some of your
heel on there gives you more balance, but at the same time,
slows you down. Experiment with the back foot placement
until you get a good, high pop, but still keeping balance.
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Part II: Skating to Success
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Table of Contents
Setting up for Success
Making Sure you Stay Committed and Get Results
How to Set your Skate Goals
Goal Outline Page
Success Enhancers
Skate Card
Success Questions
Skate Progress Planner
How to Defeat Frustration
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Chapter 1: Setting up for
Goal Setting: Guaranteeing Success
Groannn! The concept of goal setting seems somewhat cliché and
seems totally unrelated to skateboarding. However, it’s hard to
argue against once you consider it carefully. Strongly enough,
virtually everyone agrees that goals are important, yet less than
5% of the population has one…
Goals give us purpose in life. They direct us in all areas of lifepersonal, career, spiritual, and material. Goals give us a reason
to wake up early and go to bed late at night.
They drive us to do the things we do allow us to avoid the things
we do not want. In essence, goals put drive and passion in our
What if we don’t have any goals? Then we are driving across the
country without a map. We will wander around aimlessly, without
any purpose or direction. Not having goals is why some skaters
quit after they learn all the flatland tricks. They become
disappointed and ask, “Is this all there is?”
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In addition, having a goal will dramatically facilitate anything we
desire to accomplish. Traditionally, goal setting courses are
geared toward helping someone achieve success in areas of
finance, relationships and physical fitness.
However, I have adopted these goal setting principles and fine
tuned them to apply directly to skateboarding so you can learn
tricks much, much faster, land them on a more consistent basis
and have loads of fun in the process!
Apply the techniques I’m about to teach you, you will soon have
a fully functional map to use to reach your skateboarding dreams
and desires.
I strongly recommend you buy a notebook to use as
Skateboard Success Journal and devote it to writing down
your goals and using it for other techniques mentioned in this
I say this knowing that many of you will not take action and get a
notebook. Just keep in mind that the benefits you receive from
this book are equal to the amount of effort you put in.
How to Make Sure you Stay Committed and Get Results
Make a firm commitment to yourself right now that you will work
to improve on your skateboarding everyday and write that
commitment down in your Skateboarding Success Journal.
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Without a written declaration of your intent to improve, it
becomes easy to forget or skip exercises because you don’t feel
like doing them. Make a decision right now that you will give
100% of yourself to working on improving your skateboarding
I know that you will encounter many roadblocks on your journey
to become the best skater you can be. At times, you will be too
tired, lazy, or busy to do these exercises. Just remember that the
biggest difference between champions and regular people is that
champions stay focused on completing activities which are the
highest and best use of their time.” With that said, lets get
How to Set your Skate Goals
Now that we understand the importance of goal setting, let’s take
a look the basic outline. Here is the basic 6 step process I
developed for setting and achieving whatever you want:
1. Decide what you want
2. Write down what you want
3. If possible, make each goal more specific
4. Set a deadline date for each goal
5. Write down enough compelling reasons for achieving your
6. Brainstorm a few actions you can take
1. Decide what you want
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If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you
can become it.
William Arthur Ward
Many years ago, it was thought by some to be impossible to run
a four minute mile. Experts said it couldn’t be done. They said
our cardiovascular system wasn’t ready for it. Our bone structure
wasn’t right. Our muscles weren’t suitable.
In 1954, a man named Roger Banister quit believing in the
“experts” and started believing in Roger Banister.
He broke the 4 minute mark and within a month, others
accomplished the same thing! The four minute mile is now the
standard of all professional middle distance runners. If you can
imagine it, you can achieve it.
Start by telling yourself that you do deserve success when it
comes to skateboarding, and the level of success you want is
attainable. When you believe that it’s possible to reach what you
define as success, you have taken your first step toward
achieving your dreams!
As long as you accept that you can be successful when it comes
to skateboarding and you are willing to take action, I am 100%
confident that you will reach your goals.
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But what is “success” exactly? Success is exactly what you define
it to be. To some, success at skateboarding is turning pro. To
others, success is being sponsored by a local skate shop.
And to others, success is being able to land Kickflips. I cannot tell
you what success means to you; only you can do that. I can only
help you achieve that success.
2. Write Down What you Want
Take a moment right now to jot down some your goals in your
Skateboard Success Journal- write down what you want to
accomplish in skateboarding.
Write what you truly desire, no matter how impossible it may
Make two lists. Make a Goal Tricks list, where you include all the
tricks you want to learn and an Other Goals list, where you write
down anything else you want to accomplish in skateboarding.
Jot down a cool trick you saw in a skate video. Jot down a new
trick that you made up. Jot down a crazy line you’ve always
wanted to do. Jot down a gap or stair set you’ve dreamed of
doing. There are no limits. Jot down anything you like.
Here are a few initial goals I wrote down:
Goal Tricks:
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• be able to land all the tricks taught in Tony Hawk Trick Tips
Vol. 2 ( this was the only resource I had to learn
skateboarding tricks
Other Goals:
• be able to land any given trick at least 50% of the time
• be able to Kickflip the Worcestor Bush Gap ( a popular local
Over time, I added a few more goals. But the point is this: write
down anything you desire, no matter how impossible or trivial
they seem. Write anything from landing Ollies to getting
sponsored to Smith Grinding El Toro.
You may write as many goals as you want; I only had a couple,
but you may have 10, 20, or even 50 goals you want to
As I said earlier, do not dismiss a goal because it seems
“impossible.” Your goals should make you feel uncomfortable
because you probably have no idea how to achieve them.
The reason most people don’t set goals is that they are afraid of
failing. The fear of failure inhibits us from going for what we
want. We sometimes feel fear that failing to succeed will bring
unbearable negative consequences.
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These people rationalize (usually unconsciously) that if they
never set a goal, they can never fail. Unfortunately, these people
also fail to realize that the flip side of this pattern is that they will
also not succeed!
If fear of failure seems to affect you and the actions you take,
consider that even if you fail to realize your goal, it’s still likely
that you have improved to a measurable degree along the way.
For example, maybe you set a goal to enter a local skateboard
contest. It turned out that you came in dead last and felt terribly
embarrassed. But consider what really matters—did you
significantly improve your skating abilities in the process of
pursuing the goal? If so, you efforts were totally worthwhile. Turn
into a “process oriented” person, eager to learn from the process
rather than focusing exclusively on the outcome.
How do we overcome this fear of failure? By setting a goal so
large that it is quite possible for us to fail! You cannot have
success without failure or failure without success.
The key thing here is that you MUST write it somewhere. You
might ask, “do I have to write my goals down? Can’t I just
remember them?” The answer is, ABSOLUELY NOT! You must
write them down on paper or type them in a document otherwise
it’s not a goal. It’s simply a wish, a vague desire or a fantasy.
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Many studies have shown that goals written down are much more
likely to be actualized than goals kept in the back of the mind
since they are much clearer and focused.
3. Make your Goals More Specific
It was a little while after I set my initial goals that I realized that
it is better to be extremely specific when setting an objective.
Instead of writing “be able to land all the tricks in Tony Hawk
Trick Tips Vol. 2” I should have written, “be able to land the
Backside Flip, Frontside Flip, Varial Flip, 360 Flip, etc” and list out
the specific trick I desired to learn.
In the same way, your desire to “get better at skateboarding”
isn’t a goal. It must be specific and measurable.
This reduces the vagueness of the goal and gave your mind
something specific to focus on when you skate. If you wrote any
vague goals, take the time now to split them up into more
specific goals.
4. Set a Date You Want to Learn the Trick by
Now that you have written down your goals, you must set a
rough date you want to accomplish it by. Make sure you’re
reasonable when setting the date.
I want to emphasize that this should not be seen as a “deadline.”
The word, deadline turns many people off because it is
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associated with the idea that you’re doing something you don’t
want to, but have to, since you must complete it by a certain
date. The date should be seen as a goal, something to shoot for
and as a way to push yourself to make sure you’re on track.
However, just because you wrote down “by tomorrow” doesn’t
mean you’re going to accomplish immediately. Give yourself a
reasonable amount of time to accomplish each goal.
Be sure to have fun while setting your goals. By writing down
what you want and when you want it, you are setting yourself up
for massive success!
5. List Reasons
Your goals must be personally meaningful. In other words, it
must be worthy of your unconditional resolve and personal
sacrifice. You must be willing to giving up something in order to
gain something greater as a result for the allotted time-frame. It
must contain real value and undeniable potential to improve your
Now, write down a couple of reasons for why you want to
accomplish your goals. In studying goal setting, it was discovered
that many fail to achieve success simply because they didn’t
have clear and compelling reasons for doing so.
Do not let this sabotage your success!
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Give serious thought as to why you desire to achieve a goal. Do
you want to be able to land Switch Hardflips? Why? Do you want
to become sponsored? Why? The more compelling reasons you
have for achieving your goals, the greater your chances for
accomplishing them.
Keep in mind that every person has different reasons for wanting
something. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. We all
have different values, so the reasons that you give must be
completely honest, strong and motivating to you.
Here are a few reasons I had for wanting to succeed at
• to impress my friends and family
• to be respected
• to increase my passion for skateboarding
• to be good at something and feel that sense of
• to prove to myself I can succeed if I try
• to meet and befriend new people
• to prove to others that I can be good at something
• to have fun
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The more reasons you have the better. Just be sure your reasons
truly represent your desire for something.
As you constantly review your reasons, you will find yourself
becoming more and more motivated to strive toward your goals.
Anytime you feel frustrated, upset, angry, tired or unmotivated,
all you have to do is to look over your list of reasons, and your
mind will immediately shift frames, bringing back the motivation
needed to accomplish your goals.
6. Brainstorm ways to achieve your goals
Now that you know what you want and why you want them, you
are pretty much set on accomplish them. Your mind now has a
target to aim for.
Motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, found that if you simply write
your goals on a sheet of paper and put it away, you will achieve
six out of seven of them in a year. How liberating is that?
Did you write everything down? If not, go back and do it now!
This exercise is key to your future success in skateboarding!
In this last step, you will be coming up with ideas that will lead
you to accomplishing your goals. By simply listing your goals,
you are pretty much set for success. However, we can
materialize our goals much quicker if we come up with ways of
accomplishing them.
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Now, take the time to write down a few things you can do that
will lead you closer to your goals. Write down anything at all no
matter how insignificant that will ultimately allow you to achieve
your dreams.
For example, if your goal is to become sponsored by XYZ
Skateshop, some actions you can take are
• make a sponsor video
• learn more about the shop
• buy a better skateboard
• talk to people who are already sponsored
• etc.
If your goal is to be able to land 360 flips, you may write
• set aside an additional 30 min a day to practice
• read trick tips of 360 flips
• ask for advice from friends who can already land them
• etc.
Just jot down anything, no matter how obvious or simple that will
guide you in the direction you want. Now we’re going to transfer
all this onto a single sheet of paper you can refer to anytime.
Prepare a new page in your Skateboarding Success Journal
and use the following outline:
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Goal Outline Cheatsheet
Today’s Date:___________
Goal Tricks & Deadline
Other Goals & Deadline
Reasons for my goals
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Things I can do to reach my goals
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Read over this goal sheet several times a day. I suggest looking
at it when your first wake up, before you skate, after you skate
and before you sleep. Staying consistently focused on what you
want and why will bring your goals to life much quicker.
That’s it! You have successfully set your goals, and are well on
your way to doing what you’ve always dreamed of!
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Chapter 2: Success
Now that we decided on what we want and when we want them,
we have taken the first step to achieving them. There are still
many things we can do to ensure we reach our goals as quickly
as possible! We call these techniques Success Enhancers:
1. Keeping a Goal Card
2. Visualization
3. Success Questions
4. Skate Progress Chart
1. Skate Card: Making Sure You’re On
One of the best ways to reach your goals in the shortest time
possible is to write them on an index card and carry it around in
your pocket. Then, you must read it aloud to yourself whenever
you get the chance.
This is exactly how wealth guru, Bob Proctor, achieved success. A
high school drop out with a resume of dead end jobs, Bob simply
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wrote down his financial goals on an index card, kept it in his
pocket, and read it aloud to himself whenever he got the chance.
Within a year, he made more than $100,000, and soon topped
the $1 million mark!
How to Make a Skate Card
All you have to do is pick a goal from your list, and write it on an
index card in this format, “I now choose to [insert your goal
here] in a natural, effortless and growth seeking manner. This or
something better”
The last statement, “This or something better”, is sort of like an
insurance policy- it prevents your ego from being too demanding
and guarantees that you will receive what is best for you.
How a Skate Card Works
If you are constantly reading your goal and reminding yourself,
your mind will become more and more focused on reaching it.
Soon, the goal will be implanted into your subconscious mind,
which will constantly look for ways to accomplishing it.
The Subconscious is the part of the mind that has the
“instructions” for running your day to day life. Anything you do
that you do not think about is controlled by your subconscious
mind. Habits, thought patterns, and behavior are all controlled by
the Subconscious.
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There are often memories of negative experiences or beliefs that
are imprinted in there that lead to self-sabotage, low selfesteem, and unwanted behavior. By constantly thinking about
what we want (constantly reading Skate Card), we are
impressing positive images into the subconscious and we will
naturally do whatever is necessary to achieve what we want.
My 360 Flip Story
After relearning the Kickflip and Backside Flips, I decided it was
time to learn how to throw down some nasty Tres. This is what
my Skate Card for that week looked like:
I now choose to constantly land
360 flips in a natural, effortless
and growth seeking manner. This
or something better
I kept it in my pocket and read it whenever I had the chancewhenever I went to the bathroom, before meals, when I got into
my car, before I skated, after I skated, while I skated, when I
woke up, before I went to bed, etc.
Before the week was over, I landed my first 360 flip! It only took
2 or 3 days of 1 hour practice sessions. And this was after not
having touched a skateboard for almost four years!
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The more you read it aloud to yourself, the quicker the goal will
plant in your mind, and the faster your subconscious will
materialize it. When you accomplish a goal, go reward yourselfit’s going to feel great. Then, decide on another goal you wish to
achieve and write that one on a card.
Keep creating new goal cards and constantly reading them until
all of your goals have been reached. Using this method, you will
be surprised at how quickly you will achieve your dreams!
2. Visualization: Conditioning your Body
for Success
This is the traditional process by which we learn a new trick:
First, our mind has an image of what the trick looks like. We then
gather information that will guide us to land the trick. We learn
about the foot positioning, the amount of pop we give, what the
front foot should do, where our balance should be, etc.
Next, we actually try the trick. Our initial attempts almost always
results in failure. Why? Just because we know what we’re
supposed to do doesn’t mean we’re going to do it right. We must
experiment numerous times before we get a good feel of how the
trick actually works.
Eventually, we land the trick and remember the actions that
caused it to happen. After repeated landings, our body
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automatically remembers what it feels like to land a particular
trick, fires the appropriate muscle movements, and we can finally
land it on a consistent basis. The trick is now “learned.”
The time it takes to complete this process can be quite a long
time. Personally, it took me about 3 months of skating many
times a week before I landed my first Kickflip.
Although the amount of time it takes varies from individual to
individual, this traditional method of learning tricks is ineffective
because it relies heavily on the body to get a feel for the trick.
However, when you use your mind to assist you in learning a
trick, you’ll be absolutely astonished at how quickly and effortless
the trick comes to you.
This is where visualization comes in.
How Visualization Works
One of the greatest advantages of our mind is its ability to be
“trained” and “programmed.” It is the ability to visualize our
intended destination or goal.
Our mind thinks in pictures, not in words. Everyone sees pictures
so we think in pictures as well. Think about your skateboard. Did
a picture of your skateboard flash upon the screen of your mind?
You saw the image of your skateboard, not the words, s-k-a-t-eb-o-a-r-d.
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If you cannot genuinely picture yourself achieving your goal,
chances are, it’s not going to be actualized. The old, overused
and clichéd axiom, “conceive, believe, and achieve,” is packed
with truth.
But what’s so special about seeing images in your mind? This is
extremely important because your subconscious mind cannot tell
the difference between a real experience and one that is vividly
imagined! Read that sentence over again and think about it.
The Power of Imagining
Psychologist, Alan Richardson, conducted an interesting study to
prove this point. He formed three groups of basketball players
and selected them to make a series of free-throws.
Group A practiced making free throws for 20 minutes a day for
three weeks.
Group B visualized making free throws for 20 minutes a day.
The third group, Group C, served as a control group and did
Interestingly enough, after three weeks, the group that actually
practiced improved their free throw percentage by 24%. The
group that didn’t practice at all showed no improvement. And the
group that visualized making free throws improved by 23%!
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If this doesn’t get you excited about the possibilities of
visualization, I don’t know what will! Visualizing yourself having
already accomplished your goal will bring you to that goal much
How do we visualize ourselves achieving our goals? Simple- there
is a simple outline we must follow to effectively take advantage
of the visualization process.
How to Make Visualization Work for You
1. Write a Metastory
2. Put yourself in a relaxed state
3. Visualize yourself already having achieved the goal
4. Be consistent
1. Write Down a Metastory
Stuart Lichtman, in his breakthrough book, How to Get Lots of
Money for Anything Fast,” explains the usefulness of a
Metastory, or a “perfect” picture imaginary experience that gives
our brain something to focus on.
Simply put, a Metastory is an invented experience you wish to
have. For this purpose, you’ll use a picture of yourself
accomplishing your goal. You can write your own Metastory any
way you wish.
Here is one of my personal Metastories:
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“I catch the board in midair, my feet over the bolts. My
wheels hit the ground and I ride away smoothly. I hear loud
shouts of awe and disbelief from my friends and see them come
running over to congratulate me for successfully Kickflipping the
Worcestor Bush Gap.
I can hardly believe what I had done myself! A huge grin
lights up on my face as I stare at the huge row of bushes I just
kickflipped over. This is definitely a huge milestone in my
skateboarding career. My passion and love for skateboarding
explodes- I just can’t wait to learn new tricks and skate new
In this example, my goal/Metastory was Kickflipping the
Worcestor Bush Gap. But your metastory can be anything you
want. It can be about signing the contract for a pro shoe model,
Ollieing over a curb, landing a heelflip, whatever you want!
Make your Metastory as desirable as you want. Remember, you
are in control and have freedom to create whatever you want!
Take the time now to write a couple Metastory of you achieving
one of your goals in your Skateboard Success Journal.
Familiarize yourself with your Metastory and fine tune it so it is
perfect and extremely desirable to have. As you read and reread
your Metastory, start forming images, sounds, and feelings
associated to having experienced it.
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2. Put yourself in a Relaxed State
You now have a clear idea of what you want and you now must
prepare your mind to bring it into reality.
Sit or lie in a comfortable position, in a place when you are not
going to be distracted for the next 5-10 minutes.
Make a conscious effort to feel every part of your entire body
relax. Start monitoring your breaths and focus on taking slow,
deep breaths. Start from the number 10 and count down with
each breath.
Start out by feeling the tension move out of your toes. Feel
waves of peacefulness and relaxation move up and throughout
your body. Next, move up to your ankles and loosen them,
allowing them to relax. Continue onto your calves and slowly
move up your body relaxing your legs, torso, arms, neck and
You should spend about 10 seconds relaxing each body part.
When you have relaxed every part of your body, you should feel
extremely comfortable and peaceful.
Great! Now you may start the visualization process and start to
visualize your Metastory!
3. Visualize yourself already having achieved the goal
You are now in a relaxed and optimal state for visualization.
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You must spend some time concentrating on your desire and
imagine it as if it were already here. There are three key
guidelines to effective visualization:
1. Feel your accomplished goal- Run the Metastory through
your mind. You must not only see yourself having goal, but
hear, smell, taste, touch, and most importantly, feel it. You
may imagine a movie or still frames of key images.
Utilize all your sensory factors so you can make the image
as real as possible. Ask yourself “What would it feel like if I
had already accomplished my goal?” Feel the feelings
throughout your entire body and make the feeling as real as
If you are doing this right, you should feel absolutely joyful
in the moment. So joyful and happy that you do not even
need the goal to happen because you have the feeling
within you already.
Have some fun when doing this! The more real the image is, the
better this technique works. You may choose to imagine a fulllength movie starring you. Replay the movie over and over
again, seeing yourself achieving your goal. Create some
background music, see it in high definition, and make the
pictures bright and vivid.
2. Visualize your goal in the first person- When seeing
yourself already having the goal, you do not want a third
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person view of yourself. Remember, the mind cannot
differentiate between what is real and what is vividly
See and feel the skateboard underneath your feet. Feel the
wind blowing across your face as you ride. See your legs
and feet move to execute the trick, see the board flipping
beneath you and see and feel yourself landing the trick
See the smiling faces of your friends standing nearby and
hear their shouts of awe and disbelief. Finally, feel the
sense of accomplishment that you deserve.
4. Be consistent
Utilize this visualization technique everyday! The more you do it,
the quicker your goal will be implanted into your subconscious
and the quicker it will become reality.
I suggest visualizing your Metastory at least 3 times a day- when
you wake up, some time during the afternoon, and right before
you go to sleep. The most important time to visualize is before
you sleep.
When you fall asleep, your last conscious thought will be in your
subconscious mind and will remain there as you sleep.
Each visualization session should be about 5-10 minutes. Each
day, if you can devote a mere 15 minutes of your time to doing
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these visualization exercises, you’ll be well on your way to
reaching your skateboarding dreams.
When you Should See Results
The actual time it takes for a goal to completely manifest varies
from person to person.
For some, it may take a day, for others, it may take a month.
However, as long as you continue to do everything on a
consistent basis, you will reach your goal.
It’s like driving a car. As long as you follow your map and stay on
the right roads, you will reach your destination.
Sometimes, you’ll be the only car on the road and you may get
there quicker, but other times, there is traffic and you may have
to wait a while before you reach your destination.
How to Get Better at Skateboarding without Actually
Perhaps the greatest example of the power of visualization is the
story of American Serviceman, James Nesmeth. Major Nesmeth
was held as a Prisoner of War during Vietnam War for a number
of years.
While serving as a prisoner in a 5 by 4 feet cage, Nesmeth
visualized playing a perfect round of golf every single day.
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He did this because he was not allowed to come in contact with
anyone. He eventually realized that he had to find a healthy way
to occupy his mind to prevent himself from going insane.
The result? After returning home and playing his first game of
golf in 7 years, Nesmeth shot an amazing 74! This was 20
strokes off oh his personal best; pretty good for not having
touched a golf club in over half a decade!
Apply the same concept to skateboarding and you’ll get better at
skating without actually skating! This technique comes in handy
whenever you have to take a break from skateboarding. Whether
you are on vacation or just taking a hiatus, you can make sure
you continue to improve simply by skating in your mind!
How to Consistently Land Any Trick
As long as you have a clear, mental picture of yourself landing a
trick that you have landed before, you can dramatically increase
your consistency. Try this:
1. Pick a trick you can land about 25%-50% of the time.
2. Try the trick 10 times and record how many times you
landed it. You should land the trick about 2-5 times out of
3. Try the trick 10 more times, but this time, before each
attempt, visualize yourself on your skateboard and perfectly
executing the trick. You must visualize as vividly as you
can- see, in your mind’s eyes, the details of your shoe, your
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exact foot positioning, the board flipping or spinning in the
air, your feet meeting the board on it’s way down and
landing it smoothly. Record the number of times you land it
and you will find that it is higher than the first time!
When I first developed this method, I was a little doubtful of this
technique so I tried it backwards. I practiced my Kickflips with all
the visualization exercises part before practicing them without
I did to prove that visualization played a key part in landing the
tricks, not being “warmed up.” Guess what the result was? I
landed 7 Kickflips when I visualized and only 3 when I didn’t. You
can even try alternating visualizing and non-visualizing and
experience the results for yourself!
The key to landing tricks consistency is consistency. You must
visualize the trick every single time before you try it. I know this
sounds hard, and indeed it is. At first, you will find yourself
forgetting or having difficulty seeing it in your mind’s eye.
Stick with it because over time, the images will be much clearer
and you will develop a habit. Your mind will automatically
visualize each trick before you attempt them so you don’t even
have to think about it!
You may still be a little skeptical but my suggestion is this: give
this method a try for 21 days (the average amount of time it
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takes for a habit to form) and I guarantee that you won’t be able
to mess up a trick- even if you tried!
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3. Success Questions: Get Inspired and
Another powerful success enhancer we can utilize is asking
ourselves positive questions.
Motivational and success guru, Anthony Robbins (f your only
exposure to Robbins are his infomercials, don’t rush to
judgment— his concepts and teachings have very real merit)
says that questions are the control keys to focus. Asking the
right questions can immediately direct our focus so we may be
more resourceful and motivated.
Success Questions can quickly and effectively change the focus of
our thoughts so they are directed toward the goals we set for
How they work is by overriding our internal negative questions so
our subconscious mind works with us instead of against us.
Most people ask lousy questions that hinder their results. They
ask, “Why does this sort of thing always happen to me?” or “How
come it’s taking so long for me to learn the Varial Flip?”
By asking these questions, you are presuming that bad things
always happen to you and you take a long time to learn tricks.
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By these questions, you are turning your focus away from what
you want and towards more of what you don’t want.
When we think about what we do want, more of it will come into
our lives. When we think about what we do not want, more of it
will come into our lives as well.
This is the wonderful concept of the Law of Attraction (featured in
the hit movie, The Secret). I have hinted towards this Law
several times in this book, but because I do not have the time to
fully delve into it, I highly recommend learning more about it, as
it affects every single aspect of your life.
How to Use Success Questions
Now that we know that positive questions lead to positive
outcomes, we must learn to use them effectively to get the
results we desire.
Success Questions are simply positive questions you ask yourself
regularly when you have spare time, when you start doubting
yourself or anytime you feel you need to focus your thoughts.
They should be directed to the specific goal you’re working on.
Here are a few examples of Success Questions:
• What can I do to learn the Varial Flip as quickly and
efficiently as possible?
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• What can I do at this moment that will lead me toward my
goal of getting sponsored?
• How can I improve the height of my ollies?
• What do I love about skateboarding?
• How would I feel if I just landed [name a goal trick]?
• What’s great about this?
• How did I get so good at skateboarding?
The last couple questions are extremely powerful because they
are asked with the assumption that the situation is great and you
are good at skateboarding!
Ask yourself now, “What is that I love most about
skateboarding?” and write down your response. As you think
about your answer, you mind runs through the things you love
about skateboarding.
Your mind will begin to focus on positives aspects and pretty
soon, your state will completely change and you will feel excited
and motivated about skateboarding!
Write your Own Success Questions
Take the time now to write down a list of 15 Success Questions
you can ask yourself on a daily basis or when you are
Write them down in a new page in your Skateboarding
Success Journal and ask yourself these questions whenever
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your get the chance to or whenever you feel “stuck” or
unmotivated to change your focus and redirect yourself towards
your goal.
Make a habit to ask yourself these questions constantly. I usually
always ask myself Success Questions when I brush my teeth in
the mornings. Write down some times during the day when you
can ask yourself a couple of these questions.
The more frequent you ask yourself positive questions, the faster
your mind will be conditioned to focus on the positive and the
faster your goal will manifest.
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4. Skate Progress Planner: Planning your
way to reaching your goals
Making a Skate Progress Planner is one of the quickest and most
effective to chart your progress when learning new tricks. The
first step is to write down all the tricks you want to learn and
decide the order in which you want to learn them in.
You’ll definitely want to refer to your initial goals list when doing
this. Make one for flatland tricks and another one for grinds or
freestyle tricks. Here is a sample trick learning progression for
flatland tricks:
Pop Shove-it
180 Ollie
Kickflip/ Switch Ollie/ Nollie
Heelflip /Varial Flip/Nose Manual
360 Flip/ Casper Flip/Switch Pop Shove-it
Backside Flip/ Switch Kickflip
Frontside Flip/ Switch Heelflip
Hardflip/ Switch 180
Frontside Heelflip
Backside Heelflip /Switch 360 Flip
360 Heelflip (Laser Flip)… etc.
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You may choose to learn some tricks at the same time. For
example in the sample progression I gave, the Ollie and Manual
will be learned at the same time.
Block Some Practice Time
Now, decide how much time you can dedicate to skateboarding
every day. You want to dedicate about 30 minutes in each
practice session. Set aside a number of days you will use strictly
to practice and other days to skate with your friends.
Using a monthly calendar, or creating one in your Skateboard
Success Journal, block the amount of time you want to practice
and skate everyday. “Practicing” refers to working solely on
something new while “Skating” refers to doing anything you like.
Here is a week in my sample calendar:
Wednesday Thursda
P 30
P 45 min
P 30 min
P 30
S 2 hr
S 30
As you can see, I took Thursday and Sunday off. I decided
schedule my practice sessions during the week and skate with
my friends on Saturday and Monday.
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Now, look over your goals list and transfer your goal deadlines
onto your calendar. Write in the trick you want to learn under the
date you decided you would learn it by.
You want to do this at the beginning of each month. Do not go
too far into it and fill out a schedule for the whole year.
Concentrate on one month at a time.
Be 100% honest with yourself: if you schedule a practice or
skate session, then you must follow through and do it! Don’t skip
it if you’re not feeling good or a little sore. It is consistency that
turns into long term results.
Practice Sessions: Do more with less!
You will be dedicating all of your practice sessions to learning the
goal trick(s) for the upcoming deadline. In other words, during
your practice sessions, you must focus exclusively on the trick
you intend to learn by the next deadline.
That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to do any other tricks. A
Kickflip here and there won’t hurt, but you want to focus the
majority of your time on learning the new trick. Save the tricks
you already know for you skate sessions.
Why does this technique work so well? Because you are
dedicating all your energy to learning the trick. Before, when
learning a new trick, you would try out a new trick a couple of
times, do something else, try it again, and do something else.
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Every time you stop trying the new trick and switch to something
else, your body partially forgets what you were just working on.
By giving all of your attention and concentration to learning the
new trick, your body will quickly pick up the muscle actions and
movements required to execute the trick much, much faster.
In a 25 minute practice session, you will average about 125 trick
attempts (5 attempts per minute for 25 minutes) How many trick
attempts do you do in a 25 min skate session?
The Reason We Aren’t Learning As Fast As We Could
When I first started skating many years ago, I never thought
about practice sessions. Constantly practicing tricks was stupid, I
thought. I always skated with friends and did whatever I want.
This was also the reason why I was such a slow learner.
I learned the Kickflip over a period of 6 months, skating almost
every day. Each skate session averaged about half an hour. I
would probably try about 10-20 Kickflips every session. After 6
months, I had attempted a total of about 1680 Kickflips (18
Kickflips /session x 4 weeks/month x 6 months x 4 sessions
/week) before landing one.
However, if I had used the practice session technique, I would
only have to do about twelve 25 minute practice sessions to have
1680 Kickflip attempts under my belt! I could have learned the
Kickflip in only 13 days, practicing 25 min a day! Also, I’m a slow
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learner; I’m sure most of you would not need over 1600
attempts to land a trick.
And all this is just learning tricks by merely attempting them.
Combine practice sessions with goal setting, visualization, and
Success Questions and your learning time will be dramatically
I truly cannot express how powerful these techniques are!
If you follow through with your practice sessions correctly, you
will be amazed at how fast you can learn a new trick. Don’t be
surprised if you learn a brand new trick in one or two sessions!
Now that you’re pumped to skate, let’s move into what goes on
in a practice session
Preparing Your Practice Sessions
You want to prepare your practice sessions by watching some
videos of your goal trick to get you excited and give you a clear
picture of what you want.
Search tutorials on Youtube or watch skate video parts of the
trick you want to learn. Also, be sure to read as much on the
trick tips as you can. It’s a good idea to print out a copy of Part I
of this book and keep a copy of the trick tips handy when you
Pre Practicing Technique I: Stretching
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Before getting on your skateboard, you should first stretch.
Before you groan and close out of this book, understand this:
stretching is a powerful part of any program that increases
flexibility, balance, circulation, and reduces stress and the
chances of injury.
Have you ever noticed that you skate better in the summer than
the winter? It’s because your muscles are looser in the summer
due to the warm temperatures and as a result, they work better.
The type of stretching we will focus on is dynamic stretching.
Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a position and
reaching to the farthest point, dynamic stretching involves
moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed
of movement.
Some dynamic stretching exercises you can do are high knee
runs, butt kickers, hops, skips, lunges, slides and leg kicks. Refer
to this website for a comprehensive list of dynamic stretches.
Pre Practicing Technique II: Visualization
After you have warmed up your body for about 2-5 minutes, it’s
time to begin the second part of preparation: visualization. Sit in
a relaxed position and see yourself successfully landing your goal
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Imagine the feeling of the board meeting your feet, landing and
rolling away. Visualize for about 5 minutes before actually
attempting the trick.
I know this seems long and pointless, but trust me- it’s going to
be well worth it when you land that 360 flip after a couple hours
of practice. The mental side of skateboard is just as important as
the physical.
Now you’re finally ready to skate!
For the remainder of your practice session, practice the trick.
Remain completely focused and do one attempt after another.
Aim for about 5 attempts per minute. Visualize yourself landing
the trick perfectly between attempts. Ask yourself Success
Questions along the way and be sure to drink plenty of water!
Learning a Trick
You have to decide what “learning a trick” means to you. It might
mean you’ve landed it once. It might mean being able to land it
every 1 out of 10 times. It might mean being able to land it 50%
of the time. It is ultimately up to you to figure out what you
consider as “learning” a new trick.
Reaching your Goals
But what if you do not learn a trick by the deadline you set? Do
not worry; you can overcome this one of two ways. You can start
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learning the next trick you planned on and just schedule in some
additional practice sessions to work on the previous trick.
Or, you can simply reschedule. This is why we plan out every
month. Just give yourself a couple of additional practice sessions
to learn the trick and push every thing else back.
Just because you do not learn a trick by your deadline doesn’t
mean you’ve failed. You only fail if you choose to give up. Even if
you pass your deadline, as long as you learn the trick, you have
The purpose of the deadline is to motivate you and push you to
achieve what you set out to learn. The outcome we are after is
being able landing the trick.
When starting out, it may be difficult to plan out your months
because you aren’t really sure how long it takes for you to learn
a new trick. After learning three or four new tricks, you will begin
to get a good idea for how long it takes to learn a new trick.
But what if you are ahead of schedule? What if you learn a trick
in two days that you planned on learning in two weeks?
Congratulate yourself, you little speed demon. You may either
use the remainder of your practice sessions as skate sessions or
just move everything closer and begin working on your next goal
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How to defeat frustration: remove the blocks that are
preventing you from achieving what you want!
Frustration is a feeling every skater experiences at least one time
in his life. It happens to everyone, even professionals! Whether
you have trouble learning a new trick, hurt your ankle, or have
difficulty landing a trick you already know, you have experienced
and will experience frustration, no matter how long you have
been skating.
Frustration is a part of the learning process and a part of life.
We see professional skaters slam, throw, and break their
skateboards out of anger and get the idea that it’s okay to feel
frustrated and respond that way.
However, frustration, if handled improperly, can be detrimental
to your success as a skateboarder. Frustration lessens your
passion for skating and can ultimately cause you to quit.
Dealing with Frustration
The best way to handle frustration is to not focus on it at all! It is
a natural law that we will get more of what we think about.
If we feel frustrated, we will experience more frustration. In the
same way, if we focus on what we intend to do instead of what’s
we cannot do, we will get more of what we want!
Secrets of Skateboarding © 2008
There are many ways of achieving this and they all involve
changing our states. We can do this through asking ourselves
positive, Success Questions, visualizing ourselves succeeding, or
taking a break and doing something else.
Whatever we do, we must stop focusing on our current situation
and switch into a state that makes us feel content.
You now have all the resources you need to reach your
skateboarding dreams. It is now up to you to take action and
make those dreams come true.
Remember, the ultimate objective of skateboarding is to have
tons of fun! Remember, skateboarding is a privilege and if you
are not having fun in the process, then you are approaching it
the wrong way.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and
creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie
Secrets of Skateboarding © 2008