The Anatomy of a Landed Skate Trick [Updated 2018]

This page kicks of series of “Go skate tutorial” material.

In this section you will start learning basic skateboarding principles which refers to the Chapters one & two of the skateboarding learner book that is available for download at the bottom of this page.

Three Principles That Compose Every Trick

In this paragraph, the author of the book (Rob Dunfey) is revealing the Big Three principles of skateboard tricks.

Among those:

  • Foot placement
  • Pressure
  • Timing


Each time you go skate, the correct foot placement is the key to your safe and successful skateboard learning tricks. Later, in this chapter you will learn what a griptape is, why it is important and how to make adjustment. For example with sticky grip, you want to start your foot positioning closer to the pressure point. With less sticky grip, you want to start further away from the pressure point.

Skateboard Pressure tricks

Proper pressure will determine how high your board will pop.

Pressure refers to how hard you push on the board. Pressure applies to your front and back feet. Usually with tricks like the ollie and kickflip, your back foot initiates pres-sure in the tail of the board. The “pop” is when the tail of the board hits the ground.

When the pressure point is hit, the most powerful and perfect ollies are executed. With an ollie and kickflip, the pressure points are both on the nose of the skateboard. The pressure point for the kickflip, is slightly behind the pressure point for the ollie by 25%.

We will cover more pressure point later as we go trick by trick.


Depending on the pressure point, the front foot can make the board, pop shuvit, kickflip, heelflip, or ollie all while the back foot should remain in the same place. You will find more information on skateboard pressure flip, tricks and cracks in the Chapter2 of my book that you can download below on this page.

Timing controls over-flipping or under-flipping your tricks.

Timing means how quickly between actions your feet move. Most skate tricks require two actions. The first action is your back foot and the second action is your front foot. The timing between these two actions is critical.

Let me give you an example, let’s say I am going to do a kick-flip. My first action is to briskly push into the tail with my back foot. My second action is a kick of the front foot to the kickflip pressure point. If I make the kick to the pressure point to quickly after the first action, the board will either not flip all of the way, or not give me enough height or control to land.

If I stretch the timing out too long, the board will end up over flipping and possibly doing a flip and a half or more. There is a sweet spot for timing in each trick. The exact timing depends on how hard your pop is. This is often the hardest thing for be-ginners to understand.

Starting out, give the timing some practice. Try adjusting the timing slower and quicker. Timing should only be experimented with after foot positioning and pressure points are perfected.

Please, remember: An Instructor is the Most Effective Learning Tool !
Whether you are just getting started on our skateboarding easy tricks or you are a veteran skateboarder, knowledge of the three pinnacles of skateboarding will help you. Remember the importance of visualiza-tion, persistency, peers and practice. May you excel greatly in skateboarding learning.

Key Points:

  • Find a Tutor or peer who is as good as you want to be.
  • If you need help, find one at
The Shoulders Have a Specific Duty in Each Trick

No shoulder is higher than the other when pop-ping or landing. In fact, the tricks landed with the most control, are those in which the shoulders are level with each other throughout the trick.

There are troubling effects of not keeping shoulders level including uneven flips, land-ing too far on the nose or tail, or having mobbed trick (tricks where the back two wheels are closer to the ground than the front). For this very reason, it is important that one is aware of their shoulder before popping any skateboarding trick, crack or flip.

The Importance of the Arms

Think of a game of charades. The game where you must act out a word in order for the people around you to guess. The average American for the word “surfing” would place their arms out on each side of their body in the iconic style. Yet, when the aver-age American would act out skateboarding they would kick their back foot as if they were pushing a board. This is because there is an extreme ignorance of the importance of arms in skating.

While learning any skateboarding pressure flip or other trick one should have your arms out to your sides, slightly bent. And ready to catch one’s self in case of a fall. However, the importance of the arms goes beyond safety. It acts as a method of maintaining a center of bal-ance which is crucial in any skate trick.


The Difference Between Scoop and Pop in skateboarding

Listen very closely. Throughout the re-mainder of this book, the wording scoop and pop will be used frequently. Be sure to understand the difference.


A pop is when the back foot pushes the board directly into the ground. This is done by applying pressure into the toes and extending your foot at the ankle.


An example of pop on an ollie.

The pop is used in several different tricks like the ollie, nollie, kickflip, heelflip, nollie flip, nollie heelflip, 50-50 grind, and much more.


A scoop is when the back foot causes the board to rotate by hitting the tail to the ground at an angle. This is done by extending the foot at the ankle and moving the back leg slightly forward or backward.

The Power of Visualization

It should be a habit that before trying a trick, one takes a moment to visualize themselves landing. Run the trick over and over in your mind, until the power of visualization has made the trick seem comfortable to practice.

Visualization to Overcome Falling

If you become discouraged in a skate trick, stop. Take a moment to find out what you are doing wrong and make a correction in you mind of properly executing and land-ing the trick. Visualize trick over and over for 5 minutes until it convinces your mind that it can land it.

Visualizing to Land Tricks

Before you start your skate day. visualize the tricks that you want to land that day for 20 minutes. Think each of them through and plan the order in which you will try them. Next, visualize the feeling, the happiness, of ending the skate day with these new tricks added to your arsenal.

Download Chapter2 Trick Tutor Ebook For Free