Skateboard Tricks 101: How To Perform A Varial Kickflip

skateboard tricks 101 how to perform a varial kickflip

There are many essential skateboard tricks to master if you want to show off on the board. One of the fundamentals is a kickflip – and then there are the variations. The varial kickflip is one of those alterations, using techniques from a kickflip and a pop-shove it to kick up the board and catch it for an additional variation on the classic.

If you’re interested in learning how to perform a varial kickflip, you’re in the right place. It can be tricky to try a varial kickflip for the first time. With the correct steps and enough effort, you’ll be able to perform this trick in no time at all. Read on to learn more about how to master the varial kickflip to show off at your local skatepark. 

Get Moving

The first thing you need to do is get moving. You don’t want too much speed, or you will fall over, but you need to be in motion to successfully get yourself into the air and accomplish the varial kickflip with ease. Missing out on speed will prevent you from being able to get enough air to finish the kickflip. There’s a solid middle ground.

Of course, those new to the trick can always attempt it in a stationary position to get the fundamentals of the trick down. However, you will need to move to get air and complete the varial kickflip with ease.  Try going down a small hill first, then vary from there.

It will take some practice to find the right speed. Once you do, it will be easy to know what to do once you practice.

Place Your Feet

You must place your feet in a specific location on the skateboard if you don’t want to fall upon completing the varial kickflip. Your back foot should sit on the topside of the rear, and your front foot should go on the heelside of the front area of the skateboard. The front foot should be right near the front bolts if you need more help visualizing it. 

Of course, you don’t have to start in this position if you’re new to this effort and a little more unsteady on the board. If it’s more comfortable, consider moving your front foot back and slightly closer to the rear foot. 

Also, ensure you know the pop shove it before attempting the varial kickflip. It isn’t an endeavor that’s meant for someone who’s spending their first day on a skateboard. Don’t try it unless you feel confident with your feet and the pop-shove it. 


Once your feet are in the correct position, it’s time to move into more of a crouch. Shift your knees and move your hands a little to ensure you get a great center of balance to avoid falling off the board. Ensure your shoulders don’t move from the line of the board, or you might tip off if anything in your body moves.

The goal of crouching is to get enough momentum to leap high into the air to perform the pop-shove-it and kickflip indie combination. As with anything, there’s a good balance. You don’t want to do too much or too little – either way won’t allow you to get as much height as possible.

Pop the Board

Now that you’re moving, have your feet in the right place, and are in an effective crouch, it’s time to leap and pop the board. It’s just like you would for a typical pop-shove it. With your back foot, slam the board down and push it so that the board rotates every so slightly to make that twist while you get some height.

You mustn’t pop the board like you would for an ollie but instead focus on the pop-shove-it rotation. Otherwise, the skateboard will go in a completely different direction, and you’ll be taking on a new trick.  

Tap the Heelside

You’ve popped the board, so it’s time to tap the heelside. This step is necessary if you want to make the skateboard flip. If you neglect this portion, your skateboard will remain stationary with a slight twist, and you won’t be able to complete the trick effectively.

As soon as you do the pop-up, do a slight flick with your front foot as you would if you were doing a traditional kickflip. It should be a gentle flick – anything too heavy, and you’ll push it away from your body. 

Keep the Height

As you pop the board and tap the heelside, you must keep the height during the duration of the trick. Get yourself as high in the air as possible so the skateboard will perform a complete flip before you slam down to the earth. If you move faster than the board, you’ll hit the ground before the skateboard.

While the board is in the air, lift your hands above your head to retain height. Watch the board with your eyes and keep a focus on your ankles to see when the moment is right to make contact with the skateboard again.

Catch the Skateboard

Once the board reaches the top of its height and completes its rotation, it’s time to catch the skateboard. Place your foot out front to catch the board and press it hard when it’s time. Your feet should slam down on the trucks to avoid breaking the board.

As you hit, bend your knees and try to absorb the impact. Land evenly to prevent the board from flipping up under either foot.

Continue Riding

Hold yourself over the board. Keep your shoulders and arms in place to roll away without worry.

This part can be tricky. It will take time to master the landing. 

Practice, Practice

Those are the steps! Practice these over and over again. The more time you put in, the faster you’ll master it.

Be patient. If you have trouble, break it up into the kickflip and pop-shove it to perfect either portion before putting the steps back together again.

Secrets of Skateboarding

Weekend Notice: Orders placed over the weekend will be shipped the following Monday.