Why does the kickflip spin backside?

Last updated: 2023/04/11

Why does my board spin?

NOT because of foot placement or shoulder angle.

You are reading an right article if this is what you have in your mind:
"Why does my board spin backside? And don’t tell me I’m scooping my back foot. I know the difference between popping and scooping. It seems like I should not put my backfoot in the pocket and I should not open my sholders, but are they really the reasons? If so, WHY??"


Foot placement does NOT spin the board.

Physically speaking, even when you place your backfoot in the pocket and pop there, your board raises straight up without rotating. Popping the pocket itself does not directly cause the spin.

Open shoulders if you want to.

Opening shoulders itself does not generate any horizontal force that spins the board

. In fact we all know pros who open their shoulders when they kickflip.

Don't lean to the toe side.

Placing your backfoot in the pocket and opening your shoulders may let you lean to the toe side.


Is it because of your foot placement?

I've seen so many people have this problem that their board spin backside, making it flip like a sort of a varial flip. The same thing happened to me and initially, I thought its because of the foot placement.

But I was also sure about these:

  • I knew i was NOT scooping my back foot.
  • I was popping my backfoot straight down.
  • It felt just like normal pops in ollies.

So why does the board spin?

I think I watched literally every tutorial in youtube. But no one seemed to have had clear answer for that saying these:

  • You should NOT pur your backfoot in the pocket.
  • You should NOT open your shoulders.

I'm not saying those tutorials are wrong, it was just giving me this impression.

Are we missing something that really causes the problem?

Because if aligning shoulders pararell to the board really matters, how come Luan Oliveira can kickflip with his shoulders opened at like, 90 degrees?

How come some people say you should put back your foot in the other pocket like Mike mo does? I mean, why does it not do the hard flip?

Spurious Relationship

Misleading triangle

Statistically, it's safe to say the heavier you are, the higher you can jump.

Truth is, when we grow up, compared to when we were just babies. Correspondingly, we become heavier and we can jump higher.

The Spurious relationship referrers to a misleading correlation between two elements while in reality it's a third underlying element that really causes the correlation. And that's exactly where we are standing in the world of kickflips today. Between the problem that your board spins and traditional advises like you should not put your back foot in the pocket, there must be a third element that really causes the problem.


Unintentional varial flip type.

In this case, The board starts spining right after flicking. This means your board virtually makes a varial flip rotation when you are not even trying to do so.

Unintentional backside flip type.

In this case, you wind up rotating after catching your board. This means the flip itself does not seem to have any problem, but your feet turns backside and make it look like a backside flip.


There are 4+ elements that could cause the spin.

  • Foot placement
  • Angle of shoulders
  • Swing of backfoot
  • Overflick/pop


Is foot placement really the reason?

According to the existing tutorials, you should not put your backfoot in the pocket in kickflips because doing so makes your board spin backside.

Let's simulate it using this 3D model.

  • The skateboard weighs 5kg. 30inch long, 8inch wide.
  • The ball here weighs 5kgs and 10cm in diameter.
  • The green line indicates the ball's trajectory.

If I let the ball free fall right in the pocket of the tail, the board obviously pops straight up and comes back straight down.

This is because it is the furthest edge of the tail that has the final contact with the ground as the board gets into the air. So whether you pop the center of the tail or the pocket, as long as you pop it straight down, it doesn't make much of a difference in terms of the direction of the board to go.

This is just my opinion but I personally think you don't really have to try to put your backfoot right in the center of the tail. It's rather important to put your foot somewhere you feel comfortable including even the pocket, because popping there itself doesn't spin the board after all.


The board raises straight up even when you pop in the pocket under a condition that you pop straight down. The board easily turn backside as soon as you apply even the slightest horizontal momentum.

Should we not open our shoulders?

I can assure you, you can still kickflip with your shoulders open, which does not mean I recommend it to you though. Before going into the details, it is important to understand why we want to open our shoulders.

In kickflips, we place our front foot with our heels hanging off. So we don't fall to the heel side, we want to compensate it by putting our backfoot to the toe side, especially when you ride loose trucks like I do.

As a result of placing your feet like so, it becomes natural to open your shoulders. And opening shoulders itself is not a source of the problem since doing so does not generate any horizontal momentum as long as you don't swing your shoulders.

When we open shoulders, we move our backfoot to the toe side, which further, leads to tilting your body axis and too much distribution of your weight to the toe side.

With the body axis leaning to the toe side, even when you try to pop straight down, since the direction of your pop will also be slanted along with the body axis, you will wind up popping slightly to the heel side.


This could actually be used in practical contexts like shuvits. Lean forward so you can put your weight on the toe side and just try to pop down and you will find yourself spinning your board and jumping to the toe side without even thinking about it. Please be reminded, however: im just showing you what leanining forward does for the sake of explanation of the concept. Leaning body axis itself is usually not a good thing. Just try to keep your body axis straight upward all the time.

Remaining elements

These contents are NOT all

How hard you pop and flick may also affect the spinning problem. Please check out the next post, too.

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