March 16, 2019 5 min read
Are you ready to learn how to do a laser flip? I rarely see this trick being done well or at all. Most of the time when I ask people if they can do a laser flip they say “oh that trick is too hard” or “it takes so much energy from my legs”. I can tell you from experience that this trick requires you to know some complex steps and tricks before trying to learn/master this beast of a trick.
Now how exactly do you do a laser flip and what is a laser flip? You perform a laserflip by combining a 360 frontside shuvit and varial heelflip together. It was invented by Rodney Mullen, the same guy that invented the ollie.
The laser flip is a difficult trick. If you haven’t mastered the varial heelflip and 360 frontside shuvit, go back and learn those first. This trick will also take a lot of practice. Remember to not give up. You can do it!
The tricky part about learning this trick is finding the “sweet spot” and the right balance of shuvit and flick to make it stay under your feet, rotate, and then so you can catch the board.
What is a “sweet spot”? By sweet spot I mean the foot position. This varies between each person but the most common position I’ve seen, is having your front foot in the center of the board pointing straight ahead with most of your heel being on it and your toes hanging off the side of your board.
Now for the back foot. It’s very similar to a heelflip or varial heelflip, you’ll want to have to have your foot on the pocket of the tail with your toes pointing away from the board (have them pointing to the right if you’re regular footed or to the left if you’re goofy footed) at a 45-degree angle.
There are some steps and tricks required to learning this trick. The first and most important is a varial heelflip. Why is it important to know this trick? Well it’s the best trick to know before trying to laser flip.
It’s the same thing as trying to learning how to kickflip or heelflip without being able to ollie, balance, or being comfortable riding a skateboard. Once you’re able to varial heelflip easily enough to land it 8/10 times, it will condition your body to know how to land a “smaller” and “easier” version of a laserflip.
Now let’s talk about the timing and finding the right balance of flick and shuv. This is a huge and common problem when I see people trying this trick out. Most of the time I see people flicking too hard, not flicking hard enough, or not giving the shuvit part enough power. These two are definitely the hardest parts of mastering this trick.
First of all, the timing is weird. For example, when you’re doing a kickflip all you think about is popping, flicking, waiting for the board to flip, and catch the board. But for this one you’ll have to wait for the board to start rotating. Once it reaches a 90-degree angle, that’s the moment where you flick.
Similar to a treflip (360 kickflip) this trick is actually more in the back foot and shuvit than the flick and front foot. Give more power to the back foot and get used to getting the board rotating 360-degrees. The best way to practice this is by stepping off the board with both feet the moment you shuv the board.
Keep practicing that part and once you’ve got it down try to land a 360 font shuvit with one foot and stepping off with your back foot the moment you get it to rotate have your back foot on the ground then catch the board with your front foot. Then once you feel comfortable with that step you add the heelflip to the mix.
This will help you get your muscles used to the amount of power used for the trick as well for the timing. The same routine is used here, step off with the back foot and land it with your front foot until you feel comfortable doing this.
There are also plenty of small but very important problems that people look over when trying to learn laser flips.
For example, your feet could be too close together when setting for the trick and trying to catch the board. The best way to fix this is experimenting with foot placement.
It’s just like anything in life, if mimicking someone’s method doesn’t work then just use what you learned and try to figure out your way of doing things. Keep tweaking your placement until you start to see it stay underneath your feet. Then after that all that’s left is landing the trick.
Another example would be the board flying behind you when trying to catch it. You may be jumping forward instead of going straight up. That’s a simple thing to fix, just try to consciously make yourself jump straight up when trying to land the trick.
Also, when flicking, you’ll want to bend your front ankle and flick in the direction of the rotation instead of flicking forward and in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll most likely end up slowing down or straight up cancelling the rotation. This goes with the step of finding the right balance between flick and shuv.
One more thing that seems pretty scary but it makes it a lot easier is going fast. This especially helpful when doing laser flips on flatground. Practicing the basics is also very helpful. Like doing a few front shuvits and varial heelflips before getting into the battle that is laser flips.
Finally, all you have to do is practice all these steps and combine them to get both the rotation and flip for the trick, keep pushing forward, never give up, and eventually with some time you’ll be able to laser flip like its nothing.
It may take weeks or even months but once you get this down it’ll be worth all that time. Maybe someday when you’ve mastered this, you’ll be able to take it off drops, stairs, in and out of grind/slides.
Show us your best laser flip! We want to see you landing these tricks from all over the world. Film a quick clip of you doing your best frontside heelflip and post it on Instagram tagging @brailleskate and #brailleskate. Let us know which piece of advice helped you the most so we can highlight that and we can get more people landing this awesome trick!
If you want to learn some other tricks, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. You should also pick up Skateboarding Made Simple 1-9! They go over everything like learning how to ride, ollie, kickflip, slides and grinds, skatepark basics, mini ramp basics and other advanced flatground tricks. You CAN learn to skate, and that’s the entire purpose of Skateboarding Made Simple.
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