Rolling Finger Flip

Rolling Finger Flip

The rolling finger flip is exactly what it sounds like… It’s a finger flip that you do while rolling. Just like the tail stop finger flip, you will be using your front hand to flip the board in the heel-flip direction. Before diving into this trick, you should be comfortable with the tail stop finger flip, tail skidding, and it might also help to practice early grab tricks like backside grabs, frontside grabs, cannonballs, etc.

Begin with your front foot in the center of the board, between the trucks, and your back foot in the center of the tail. Bend at the waist and grab the nose of the board with your thumb on the griptape and your fingers under the nose. Press down on your thumb and pull up on your fingers to “load” the board with force. Pop the tail of the board and jump upward. Lift the board with your hand and allow the board to roll in the heel flip direction. Attempt to land with your feet over the truck bolts. Roll away. High five somebody.


Let's break it down…

The rolling finger flip is an awkward trick. Bending over, jumping, and yanking the board around can feel clunky at first. One way to get over the discomfort of this maneuver is to break the trick down into three bite-size sections.

Grab n’ roll

Roll forward at a medium speed, bend at the waist, grab the nose with your front hand, freeze. Do you look silly? Yes. Should you care? No. Skateboarding is a silly thing to do in the first place. Own the absurdity. I’ll send you a rainbow wig and some face paint for the next trick tip. This step will help you develop the balance and flexibility necessary for the full trick.

Yank n’ skid

Once you are comfortable grabbing n’ rolling, you can add another level of complexity. Roll forward, grab the nose, press down on the tail, and gently lift the board upward with your hand to send the board into a tail skid. Most of your weight should be over your back foot when the tail is dragging. Don’t let go of the nose! Just allow the board to skid to a stop. Practicing this isolated section of the trick will help you to keep your balance while shifting your weight between the front foot and the rear foot.

Grab, skid, flip

Now that you’ve mastered the yank n’ skid, you can add a stationary finger flip to the sequence. Roll forward, grab the nose, pull the board into a tail skid, and skid to a halt. Then, with both feet on the board, jump and throw a stationary finger flip. Most people learn to finger flip with both feet on the tail or with their front foot swinging over the board. This step forces you to transition from rolling to flipping without the help of a double-footed jump or a swinging front foot. It will feel unnatural, but you can do it!

As you practice the grab, skid, flip, you can gradually shorten the length of your “skid”. Once you can throw the finger flip while actively sliding, it’s time to begin popping the tail. This requires a quicker, more subtle shift of your body weight. Experiment with timing and focus on driving your tail down quickly with your foot and ankle.

Do’s and Don’ts

Bend at the waist When reaching for a finger flip, most people’s natural instinct is to squat deeply with their knees. This is wrong. Although it’s probably better for your back, doing a deep squat will make it much more difficult to shift your weight and pop the tail for the finger flip. Try to bend at the waist. Retain the range of motion in your knees.

Pre-load the board. The board won’t begin to flip until your feet have lifted off of it. We want your board to begin flipping IMMEDIATELY after your feet have lifted off of it though. If you roll, jump, and then flip, you may find that there is lag time before the board begins to flip. You must apply downward force with your thumb and upward force with your fingers before jumping. This way, the board will begin rolling over as soon as your feet have lifted.

Be patient It takes time to develop a feel for this trick. All of the weight shifting and bending can make the rolling finger flip seem impossible. Roll slow, break it down, and don’t be afraid to spend time on the basics – including the tail stop finger flip. With a little practice, you will be throwing varial finger flips in no time!