The laser flip is one of the hardest tricks ever made for a skateboard. Find out how to do the advanced level move well.
Ready to figure out how to do a laser flip? I don’t see this trick done well or at all very often. When I ask people if they can do a laser flip, they usually say, “Oh, that trick is too hard” or “It takes so much energy from my legs.” I’ve done this trick before, so I can tell you that you need to know a lot of complicated steps and tricks before you try to learn or master it.
Now, how do you do a laser flip, and what is it? A laser flip is done by putting together a 360 frontside shuvit and a varial heelflip. Rodney Mullen came up with it. He was also the one who came up with the ollie.
The laser flip is a trick that is hard to do. Go back and learn how to do a varial heelflip and a 360 frontside shuvit if you haven’t already. This trick, too, will take a lot of work. Remember to keep going. You can do it!
The hardest part of learning this trick is finding the “sweet spot” and the right mix of shuvit and flick to keep the board under your feet, make it spin, and then catch it.
What does “sweet spot” mean? By “sweet spot,” I mean where your feet should be. This is different for each person, but the most common way I’ve seen it done is to put your front foot in the middle of the board, with your heel on it and your toes hanging off the side.
The back foot is next. It’s a lot like a heelflip or a varial heelflip. You’ll want to put your foot on the tail pocket with your toes pointing 45 degrees away from the board (to the right if you have regular feet or to the left if you have goofy feet).
STEPS TO PRACTICE
To learn this trick, you need to follow some steps and know a few tricks. The most important move is a varial heelflip. Why is this trick important to know? Well, it’s the best trick to know before you try to laser flip.
It would be like trying to learn how to kickflip or heelflip without knowing how to ollie, balance, or ride a skateboard well. Once you can do a varial heelflip easily enough to land it 8 out of 10 times, it will train your body to know how to land a “smaller” and “easier” version of a laserflip.
Now let’s talk about the timing and how to find the right amount of flick and shuv. When I see people try out this trick, this is a big and common problem. Most of the time, I see people flick too hard, not hard enough, or not give enough power to the shuvit part. These are the two most difficult parts of learning this trick.
First of all, it seems like an odd time. For example, when you’re doing a kickflip, all you think about is popping, flicking, waiting for the board to flip, and catching the board. But for this one, you’ll have to wait for the board to start turning. When it gets to a 90-degree angle, that’s when you flick.
FLICKING THE BACK FOOT
This trick is kind of like a treflip (a 360 kickflip), but the flick and front foot are less important than the back foot and shuvit. Give your back foot more power and get used to making the board spin all the way around. The best way to get better at this is to step off the board with both feet when you shuv it.
Keep working on that part, and once you have it down, try to land a 360 front shuvit with one foot and stepping off with your back foot. As soon as it starts to spin, put your back foot on the ground and catch the board with your front foot. Then, when you know how to do that step well, you add the heelflip.
This will help your muscles get used to the amount of force and timing needed for the trick. The same steps are used here: step off with your back foot and land on your front foot until you get used to it.
People also miss a lot of small problems that are very important when they are trying to learn laser flips.
WRONG FOOT POSITIONING
For example, when setting up for the trick and trying to catch the board, your feet could be too close together. The best way to fix this is to try different places to put your feet.
Just like with anything else in life, if trying to copy someone else’s method doesn’t work, use what you’ve learned and try to find your own way to do things. Keep moving it around until it starts to stay in place under your feet. Then the only thing left to do is land the trick.
When you try to catch the board and it flies behind you, that’s another example. You might be going forward instead of up when you jump. That’s easy to fix—just try to jump straight up when you try to land the trick.
Also, when flicking, you should bend your front ankle and flick in the direction of the rotation instead of forward and in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up slowing down or stopping the rotation all together. This goes along with the step of finding the right balance between flick and shuv.
Going fast is another thing that seems scary but makes things a lot easier. This helps a lot when you’re doing laser flips on flat ground. Getting back to basics also helps a lot. Like doing a few front shuvits and different heelflips before doing laser flips, which are a battle.
Lastly, all you have to do is practice all of these steps and put them together to get both the rotation and flip for the trick. Keep going, never give up, and you’ll be able to laser flip like it’s nothing in no time.
It might take weeks or even months, but it will be worth it once you get it. When you get good at this, you might be able to do it on drops, stairs, and in and out of grinds and slides.
When does a laser change the direction of rotation, but the board stays far behind? how to fix it?
Try turning your front foot in so that your toes point toward your back toes, which will be pointing straight out. So, you won’t have to put as much energy into your back foot and your board won’t go behind you as much.