You probably want to kick turn on a bank or quarter pipe, but we are going to break this right down for you, and learn it on the spot first before moving to the bank or transition.
Required building blocks
Steps to learn to kick-turn
Learn to lift the nose
We’re trying something new, so get into a good low riding stance. We are going to load up our tail with most of our weight whilst keeping all four wheels on the floor. We are then going to lift the nose very quickly up and down. The mistake is to try and move your weight to the tail gradually. Don’t do this. The more comfortable you get with this the longer you will be able to hold it up for. This is like a wheelie on a bike, and is known as a manual on skateboard, which you’ll learn later.
When you’re comfortable with doing this, try and turn the board backside (that is in the direction you are facing), even just a cm or two. You’ll probably find you’re doing this accidentally anyway. Now try and do it with intent.
Winding up and unwinding
Once you are doing little kick-turns with confidence, we can take it to the next level. To get a bigger kick-turn, we need to wind up before we unwind. To wind up, turn your arms and shoulders in opposite direction to which you want to turn. Then unwind; swing your arms and shoulders in the direction you want to to turn, as your shoulders align with your hips, start the kick turn by engaging the hips in the rotation you have created with your upper body. You will find you get a much bigger kick-turn now.
We are going to want to get a comfortable quarter turn before we take this to the flat bank or quarter pipe. To practice this, repeat the movement like so, wind up, unwind & turn, wind up, unwind and turn. Nice flowing movements. As you try and make a bigger turn you will need to balance the energy going into the kick-turn with stability. So you should gradually try and increase the turn. Be patient and a bigger kick-turn will come.
Kick turn on banks and quarter-pipes
When you take it to the bank or the quarter-pipe don’t take a line directly at the bank or quarter, instead approach it at a 45 degree angle. This way you don’t need to do a big 90 degree kick turn. When you get better you can start to narrow the angle which will require a bigger turn.
A key point is also to get comfortable with pushing off and getting your back foot squarely on the tail, and dropping a few inches to prep for the kick turn. Again, get low as possible while feeling comfortable to combat the fear of falling. Closer to the ground you are, the less pain you’ll get with the inevitable falls.
The next point is that it’s OK to take a couple turns to get round. At first it might take two or three turns to get round and ride out. That’s fine. Just try and aim to do in less turns next time.
Front side kick turns
You should also be working on a front side kick turn at this point. Repeat the same activity but turn in the opposite direction. If you are regular frontside is anti-clockwise. If goofy, it is clockwise.
The kick turn is a key building block in all sorts of grind tricks both on street and quarter pipe/miniramp, but first learn to tick tack, fakie 180 revert or rock and roll to consolidate your kick turning skills. After that take your kick turns on the quarter-pipe higher and feel your trucks contact the coping for a nice slash grind, or get right up on top of the coping with both trucks to do an axle stall. The basic kick turn is the motion used to dismount from all sorts of grinds on ledges and rails.
Get your kickturns featured here
Just tag your Instagram video with #soskickturn to be featured here!