Backflip tutorial

Entry data:

Class: Flip
Alternate names: Back tuck, Salto
Description: A three hundred and sixty degree backward rotation over the head!


Prerequisites: None
Equivalent variations: Back pike, layout, performing it during a tumbling sequence
Advanced variations: Flash kick, X-out, halftwist, fulltwist, gainer

Assisted learning:


A gigantic gateway to an entirely new level of tricking that is! In the beginning, it's a game of fear. Technique is absolutely crucial here if you desire any chance what-so-ever of completely executing this move (safely). Learn the technique, study it first - ask questions only after you've tried the move. You must understand it, and once you have excited yourself about the prospect of breaking through the gates and achieving an ass load of other cool tricks - go get a spotter and toss it.

A word on fear

Fear is a natural emotion, a survival instinct. It indicates that you should be alert. Fighting or forcing away fear creates a counter force that will make you tense and anxious. This will interfere with your chances of landing a back flip. You need to release or forget the fear, not fight it. Fighting fear will only fuck you up. You'll be ready when you're ready. My advice for overcoming fear of this move or any other move is to do three things. The first is to learn the technique of the move. Visualize yourself doing it with perfect, flawless technique. Feel it, and understand it COMPLETELY! Next is to rationalize it. What is the worst thing that can happen? How could this bad thing happen? Why am I scared? You'll realize the worst that could happen is a small crash. You're scared of pain, and pain is irreverent. It will correct you so you won't make the same mistake again. Having a spotter will minimize the chances of experiencing a painful crash to a great extent. The last is to have fun. If you're having to force the learning process of the move you won't get it. When I was learning it the first few crashes weren't too fun. Then I let go of the desire to land the move and just started focusing on what is important: The technique, the thrill, and the moment. I can't release your fear, you have to do it yourself. Stop being frustrated and focus on fun.

Quick note about visionary focus during backflips: Why keep your eyes focused forward? Because if you prematurely look back, your neck extends and your chest opens up - meaning you create unnecessary arch in your lower back which slows the rotation and eliminates height. Sure, the move works if you look backward and have a parachute chest as you advance - but by not looking back and keeping a relatively hollow body position, will make good for maximum height and rotation during the backflip. For example, if you ever want a double backflip, you'll kill yourself if you don't maintain the hollow position with rounded forward shoulders: And the only way to maintain that is blind entry into the move - by not ever looking back for the ground.

Keep in mind:

Specific Problem Advice:

Spotter Advice:

Capture and tame a good spotter:

It would be best if your spotter had these characteristics:

My experiences:

Oh yeah, this is a good one. I wanted the back flip for more than a year. I tried pools, trampolines, spotters, high platforms, crash mats, tutorials, caffeine, and pure guts. Everything! I was so scared of it. The fear was eating me alive. The few weeks before I landed my first one I was thinking about it a lot. I knew the technique very well, I had envisioned myself doing it for weeks. I wasn't too scared for some reason this time when I thought of it. I believe if you have the technique in your head and give yourself some time to envision yourself doing it over and over again it helps relieve you of some fear. Finally I got Taegashi to spot me, I didn't plan on doing back flips this day though. At this point I had never seriously tried a spotter, however, Taegashi is a damn good spotter. This time I took it seriously and bared with it even though I really didn't feel comfortable. I tried it a few times and suddenly my fear was almost completely gone. I crashed a few times and some hurt, but I was seeing changes between each of my attempts. Taegashi was giving me tips on my form and I finally was starting to have a lot of fun. Finally he left my house and I was still left training. I tried about 4 back flips that all crashed on my knees that took a good twenty minutes of concentration. Each attempt I thought about for long periods of time. I was thinking and preparing a lot. Finally I stood and focused for a really long time before I finally jumped up and YES!!! I DID IT!!! In fact I have all this filmed. Go to the video section and check out the Finally Backwards sampler eh! :) Or you can download the thing here. That is my story, on film. ^_^