Rodney Mullen is one of the most popular skateboarders of all time. He brought skateboarding to a whole new level by not just popularizing the extreme sport but through the many tricks, he invented.
If you are new to skateboarding and want to go freestyle, you’re likely looking forward to learning Rodney Mullen’s invented tricks like the kickflip or the heelflip. If you’re someone with experience with skateboarding, you’re probably considering harder stunts like the impossible and the handstand flip.
Let’s learn about the top skateboarding tricks invented by Mullen and of course, a little bit about the man behind the Guinness Book of World Records “Most Skateboard Tricks Invented” award.
Who is Rodney Mullen?
John Rodney Mullen is from Gainesville, Florida, USA. He started skateboarding in 1978 and is still actively participating in events in the country and cities around the world.
Mullen turned professional in 1980 and over the years, he has invented more than 30 skateboarding tricks.
He is an American professional skateboarder who rides freestyle and street skateboarding. He is regarded as the Godfather of Freestyle Skateboarding because of his dedication to the sport and due to the many tricks he invented.
Mullen joined competitions at an early age and even won his first freestyle skateboarding world championship award when he was just 14 years old. What followed was unbelievable for any skateboarder as Mullen won the most freestyle competitions 34 out of 35 events. Because of this, he was called the most successful skateboarder in the history of skateboarding.
He transitioned from riding freestyle to street. He adapted his freestyle skateboarding skills to street style. This was when he created additional stunts and tricks like Casper slides, primo slides, and dark slides.
Aside from competing and performing at various events, Mullen also appears in various skateboarding videos where he showed most of his stunts. He has co-authored his autobiography called “The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself.”
Top Tricks by Rodney Mullen
The following are the top tricks invented by Rodney Mullen.
360 Pressure Flip
The 360 pressure flip is one of the many variations of the original pressure flip trick. The original trick involved an inward heelflip but without the heelflip. With the 360 pressure flip, you’ll be performing a kickflip that spins 360 degrees.
50-50 Saran Wrap
The Saran Wrap is a 50-50 truck stand skateboarding trick where you wrap your front leg over the nose of the board without placing your feet on the ground. Mullen can do a 50-50 Saran Wrap up to 5 times in a row!
This trick is Mullen’s version of the classic sidewinder. It is a common truck trick mastered by amateurs. You must first learn a basic 50-50 before you can proceed with this trick. You can also perform this on any kind of board but it would be best if your deck had a squarer tail.
540 Double Kickflip
The 540 double kickflip is a more complicated version of the kickflip where you pop into the air with your feet to flip the board in a complete rotation. The board spins in the air to the skater. You can perform a 540 double kickflip on flat ground and also on various obstacles.
This trick is a variation of the classic pop-shove-it. For this trick, you will finish by riding your skateboard normally. Your rear foot should be over the nose as you hook the truck using your foot. Throw the deck using your back foot in a clockwise direction. Jump to the heel and place your feet high to catch up with the board. Land solidly over the trucks to complete the trick.
To perform an airwalk, grab the nose and kick the front foot to the front while your back foot is at the back of the deck. You will get a split kick as you hold the nose. You’ve performed an airwalk.
Backside 180 Flip
The backside 180 ollies were derived from an ollie but with a 180-degree turn. The body and the board move in a unique backward motion which is where the term backside came from.
This is one of the hardest tricks a combination of the caballerial by Steve Caballero and the Impossible by Mullen. In the caballerial, the trick combines a fakie and a backside 360 ollie. Meanwhile, the impossible looks like a vertical 360 board in a backflip motion.
Casper 360 Flip
This flip trick was derived from the original Casper Flip where you turn the deck to your foot using your sliding foot. Then, rotate the deck backward in a 180-degree turn using your back foot.
The Casper Slide is one of the top grind tricks where you flip the board almost halfway over. Then, you slide one foot along the bottom of the deck while the other remained under the board. After landing the slide, flip the board back over and keep your momentum as your wheels land on the ground.
The double heelflip is a trick where you spin the board using your front foot’s heel as you perform an ollie. The board will spin twice to the other side of a kickflip trick.
Frontside Heelflip Shove-It
This is a complex freestyle skateboarding trick, a combination of a frontside pop shove-it and a classic heelflip. The way the board spins is very simple and is also easy to imagine on an aerial flip.
A gazelle flip trick is a combination of a 540-degree board flip with a 360-degree body rotation performed in the same direction. This was one of the earliest tricks invented by Mullen.
Godzilla Rail Flip
This is another complex flip trick where you first stand in Primo kickflip position with your back foot along the tail. Jump with your weight towards the back foot to trigger a double varial rail flip. Catch the board and bend your knees when you land.
Half Flip Darkslide
There are a variety of flip tricks that go with this darkslide variation. The board is upside down as you slide along the grip tape. We recommend using a lot of wax to complete this trick slide.
Half-Cab Kickflip Underflip
This flip trick is a variation of the classic kickflip underflip where the board makes a full kickflip movement. Flipping the front foot moves the board back in the opposite direction.
The handstand flip is a handstand with one or both arms as you flip the board and land safely on your feet.
This trick came from the classic heelflip. You must first know how to perform a nollie and a 360 ollie to complete this trick.
In the kickflip underflip, the board makes a full kickflip rotation with the front foot flipping the board backward in the opposite direction. This trick is simply a kickflip with a late front foot under flip.
No Handed 50-50 Kickflip
In a no-handed 50-50 kickflip, you’ll be performing an iconic trick that looks impossible but will eventually be bearable once you practice. This trick is similar to a Casper trick while standing on your front foot.
This is one of the impossible tricks that are similar to a 360 shove-its where the board rotates at 360 degrees. These are commonly performed when the board is vertically at the back foot in the air.
The ollie nose bone is an ollie with your foot behind the hardware and starts moving the board toward the left or the right. Take the board hard and place your arm and the front foot to move it sideways. Push the board to the original position and let go.
In a one-footed ollie you will first perform the classic ollie but should be performed like a kickflip but the flick is up the skateboard and is not on the heelside. The front foot will end on the front of the board while in midair.
In a sidewinder trick, you will grab your wheel right before hopping on the nose. Move between the truck and Casper positions but don’t overdo it as you will flop out. Always keep your weight at the center of the board, otherwise, you may turn over.
Switchstance 360 flips
In the switch stance 360 flips, you snap from the switch stance as your board moves a 360 shove-it and a kickflip trick. To perform this flawlessly, you must spin the deck with the back foot.
Rodney Mullen has contributed so much to the freestyle skateboarding sport making him the most renowned freestyle skater of all time. Most of his tricks are a combination of two complex tricks so you must master each one first before tackling Mullen’s stunts.
But no matter which trick you want to learn, always keep safe by wearing your skateboarding gear. Practice makes perfect and lands tricks only on safe parks and grounds; never on the street and avoid traffic as much as possible. Have fun!