Jiro Dreams of Kickflips: How Japan Mastered One of America’s Greatest Inventions

July 8th, 2015 | 5:25 am | Features & Interviews | 22 Comments

jiro dreams of kickflips

*****Help Kev get a new knee*****

Japan is rife with vivid recreations of American culture. A pair of Levi’s from the 1940s, a burger spot from the 1950s, a jazz bar from the 1960s — each one’s history is studied in excruciating detail before the Japanese begin creating their own, oftentimes superior version of these quintessentially American things. It should come as no surprise that they are masters of another top-ten American invention: the kickflip.

American kickflips are for the mass market. Sure, there’s Reider up Fish Gap, Westgate over the bump-to-bar or Cyrus 1Oak over the garbage, but most of the time, they’re flipped and thrown in a pile. Our culture is in a constant state of making things faster, bigger, louder, though not necessarily better. First we had big flips, now we have bigger flips. Not better flips, they’re just bigger with more spins. We come from a place of deluxe editions and super sizes, so why not a hardflip revert late flip or a 900 shove-it? Mastering a classic is boring; let’s add a 270 to it.

We are failing to elevate Mr. Mullen’s seminal invention. It is stagnating in the country of its birth.

The Week in Relevant Flip Tricks

January 22nd, 2014 | 4:00 pm | Daily News | 28 Comments

flip tricks

This stacks up pretty well on the only chart of measure that matters.

Despite a slow start to the year, the past several days have yielded a barrage of developments relevant to our quest in appreciating good flip tricks (i.e. stuff that is understandable to the normal human’s brain in a way that most professional skateboarding of the day never will be.) Below, is a list of the three best flip tricks in existence, and how they have been elevated in the past week or so.

P.S. The 360 flip has been too homogenized in recent times to qualify for the top three. All the great 360 flips have been done, man.

1. Kickflips

Seimi Miyahara may be the heir to William Phan’s Asian Skateboarder With Absurdly Tweaked Kickflips throne. The ender justified the lipslide kickflip’s existence to an entire generation born before 1990 that never thought it would cheer for one after Gino did it backside in Nothing But the Truth. He also skates over garbage bags, hopefully as an overt homage to a prominent New Jersey skateboarder with exemplary flick capabilities.