The 360 Flip’s Less Attractive Sister: A Study of the 10 Greatest Varial Flips in Skate Video History

top 10 varial flips

The varial flip occupies a strange space in skateboarding. It’s pigeonholed as a little kid trick — a midway point between the kickflip and 360 flip, and sometimes even the first flip trick learned by a kid who found the shove-it motion easier to land on than a straight up kickflip. Beyond that, it has a far better looking, more shapely and marketable sister trick: The varial flip is the Khloe to the 360 flip’s Kim and Kourtney.

Even when you run an image search for “varial flip” (every result is hideous), Google is right there with “360 flip” as the sole related search. Except when you Google “360 flip,” the term “varial flip” ceases to be relatable. No need to backtrack.

google varial flips

As observers of professional skateboarding, an eternal question burns in our minds every time a pro does a varial flip: “Why wouldn’t he just do a 360 flip?” Whether you agree or not, 360 flips infallibly share the “you can never have enough of them” category with ollies, kickflips, backside tailslides, or anything else you’ve seen Keith Hufnagel do several times in each his Real parts, while the varial flip remains a lumpy oddity that sets alarms off for critics of trick selection. No company would dare introduce a new rider with a varial flip ad, and Skechers certainly had no intention of calling Khloe for their Super Bowl commercial if Kim was unavailable.

Surely the most standard of 360 flips is superior to the greatest varial flip — if such a thing were to exist. Is there even such thing as a “great” varial flip? We set out to find an answer to this question. Here are the ten instances in which the Khloe Kardashian of flip tricks looked jussst right, by ten of skateboarding’s Lamar Odoms.

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Hello Sunday, Hello Road

Gil-Scott Heron died at the age of 62 on Friday afternoon.

Although not a massive influence on skateboard video soundtracks over the years, Gil-Scott Heron’s music has adorned both Jahmal Williams Eastern Exposure 3 part and Nate Jones’ Real to Reel part, so that’s worthy enough of some acknowledgement on behalf of the skateboard media concerned with respectable music choices. (Strangely enough, those two skaters were mentioned in unison in a recent post, and have no association with one another beyond the fact that they both had their own Chrome Ball Incident posts last week, and have skated to a Gil-Scott Heron song.) The artsy video for last year’s Me and the Devil also had some weird skateboarder motif and a whole bunch of footage shot at the Banks and surrounding areas.

Familiarize yourself with the man’s music, as he’s responsible for Nate Jones’ song AKA what this website constantly claims is one of the best skating and song combinations of all-time, among a great many other things. There’s way more to Gil-Scott than “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” and more recently, “New York is Killing Me.” Rest in Peace.

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In case you missed it…

The Chrome Ball Incident killed it this week. Reason 1: A Nate Jones post (“I think I’ve only seen Nate Jones maybe do about a total of 10 tricks… but when you look that good doing them, sometimes that’s all it takes.”) Reason 2: A Jahmal Williams post.

Between 2001 and today, I have probably watched Nate Jones’ Real to Reel part more that any other, therefore have no problem calling it my favorite video part, despite the obvious ten trick limitation. It’ll probably continue to have that status until Mike Carroll skates to Lady Gaga or Dylan Reider skates to Katy Perry.

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Monday Afternoon Links

As stated in the previous post, in light of the holidays, it has been a slow news week. No WikiLeaks scandal or Dylan Reider news to keep us occupied and reporting things on a regular basis. So here is what has surfaced on the internet in recent days…

The above screen grab, featuring a young, pre-tattoo Miles Marquez and the back of Danny Weiss’ head, accompanied by the late Harold Hunter is from Again (Part one here, Part two here), a twenty-five minute long candid skateboard video made by one of the more polarizing personalities in the history of Tompkins Square Park. The cast could be roughly summarized as containing every older dude who goes in when there’s a party going on. It is disappointing that there is minimal TF footage in it though. It features a full Harold Hunter “part,” which is largely set around an improvisational way of opening a can of beef stew (the song jams too.) There’s also footage of the Muska jumping off a shipping container in a wifebeater, with black gloves and a tee shirt hanging out of his pocket. If that’s not enough for you to set aside twenty-five minutes of your afternoon, well perhaps the all-too-distant site of Danny in his more agile Jewish athlete days will do the trick. (This video, shot after he forfeited his ties in the slim ranks of Jewish athletes somehow has 2,000 views, and it makes no sense.)

This seven-minute, early-era Krooked montage from an old 411 is drastically under seen.

It’s pretty great that those Manolo Mixtape things took a turn more off the radar, as this Nate Jones one was a pleasant surprise. That dude’s Real to Reel part is on the short-list for one of the best skating/music/editing combos in the history of skateboarding (Probably my favorite song choice in a skate video of all-time, short of “Real Big” of course), but the mixtape definitely does it justice by mixing it up with some lesser seen footage, a song-choice that preserved the feel of the last one, and even commendably kept the opening bird’s eye backside 180 in the same place.

Why searching for apartments in New York sucks.

Quote of the Week:That already tells me something…because white people don’t really mess with Backwoods.” – Carl

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