Who would’ve known that one of the hardest moves in surfing is the relatively simple skateboarding kickflip?
To pull off a kickflip, the rider kicks his foot out and flips the board 360 degrees. On land, the kickflip is far from one of the toughest skateboarding tricks, but when performing a surfboard kickflip, the required skill is amplified due to the motion of the water and size of the board.
In fact, the surfing kickflip is so hard that it has scarcely ever been done on a board amid the waves.
The first ever recognized surfing kickflip was pulled off by Santa Cruz surfer Zoltan Torkos. Torkos was carving at Steamer’s Lane in Santa Cruz in March 2011 when he landed the historic trick, as seen in the original footage above. The unique maneuver won him $10,000 from Volcom – a nice cash reward for a split-second’s work. His trick has been called the holy grail of surfing, which explains why he’s nicknamed “The Magician.”
Since the original surfboard kickflip, Zoltan “The Magician” Torkos has pulled off over 25 more kickflips and has been crowned the Kickflip King by Zunuz shoes. After the original trick, Volcom promised $20,000 to the next surfer to pull off an “Above and Off the Lip” surfing kickflip. Defined as, “first you bottom turn, launch an air, use your front foot to flip the board, and then land on it and ride out cleanly. No chop hops, backwash, fingerflips, grabs or laybacks.”
There has been controversy as to whether Torkos should be paid by Volcom for pulling off the trick. Check out the video above for a compilation of his surfing kickflips and decide for yourself. Either way, Zoltan Torkos has already etched his name in surfing history.