Multiple discovery is a term used to describe the phenomenon where different people, often living in different parts of the world, discover the same concept, arrive at similar conclusions, or invent the same thing at the same time. Things like this have been going on forever, and were especially prominent during the enlightenment, but I'm not gonna get into that because there's only so much Wikipedia paraphrasing one idiot can do. Anyways, there's a point to be made here. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that some time in the 90's, some human performed a kickflip and decided to slightly tweak that shit. At this moment something great happened, and thus the shifty flip was born.
Think about it. Why go through the trouble of inventing a new trick when you could just do one you already know how to do, but slightly differently? It's a simple concept, really. So simple in fact, that I've began to develop a theory of my own on the origins of this remixed maneuver.
No one invented the shifty flip.
The shifty flip has been there all along. Much like how Jack Torrance has always been the caretaker of The Overlook Hotel, the shifty flip has always been a skateboard trick. It just took some experimenting, and a few pros with exceptional kickflips to discover this one and reveal it for the whole world to marvel at. Lets take a look at some of skateboarding's most monumental shifty flips, brought to light by those brave enough to question the unknown, and brilliant enough to crack the code.
Dylan Reider (Dylan.)
It isn't a discussion about style if Dylan's name doesn't get brought up. In what I guess should be referred to as his 'self-titled', one of Dylan's opening clips is an enormous shifty flip launched at a height potentially taller than the man himself. Say anything you want about Dylan (#freedomofspeech), but the boy can shifty flip.
Matt Beach (Can't Stop)
We've revisited topics related to The Firm's 'Can't Stop' multiple times here, and Matt's shifty flip is no exception. Matt Beach can make any trick look good, (see fakie varial heelflip into LA river banks at laughably high speed) so it's a no-brainer that he was able to make a trick that looks good no matter what, look even better. If you told me he was just walking by the spot that night, stumbled upon the generator session, used Jani's board, and did that shit first try, I'd believe you.
Lucas Puig (Bon Apetit)
Lucas, Lucas, Lucas. How many times are we gonna go over this? You can't simply know how to do every trick, and do it well. You're making people look like assholes out here. Especially with this shifty flip bullshit you've got going on in your Bon Appetit part. Hey buddy, hate to cue you in BUT ITS 2003 AND YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS GOOD YET.
Andrew Reynolds (This Is Skateboarding)
There are many examples to offer when discussing the Reyn-Reyn shifty flip, but the man who supposedly edits all of his own parts put together a highlight reel of his expertise in this field, smack dab in the middle of his iconic This is Skateboarding part. I mean, I know the switch shifty isn't a shifty flip, but it may as fucking well be. Then he lays it on you: backside shifty flip, frontside shifty flip. He must have been feeling some type of way about the shifty flip on that barcelona trip as well, because the TIS credits also gives you a behind the scenes look at a MACBA session, ending in a disturbingly casual frontside shifty flip over the 4 block. Loneliness is such a, draaaag.
*Also please note a beautiful moment where worlds collide and Bryan Herman roasts a pop-shuv it on flat just before Drew shifty flips*
Many (PJ Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life / Boston Massacre)
This video was full of them. Gallant and PJ did their fair share of dabbling, while Fiske would go on to perform one of the best flatground shifty flips of all time in 2004's Boston Massacre. Adam "Daddy Longlegs" Cowell of more recent Fancy Lad fame is also well versed in the maneuver, performing one switch over a coveted Modesto 3 block. Nothing beats Gallant's opening line however. To the delight of VX1K audiophiles everywhere, the dude roasts one in a flawless LA schoolyard to start a line/his part. PJ's contributions: shifty flipping financial 9 (before it was Pluto'd to an 8), and a switch shifty flip of his own on flat at windows.
Tom Penny (Sorry)
After punking the whole world into thinking he wouldn't have any street footage in 2002's Sorry, Penny takes the shifty flip to Barcelona's iconic bump to bar. And isn't that nice? Tom did it frontside, Drew did it backside. We really all can just get along.
Brayden Szafranski (This Is Skateboarding / Baker 3)
Brayden Szafranski's part ending shifty flip over Santa Monica triple offers one of skateboarding's greatest tales of redemption. The boy had a strong section in This is Skateboarding. Heavy slams, heavy song, even a front blunt kickflip at Love Park. The only thing missing was a successful shifty flip in Santa Monica. He had been robbed. Fast forward to Baker 3 however, and it was quite obvious that he had some unfinished business to take care of. Lets just say he put that shit to bed. Scored to Sabbath, Brayden closes out his part with the Santa Monica pier behind him, his skateboard underneath him, and a gallon of jager some place in front of him.
P. Rod (The Forecast)
In the dying days of the shifty flip, P. Rod reminded us that style still mattered. 2005's The Forecast saw a young Mike Mo on the come-up, Jason Wakuzawa on the cusp of a pro career that would never really materialize, and P. Rod on his rise to Jordan-like fame. Towards the end of his part, Paul starts really giving hell to the Oxnard Kicker Gap. As if 3-4 NBD's weren't enough, we get treated to something beautiful, something better than a textbook switch tre. Approaching at optimum speed, P. Rod executes a shifty flip, rotated at just about the ideal 90 degree angle. After teasing the frontside flip (P. Rod actually has an incredible non-switch frontside flip) for just a moment in time, he does the unthinkable and brings that shit back. What a guy.
Rodrigo TX (Can't Stop)
(You're going to want to watch this anyways, so whenever you're ready just start er up)
I don't really even know what to call this one. Forgive me for sounding naive here, but if magic were to truly exist, Rodrigo is guilty of some fucked up dark arts sorcery here. As the sound of Ja Se No Morar has fully cast us under a spell of its own, Rodrigo is shown kickflipping over a rail.
But wait, he isn't over the rail... But now he is. But now he isn't. Was that a kickflip front board?
(This is the part where you dig up your remote and press the rewind button, but then it rewinds too far, but then you realize that you kinda need that extra time anyways to prepare yourself for what you think you just saw, so you guess that's okay. Everything is okay.)
Yeah. You were right the first time around. That dude totally just kickflipped over the rail then landed back on the other side of the rail again, in what may perhaps standout as the definitive, single greatest shifty flip to ever occur.
There are undoubtedly other instances of shifty flips out there, but I can't stand to follow that one up with anything else. Maybe Rodrigo transcended the shifty flip, and should really be held in a class of his own? The answer to this question, like many of life's mysteries, may always remain unknown.