How to do a Benihana: Mastering an Underrated Skateboarding Trick

Learn how to do a benihana, the underrated skateboarding trick that adds flair to your skills. Master the technique and get creative.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to do a Benihana on your skateboard? This old air trick may seem like it’s going out of style, but it’s a classic worth learning. In this guide, we’ll break down the steps and give you some tips on how to master the benihana. So grab your board and get ready to add this unique trick to your skateboarding repertoire.

How to do a benihana

So you want to pull off a Benihana? Here’s how to do it:

Image of a male skateboarder skating in a flat surface.
Image of a male skateboarder skating in a flat surface.

Start on a flat surface

Begin by learning the benihana on a flat surface. Start with an ollie and grab the tail of your skateboard while in mid-air. Snap the board with your back foot and quickly bring the board upward and forward. This will make it easier to grab onto the tail and execute the trick.

Get the right technique

To really make your benihana stand out, focus on the technique. Pull up the board with your front leg, making it look like your foot is lying on it. Flexibility plays a role here, so work on your flexibility to make the trick flow smoothly.

Take it to the next level

Once you’ve gotten the hang of it on flat ground, it’s time to take your benihana to the next level. Try performing the trick on a funbox or even jumping onto a table. Your air control is crucial here. The more in control and free you feel in the air, the better your benihana will be.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

How to do a benihana: mastering an underrated skateboarding trick | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

The history of the benihana

Now that you know how to do a benihana, let’s delve into its history. The trick is widely ridiculed in the skateboarding community and is often seen as a kook trick. However, it has a fascinating and overlooked origin story.

Lester Kasai, a vert pro in the ’80s, is credited with inventing the benihana. He first performed it in 1985 and came up with the name along with Tony Hawk. They enjoyed eating at the Benihana Japanese restaurant, which inspired Lester to name the trick.

Interestingly, the benihana we know today is actually a different trick from what Lester created. According to Lester, a true benihana is a tail grab trick where you take your back foot off while going up fakie and coming down regularly. The trick commonly seen today, where you go forward and perform the benihana, is actually called a benibonga.

According to Lester, a true benihana is a tail grab trick where you take your back foot off while going up fakie and coming down regularly.

Although vert and pool skaters once popularized benihanas and benibongas, they never gained as much popularity as other tricks. Nonetheless, the benibonga has gained infamy over the years, becoming one of the most hated tricks ever.

Image of a female skateboarder skating in the park.
Image of a female skateboarder skating in the park.

Additional benihana tips

Looking to take your benihana to the next level? Here are some additional tips to help you achieve this trick with style:

  • Practice your ollies: A strong ollie is the foundation of a good benihana. Work on perfecting your ollie technique to build the base for a seamless execution of the trick.
  • Improve your air control: The better you can control your body and your board in the air, the more impressive your benihana will be. Practice jumping and grabbing the board to hone your air skills.
  • Experiment with variations: Once you’ve mastered the basic benihana, don’t be afraid to get creative. Try different grab variations or incorporate other tricks into the benihana to make it your own.

Now, here’s a non-expert opinion based on my own experience with the benihana. I’ve always found the benihana to be a challenging trick. The coordination required to execute it properly takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you struggle at first. Keep pushing yourself, and you’ll eventually nail the trick.

Dos and don’ts of the benihana

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your benihana, here are some dos and don’t to keep in mind:

Keep practicing and refining your techniqueRush the trick and sacrifice proper execution
Maintain good balance and control throughout the trickNeglect your body position and lose control mid-air
Stay relaxed and confidentOverthink the trick and become tense and stiff
Push your boundaries and experiment with different variationsAttempt tricks that are beyond your skill level
Dos and don’ts of benihana

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions about the benihana trick:

How long does it take to learn the benihana?

The time it takes to learn the benihana can vary depending on your individual skill level and dedication to practice. Some skaters may pick it up relatively quickly, while others may require more time and repetition. It’s important to remember that skateboarding is a journey, and learning new tricks takes patience and perseverance.

Can I do a benihana on any type of skateboard?

Yes, the benihana can be performed on any type of skateboard. Whether you’re riding a street, park, or vert board, the trick can be executed as long as you have the necessary air control and coordination. Keep in mind that certain skateboard setups may slightly alter the dynamics of the trick, so it’s always a good idea to experiment and adjust accordingly.

Is the benihana a respected trick in the skateboarding community?

The benihana has been met with mixed opinions within the skateboarding community. While some skaters appreciate the trick for its unique style and creative potential, others view it as a kook trick and discourage its use in serious skateboarding competitions. Ultimately, skateboarding is about individual expression, and it’s up to you to decide which tricks you want to incorporate into your own style.

Are there any variations of the benihana?

Yes, there are variations of the benihana that skaters have incorporated over the years. Some skaters experiment with different grab variations, such as indy grabs or melon grabs, to add their own personal touch to the trick. Feel free to get creative and explore different variations to make the benihana your own.

Final thoughts

The benihana may be an overlooked and controversial trick in skateboarding, but it adds a unique flair to your repertoire. Learning and mastering this trick takes practice, coordination, and creativity. So, embrace the challenge, experiment with variations, and have fun incorporating the benihana into your skateboarding style.

Let me know your questions in the comments section below—I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, keep shredding, and let the benihana soar!

Key takeaways

This article covered the benihana trick, its history, and tips to successfully perform it. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The benihana was invented in 1985 by Lester Kasai and was originally performed going up fakie and coming down regular.
  • The trick commonly seen today, where you go forward and perform the benihana, is actually called a benibonga.
  • Practice your ollies and air control to master the benihana.
  • The benihana is a trick that allows for creativity and personal style.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
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