within skateboarding, there are two definitions. one is the act of flipping your entire body (along with the skateboard) around in mid air; either upside down (frontflip/backflip) and/or sideways (barrel rolls, toe side and heel side). these types of flips are normally done on a half-pipe, or at least a ramp big enough to do them, because you need a fair amount of height in order to do them without landing upside down.
the much more common definition is the act of fliping only the skateboard and not your body. this can be done with the hands, but is normally done by snapping an ollie and sliding your feet off the board in a way that keeps it under you and also flips it over.
there are many kinds of flip tricks, and these aren't even all of them:
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