The ultimate goal of the tricktionary is to define each and every skateboarding trick or term. The entries in the tricktionary are not detailed skating trick tips – those appear in the skateboarding articles.
However, I know how frustrating it can be even finding out what skateboarding tricks actually are alone how to do it – hopefully this will help out all the frustrated skaters out there who are stumped by the difference between frontside and backside, have no idea what a hardflip really is and can’t even begin to comprehend a gay twist.
A-Z Skateboarding Tricks
Pretty much exactly what it says – a backwards end over end flip of the rider and skateboard. This is only possible off of ramps, of course. This was invented by Andy McDonald in 1997, as confirmed by the man himself:
“…I was the first to do a backflip on a skateboard … I did that in 97. It was just in an era when skateboarders and BMXers were sharing a lot of the same courses for competition. And BMXers could do backflips because they have handlebars and they can just pull back on them when they leave the jump. Inliners could do it because they’re strapped in. But skateboarders couldn’t figure it out because we’re not strapped to our boards. So it was a matter of figuring out how to come off the ramp in such a way that the board sticks to your feet as you start to flip and you reach down and grab it.”
Backside is often abbreviated to b/s. Along with frontside, this term is used to further define any trick involving rotation of the rider, and some tricks that involve a rotation of the board. Grinds and slides are also defined as backside or frontside.
When a skateboarder flips the board or performs rotations, if their backfoot is moving backwards the trick is backside. For example, doing a shuvit by kicking the tail of the skateboard backwards is a backside shuvit.
When grinding or sliding, backside is used when the rider has his back to the obstacle as he slides away from it, or in the case of grinds where the board is parallel to the obstacle, if the obstacle was behind the skater as he approached it.
Gaining air (usually out of a half pipe) and travelling in the direction your toes are facing while turning backside. A 180 backside air in combination with a simple grab is probably the most basic half pipe trick you can do.
The opposite of a simple backside air (again usually seen in a half pipe); gaining air and travelling in the direction your heels are facing (heelside) while turning backside. Therefore, you are turning away from your direction of travel, and cannot spot your landing until the last second, making alley-oops much more difficult than basic airs.
Unlike many tricks, where the rotation of the trick doesn’t change how the trick is done, a boneless is done differently when done backside — the front foot is planted to the toeside of the deck instead of the heelside, and the front hand grabs the board on the heelside edge of the nose (unlike in a normal boneless, where the back hand grabs like an indy).
Refers to a 180 backside kickflip. When the general term ‘flip’ is used in a trick name it almost always refers to a kickflip. Similarly, when the amount of spin (ie, the number of degrees) is not specified, the trick is almost always a 180 trick.
Grabbing the heelside of the board with the front hand between the heels, with the arm to the leading side of (and not between) the legs.
When backside airs were first done, they were always done with this grab, and as such, this grab ended up being called a backside grab. Now, most people call it a melon, although that’s technically wrong – a melon is a backside grab with a straightened front leg.
A backside 180 ollie; remember when the amount of spin is not specified, the trick is almost always a 180 trick. For more information on how to do a backside ollie, see this article on 180 ollies.
A downhill slide where your board is pushed backside, with both hands on the road resulting in the skater sliding down the hill feet-first in a ‘pressup position’. It’s considered the most basic slide.
Bank skating is using any kind of flat slope of varying steepness to do tricks on. The skater generally rolls up, does the trick, and rolls back down, but as with any obstacle, there are a variety of ways to skate it. Note that ditches basically consist of a multitude of banks.
A switch frontside 180° ollie into a frontside smith grind.
A backside boneless to fakie.
Part of a skateboard, located inside the wheels. Their function is to keep the wheels spinning/rolling when you aren’t pushing. Bearings are commonly believed to be graded according to their ABEC value which is supposed to show how fast they are, anything from ABEC AA bearings for the slowest up to ABEC 9’s for (as far as I know) the fastest.
Essentially a tailgrab, with the back hand holding the tail, while the back foot is taken off the skateboard and extended downwards below the board on the heelside. A vert grab trick that was once popular in street and flatland skateboarding as well.
One of the original dogtown tricks invented by the Z-boys; simply crouching and placing a hand on the ground while sliding the skateboard and your body 180. Submitted by Sal. Note – you see this all the time in old school videos and I have to say it looks pretty dumb nowadays. But this was invented when skateboarding was little more than surfing on concrete, and in fact was inspired by a surfer called Larry Bertleman (hence the title of the trick – Bertslide).
A 360 flip with a body varial in the same direction. Note the linguistic similarity to a big spin which is simply a 360 shuvit with a body varial in the same direction.
A body varial in the same direction as the spin of the skateboard is properly known as a body follow.
A combination of a 360 shuvit or pop shuvit and a body varial (see below) in the same direction. Read about practicing skateboarding on carpet for more details about shuvits and shuvit variations including big spins.
An advanced slide where the board is at right angles to the obstacle but at a very steep almost vertical angle. The skateboard slides on a lip with the underside of the tail on the side edge and the wheels on the top edge, or in the case of narrow rails, between the wheels and the tail of the deck.
Similar to a tailslide but cranked more vertically.
See bluntslide above; the same position without sliding. This is often seen in park and vert skating as a brief stall at the top of a quarter pipe, since to get into this trick all you need to do is keep the board vertical as you roll past the lip of the quarter pipe and stall with the back wheels hooked over the coping. The difficult bit is getting back into the quarter pipe.
A slide with the skateboard at right angles to and in the middle of the obstacle. The riders weight is distributed evenly between the nose and the tail.
In a boardslide the skateboarder approaches the obstacle (usually a rail, rarely a box or kerb) from either side and ollies onto the obstacle throwing the nose of the skateboard over it. This is the opposite of a lipslide.
A backside boardslide is where the rider approaches facing the rail and turns backwards as he ollies pushing the nose of the skateboard over the rail before landing on it and riding the trick out.
A body varial performed when the skateboard is also spinning in the same direction as the body varial.
A backside nosegrab on vert where you smack your tail on the coping as you re-enter the ramp.
Simply, a skateboarder turning in mid air without taking the skateboard itself with him (note that the skateboard can be spinning as well, just not in contact with the feet). Just jumping 180° on your board is a 180° body varial.
If your board is spinning at the same time and in the same direction as your body varial, then a little known difference is that this is called a body follow.
Part of a skateboard – four bolts attach each truck to the deck. The bolts are used in skateboarding trick tips to help locate a riders feet, as they often provide the only point of reference on an otherwise featureless skateboard – for example “place your front foot just behind the bolts”.
A skateboarding trick probably best described as a jazzy way to mount your board. The skater begins with the board held behind him with his front hand and jumps into the air, putting the board under his feet with his hand and slamming down to the ground. Can be performed stationary, rolling, or into a half pipe, bowl or other obstacle.
“Boning” a trick is a form of tweak performed by completely straightening one or both legs while in mid air. Doing so results in a boned version of another trick, most commonly a “boned ollie”. In some cases, a boned version of a trick eventually takes on it’s own identity and becomes to all intents and purposes an entirely new trick – a boned backside grab is now simply known as a melon.
Usually skateboarders bone the front leg, pushing the nose of the skateboard fowards as they do so (because this looks more stylish), so nosebone is pretty interchangeable with boned – eg, an “ollie nosebone”.
An old school way of getting airborne. The boneless was invented before the ollie. It involves stepping off the skateboard with your front foot and jumping off that foot while holding the board with your back hand. The boneless is discussed in the flatland skating article.
Originally a BMX trick name, I appropriated this to describe the simple yet quite cool trick of a shuvit with a body varial in the opposite direction. There is no ‘official’ name for this trick commonly agreed upon by skaters, so feel free to add your interpretation to the growing list of names.
Invented by Primo Desiderio, the Bowling Kickflip is a fakie kickflip (well, a classic flip to pretty much all non-freestylers) to a one footed landing. The difference between this and any normal fakie kickflip to one foot, however, is that you land on the nose, resulting in a fakie one footed nose drag, if you’re following me. The major problem with this trick is that it’s all too easy to make the nose stick on the floor and stop you dead, and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone but Primo do this trick.
A half truckhook impossible caught in a 50-50 – your front hand catches the tail, while the front foot lands on what was the front truck.
The reason this trick got the name is because of how dangerous it can be. If you lean too far over and don’t keep the board up high enough, you are literally going to crush your own fingers. Lovely.
BS or B/S
An abbreviation of backside. Or ‘bullshit’. Your choice.
A 360 eggplant, invented by Bob Burnquist.
A specific form of railflip to 50-50 (the freestyle trick, not the grind). You start in a cooperflip position, and push the back foot forwards as you jump. This causes the nose of the board to rise, the board to do a three-quarter flip and (if you’ve timed it correctly) you should land with the back foot on the back truck with the nose of the board in your hand.
A 360 fakie kickflip, not to be confused with a fakie 360 kickflip! The cab part of the trick name comes from caballerial which is a 360 fakie ollie.
This is a 360 fakie ollie. This means the skateboarder rides backwards in fakie and pops a huge ollie, rotating 360 in mid-air before landing back in fakie again.
The caballerial is named after the famous old-school pro-skater Steve Cabalero, who presumably was the first skater to land a 360 fakie ollie. Combine it with a mute grab to do a gay twist.
This one is extremely difficult to describe accurately, and right now I can’t find any photos to reference. Basically, the calf wrap trick involves standing on one leg, with the other leg bent behind it and tucked into the back of your knee. The skateboard is held off the ground, clamped between the two legs.
This position is achieved by doing a modified no comply, stepping off the board with your front foot as you pop (this will be the foot you end up standing on) and scooping the skateboard backside and up as you do so in order to get it up between your legs. Once in the calf wrap stance, you can jump up and down a few times with the board held in place before manoeuvering the board with your legs in order to jump back into a more normal stance.
A grab trick where both the nose and tail are both gripped with either hand. Requires crouching down and making a vaguely ball like shape with your body and board, hence the name of ‘cannonball’.
Much like the Sidewinder, this is another specific truck-to-truck transfer. Think of it as a half impossible from a 50-50 truckstand to a switch 50-50 – still standing on the back foot.
If you turn by leaning to one side instead of picking the front wheels up and rotating slightly, you are carving. You can carve around on ramps, in ditches, during wheelies, or just across a road, but the name remains the same.
A freestyle stance where the skateboard is upside down and balanced on the point of the tail. The skaters back foot is on the underside of the tail and the board maintains it’s angled position by the skaters front foot being hooked under the deck. It is important to note that having the front foot on the floor is considered cheating, and not a proper casper.
Despite the name, this isn’t a casper trick at all – it was just invented by the same man. Basically, it is a fakie 180 pivot in rail where the deck and the front wheel never touches the floor. The board is pushed through the pivot with the front foot on the grip, and when the 180 is complete, the deck is set back down to the wheels.
As this isn’t the easiest trick to describe, here’s a casper disaster tricktip from Bobstricktips.comExternal Linkto help you understand it.
1. Any flip trick executed from a casper position. This may simply be half an underflip in order to land back in a natural stance, or any more elaborate trick involving any number of flips and varials to land in any conceivable stance including back into casper. This trick always needs further definition in order to visualise – for example, a ‘casper flip out’, ‘varial casper flip to casper’ or ‘double casper flip to rail’.
2. Half a flip into a casper stance in mid air, then flipping out of casper and catching the board before landing. Usually this is half a kickflip into casper, followed by a varial underflip to get out of the casper position, but any number of variations are possible.
A slide on a suitable surface in the casper position. Usually requires a flip of some sort into the slide, and a casper flip (see above) out again.
Many people think this is another name for the bomb drop since it’s inclusion into the Tony Hawk games, but a caveman is essentially bombdropping into a grind.
An ollie impossible landed straight into a 180 nose pivot.
A roast beef grab with the arm twisted round. In other words, where in a roast beef your arm goes straight down, so that your elbow is pointing at your groin, your elbow is pointed out in a chicken salad.
If you need a pic to understand this, the clearest example I could find was a wakeboarder doing one. Although it’s a different kind of board, it’s still the same grab.
A grab trick typically performed on a half pipe. After the skateboarder gains air from the vert ramp, he grabs the nose of the skateboard with his front hand as in a nosegrab and then extends his arms and legs in order to look like a capital ‘T’, or if you prefer, someone being crucified (hence the title of the trick). The skateboard is put back beneath the feet before landing and rolling away.
An old school flip trick accomplished by hooking your toe underneath the skateboard and jumping. Classic flips are discussed in the flatland skating article. This was effectively the first ever kickflip, and is still called a kickflip today by die hard flatland skaters.
A coconut wheelie is like a railslide, but the deck never touches the floor – you actually hold it in a wheelie on the side of the board. Not to be confused with a sideride, which is far easier as you stand on the grip instead of the wheels.
When street skating first came about, it was far from great. One of the early “tricks” was the coffin, which simply consisted of lying down on your back on your deck, crossing your arms across your chest, and rolling around like this. Each to their own, I guess.
The classic downhill slide, where the board is pushed frontside and only the front hand of the skater is on the road.
A rail stand where the skateboarder is balanced at one end of the skateboard only, both feet bunched up around one wheel. Harder to balance, but (I think) enables far more flips to be performed out of the stance. This is named after Lynn Cooper, a famous freestyle skateboarder. Having said that, he never knew it was named after him, this was just how he always did rail stands.
The rounded section of pipe that is attached to the lip of a half pipe, ramp, or other skateboarding obstacle, enabling smoother grinds and lip tricks.
One other possible name for the trick I now know as a boomerang. This was my initial name for the trick before I started calling it a boomerang.
A nosegrab using the back hand instead of the front, meaning the back hand is taken across the front of the body.
A tailslide performed while grabbing the nose of the skateboard with your back hand across your body. Often seen in pool skating and looks very cool.
Landing an air in vert/pool skating into a tail tap while grabbing crail.
This is a combination of a noseslide and a nosegrind, and is also known as a crooked slide, k-grind or simply ‘crooked’ or ‘crooks’.
In order to do this the board must be off at an angle to the rail, hence the title ‘crooked’. Note that in a crooked grind the board does not cross over the obstacle before connecting in the grind – that is known as an overcrook.
Like most grinds crookeds can be backside or frontside.
A grab trick where the front hand grips the heelside of the skateboard just inside the front foot with back leg boned. To do this, the front leg is tucked up and the nose of the skateboard pulled into the body.
Any grab trick that is grabbed before take off. Although generally done off or out of a ramp, they can be done off the floor by simply pulling the board up as you jump.
An invert done with the front hand planted and the board grabbed indy instead.
This is a fakie 360 invert. The name comes from a combination of the caballerial – a fakie 360 ollie – and the name of the inventor, Eddie Elguera.
Quite simply, an emerald flip is another name for a 360 inward heelflip.
Turning 180 with the board. Like switching except usually performed over and over and over again. See this flatland skating article for more information.
An irish flip from casper instead of from a no handed 50-50.
One of the harder handstands, this trick is basically nothing more than a standard handstand with both hands in the middle of the board, gripping onto the sides of the deck, which means that your body is parallel with the board during the handstand – making it a lot harder to balance. English handstand flips can be done with practice – working much like a classic kickflip.
An English wheelie is the same as the Danish wheelie, but actually balanced and held as a wheelie instead of letting the tail drag across the floor.
In the days before wheelies were taken to obstacles and called manuals, there were G turns. G turns were nose wheelies where you carve round in a circle that gets steadily tighter, the theory being that the more full circles you do, the better, and you could end with a spin.
They can be done in a normal nosewheelie, or in a hang ten or one footed version.
A fakie 360 mute grab fastplant. Named after Mark “Gator” Anthony, who not only invented the trick, but later became infamous after killing a woman and burying her in the desert.
This is a caballerial with a mute grab. Needless to say, people rarely do gay twists outside of vert and ramp skating.
This is a 540° shuvit where the rider of the skateboard also spins a 360° body follow (a body follow is a body varial in the same direction as the skateboard is spinning). Rodney Mullen does lots of gazelles in his video parts, and rightly so because they look sweet.
Quite simply, a gazelle with any kind of flip.
The ghetto bird is a ‘signature trick’ of pro skater Kareem Campbell, although like many signature tricks it’s probable that the trick was landed well before Kareem popularised it. The trick itself is simply an illusion flip revert; in other words, you pop an illusion flip and then turn 180 after catching the board just as or just after you’re landing.
Note: Many people will tell you that a ghetto bird is a hardflip revert, but I’ve watched Campbell do this trick a lot and he definately doesn’t do a ‘proper’ hardflip (a flip that spins under the feet). The confusion stems from the fact that few people understand the difference between a hardflip and an illusion flip. That’s not to take anything away from the trick, because illusion flips are still damn good and most people do “hardflips” that way anyway (in fact, I’ve never seen anyone do a proper hardflip).
A flatland flip trick done out of hang ten stance, in which the rider is balancing with both feet facing forwards side by side on the nose of the skateboard. The flip consists of half a front flip and half a normal flip, achieved by jumping up sharply from both feet with a slight empasis on one side of the nose to get the side spin required. The board flips vertically beneath the riders feet, so he must tuck his knees nice and high to avoid the board before turning 90� in mid air and landing in switch or regular stance.
A 540 to tail. Broken down, this means you get air on a vert ramp, spin 540, and slap your tail on the coping on the way down.
An impossible from a tail stop that is started by pulling the nose of the board over your foot with your hand as you jump.
Be aware that there is a difference between this and the godzilla railflip.
A frontside varial railflip from toeside rail that flips 1.75 times in the heelflip direction.
Not to be confused with a godzilla flip which is a different trick entirely.
A term describing a skateboarder whose natural stance is right foot forwards. Goofy footed skaters are the minority – most skaters are regular footed.
When skaters still skated barefoot, they would curl their toes around the ends of the board so they could pull the board up with them as they jumped, and this was called a Gorilla Grip.
A trick involving holding a part of the skateboard with one or both hands while airborne. Grab tricks are common in vert skating where half pipes give plenty of hangtime, but are also seen occasionally in street skating off big ramps or kickers.
Named after Jim Grey, the Grey Slide is a vert tailslide where the front hand grabs the nose and the back hand is on the coping, creating a layback slide variation.
The act of riding along an obstacle – usually a kerb, rail or ledge – on the trucks of the skateboard. This often makes a distinctive grinding noise. There are dozens of grind variations, some of the most common are the 50-50 grind, nosegrind, and the 5-0 grind.
Part of a skateboard – the stickybacked sandpaper applied to the top of a deck to enable a skateboarders shoes to grip the skateboard.
1. A no-footed invert on a ramp; the legs are extended upwards and held together perfectly in a good gymnast plant.
2. A one handed handstand from a rail stand or a tail stop position in freestyle skateboarding. One hand holds the board in the air while the other hand is planted on the floor. Note that your feet should never touch the floor in a good gymnast plant.
A 180 fakie ollie – half a cabalerial.
Half Cab Impossible
A half cab impossible is a combination of a half cab and a fakie impossible, often confused with a rolling nosehook impossible.
The way to tell is to look at the front foot, obviously. Also, nosehook impossibles tend to stall on the tail slightly, while the half cab impossible is more of a fluid motion. If you watch, Mullen’s are almost always nosehooks, and not half cab impossibles.
The primary structure used in vert skating consisting of two concave ramps (or quarterpipes) facing each other. Originally a half pipe was simply that – a cross section of half a pipe – but modern half pipes usually have an area of flat ground between the transitioned sides to enable the skater more time to regain his balance between tricks and prepare for the next trick. Half pipes take two main forms – small mini ramps, used more for lip tricks and aimed largely at beginners, and vert ramps which feature a purely vertical wall at the top of the transition.
A casper with the nose held up by one or both hands in any way at all.
A generic name for any move where a hand is placed on something to support the skater. The term generally refers to an invert variation, though.
Much like the much-loved staple product of any British DIY’er, Ronseal, this does what it says on the tin. You just do a handstand on the board. Comes in fetching one handed, rolling, rail stand and English variants, with many different flips, shuvits and fingerflips out.
These are slightly different to your basic handstand flips. Whereas handstand flips are pulled towards you, handstand fingerflips are flipped the other way, meaning that you actually have to use a hand at either end (like a cannonball grab) to actually flip the board.
There are many different types of handstand flip, the “basic” handstand flip involves gripping onto the toeside edge of the deck with your hands while in the standard handstand position and kicking your legs in the air to launch you upwards so you can flip the board under you – much like a monkeyflip.
Other types of handstand flip include varialflips, 360 flips, railhandstand flips, one handed handstand flips and english handstand flips. Note that handstand shuvits and handstand fingerflips can also be done, but both use a slightly different technique.
Yep, like flips, shuvits can also be done from a handstand. I’ve also heard of handstand bigspins being done, but have yet to see one.
Refers to a stance where the skateboarder has both feet facing forward on the nose. It’s named after a surfing trick where the surfer would hang their ten toes over the nose (not necessary in skateboarding, obviously). A hang ten nosemanual is possible if your balance is godlike.
The name given to the period of time spent in the air after launching from a half pipe, ramp, kicker or any other obstacle.
Apparently this is *the* tech trick of modern day street skating. This is a varial kickflip done the difficult way – you should know what a varial kickflip is before you try and grasp the hardflip.
The varial is popped frontside instead of backside, meaning that your front foot has to flick off the leading edge of the skateboard as it rotates to get the board to flip, making it very awkward.
To do this, you can ‘cheat’ and turn frontside in mid air, allowing the skateboard to flip between your legs, before turning back again to catch the board and land the trick. This is often known as an illusion flip. This variation doesn’t look like a varial kickflip, which goes a long way to explaining the confusion that surrounds them. When you watch someone doing one, it looks like the board is doing half a back flip and half a kickflip. The trademark of this – the illusion flip – is the way the skateboard flips between the legs rather than under the feet.
The ‘proper’ way, if such a term can be used in skateboarding, is to make the skateboard do the varial under the feet. This is much more difficult and rarely looks as smooth as the easier version. This trick is the opposite of an inward kickflip.
The collective name for the nuts and bolts which hold the trucks to the deck.
A variation on an ollie where the skater flicks his front foot off the toe edge of the board as he ollies, causing the board to flip once, twice or even three times. This is the opposite (and usually more difficult version of) a kickflip.
A wheelie performed with both feet on the tail of the skateboard facing forwards – similar to a hang ten nose manual, except at the other end of the skateboard.
Like frontside and backside, heelside is used to further define some rail tricks and tricks involving a flip, in this case towards the heel edge of the skateboard. This originated in flatland skateboarding where, along with the toeside definition, tricks could be better described. Still a useful term today if you are into fingerflips, rail flips etc…
A 360 frontside nollie. That is, a three hundred and sixty degree ollie off of the nose of the skateboard. The helipop was invented by Rodney Mullen, and he would later invent the helipop heelflip.
Ho Ho Plant
A handstand done with both hands on the floor/coping, feet fully extended, and the board resting on top of the feet in what would be a normal riding position. Can be done as an invert on vert, from a street plant, or as a yoyo plant variation.
I heard rumours that a US freestyler called Terry Synnott can do yoyo-to-hoho plants and do ollie kickflip and shuvit variations while in the Ho-Ho position. Mad.
A type of casper flip. A half kickflip to casper position in mid air, followed by a varial half underflip with your front foot to get your board back the right way up.
This combo grind trick consists of a 180 ollie into a fakie feeble grind. In more detail, a feeble grind is where the back truck grinds the obstacle with the front truck next to the obstacle on the toeside. The deck is therefore pointed downwards and the underside of the deck itself often slides along the obstacle as well. So do that backwards after ollying 180 and you’ll be doing a hurricane grind.
A boneless to fakie.
Many people confuse this trick with a hardflip. An illusion flip is a type of hardflip performed vertically through the riders legs. To achieve this the skateboarder must rotate his body 90 frontside, before turning back to catch the board and land. The flip resembles a vertical pop shuvit but is in effect a half backflip, half kickflip, the opposite of a phobia flip.
A very difficult trick originating in flatland skateboarding involving the vertical end over end rotation, or backflip, of the skateboard around the riders back foot. Like a pressure flip, in an impossible the front foot does nothing except get out of the way. If you watch one, the back foot scoops forwards as the rider pops, to start the backflip motion, and then whips around in a circular motion, as the board literally has to roll around the back foot to complete the trick.
This trick was invented by Rodney Mullen in the 80’s after he was told that it would be “literally impossible” to get the board to flip end over end. After landing the trick, there was really no other name he could give it…
A grab trick where the back hand grabs the toeside edge of the board about half way along. This is the most common grab trick in vert skating.
Done on ramps, the invert is a handplant trick with many variations. In the basic invert, the board is grabbed mute and the back hand is placed on the coping to allow the skater to go completely upside down before re-entering the ramp.
The opposite of an inward kickflip, an inward heelflip is a varial heelflip where the varial is popped backside instead of frontside. The rider must flick the heelflip off of the leading edge of the board as it turns, making the trick extremely difficult and impressive.
Note that this is a different trick to the version where you turn backside 90 in mid air and let the board flip between your legs, which is known as a phobia flip. Like the hardflip, phobia flips were created as an easier (though still not easy) version of inward heelflips, so if you can’t work out how to inward heelflip give that a go instead. In an inward heelflip, the board must spin laterally underneath your feet, not through your legs.
A varial kickflip where the varial is popped frontside instead of backside. See hardflips for more detail.
Pull the board like a half nosehook impossible from a no handed 50-50, and then do a late underflip to land normally.
Roadside kerbs are used as obstacles on which skateboarders grind and slide, and wax is often used to make the kerb easier to trick on, making the grinds faster, smoother and longer. Kerb wax is sold as a special product, while many skateboarders simply use a candle.
The Kickback is an old freestyle trick that is pretty much the forerunner of all the ollie kickflip underflips Rodney Mullen does now. You put one foot into the middle of the board, leaving the other one across the board at the truck bolts, and jump up. As you do this, the foot that is in the middle of the board kicks down – making the board do a half-flip – then kicks up, making the board change direction. The basic kickback should flip 1.5 times on the second part of the trick, as half-and-half kickbacks are considered cheap and generally frowned on.
A common street skating obstacle – a curved ramp designed to give a skateboarder maximum hangtime.
The classic street skateboarding trick. A kickflip is a variation on an ollie where the skateboarder flicks his front foot off the heel edge of the board as he ollies, causing it to flip once, twice or even three times before he ‘catches’ the board with his feet and lands the trick. The latter tricks are referred to as double kickflips and triple kickflips.
Kickflips can be learnt in a day but they take years to master, and a nice, high, sharp kickflip never gets boring. See the how to kickflip article which discusses kickflips in depth and gives practical advice on landing them.
A normal ollie kickflip followed by an underflip done with the front foot while still in the air.
Turning 180° while doing a manual or wheelie. Usually, this is just used to turn around in a tight circle or to turn around on a ramp to avoid rolling back down it fakie, but it can be incorporated into funky freestyle routines and so on.
Part of a skateboard – the large bolt that holds together the trucks and that acts as the pivot for what passes as the ‘steering’ on a skateboard.
A lapper is an old plastic accessory that’s still used in certain skating circles – most commonly in pool skating, I believe. It’s a plastic pad that fits under the truck but extends out on the kingpin end. It then bends and comes up, forming a plastic slope up and over the top of the kingpin. This means that the chance of getting your truck “hung up” (in other words, stuck) on coping or curbs is reduced drastically.
A 360 varial heelflip – in other words, a fancy name for a 360 heelflip, the opposite of a 360 flip. Note that in a Laser Flip the varial rotation of the skateboard has to be frontside since otherwise it would be a 360 inward heelflip.
A general term for any flip trick or varial performed after ollying rather than as part of the ollie like with most flips. In order to do a late flip the skateboarder ollies very high and at the peak of his ollie will kick downwards or shove the board around with one, the other or both feet in order to accomplish some kind of late flip. Since either foot can replicate almost any other flip trick out there, a lot of late flip variants are possible.
Some common late flips are late front-foot kickflips, late back-foot heelflips and late shuvits.
An ollie heelflip from a Cooper stand position.
1. Generally, any grind or slide where one hand is trailing behind the skater on the coping, resulting in the skater literally “lying back”. There are numerous variations on the layback, including the grey slide.
2. A specific downhill slide, which is basically a Coleman slide with both hands on the road.
See laser flip. Yeah I’m English… deal with it.
Essentially a gaytwist with a melon grab.
A lien air was originally described as a “frontside backside grab”. As most backside grabs are now melon grabs instead, the lien air can be described more easily as a frontside melon grab on vert.
Any trick performed on the lip of a suitable obstacle. Almost always refers to a stall on the coping of a half pipe or quarter pipe.
A slide on the middle of the skateboard where the board is roughly at right angles to the obstacle. In a lipslide the tail of the skateboard crosses the obstacle in order to start the trick.
See also the boardslide which is closely related to the lipslide.
The name says it all – a long skateboard. How long the board can be is pretty much up to the manufacturer, and like “normal” boards, they come in all different shapes and sizes for different styles of riding. However, I’m not quite sure at what length a board becomes a longboard. Maybe there’s some official industry standard somewhere I’m not aware of?
Someone who rides a longboard.
A classic flip (in which you start with both feet parallel facing forwards, rotated 90 to your normal direction of travel on the board) instantly followed by a revert.
A good M-80 combines the classic flip and revert into one smooth motion, and will usually be accomplished by landing the magic flip in switch on the front wheels and switching into regular stance from there. Because the skateboarder has to spin a 90 body varial as part of the trick, he can use this momentum to carry the revert on landing.
Although many people think a Madonna is simply a one footed nosegrab where the front foot is taken off to the heelside, it is specifically a frontside one footed lien to tail on vert – meaning you HAVE to go frontside and HAVE to smack your tail off the coping on the way down. Interestingly, a backside one is called a Sean Penn – named after the former husband of Madonna.
Back in the day, what we now know as a classic flip was known as a kickflip, and what we now know as a kickflip was called a magic flip. In other words, a magic flip is another name for a modern kickflip.
A balancing trick involving rolling across an obstacle on the back wheels only. The name ‘manual’ is now often used by skaters when they are doing wheelies – the same trick, but on flat ground. Technically, it’s only a manual when done across an obstacle (for example, a manual pad) but this has been largely forgotten – not something that particularly bothers me, because the distinction is meaningless and I prefer the name manual myself, especially when you think about the differences between a manual and wheelie in BMX riding.
See also nosemanual.
A vert trick consisting of a 540 rotation with a backflip. Named after it’s inventor, Mike Mcgill.
A noseboned backside grab (gripping the heelside of the board with your back hand). The closer to the tail the grab is the more stylish the melon grab is.
Another name for a melon grab. Some people (including myself) think the longer name, including as it does the word ‘ollie’, refers to the trick being performed on flatground after an ollie as opposed to in or off a ramp, but I can’t verify this right now.
A Method is basically a Melon grab but more “tweaked”. You pull the deck upwards during the grab, into your back, to look like you are kneeling mid-air. Apparantly the name comes from the inventor, Neil Blender, who originally invented it as a “method” for getting higher on a backside air.
A 360 frontside handplant to fakie on vert.
The problem afflicting some skateboarders who push off with their back foot on the skateboard instead of their front foot. Such skaters are known as mongo footed and feel uncomfortable or unsafe pushing with their front foot on the board. As a result, mongo footed skateboarders don’t have as much time to prepare themselves for a trick after pushing off because they have to shuffle their feet around a lot after getting on the board.
Flipping the skateboard by gripping the heelside long edge (the rails) with either hand and simultaneously jumping and flicking your hand up. This is a difficult trick for a couple of reasons – firstly, it’s fairly awkward to grip the heel edge of skateboard as this involves putting your hand between your legs. Secondly, it’s a nightmare trying to jump upwards from something you’re trying to hold onto without ripping your arm out of it’s socket.
Any skater pulling off a monkey flip kind of looks like a stereotypical ape jumping around, hence the name.
A monsterwalk is a chain of 180 pivots that alternate in direction, meaning they look slightly like an old b-movie monster walking, hence the name.
An acronym for mountainboarding – a sport developed from skateboarding also known as all-terrain boarding or ATB. Mountainboards consist of a flexible base plate connected at each end to an axle and two stonking huge all terrain wheels, and you can buy them at this extreme sports clothing and equipment siteExternal Link.
Another name for a forward flip.
A grab trick similar to an indy grab, but with the front hand grabbing instead of the rear hand.
Named after it’s inventor, Natas Kaupas, the Natas spin entails spinning around on the top of a pole (or anything else that sticks up vertically) in what can only be described as a boardslide position. Usually ollied into. If you need to see an example, track down the 1980’s Santa Cruz video, “Streets on Fire”, where Natas himself does one on a fire hydrant.
Unless you have ambidextrous feet you will have a natural stance. Quite simply this is the way you feel most comfortable standing on a skateboard – left foot forward (regular footed) or right foot forward (goofyfoot). Natural stance isn’t necessarily determined by your footedness either – I’m right footed so by all rights I should be a regular footed skater, but I’m a goofyfoot.
A varial double kickflip; the skateboard does two full flips and a 180 varial rotation. While ‘nightmare flip’ refers to the varial double kickflip, as far as I know there is no special name for a varial double heelflip.
A 540 body varial. Named after Danny Mayer, the skater who invented it.
1. Similar to a boneless except you don’t use your hand to lift the skateboard after stepping off the board. Bizarelly, after popping the skateboard with your back foot you then use your back knee to knock the board forward and level before jumping on it off of your front foot.
2. Any trick that doesn’t require your front foot can be done as a no comply as well – for example a no comply shuvit, a no comply pressure flip or a no comply fingerflip. All involve stepping off the skateboard with your front foot and then using that foot to get airborne while your back foot or hands do something funky with the skateboard.
Nollie has two meanings in skateboarding…
1. Nollie stance. When you are in your natural stance but standing at the front of the skateboard instead of the back, with your front foot on the nose and your back foot near the middle of the board, you are said to be ‘in nollie’.
2. An ollie performed off the nose of the skateboard while in nollie stance.
Nollies and any other trick done in nollie stance are very difficult. Even riding around in nollie stance is quite arduous. Only switch stance is more difficult.
A kickflip performed in nollie stance. The legs perform the opposite function they normally would to do a kickflip, and the trick is executed off the nose of the board.
Part of a skateboard – the front kicktail. Note that if you turn the board round the nose isn’t at the back all of a sudden – the nose is always at the front (although most skateboarders have an end they prefer as the nose and an end they prefer as the tail).
Boning the front leg, pushing the nose of the skateboard forwards in the process.
A grab trick performed by holding the nose of the skateboard with the front hand.
A grind trick performed with the skateboard paralel to the obstacle and balancing on the front truck only.
An impossible performed by hooking the front foot under the nose of the skateboard and using it to pull the board over and around the back foot. When done rolling, it’s often done fakie with a 180 spin (straight ones are very awkward when rolling), meaning rolling nosehooks often get confused with half cab impossibles, most notably in the Tony Hawk’s games.
A slide on the underside of the nose. The skateboard is at right angles to the obstacle with the nose pressed onto it, sliding along with the rest of the board hanging out into the air.
A simple stall on the underside of the nose. The skateboard is at right angles to the obstacle with the nose pressed onto it, with the rest of the board hanging out into the air.
A manual/wheelie balanced on the front wheels instead of the back wheels. ‘Nosewheelie’ may also be used.
180° ollie into a switch feeble grind, with a 180 out to land regular.
An ollie followed by a nosegrab in such a way that the board can then be flipped with the palm of the hand whilst in the air.
A reverse elguerial, meaning this is another fakie 360 invert. The difference (and the reason I said reverse) is that on an elguerial, your body is facing the coping as you start the trick. On a Phillips 66, you’re coming at the coping backside, meaning it’s completely blind. As such, it’s a bloody hard trick, and, to my knowledge, very few people can do it.
The easier (though still not easy) version of an inward heelflip, where the skateboard does half a backflip and half a heelflip between the riders legs. To achieve this, the skateboarder starts to pop a varial heelflip with the varial done backside, but turns 90 backside himself as he does the heelflip. Because the heel flicks off the leading edge of the skateboard as it turns, it interrupts the lateral motion of the varial, causing the board to flip vertically between the riders parted legs. The rider turns frontside again to catch the skateboard and ride away.
Basically the opposite of an illusion flip.
Turning on the back or front skateboard wheels. Can be done 180, 360 or any other increment of 180. A common use is to pivot mid way through a manual into a nosemanual, or vise versa.
Bouncing up and down as if the board were a pogo stick whilst in a 50-50 truckstand position (standing on the truck with the board vertically balanced on the tip of a kicktail). Can be done with one or two hands holding the nose of the skateboard, or no handed (from a regular truckstand or “no handed” 50-50 position). Can also be done with one, or two feet on the truck and in a crossfooted position.
The art of skating empty swimming pools that have transitioned (curved) sides. Was the forerunner of modern day vert skating, and enjoying a bit of a resurgence of late, although often in specially made pools found in skateparks instead of illegally draining backyard pools as was done originally.
An often used term in skateboarding, most often when describing how to do tricks, for example an ollie, as in “jumping off the back foot causes the board to pop”. Most modern tricks require you to pop the board, basically referring to ‘bouncing’ the board off the ground by jumping off either the nose or tail in order to gain air. It’s the pop that makes the characteristic sound of a skateboarding session, though I wouldn’t exactly call it a pop myself (more of a loud distorted click, when done cleanly on a decent skateboard).
Pop is also used to describe the properties of a skateboard as in “my new board has way more pop than the last one”, or to describe a trick – “did you see how much pop I got then?”. Pop may finally be used as a verb, as in “I popped an ollie over that trash can the other day”.
A shuvit that is performed much higher than normal, by virtue of the fact that the board is popped as the skater does the shuvit. See this article on shuvits for more information on shuvit variants.
A 90 slide on flat ground usually done frontside in order to slow down. When perfected, power slides are the most effective form of braking a skateboarder has. The board is pivoted 90 on its front wheels as the rider pushes the back wheels into the ground. As the skateboard is now perpendicular to the direction of travel, the friction of the wheels with the ground quickly slows the skateboard to a screeching halt. Warning – excessive power sliding will destroy wheels very quickly!
Any flip trick where the board is flipped solely as a result of the pop – unlike in a conventional flip trick such as a heelflip the foot that doesn’t pop (your front foot unless in nollie or fakie) doesn’t do anything except get out of the way. The skateboarder jumps very powerfully off of his popping foot and changes the location and direction of the pop in order to manipulate the resulting pressure flip. By doing this a range of pressure flips are possible including flips in either direction and varial flips.
A kickflip where the skateboarder lands with his legs crossed, in x-foot. The front foot lands where the back foot normally would and vice versa. Pretzels of course have an X in the middle so that’s where this trick got it’s name from, since the skaters legs make an X.
Any trick can be landed cross footed, however ‘pretzel flip’ has come to mean specifically a kickflip to x-foot.
Another name for a calf wrap, often used when it’s done as a lip trick on ramps.
A rail slide, named after Primo Desiderio.
Pumping is a technique used to gain speed on transitions (the curved part of ramps), most often in a half pipe in order to get more air out of the top of the half pipe. Pumping uses the principals of centripetal force to gain speed and therefore height despite gravity.
It’s a simple case of compressing the knees while on the transition and uncompressing them when you hit the flat bottom of the halfpipe – the key is to get your timing right.
The act of pushing the ground with one foot while the other guides the board. Used to accelerate on a skateboard. See skateboarding for beginners, part 1 for more information on pushing off and the basics of riding a skateboard.
A flip trick performed by flicking the skateboard from the underside of the skateboard. This can be achieved whilst on the ground by hooking a foot underneath the board (the original kickflip, the classic flip, was essentially a type of underflip) or after a normal flip trick performed in the regular fashion in order to get into a position to underflip.
The most common of this type of underflip is performed as part of a kickflip-underflip. Riders kick slightly downwards on the kickflip instead of forwards and sideways, so that when the board comes round to finishing it’s flip the front foot is underneath the board, in a position to quickly kick back up so it flips another full time in the other direction.
It can be hard to spot someone doing one of these, since the whole motion is really fast, but if you see someone doing a weird disjointed flip trick where the leg moves two ways, chances are it’s an underflip of some kind.
Used generally to help describe tricks, this is lateral rotation of the skateboard or rider. Each varial rotation is 180.
More specifically the name of an actual trick where the board is spun 180 laterally by the hands. Named after the inventors sponsor, Variflex (who knows the actual guys name?).
A heelflip where the skateboard also does a 180 frontside shuvit. A backside varial heelflip is known as an inward heelflip.
A kickflip where the skateboard also does a 180 backside shuvit. A varial kickflip where the varial part of the trick is done frontside is known as a hardflip.
The name given to the style of skateboarding using half pipes and focussing on gaining maximum air in combination with various grab tricks and lots of rider rotation.
Walk The Dog
Turning the board 180 by crossing your back foot over to the nose so you are standing in crossfoot stance, then unwinding your legs. Walk the dogs are performed in multiples for best effect.
I discuss walk the dogs in more depth in my article about basic flatland skateboarding.
An ollie performed during a wallride.
Any move where a foot is planted on the vertical side of a wall at some point, e.g. a kickflip wallplant.
Quite literally riding up and down the side of a vertical or near vertical surface, usually a wall of some description. This is usually accomplished by way of a transition or flat bank at the foot of the wall but with skill you can also ollie into a wall and ride it with some success.
These are basically just wedge-shaped riser pads, meaning one end is thicker than the other. This alters the angle your trucks are mounted at, changing their geometry and turning response. This means you can make your trucks take sharp corners easier or make them more stable, depending on your needs.
This might not mean a lot to a trick-based skater, but to a downhill or slalom skater or longboarder, it can make all the difference.
The technically correct name for what many now refer to as a manual; balancing on the rear wheels only while rolling across flat ground.
Another name for an anchor grind, apparently, so called because the angle of the skateboard during the grind is the same as it would be during a wheelie.
Note, this is not spelt ‘willy grind’!
Part of a skateboard. Modern skateboard wheels are made of shock absorbant yet hard wearing polypropelyne. They come in a wide range of sizes, with small, narrow wheels better for technical skating (they make the skateboard lighter and easier to flip and grind), and big wheels better for ‘going big’ as with them you can go faster and ollie higher, and they make the board more stable to ride.
See saran wrap.
X-foot is a common flatland/freestyle stance. You can start or land a trick with crossed legs (X). An example is an impossible to X foot.
Okay okay I admit it, it’s a lame excuse for having a page of tricks beginning with X in the tricktionary. In reality everyone really refers to the stance as crossfoot.
Yeah Right Manual
Riding two skateboards with a foot on each, one in a nosemanual and one in a manual. Note that another name for this is a daffy manual. ‘Yeah right manual’ comes from the Girl skate movie ‘Yeah Right’ (rightly famous for having invisible skateboards and super slow motion) where Eric Koston does this trick. It was also known as a yeah right manual in Tony Hawks Pro Skater, and has therefore made it’s way into more popular use than ‘daffy manual’.
Yo Yo Plant
A flat ground trick which is essentially a one-handed handstand. While rolling in fakie, place your front hand on the ground and grab your board with the other, then invert yourself, keeping hold of the board with both your hand and feet. After holding the trick, drop down the other way and land in regular stance. Contributor of this trick says “this is very hard and may take years to master”. Personally I’m not going to even try – my whole weight on one wrist? No thanks!
A shorter, condensed name for a Yoyo to Hoho plant (where you do a Yoyo plant and let go of the board to end up in a Hoho position).
One thousand and eighty degrees remains, for the time being at least, an entirely theoretical amount of rotation. Three complete rotations are fairly common place in roller blading where skaters can throw themselves into very fast flat spins, and even in snowboarding where riders simply get more air and therefore have more time to spin, but in skateboarding a 1080 air has not yet been achieved (although I am told Shaun White is close to landing a fakie 1080 air).
One hundred and eighty degrees. A standard measurement of rotation in skateboarding consisting of one varial rotation or half a flip.
Another name for a 360 flip.
Three hundred and sixty degrees. A standard measurement of rotation in skateboarding consisting of two varial rotations or one flip.
A 360 kickflip. Any flip can be done 360, but the kickflip is the most common. Depending on who you talk to, the 360 flip might be classed as ‘the defining tech trick’ of modern day skateboarding. That honour may also belong to the hardflip.
360° flips are also known as ‘3 flips’ and tre flips.
Pronounced ‘five oh’, a 5-0 grind is the opposite of a nosegrind. A grind on the back truck with no other part of the skateboard touching the obstacle.
Refers to one of 3 distinct tricks:
- 50-50 Casper
- 50-50 Grind
- 50-50 Truckstand
Pronounced ‘fifty fifty’, a 50-50 grind is your basic grind trick where both trucks grind on the obstacle with your weight distributed evenly between the two.
If a flatlander talks about a ’50-50′, chances are they’re talking about a 50-50 truckstand, not a 50-50 grind. This is a truckstand but while holding on to the nose of the skateboard with your hands. Generally followed up with bouncing up and down like an idiot in a pogo!
Five hundred and forty degrees. A standard measurement of rotation in skateboarding consisting of three varial rotations. Rarely seen in street skating, but various 540 grab tricks are common in vert skating.
Seven hundred and twenty degrees. A standard measurement of rotation in skateboarding consisting of four varial rotations! This is difficult in vert skating let alone street skating… Tony Hawk was the first skater to land a 720 on a vert ramp in the eighties.
Nine hundred degrees, or five varial rotations. Landing a 900 is the holy grail of vert skating, and the number of skateboarders who have landed one can be counted on one hand. True to form, Tony Hawk was the first skateboarder to land one, doing it for the first time both outside of competition (X Games V, 1999, after the buzzer) and during competition (X Games IV, 2003, best trick competition – which of course he won). A 900 trick is now simply known as ‘the 900’. Tony Hawk does it with an mute grab but other skaters have since landed it using different grab tricks as well.