Skateboarding Lingo / Terminology

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Definitions to common skateboarding terms.

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Skating off the end of an object without touching the board with your hands.


The name given to the trick of the skateboard and skater when they leave the ground/ramp .


Airwalk This trick can be done with or without grabbing the nose; once in the air the front foot is kicked out and the back foot is kicked back so they are in a walking type position


Alley-oop A spinning trick on transition that entails spinning to the right while airing to the left, or vice versa

Am (amateur)

Everyone who is not a pro

Anchor grind

A grind on the front truck, with the tail pointing back, down, and away from the obstacle


When a skater or his board are spinning, they are spinning backside if the rotation leads the skater’s back or the heel edge of the board to turn immediately forward

Backside grab

Grabbing heel edge with your front hand while airing forward or backside


While in the air, deciding your not going to land your trick and kicking your board away for a hopefully painless landing.


Any incline used for riding up, completing a trick, and riding back down

Barley grind

An ollie 180 to switch smith grind *Named after Donny Barley


A grab in which, after the ollie is initiated, the front foot pulls the board as far forward as possible, the back foot is left to hang in the air, and the back hand grabs the tail of the board before pulling it back under the skater's two feet


A bigspin with a kickflip incorporated into the spin


A trick in which the skater and his board both rotate along a vertical axis, but the skater rotates 180 as the board rotates 360

Bitch Slap

Grabbing right near the front wheel on the heel edge with your front hand, then pushing the tail over to the left (right if goofy foot) by crossing your back leg underneath your front leg


A slide on the tail or nose, with the respectful truck resting atop the obstacle, and the opposite end of the board pointing up and towards the obstacle


A slide in which the nose is brought up over the obstacle and the board slides between the two trucks

Body Varial

The spinning of ones body along its vertical axis while the board does not spin

Bomb a Hill

To skate down a big hill


A vert or miniramp with concave transition wrapping around 360 degrees, forming a bowl shape


A big trick involving lots of potential for pain if it is not pulled off; a skater can be called burly if they are partial to these tricks (Jamie Thomas and his tricks are burly)


To bust a trick is to perform it successfully; you are busting if you are skating well


Pushing the board out in front and pointing downwards. Performed in mid-air


Take the front foot off the board and grab the board with your hand. With your back foot still on the board jump up. Then place your front foot back on the board and remove your hand before landing.


The name given to a fakie ollie 360


The act of making big fast turns usually in a large bowl or transition

Casper Slide

A slide in which the board is flipped for half of a kickflip, then caught with the back foot on the darkside of the tail and the front foot holding up the nose from the griptaped side of the deck, and brought down by the skater into a slide on the peak of the tail


A trick in which the board is flipped for half a kickflip, then caught upside down and flipped back over and spun backside 180 degrees on its vertical axis, all while in the air


To stop the board from rotating by placing your feet back on the board while in the air

Cess Slide

The act of sliding sideways on all four wheels while on a transition


When a piece of wood is broken off of the deck

Christ Air

Once in the air, go into the crucifix position, holding the board out to the side with one hand


Describes a curve or transition arced inward


Describes a curve or transition arced outward


Any grindable and slidable material attached to an obstacle for easier grinds and slides

Crooked Grind

A grind on the front truck, with the tail pointing up, back, and away from the obstacle

Curb Cut

The transition created between the bottom of a driveway and the top of a curb that is used as a hip


A slide in which the board is flipped for half a kickflip, then caught with the back foot on the darkside of the tail and the front foot on the darkside of the nose and brought down by the skater into a slide on the middle of the griptaped side of the deck


Your board is darkside if it is upside down; the darkside of a deck is the side that the baseplate is mounted to


The wooden part of the skateboard assembly, made usually of hard maple


The result of a manufacturers defect when the plys of the deck become unglued and peel apart


Parks and shops host demos, where pros and ams demonstrate their skateboarding.


The smacking of the center of the deck on the coping during re-entry into a quarter pipe, mini ramp, etc.

Dog Piss

Grab mute right by your front foot and kick off your back foot as if you were a dog taking a piss, hence the name

Double Set

A stairway with two sets of stairs seperated by a flat section

Double Sided Ledge

A ledge that is narrower than your wheelbase, allowing for boardslides and lipslides without any wheels sliding on top of the ledge

Drop In

The act of going from a flat platform into a steep transition


Any obstacle where a skater can place his tail on the edge of said obstacle and lean forward to drop in to a transition of some kind


Some skaters will yell this to prevent a collision as they drop in to a section of a crowded park

Dual Durometer

A term used to describe a wheel made with two urethanes of different hardnesses; the core is of a hard urethane to better encase the bearing, and the outer part is softer for a smoother ride.


The hardness of urethane used to make a wheel, measured by a number followed by a letter; ex: 98a

Early Grab

Grabbing your board before leaving the ground or the transition


On some bowls, quarters, minis or vert ramps, the escalator is the part of the coping that is not parallel to the ground, but rather slopes from one height to another


A part of a ramp where the transition extends higher than normal


You are skating fakie if your predominant foot is leading, and will be used to initiate a trick

Fast plant

A trick initiated with an ollie, the back foot then planting on the ground and pushing off while the board is controlled by the front foot and some kind of grab; the trick is landed with both feet on the board

Feeble Grind

A grind on the back truck, with the nose pointing forward, down, and toward the obstacle


A rail or bar that is not sloped down stairs or an incline


Any flat surface at the bottom of a transition

Flat Ground

Skateboarding without any obstacles, with the exception of something to trick over


These appear as clean spots on your dirty wheels as a result of the dirty urethane being rubbed off by the wheels sliding on some surface


To flip your board is to make turn on its lengthwise axis, as in a kickflip or heelflip; to flip your body is to go head over heals as in a McTwist


A fliptrick is a move that involves the board spinning on any or a variety of its axes


To break a board in half


Skateboarding captured on video

Freeze Frame

Take a digital picture


When a skater or his board are spinning, they are spinning frontside if the rotation leads the skater or the toe edge of the board to turn immediately forward

Frontside Flip

The name given to a frontside ollie 180 with a kickflip

Frontside grab

An indy grab while airing frontside


Any variety of box (usually wooden or concrete or metal) with grindable and slidable surfaces


A distance between two riding surfaces which skaters ollie over, and often do other more sophisticated tricks over




You are goofy footed if you normally skate with your left foot on the tail


Using either hand to grab anywhere on the deck while in the air


Any variety of tricks where the hanger(s) of the truck(s) grind(s) along the edge of an obstacle


Little kid skaters


see Pump

Half Cab

The name given to a fakie ollie 180


A ramp composed of a flatbottom with concave transition leading to vert on both sides


A rail that is down stairs or an embankment and is of at least moderate height

Hang up

While trying to drop back in off of the coping after completing a trick, the truck that was above the coping does not clear it on the way back into the transition; this often results in a slam, but can be pulled off by some


The largest part of the truck, it contains the axle, pivots on the baseplate, and is used to grind on


A trick consisting of a frontside 180 pop shuvit and a kickflip


The rotation of the board around its lengthwise axis as a result of kicking your front foot off the toe edge of your board


The junction of two banks, transitions, or other riding surfaces which meet at an angle, usually anywhere from slight (300 degrees) to right (90 degrees); these angles are ridden, grinded, and flown over

Hip Ollie

An ollie off of a hip


A large, painful strawberry bruise on the hip which often becomes a hematoma, or a swelling of blood; avoid at all cost

Hurricane grind

A grind starting with an ollie 180, then the back truck (which is now in front) is placed on the obstacle with the nose pointing back, down and towards the obstacle


This trick can be performed using either your front or back foot, and it entails wrapping the nose or tail around its respectful foot 360 degrees

Indy grab

When either airing forward or backside, grab your toe edge with your back hand and poke your nose out


A trick that entails getting upside down and supporting yourself on one hand, usually on the coping of a ramp, as the other hand performs a grab


A mute grab, tweaked frontside 9090

Jetty Ledge

A ledge that continues out laterally as an adjacent staircase or bank goes down


Grab heel edge near the front wheel with your front hand and kick your front foot off in front of you


see crooked grind


The rotation of the board around its lengthwise axis as a result of kicking your front foot off the heeledge of your board

Kickflip Underflip

A trick consisting of a fully rotated kickflip that is then kicked with the front foot on the dark side of the deck to send it flipping back in the same direction that it came from

Kinked Rail

A rail that is kinked or bent, increasing its difficulty


To perform a trick successfully

Late Trick

Any trick that is executed after the board has reached its peak height in the air, or after another trick without first touching the ground

Launch Ramp

A ramp used for launching a skater in the air


Any raised surface used for grinding and sliding

Lien Air

Grabbing heel edge while airing frontside *Invented by Neil Blender who said you have to lean into it, though nowadays it is spelled as Neil's first name written backwards


A path or planned course through a park or spot


The edge of any obstacle that a skateboarder rides; on ramps, the lip usually is completed with coping; on a bank or curb, the square or angled corner is the lip


A slide in which the tail of the board goes up and over the obstacle and the board slides between the two trucks


A skater is local to a spot if he lives nearby and is skating it and ripping it all the time


see Hang up

Lock in

The act of getting your board into a slide or grind position in a way that is most stable, allowing for a lengthy maneuver


A madonna air with no grab


Grab heel edge near the front wheel with your front hand and kick your front foot off behind you; this trick is often done to tail smack on the way back into the tranny. Tony Hawk himself named this one after a singer as trendy as the trick itself


A trick in which the skater balances his weight over the back truck, keeping the front wheels off of the ground

Manuel Pad

Any raised surface where a skater can ollie on to one section, and drop off another; such obstacles are used for manuals and for doing tricks onto and tricks off of


Grabbing your heel edge with your front hand and pulling that edge up towards your back *named by Neil Blender who described this grab as the method for getting higher air

Mini Ramp

Similar to a halfpipe, but smaller, with mellower transition and no vert


You are mongo footed, or “pushing mongo”, if you are using your leading foot, the incorrect one, to push


Grab your toe edge with your front hand while airing backside *named after Chris Weddle, a deaf mute known for being one of the first skaters to execute this trick

No Comply

Any trick that entails the front foot stepping off of the board and onto the ground while the back foot initiates any of a number of tricks such as ollie, 180, pop shuvit, etc.


An ollie off of the nose of the board rather than the tail *originated by Natas Kaupas, it is short for nose ollie or Natas ollie


The part of the deck in front of the most forward two mounting holes which is steeper and longer than the tail

Nose Bonk

A very short nose grind involving a quick bonk of the front truck on an obstacle

Nose Grind

A grind on the front truck, with the tail pointing up and back

Nose Manual

A manual performed on the front truck rather than the back

Nose Pick

A stall in the nose grind position, usually involving an indy grab for control

Nose Slide

A slide on the nose of the deck


Any object that you can incorporate into a skateboarding trick

Old School

Used to describe a trick or skater or pretty much anything that is representative of an older, nearly outdated style


The basis of most other tricks, it entails using your back foot to smack the tail of your board against the ground while your front foot pulls the board up into the air.


Short for over vert, a transition that goes past vert so that the face of the transition is actually facing slightly down

Pivot Grind

A trick or part of a trick where the back truck is grinding atop an obstacle for just a moment before the trick's completion

Play Skate

This game is also called horse; someone starts off the game by doing a trick; if they miss, it's the next person's turn to try their own trick; if they land it, everyone else has to try it and whoever misses gets an S; the winner is the last one not to spell out the full word

Pole Jam

Riding up and off of a pole bent diagonally out of the ground


To smack the tail against the ground to initiate a trick

Pop Shuvit

A trick in which the board is popped in the air where it rotates along its vertical axis


Someone who poses as a skateboarder, or anyone who tries to be something they're not

Pressure Flip

Popular a few years ago, and still today with a lot of grommets, it entails putting pressure on the correct spot of the tail to make it flip around without hardly leaving the ground


Your board is primo if it is resting on its side, axles running vertically

Pro (professional)

A skater who is so good, companies want to put his/her name on their products

Pro Ho

A girl who likes hanging around with pro skaters


Flexing your legs at the right spot on a transition to build up speed


With one foot on the board, the other pushes along the ground to get speed


A pyramid shaped obstacle with a flat top

Quarterpipe (quarter)

A ramp with only one concave transition (two quarters positioned facing each other would make up a vert or mini ramp, minus the connecting flatbottom)


good or great


Any type of railing of any size, material, and height


Sliding along an object usually a rail on the part of your deck between the trucks


A certain genre of skaters known for their laid back style, high ollies, dreadlocks


You are regular footed if you skate with your right foot on the tail


A trick that is added on to the end of any other trick, and it means to spin one's self and the board 180 after completing the initial trick


A really good and consistent skater


Grab your heel edge with your back hand, in front of your back leg

Rocket Air

Once in the air, putting both feet on the tail facing lengthwise and grabbing the nose with both hands, keeping one's body as straight as possible so one looks like a rocket


Ramp trick were one goes up to the lip and push the front truck over it, stall , then turn 180 back down the ramp


A smooth convex transition going from a flat platform into a steep transition

Sack it

To land on an obstacle usually a narrow one like a handrail, right on your jewels

Salad Grind

A grind on either truck, with the opposite end of the board pointing forward, up, and towards the obstacle


Any time a group of skaters get together at a spot

Sex Change

A body varial while doing a trick


Shifting your board 90 degrees, with feet still in contact with the board, then bringing it back to starting position


A sidewards re-entry into a transition, which is then turned fakie


good, cool or great

Skate Key

Any tool made specifically for a skateboard


An area, publicly or privately owned, that has a variety of obstacles designed specifically for skating

Skate rock

A term coined in the early eighties and made famous by Thrasher magazine, that catagorizes the bands whose members rode skateboards; could be any type of music, but is noted for its generally uptempo beats


Used to describe an obstacle or trick when either lacks smoothness and apparent ease


A hard fall


A grind on a ledge without ollieing


Any trick in which any part of the deck is sliding atop an obstacle


A mute grab while airing frontside

Smith Grind

A grind on the back truck, with the nose pointing forward, down, and away from the obstacle


Someone who cuts you off or steals your line at a park or spot


To spin your board is to make it rotate on its vertical axis as in a pop shuvit


A ramp consisting of two quarter pipes back to back with a narrow spine, usually coping, separating the two


Having your skateboarding supported by someone or some company who gives you discounts or free product


Any place any where that has anything to skate


Grab your heel edge with your back hand, behind your back leg


The act of getting your board into a sliding or grinding position on an obstacle, without sliding or grinding


The different ways you can stand on your board


To land a trick solid and clean


The feeling of doing something well

Street Course

The part of a skatepark with obstacles that mimic those found while street skating

Street Skating

Skating which is done using only those objects or obstacles found in the urban environment


When you fall on your elbow and it gets abnormally large


You are skating switch when you are not using your predominant foot to initiate a trick


The part of the deck in back of the furthest back two mounting holes which is shorter and more mellow than the nose

Tail Slide

A slide on the tail of the deck

Tail Grab

Grab your tail with your back hand

Technical (tech)

Any trick that is usually performed on flat ground or on a fairly low ledge, that involves plenty of technical skill such as combinations of flips/spins and slides or grinds. Also, a skater can be called tech, or a tech dog, if they are partial to these types of tricks. (Daewon Song is a tech dog)

Tic Tac

To pivot left and right on your back wheels, either as a means of acceleration or to keep your balance when landing a trick off center, tic-ing and tac-ing your wheels to the ground


To a skater, tools are any of the following: a phillips head, hex key, 3/8 wrench


The top ply of the deck


Whenever a skater transfers from one area to another; ex: from one ramp to another, approaching an obstacle from one side and riding away on the other side, etc.


Any surface for skating that is not horizontal or vertical


A trick is any maneuver performed on a skateboard

Triple Set

see Double set, and go from there


The axle assembly, made up of the following: hanger, baseplate, axle, kingpin, bushings, axle nuts, bushing cups, and usually speedwashers

Tuck Knee

Grabbing your toe edge right near the back wheel with your back hand and pulling the board back as you push your knees forward


To add style to a trick be exaggerating or contorting it


The spinning of the board along its vertical axis, without popping the board in the air




Getting all four wheels on a vertical wall before ollieing


A trick entailing riding your board on a very steep or vertical wall

Wedge Ramp

Two launch ramps, touching at one corner, with a triangle shaped platform between them


Skateboard wheels are made of urethane; four of them let the skateboard roll


When too much weight is applied to one side of the board, causing the darkside of the deck to touch a wheel and stop its rotation


The marks on the darkside of your deck made by wheelbite scraping the paint off the deck


The technique of slowing down without putting your feet down. it is what people may commonly call a skid.


Pronounced one-eighty"


Pronounced three-sixty" a measurement of rotation

5 - 0

Pronounced five-oh" a type of grind such as 50-50 grind"