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Skateboarding Terms

Anatomy of a Skateboard

deck: the flat standing surface of a skateboard, usually laminated maple.

grip tape: sandpaper affixed to the top of the deck with adhesive, used to increase the friction between the deck and the skater’s feet.

nose: the front of the skateboard, from the front truck bolts to the end.

rail: the edge of the skateboard, also, plastic strips attached to the board’s underside.

tail: the rear of the skateboard, from the back truck bolts to the end

trucks: the front and rear axle assemblies that connect the wheels to the deck and provide the turning capabilities for the board.

wheels: usually made of polyurethane and sized between 39 and 66 millimeters in diameter; their hardness is measured by durometer, a number ranging from 0 to 100—soft wheels have a durometer of about 85, hard wheels have a durometer of 97 or higher

wheelbase: the distance between the front and back wheels, measured between the two sets of innermost truck holes.

Skateboarding Tricks

air: riding with all four wheels off the ground; short for aerial

backside: when a trick or turn is executed with the skater’s back facing the ramp or obstacle.

Caballerial: a 360-degree turn performed on a ramp while riding fakie (backwards), named after skater Steve Caballero

carve: to skate in a long, curving arc

fakie: skating backwards—the skater is standing in his or her normal stance, but the board is moving backward (not to be confused with “switch stance”)

frontside: when a trick or turn is executed with the front of the skater’s body facing the ramp or obstacle

goofyfoot: riding with the right foot forward, the opposite of “regular foot”

grind: scraping one or both axles on a curb, railing, or other surface, such as:

crooked grind: grinding on only the front truck while sliding

50-50 grind: grinding on both trucks equally
50-50 grind by Diego Bucchieri (QuickTime)

nosegrind: grinding on only the front truck

5-0 grind: grinding on only the back truck

kickflip: a variation on the ollie in which the skater kicks the board into a spin before landing back on it
Kickflip by the Exploratorium’s Steve Gennrich (Flash)
Kickflip by Tony Trujillo (QuickTime)

McTwist: a 540-degree turn performed on a ramp, named after Mike McGill

mongo-foot: a style of pushing where the back foot is kept on the board and pushing is done with the front foot

nollie: an ollie performed by tapping the nose of the board instead of the tail
Nollie by Matt Fields (QuickTime)

noseslide: sliding the underside of the nose end of a board on a ledge or lip

ollie: a jump performed by tapping the tail of the board on the ground; the basis of most skating tricks

railslide: a trick in which the skater slides the underside of the deck along an object, such as a curb or handrail

regular foot: riding with the left foot forward, the opposite of “goofyfoot”
shove-it: a trick performed by spinning the board 180 degrees beneath the feet while traveling forward

switch stance: riding the board with the opposite footing than usual, i.e., “goofyfoot” instead of “regular foot”

tailslide: sliding the underside of the tail end of a board on a ledge or lip

Types of Skateboarding

street skating: skating on streets, curbs, benches, handrails and other elements of urban and suburban landscapes.

vert skating: skating on ramps and other vertical structures specifically designed for skating.

half pipe: a U-shaped ramp of any size, usually with a flat section in the middle

vert ramp: a half-pipe, usually at least 8 feet tall, with steep sides that are perfectly vertical near the top.

Physics Glossary
centripetal force: a force that keeps a body moving in a circular path

rotational inertia: a measure of an object’s resistance to being turned, depending on both the mass of the object and how that mass is distributed

work: force applied over a distance—for example, you do work when you push a box across the floor, but not when you push on a locked door; work done on an object or system results in an increase in the energy of that system

Follow the link if you are looking for Skateboards For Kids. Boys and Girls gear is also available. If you need help learning tricks Skateboard Beginners is a great place to start.

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