Skateboarding Glossary Dictionary of Terms

Skateboarding terms and jargon defined in this glossary dictionary.
Everything you need to know about skateboarding from A to Z.

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#: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

180
½ rotation.
360
One full rotation.
540
A 540 degree rotation in the air. ½ rotation more than 360 degrees.
720
Two 360s forward or backward.
900
Two and a half rotations. First landed by Tony Hawk on June 27, 1999, at the X Games.
5-0 grind
Type of grind where just the back truck is grinding.
50/50
Type of grind where both trucks are grinding.

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A: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Abec
The tolerance rating system for bearing that designates the level for stress resistance of the bushing. The lower the rating the looser the bearing, the higher the rating the tighter the bearing. Annular Bearing Engineers' Committee. This number defines the accuracy of bearings. Notice that the ABEC number does not say anything about the quality of the bearings! This means that ABEC 7 bearings could be worse then ABEC 3 bearings.
Acid drop
To ride straight off of something and freefall to the ground.
Air
Short for aerial. When riders clear jumps or obstacles with all wheels off the ground.
Alley-oop
When a trick is performed in the opposite direction of which the skater is moving.

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B: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Backside
When a turn or trick is executed in a direction that the back of the body is facing the arc of the trick.
Bank
Any sloped area under 90 degrees.
Bearings
Bearings have an inner and outer part, which the balls ride on, allowing the wheel to turn.
Big Black
Nickname of Christopher Boykin who became Rob Dyrdek's (pro skater) body guard and best friend during the filming of the first DC Shoe video.
Big Brother Magazine
A former Larry Flint produced magazine (he also publishes the adult magazine, Hustler) edited by Dave Carnie.
Blunt
When a trick is performed, the contact spot of the board with the obstacle is the area of the tail behind the back trucks. The wheels are also on top of the object.
Board
Also called a deck. The platform that the hardware is mounted to, usually maple laminate.
Boardslide/railslide
To slide on an obstacle or lip with the contact point being the underside of the board.
Bones Brigade
Powell Peralta's first skateboard team who pioneered the idea of skateboard videos with the help of team manager and filmer, Stacey Peralta. Renown titles were Future Primitive and Animal Chin.
Brain bucket
Slang for a helmet.

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C: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Caballerial
While riding fakie, usually at the lip of a ramp, to complete a 360 in the air and head back down the ramp forwards without grabbing. Named after Steve Caballero.
Carve
To make a long, curving arc while skating.
Concave
The contour given to decks. The concave will dip down from the left to right and should be asymmetrical. Provides strength to the board and aids the skater when performing tricks.
Concrete Wave
A slang term for skateboarding (i.e.: riding the concrete wave). Also the name of a skateboard magazine catering to old school and alternative skateboarding.
Coping
A rounded lip at the top of a ramp or obstacle, usually made of metal, cement, or PVC pipe.
Crooked grind
Nosegrind with nose sliding at the same time.

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D: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Dampening
To control and minimize the amount of resonance of vibration created by the energy separated by board flex and surface of the snow. Any material like rubber sheer, built into the edges, or core that keep the board quiet and more responsive.
Darkslide
As you approach something to grind, you flip your board and grind on the grip tape while standing on the bottom of the board.
Deck
Also called a board. The platform that the hardware is mounted to, usually maple laminate.
Devil's Lettus
Slang for marijuana.
Drop in
To enter the ramp or obstacle from the top.
Durometer
A measurement of the resiliency, or hardness, of a urethane wheel.

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F: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Face plant
Where one's face meets the ground before any other part of one's body.
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").
Feeble grind
The back truck is grinding, front of body facing edge with toe-side rail grinding edge also.
Frontside
When a turn or trick is executed in a direction that the front of the body is facing toward the outside of the arc of the trick.
Fruitboots
A derogatory term for roller blades or inline skates..

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G: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Gay twist
While riding fakie, usually at the lip of a ramp, to complete a 360 in the air while grabbing and head back down the ramp forwards.
Glauren
A chick who emotionally drains people after pretneding to be their girlfriend and then has sex with random people. Reference is from the movie, Haggard.
Gnar
A shortened version derived from the term "gnarly" meaning awesome of cool.
Gnar Gnar
Gnar times 2. Also the title of Mark Gonzales' 2007 VHS video release.
Goofy foot
To ride with the right foot forward.
Grab
Grabbing either or both boards with one or both hands. Frontside or backside.
Grind
To ride on an object like a ledge or handrail with just the trucks making contact.
GRIND•12
The best damn skate zine to never realize great fame or notoriety.
Grip tape
Adhesive backed sandpaper material fixed to the top of the board to provide traction.

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H: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Half cab
A 180 degree Caballerial.
Half pipe
A type of ramp that is shaped like a "U" having a flat section in the middle.
Hand plant
A type of trick where one hand grabs the skate while doing a one handed handstand on a ramp, or obstacle.
Handrails
What riders slide and grind on, looks like and is a handrail.
Hang up
When either the back or front truck catches on an obstacle, usually causing a fall.
Hanger
Part of the truck that gets the most abuse. When grinding it is done along the top of the hanger. Contained inside the hanger is the axle.
Heelflip
While performing on Ollie, the heel pushed down on the edge of the board causing it to flip over.
Heelside edge
The edge of the board closest to the riders heels.
Helicoil
A metal cylinder threaded on the outside for tightening into and threads on the inside for attaching a screw. To repair either a stripped insert or a drilled hole in a board which was used to attach a binding.
Hip
The spot where a ramp or obstacle comes to a point. Tricks are done while flying over or off of it.
Hit
A jump
Horizontal lamination
Layers a component, most commonly wood, that are bonded together on top of each other to form a strong material from otherwise weak elements. Used as either the full deck material or the core in the construction of a board.

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I: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Invert
Another name for a hand plant.

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J: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Jackass
A movie and Mtv series featuring a crew of misfits who gladly beat themselves to a pulp through various stunts earning them the title of jackasses. Pro skater Bam Margera is a key figure.
Juice Magazine
The largest and thickest sk8 mag on the market with enormous amounts of amazing content. Published in North Carolina since 1993, their tagline is, "Pools, Pipes & Punk Rock".
Jump ramp
A small ramp used to give the skater some air to perform a trick.

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K: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Kick turn
When pressure is applied to the tail of the board, lifting the front and turning it in another direction.
Kicker
A name for a jump ramp. Kickers usually have the property of throwing you up into the air rather than giving you distance.
Kickflip
A variation on the ollie in which the skater kicks the board into a spin before landing back on it. The same as a Heelflip except the toe pushes down to flip the board.
Kingpin
The bolt that holds the hanger and base plate together.
Knee pad
A type of protective padding worn on the knees.
Knee slide
A way of controlling a fall by sliding on plastic caps on the knee pads.

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L: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Landing fakie
Landing backwards.
Late
A term used to describe incorporating something into a trick just before its completion and landing.
Launch
The moment a rider starts to execute a jump, and the time he is actually flying through the air.
Lid
A helmet or hat.
Line
The route a rider chooses through a tricky section.
Lip
The top edge portion of the halfpipe wall.
Lip trick
Any trick performed on or near the lip of the wall of the halfpipe.
Lipslide
To force the tail over the lip and slide on the surface before re-entry.
Load up
To put weight on one side of the trucks or the other.

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M: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Manual
Another name for Wheelie - usually performed over as long a distance as possible.
Mctwist
A 540 degree turn performed on a ramp. Named after Mike McGill.
Meat-Flue
Slang for vagina.
Mongo
A style of pushing where the back foot is kept on the board and pushing is done with the front foot. Generally, not a good way to push.

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N: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Nollie
Much like an Ollie only you spring off of your nose instead of your tail.
Nose
The front of the board.
Nose slide
Sliding on the nose of board on the edge of an obstacle like a handrail, ledge, or ramp lip.
Nosegrind
Just the front truck is grinding.

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O: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Off-Road Board
A skateboard with over-sized treaded tires and 2-inch riser pads, enabling it to take on rough terrain like a rock-infested hillside - no smooth concrete necessary.
Ollie
A no handed air performed by tapping the tail of the board on the ground or ramp surface. Named after Alan Gelfend.
Ollie Pop
Skateboard's only themed chewing gum.

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P: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Poser
Someone who acts better than they are or pretends to be someone/something they're not.

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Q: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Quarterpipe
A halfpipe with one wall; a banked hit. Often much smaller, in both height and width, than a half pipe.

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R: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Rail
The edge of the board. Also refers to plastic strips attached to the underside of the board.
Railslide
Also called boardslide. To slide on an obstacle or lip with the contact point being the underside of the board.
Ramp boards
Large deck and firm wheels mounted on wide trucks to make the board as stable as possible.
Regular foot
To ride with the left foot forward (opposite of Goofy-foot).
Retainer / keepers
Keep the ball bearings spaced correctly.
Riser
Plastic piece under the base of the truck to raise it for better wheel clearance.
Often used with larger wheels.
Rock and roll
A trick where the underside of the board and wheels are tapped on the lip before a kickturn to reenter.
Rock to fakie
A trick where the underside of the board and wheels are tapped on the lip before the rider reenters traveling backwards.

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S: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Scrub a wheel
To remove "gunk" and residue from a new wheel to ensure proper adhesion.
Scorpion
A wipe out so harsh that one's feet nearly touch the back of one's head. Commonly occurs when bailing down a handrail.
Sealed bearing
A bearing system that uses a physical seal to keep out water and debris.
Session
A period of skating.
Sex Change
A kickflip with a body-varial.
Sk8
Abbreviation of skate and skateboard. Most frequently used as a noun.
Skateboarder Magazine
The oldest currently published skate mag in existence.
Skate Maps
Skateboarding's first reality TV show based around the antics of the Zoo York skate team and their global travels.
Skatetopia
A privately owned skatepark in OH, built and maintained by skaters who love to sk8 and party. Open to the public - just bring beer, lots of beer.
Skid Lid
A helmet.
Skid Lid
A helmet.
Smith grind
A type of grind trick where the back truck is grinding, while the rail of the board is also grinding the lip of the ramp or obstacle. Frontside Smith Grind: the toe-side edge is involved; Backside Smith Grind: the heel-side edge is involved.
Snow Skate
A winterized skateboard with a snow ski mounted to the bottom to grip a line across a snowy hill. Similar to snowboarding. Cheap models have no metal edges.
Spine ramp
Two half (or quarter) pipes placed back to back creating a double U shape.
Stalefish air
The frontside trick where the rear hand grabs the heel edge behind the rear between the bindings while the front leg is boned.
Stalled
When a maneuver is intentionally started late into a jump/trick
Stoked
Describes riders when they are pumped up and confident.
Street boards
Shorter and narrower than ramp boards. Usually has a shorter wheelbase than a ramp board.
street skating
Skating on streets, curbs, benches, handrails and other elements of urban and suburban landscapes.
Swing weight
The distribution of weight from the tip and tail to the center of the board. To balance a board and control its ability to initiate rotation or to stop rotation in relationship to its overall weight.
Switch
Any trick where the take off or landing is backwards.
Switch stance
When the feet are placed in the opposite of the normal stance and you are going forward with a slightly different balance point than in your normal stance ("goofyfoot" instead of "regular foot"). Not the same as fakie where you ride backwards with your normal balance and stance.
Switchback
Used to describe turns that are around 180 degrees.

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T: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Tabletop
Type of jump - with a ramp going up, flat on top, and a landing ramp on the far side.
Tail
The rear tip of the board or ski.
Tail slide
Sliding on the tail of the board.
Technical
An especially tricky, obstacle-laden section of a run or trail.
Thrasher Magazine
One of the oldest skateboard mags still in production. It started in 1981.
Transition
The curved part of the terrain between 0 and 90 degrees.
Trucks
The front and rear axle assemblies that connect the wheels to the deck and provide the turning capabilities for the board.

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V: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Varial
An aerial where the board is spun from backwards to forwards beneath the feet.
Vert ramp
A half-pipe, usually at least 8 feet tall, with steep sides that are perfectly vertical near the top.
Vert skating
Skating on ramps and other vertical structures specifically designed for skating.

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W: skateboarding glossary dictionary terms

Wall
Any bank that is at or above 90 degrees.
Wallride
To ride on a wall that has no transition.
Wanchese Bowl
A privately owned and built bowl on Roanoke Island, NC - part of the Outer Banks. After two years of construction it was completed in summer of 2002. It is 9.5 and 10 feet deep with nine foot tranny. It has a twelve foot oververt pocket topped with pool coping. The rest of the lip is hand poured pool coping. Built entirely with treated lumber and finished with skatelite.
Wheels
Attached to the truck - rolling devices which are usually made of urethane 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. In addition to the standard wheels, there are those which have a nylon or high-tech plastic on the interior part of the wheel.
Wheelbase
The distance between the front and back wheels, measured between the two sets of innermost truck mounting holes.
Wipeout
A crash.
Wood core
Various type of wood used to provide the shape and thickness of a board.

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