Skateboarding trick

From Academic Kids

A skateboarding trick is a maneuver performed on a skateboard while skateboarding. Most tricks are based on the Ollie (once called the Ollie Pop), which was invented by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand of Florida in the late 1970s. Skateboarding tricks can involve varials, jumps, flips, grabs, slides, grinds and stalls, and may even be combined with twists of various multiples of 180 degrees. Tricks which require some kind of ramp, sometimes a halfpipe, are known as transition tricks; the rest can be performed on flat ground or off of curbs and on rails and are known as street tricks.

Competitive skateboarding is primarily judged on the difficulty and success of such tricks.



Missing image
A skateboarding trick (Inward Heelflip)
Switch ollie
Fakie ollie

Tricks based on the ollie

360 Hardflip
A Hardflip that involves a 360 Frontside Shove-it instead of merely a 180. Very difficult, very rare.
360 Inward Heelflip
An Inward Heelflip that involves a 360 Pop Shove-it instead of merely a 180. Extremely rare due to ridiculous difficulty and lack of visual style appeal.
360 Kickflip
Most commonly referred to as a 360 Flip, 3 Flip, or Tré Flip, this trick combines a 360 Pop Shove-it with a kickflip. It is an extremely popular and stylish trick.
360 Heelflip
Also known as the Laser Flip. The origin of this trick is not clear though it was probably performed not too long after the 360 flip. This is in the same style as the 360 flip except that it is a combination of the 360 frontside pop-shoveit and the heelflip. This is a much more difficult trick to perform than the 360 flip.
360 Shove-it
This trick is simply a shove-it except that the board is rotated 360 degrees instead of 180.
Backside ollie
A Backside ollie is a short term for a backside 180 Ollie also dubbed as B/S 180. Turning in the direction of the rider's toes, the rider and the board spin 180 degrees in the same direction and at the same time during an ollie.
Big spin
Big spin flip
Frontside ollie
A Frontside ollie is a short term for a Frontside 180 Ollie also dubbed as F/S 180. Turning in the direction of the rider's heels, the rider and the board spin 180 degrees in the same direction and at the same time during an ollie.
A heelflip in essence is the same as a kickflip only the board spins outwards away from your body under your feet before you land. Again there is a kick as part of the ollie but unlike the kickflip it is directed forwards, so that the last part of your foot to leave the board is your heel, hense the name.
Inward heelflip
An inward heelflip combines a backside pop-shove-it with a heelflip.
Impossible (skateboarding trick)
Ollie north
Ollie north is an ollie during which the skateboarder kicks his foot forward. During the trick the skateboarder hovers in mid air with his front foot pointing "north". The trick was named after Oliver 'Ollie' North. It is also known by various other names such as "one foot ollie" or "ollie one foot", and various non-descriptive names.
Pop shove-it
Varial kickflip
A varial kickflip is a trick which is a combination of a pop shove-it and kickflip. The board spins 180 degrees whilst flipping.
Varial heelflip
A varial heelflip combines a frontside pop shove-it with a heelflip.


Aerials, or more commonly 'airs', are tricks usually performed on halfpipes, pools or quarter pipe where there is vertical wall with a transition available. Aerials usually combine rotation into different grabs. Most of the different types of grabs were originally aerial tricks that were performed on vert raps before flatground aerials became common.

Christ air
Judo Air
During a Judo air the skateboarder performs a nose grab, takes his ront foot off the board and kicks it forward and pulls the board backwards (while the back foot is still on the board). The skateboarder looks like he is doing a martial arts, Judo kick in mid air. This trick was invented by Tony Hawk.
Lien Air
Lien air is another name for a frontside air backside grab. It was named after the inventor Neil Blender (Lien is Neil spelled backwards).
Mc Twist
Mc Twist is another name for a backside 540 grabbed mute. It was named after the inventor Mike McGill. It has since been used to refer to any backside 540.
Rocket Air
During a rocket air the skateboarder grabs the nose of his skateboard with his both hands and at the same time places his both feet on the tail.


Grabs are different ways to hold the board during an aerial trick.

Indy grab
Stalefish grab
Named by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, in honour of the quality of food at the Swedish Skate Camp where it was invented (although this is disputed, as many credit Mark Gonzales with inventing the grab). The back hand grabs the heel side of the board behind the back leg. This results in a bending of both legs which can be emphasised to create more style. When this is done on a trick it is called a 'tweak'.
Airwalk grab
This trick goes way back to 1980s freestyle and has been made famous by legend, Rodney Mullen. Originally done on flat ground this is where the skater ollies quite high and catches the board in a nose grab. While in the nose grab, he holds it out beside him and spreads his legs apart so that it looks like he's walking in mid-air. Contrary to those who play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater this trick is very rarely performed on ramps.
Early grab
The early grab was widely used when vert skateboarding started out. In fact, everybody used the early grab, until Alan "Ollie" Gelfand invented the ollie. The Early Grab is a very basic trick and can be carried out in the following way:
  1. Ride up a ramp or to a ledge (using a small ledge to start with) at a comfortable pace to catch a little air.
  2. Before you get to the top of the ramp or to the edge of the ledge, crouch down and grab your board any way you see fit.
  3. Ride off the ramp or ledge. (Remember to keep the board under you.)
  4. Let go of the board and stand up to get ready for impact.
  5. Land.
Nose grab
For a nose grab one grabs hold of the front (nose) of one's skateboard whilst one's feet are in an ollie position. One of the easiest grabs to perform.
Tail grab
A tail grab is like a nose grab except you grab the tail. One of the harder uncomplicated grabs to perform.
Cannonball grab
The skateboarder ollies then grabs both ends of the board (nose and tail) and holds them. This makes the skater crouch and appear small and round in shape, like a cannonball, hence the name. This trick can also be done as an early grab, in which case it is commonly called a smallie, a smurf, or a bunnyhop.
Gorilla Grab
A flatground trick used before the ollie was invented. The barefoot rider would grip the deck with his toes (like a gorilla could) and jump, bringing the deck into the air with him. Rendered obsolete as the ollie became popular.
Melon grab
Short for "meloncholy grab". This trick is quite a difficult trick to perform and as a result is considered very impressive when performed on vert ramps. This is where the skater grabs his board on heel side between his heels with his front hand and then extends his legs forwards creating a stylish "layback" look to it. This is only a melon when performed frontside, otherwise it is referred to as a "backside grab".
Contrary to popular belief, this grab does not originate from snowboarding, but was invented by Neil Blender, as a "method" to get higher air on a backside air. This is similar to the melon grab only when the board is grabbed the knees are bent so the board is raised backwards and the skater appears to be kneeling in mid-air.
Seatbelt grab
This trick has caused much confusion in the past as it is a quite complex trick to understand. Many believe it is an indy grab but grabbed with the oppsite hand. This is false. A seatbelt grab is where the skater grabs the board on the toeside of the board (frontside) on the tail. It is done with the front hand so that the arm is brought across the body to grab the board, similar to the motion of buckling one's seatbelt on the driver's side.
Mute grab
Similar to the seatbelt grab, except the front hand grabs the frontside of the board just ahead of the front foot, but not on the nose. Mutes are always backside; a frontside "mute" is correctly termed a Slob Air.
Crail Grab
Much like a Seatbelt grab, but in opposite order. For a Crail Grab, the skater grabs the nose with his back hand.
Roast Beef
A seemingly complex-to-learn grab that involvesreaching through the legs with the back hand and grabbing the heelside of the board between the feet. It is essentially a "poor man's stalefish", and is regarded by most to be inferior to a true Stalefish.


Missing image
The bench to the lower right shows the characteristic marks produced by slides, grinds and the use of wax.

Grinds are tricks where the skateboarder slides on the hangers of the trucks. Grinds are performed on handrails, stone ledges or similar obstacles.

5-0 grind
In this maneuver, you first ollie onto a rail or ledge, then put all your weight on your back foot so that the back truck is grinding. This move is similar to the manual.
50-50 Grind
This trick's name was originally given to a freestyle trick where the skater stands on the truck of the board while the board balances on the tail. However it has given way to the name "truckstand" and this popular grind trick has taken the name 50-50. When you 50-50 you ollie towards a rail or ledge, landing with both trucks on the rail or ledge.
  • slick description ( from a magazine
Anchor Grind
Also known as the Bag Lady, this trick involves grinding on the front truck with the tail going over the obstacle and pointing down and away. It is not considered one of the more stylish tricks and is quite uncommon.
Barley Grind
Invented by Donny Barley, the Barley grind is a switch frontside 180 into a frontside Smith grind.
Crooked grind
Also called crooks, or the K-grind after the man to whom the trick is most commonly accredited (although nobody can say for sure who really invented it), Eric Koston. This is similar to the nosegrind only the board is turned at an angle, towards the side of the rail/ledge that the skater came from. It is kind of a cross between a noseslide and a nosegrind. Backside crooked grinds are significantly easier than backside nosegrinds. The frontside variation is considered by many to be one of, if not the, hardest grinds.
Feeble Boardslide
A grind that involves locking the front truck onto a rail or ledge, while letting the back truck dip down. It is much like a combination of a crooked grind and a feeble grind, and has yet to settle on a static name, as it has also been called a willy grind, front-truck feeble, or a lazy-k grind. Few pros do this trick on purpose (Alex Moul being one exception), and it is considered by most to be a failed 50-50.
Feeble grind
Not unlike the Smith grind. Only when ollieing onto the rail/ledge the back trucks land on it and the rest of the board hangs down over the far side of the rail/ledge. This is kind of like a cross between a boardslide and a 50-50.
This is a very hard trick to describe and perform. When approached from the frontside (toes facing the rail/ledge) a hurricane is best describe as a "backwards smith grind". The board is turned 180 and the front of the board is now hanging over the far side of the rail while the back truck grinds forwards. The sugarcane is the same concept only it is more like a "backwards feeble grind" where the front of the board now hangs over the nearest side of the rail/ledge.
A nosegrind consists of a grind on the front truck of the skateboard. Similar to the nosemanual, except grinding.
Overcrook grind
Similar to the crooked grind only the board is turned over the other side of the rail/ledge the skater came from, hence the name. This name is commonly used, and is in a certain skateboarding video game. However, you will also hear/see it called ollie over to crooked grind, or the rather strange "noseblunt grind".
Salad Grind
This is very similar to the 5-0 only at a slightly crooked angle, such that the front wheels go over the obstacle on which the grind is performed. Like the "overcrook" grind is like a crooked nosegrind the Salad grind is like a crooked 5-0. This trick has been invented by Eric Dressen, hence the name (dressen, dressing, salad dressing). Although the term has been used for either, technically salad grinds are only frontside.
Smith grind
This grind is especially impressive out of all the grind tricks as it requires a lot of skill and style to pull off. Similar to a 5-0, the back truck grinds on the obstacle while the nose is pointed down and towards the side the skater approached from. Usually considered a bit harder than a tailslide. It is kind of like a cross between a lipslide and a 50-50. This trick was named after its inventor Mike Smith.
Suski Grind
Invented by Aaron Suski, a Suski grind is essentially a combination of a backside 5-0 and a tailslide, as it requires getting into a backside 5-0 with the board outturned from the ledge or rail.


A slide is a trick where the skateboarder slides sideways either on the deck or on the wheels.

Bertleman slide
Blunt slide
Blunt slide is similar to tail and nose slide but the deck is in a vertical position during the slide. In other words, the truck rests on top of the obstacle and the tail or nose slides along the side. It is much more difficult than a nose or tail slide since getting off the slide requires performing an ollie horizontally.
Board slide
Crail Slide
This is a tailslide only the skater grabs the nose of the board with his back hand while sliding. Usually performed on a ramp.
Dark slide
Lip slide
Similar to a boardslide only the skater turns 90 degrees so that the back trucks are placed over the rail/ledge and the skater slides on the middle of the board while facing forwards. It is harder than a boardslide. Note that in this case a frontside lipslide involves facing forwards while a backside lipslide involves facing backwards.
Noseblunt slide
Same as a blunt slide only performed with the nose and the front wheels. This is probably one of the hardest slides to perform and so often done by pros on handrails.
Nose slide
A noseslide is performed by riding parallel to an obstacle (ledge, rail, etc...) The skateboarder then does an ollie and turns the board 90 degrees. They then land on the ledge with the nose of the board sliding on top of it. This can be done frontside or backside. The skateboarder can then come off the ledge either regular or fakie (backwards).
Power slide
Powerslide is a four wheel slide.
Rail slide
Tail slide
Similar to the noseslide only when turning 90 degrees the tail of the board is landed on the edge of the ledge/rail. This trick is often flipped into and out of.
Missing image
Pendulum slide
Sliding is also a technique used for braking. To slide you must also have "sliding gloves" which can be regular household gardening gloves with cutting board (or any stiff plastic) attached to the palms and the fingers. To slide you must place your hands on the ground and pull an extremely sharp turn, making the board lose complete traction. Sliding is conveneant to stop quickly, or just to show off. Naming slides uses standard skate/snowboard positions (heelside/toeside) and then the type of slide. There are several types of slides, the standard "Slide" (the board "rotates" 180°), the pendulum (the board "rotates" 180°, then returns to the original position), there are many more complex slides such as Colemans, and 360's.

Lip tricks

Lip tricks are performed on halfpipes, quarterpipes and mini ramps. They consist of tricks that require different varieties of balance on the "lip" of the ramp (this is the metal coping at the top of the curved ramp). Stalls and inverts are performed to link tricks together and also allow a great deal of innovation and style.

Axle stall
An axle stall is a stall on both trucks of a skateboard. It is used commonly to regain composure before performing another trick or to "drop in" on a ramp. Essentially a stationary 50-50.
Blunt to Fakie
This is a very hard trick where the back truck is placed over the lip of the ramp and the tail is placed on the lip, appearing like a stationary blunt slide, hence the name. As small ollie is then performed to come off the lip and ride back down the ramp in fakie. You can also do a small 180 ollie out, if you ollie out frontside you get a frontside blunt stall, and likewise for a backside 180.
This trick is where the skater rotates 180 degrees and lands in the center of his board with the front trucks facing towards the ramp and the back trucks over the lip. The skater then leans forwards to return back in the ramp. Essentially a stationary lipslide.
Dropping in
This is a complex lip trick where the skater grabs his board and plants a hand on the coping so that he is balancing upside down on the lip of the ramp. Many variations as to where the board is grabbed and how the legs are arranged make for a number of different tricks of this type. Examples are: Eggplant, Andrecht Invert, Gymnast Plant, Sadplant, Burntwist, One Foot Invert etc
Nose blunt stall
Like the blunt to fakie, only a 180 degree turn is done at the top of the ramp so the nose is used in the same fasion as the blunt stall. A nollie is then done to come back into the ramp.
Nose pick
This is often confused with the nose blunt stall and vice versa. The only difference is that the nose pick is done with the front truck on the lip and is often grabbed to help the skater back into the ramp. Essentially a stationary nosegrind.
Nose stall
To perform this trick, skate at a moderate speed, do an ollie but keep your foot on the nose. Land the nose on an edge and you have now performed nose stall.
An axle stall on only your back truck. Essentially a stationary 5-0.
Pivot to fakie
An axle stall on only your back truck, but instead of turning around and riding in normal, you come in backwards. A cross between a Blunt to fakie and a Pivot.
Rock and Roll
Similar to the Rock to Fakie only a quick 180 is done as you come off the lip so that you don't ride fakie. The frontside variation is much harder and is considered one of the most stylish lip tricks.
Rock to fakie
This is a quick, common and easy lip trick performed mostly to link tricks together on mini ramps. The front truck is placed over the lip of the ramp and then the board is "rocked" slightly before coming back down backwards (fakie).
Tail Stall
Similar to a nose stall only the board is turned 180 degrees and the tail is placed on the lip. Essentially a stationary tailslide. The most common form of dropping in on a ramp is to start off in tail stall.

Miscellaneous tricks

Acid drops/bomb drops
These are slightly different street tricks but more or less used in the same fashion. An acid drop is where the skater uses his board to ollie off an object e.g. a wall, from a tail stall position onto a lower surface. A bomb drop is similar only the board is usually held and then placed under the feet, mid jump.
Boneless one
This classic trick, invented by Garry Scott Davis, dates back to the freestyling era of skateboarding. This includes many variations such as the beanplant and the fastplant, as well as adding rotations, varials, and hand flips. Basically the principle is where the skater grabs his board while simultaneously stepping off the board and jumping with one foot. The skater then replaces the board under his feet and lands. It is commonly used to gain more height or performed down stair sets.
Another variation of this trick is as a lip trick on a ramp. The skater ollies out of the ramp and then grabs the board, takes their front foot off and puts it on the ramp, then jumps off their foot and puts it back on the board and rolls back into the ramp.
Manual is a wheelie performed immediately after a trick that involves an aerial. A trick combination could, for example, be a kickflip into nose manual. The original definition of manual is often mixed with the wheelie and very often a regular wheelie is called a manual. Most often a manual is performed by doing an ollie or another trick up onto an obstacle, rolling in a wheelie all the way to the other side of the obstacle and then either dropping straight off the obstacle back onto all four wheels or performing a trick out of the manual.
The McTwist is a 540-degree backside rotation in a vert ramp. Invented by Mike McGill, using a mute grab.
The front foot slides off the side of the board. With the body weight on the back foot over the tail, the board 'snaps' up and can be guided with the back leg/knee. To ride away the skater jumps with his/her front foot back on. The No-Comply was commonly used by street skaters in the mid to late 80's, most commonly being done off parking blocks.
Like a McTwist, except performed frontside.
Wall ride
This is a difficult, impressive trick where the skater places all four wheels onto a wall and rides along vertically until ollieing off. This ollie is known as a "wallie". If the skater grabs the board and kicks against the wall with his foot it is known as a "wallplant".
A caveman is simply holding your board in one hand, jumping into the air, landing on the board, and rolling away. It was commonly used by street skaters in the mid to late 80's as a way to boardslide handrails that were otherwise unskateable.

Freestyle tricks

Freestyle skateboarding was pioneered by many skateboarders in the early days of skateboarding back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The most notable of all was Rodney Mullen whose innovation and unique, mind boggling skill has led him to invent most of the basic tricks we see around us today. Freestyle in its heyday was performed on flat ground and required a lot of balance and co-ordination. The aim was to carry on a series of different tricks without stopping in between. Many tricks such as the manual, casper, tic-tac or the Spacewalk were used to link tricks together without ending the combo. In competitions points were awarded for style and variation of tricks. Although not as popular today, the vast majority of modern street tricks would not have been possible without freestyle.

Body varial
A body varial is a trick where the skateboarder jumps up and rotates 180 degrees and lands on his board riding in switch stance (or regular stance if the trick started from switch stance). It is nowdays almost always combined with some other trick.
Power Slide
This trick is performed while moving quite fast, and is often used as a move to lose speed if going too fast. With both feet braced firmly on the board, both the skater and the board spin 180 (or more) with all 4 wheels on the ground. This makes a characteristic scraping sound.
Walk The Dog
A move where you put one foot in the middle of the board, step to the nose with the back foot, and bring the nose to the back, spinning the board 180 around the centre foot. With practice this move can be done quite fast and many times in a row.
Tic-Tacs and the Space Walk
Tic-tacs are where the front wheels are lifted, brought 45 degrees to one side, touched down, lifted again, brought 45 degrees to the other side and repeated, making a tic-tac sound as the wheels touch down. Using momentum, a skater can use this move to gain speed and even climb gentle hills. A space walk is exactly the same but the front wheels do not touch the ground.
Basically doing a handstand on a moving skateboard. Many variations evolved from this, including one-hand handstands, headstands, frogstands, handstand wheelies, etc. Rodney Mullen can do kickflips (punchflips?) out of handstands, landing on his feet.
Rail Stand
A rail stand is when one edge of your board is on the ground and you are standing on the other, usually with your feet also on the wheels. From this position you can do many tricks, including flips, 180s, 360s and combinations of the above (landing into another railstand if you wish), caspers, etc.
Primo Slide
This is like a rail stand but done while moving, so you slide along the ground on the side of you board. Named for its inventor, Primo Desiderio.
Finger flip
A predecessor to the kickflip, this trick involves reaching down with the front hand, jumping off the board, flipping the board on its axis, and landing back on it. Double- and triple-fingerflips have also been done, as well as 180 fingerflips, where the board is rotated 180 as well as flipped with the hand.
Old School Kickflip
Like the kickflip, but done standing with feet parallel in the middle of the board, so it could be done on old boards that lacked the nose and tail of modern boards.
Old School 360 Flip
Like the Old School Kickflip, but one foot is closer the nose, and the other is closer to the tail
Hang Ten Wheelies
A classic freestyle trick, this move involves putting both feet at the nose of the board and lifting the back wheels off the ground and balancing while moving. Other manual tricks are one-footed manuals and one-wheel manuals, which are self explanatory but very difficult to pull off.
This trick is similar to a casper, with the board upside-down, but the back foot is standing on the back truck. The 50-50 is done with a hand holding the nose of the board, or it can be done with the front foot holding up the nose. In this case it is called a No-Hand 50-50.
The trick is actually a type of transfer from a 50-50 to a casper, where the back hand grabs the back truck (the one with the back foot on it), the front foot is placed on the nose of the board, and the weight is transferred to the front foot, while the back foot moves from the back truck to under the board, to the casper position.
Done with the board straight up and down, this move uses the skateboard as a pogo stick. One foot is on the bottom truck, and the other usually presses on the grip tape side of the board for grip. You can grab the nose of the board or not.
TV Stand
This is basically a pogo handstand. Very impressive indeed!
Saran Wrap
Usually done from a pogo or 50-50 position, this trick involves the front leg tracing a circle around the nose of the board.
'70s skate competitions would often have an event to see who could do the most consecutive 360 spins on a skateboard. The current world record is 163 by Russ Howell. Variations include Nose 360s, One-footed 360s, etc.

Many other freestyle tricks exist, it's up to you to make your own!

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