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

Frontside Forces and Fakie Flight »

The Science and Art of Skateboard Design »


X Games moves to Austin — Skate

Daniel Lutheran

Anthony Acosta

Wednesday it was announced that Austin, Texas, will be the 2014 host city of the X Games. Austin has been a hub of skateboarding for decades with tons of ditches, street spots, skateparks, punk rock and great food. Here, Daniel Lutheran tailslides a lone suburban rail.

House Skatepark

Shaun Mefford

The main park in Austin is House Skatepark, perfect to start the day with a game of S.K.A.T.E. or a few grinds in the bowls.

Save the date: X Games Aspen — Jan. 23-26, 2014; X Games Austin — June 5-8, 2014

Vincent Alvarez

vincent alvarez
Youness Amrani

youness amrani
Madars Apse

madars apse
Lizzie Armanto

lizzie armanto

Tom Asta

tom asta

Lacey Baker

lacey baker

Pedro Barros

pedro barros

Marcelo Bastos

marcelo bastos

Sam Beckett

sam beckett

Allysha Bergado

allysha bergado

Taylor Bingaman

taylor bingaman

Evelien Bouilliart

evelien bouilliart
Tyson Bowerbank

tyson bowerbank
Samarria Brevard

samarria brevard

Jake Brown

jake brown

Mitchie Brusco

mitchie brusco

Leticia Bufoni

leticia bufoni
Adrien Bulard

adrien bulard

Bob Burnquist

bob burnquist

Curren Caples

curren caples
David Castells

david castells
Danny Cerezini

danny cerezini
Ramon Climente

ramon climente

Chris Cole

chris cole
Jonathan Cosentino

jonathan cosentino
Jack Curtin

jack curtin
Keelan Dadd

keelan dadd

Marisa Dal Santo

marisa dal santo

Ryan Decenzo

ryan decenzo

Sandro Dias

sandro dias

Jagger Eaton

jagger eaton
Ianire Elorriaga

ianire elorriaga
Yuri Facchini

yuri facchini
Chima Ferguson

chima ferguson

Greyson Fletcher

greyson fletcher

Jessica Florencio

jessica florencio
Will Flores

will flores

Pierre-Luc Gagnon

pierre-luc gagnon
Joan Galceran

joan galceran

Austyn Gillette

austyn gillette
Eugenia Ginepro

eugenia ginepro

Rune Glifberg

rune glifberg

Alain Goikoetxea

alain goikoetxea

Rony Gomes

rony gomes

David Gonzalez

david gonzalez

David Gravette

david gravette
Felipe Gustavo

felipe gustavo

Omar Hassan

omar hassan

Ben Hatchell

ben hatchell
Kelvin Hoefler

kelvin hoefler
Jordan Hoffart

jordan hoffart

Aaron Homoki

aaron homoki

Nyjah Huston

nyjah huston

Candy Jacobs

candy jacobs

Karen Jonz

karen jonz

Cory Kennedy

cory kennedy

Mimi Knoop

mimi knoop

Eric Koston

eric koston

Kevin Kowalski

kevin kowalski
Fabian Lang

fabian lang

Bucky Lasek

bucky lasek
Danny Leon

danny leon

Greg Lutzka

greg lutzka

Julz Lynn

julz lynn

Andy Macdonald

andy macdonald

Sean Malto

sean malto

Billy Marks

billy marks

Danny Mayer

danny mayer

Brad McClain

brad mcclain
Matt Miller

matt miller
Fran Molina

fran molina

Nolan Munroe

nolan munroe
Albert Nyberg

albert nyberg

Shane O’neill

shane o’neill

Luan Oliveira

luan oliveira

Chaz Ortiz

chaz ortiz

Italo Penarrubia

italo penarrubia

Edgard Pereira

edgard pereira

Alex Perelson

alex perelson
Chris Pfanner

chris pfanner
Denny Pham

denny pham
Torey Pudwill

torey pudwill
Ben Raemers

ben raemers
Peter Ramondetta

peter ramondetta

Rodolfo Ramos

rodolfo ramos

Ben Raybourn

ben raybourn

Rachel Reinhard

rachel reinhard

Tom Remillard

tom remillard

Dylan Rieder

dylan rieder
Ivan Rivado

ivan rivado

Paul Rodriguez

paul rodriguez
Kevin Romar

kevin romar

Paul-Luc Ronchetti

paul-luc ronchetti
Danilo Rosario

danilo rosario
Pamela Rose

pamela rose

Alexis Sablone

alexis sablone

Bastien Salabanzi

bastien salabanzi

Tommy Sandoval

tommy sandoval

Manny Santiago

manny santiago
Ben Sauer

ben sauer

Tom Schaar

tom schaar

Jono Schwan

jono schwan

Ryan Sheckler

ryan sheckler

Elliot Sloan

elliot sloan
Evan Smith

evan smith
Alana Smith

alana smith

Alex Sorgente

alex sorgente

Eliana Sosco

eliana sosco

Elissa Steamer

elissa steamer

Mikey Taylor

mikey taylor

Grant Taylor

grant taylor

Raven Tershy

raven tershy
Nora Vasconcellos

nora vasconcellos

Ishod Wair

ishod wair
Jimmie Wilkins

jimmie wilkins
Lucas Xaparral

lucas xaparral
Tim Zom

tim zom