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Like many industries, the art of skateboarding (as well as rollerblading) has a lot of terminology that baffles and confuses the non-skater - unless you play one of those computer games. This list is by no means definitive or complete, it only lists some of the basic terms when using a skateboard. Note that this refers to the current, generic new school skate boards, and I avoid specific measurements as they tend to vary.

  • deck - the entire wooden plank part of the skateboard. Curved upwards at the ends, made of 7-ply maple wood. It is also slightly concave lengthwise. From 7-8" wide, nearly 3' long. Symmetrical along lengthwise axis, often looks but is not symmetrical along breadthwise axis.
  • kick - the bent upwards ends of the deck, from the wheels to the shorter end. Refers to either tail or nose, bent upwards, used for turning and tricks, often the reason why newbies keep falling off it.
  • tail - the back kick of the deck, usually steeper and shorter.
  • nose - front kick of the deck, usually shallower and longer.
  • trucks - the metal devices that connect the wheels to the deck.
  • spacer - optional piece of plastic or rubber put between the trucks and the deck, no more than 0.5" thick, used to stop the wheels from coming into contact with the deck, and (more in the case of rubber) to help absorb the shock in lands.
  • griptape - sandpaper like tape on the top of the deck used to keep skaters on their boards.

    General terms:
  • bail - to abort! To jump/get off the skateboard in an attempt to avoid a crash. Usually used for high speed skating and attempts at tricks
  • eat shit - to fall off. Can refer specifically to a face plant or a particularly bad landing.
  • slam - to fall off.
  • land - to successfully complete a trick.
  • sack - to injure your groin while attempt to slide or grind.
  • flick of the foot - term given to simple tricks that involve little more than a flick of the foot.
  • regular-foot - where the preferred stance is with the left foot forwards.
  • goofy-foot - where the preferred stance is with the right foot forwards. regular/goofy foot is being slowly phased out as new skaters learn to be ambidextrous.
  • trick - something done on a skateboard other than simply standing and moving on it. Can be as simple as a kickturn or complex as an ollie impossible.
  • fruit booter - derogatory name for rollerbladers.
  • poser - someone who skaters not for enjoyment, but to look "cool". Often attempts tricks he/she has no chance of landing, and bailing in mid-trick to land several metres from the board.
  • plank on wheels - Contrary to popular belief, skateboards are far more complex than a simple plank on wheels. This term is given to cheap, crappy and generally shoddy skateboards often bought from general toy stores and the like. Scorned by skateboarders who know what they're doing.
  • street - the most common type of skating, performed on the street, uses suburban terrain, or just the street.
  • vert - type of skating involving half-pipes, bowls and the like.

    Tricks - please note these are very basic tricks only. See also advanced skateboard terminology:
  • acid drop - riding off a vertical drop, from a curb to insanely high things like roofs.
  • kickturn - lifting the board (so it is on its back wheels) and making a large turn in either direction.
  • frontside - a turn whereby your front faces outwards of the turning circle.
  • backside - a turn whereby your back faces outwards of the turning circle.
  • ollie - a fundamental and basic maneuver on a skateboard. Used to jump curbs and obstacles. See it.
  • manual - lifting the front of the board so that only the back wheels touch the ground.
  • nose manual - same as manual, except for front wheels.
  • flip - description of any trick which involves flipping the board vertically or horizontally.
  • kickflip - basic skateboarding trick - involves an ollie and a flick of the foot towards the backside, causing it to flip.
  • heelflip - slightly more complex than the kickflip, involves an ollie and a flick of the foot towards the frontside, causing it to flip in the opposite direction of a kickflip.
  • hardflip - another basic skateboarding trick, but significantly harder than a kick/heelflip. The board flips both lengthwise and breadthwise, going between your legs. Usually the cause of many people's first sacking.
  • grind - sliding along an edge, like a curb, with your trucks not your wheels. Several types.
  • slide - sliding along an edge with your deck not your wheels. Several types.
  • ollie impossible - a trick so complex I can't remember it let alone do it. Often used by newbies to describe something impossible.

    Kudos to/See also
  • http://skateboard.co.uk/project/features/dictionary/
  • http://www.globalserve.net/~gord/glossary.htm
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