Skateboard Terms

Here are some skateboard terms. They get tossed around quite a bit and some are mis-used. I gathered them up here.

Backside – tricks that cause your back side to face the direction of travel or obstacle.

Frontside – tricks that cause your front side to face the direction of travel or obstacle.

Vert - short for vertical. Vert has to be 90 degrees. When a ramp gets so steep that it reached 90 degrees then it is vertical. Vert is the type of thing Tony Hawk skates. The two walls facing each other with a skater doing a lot of airs. Most young skaters refer to any type of ramp and vert. 

Pop - Pop is the feeling of a snappy new skateboard. You can understand the skateboard term pop if you skate. It is more a feel than anything else.

A board with pop will pop into the air when you snap the tail. It will seem to bounce and flip super easy when new. You can also say a skater has "pop" if they go high when snapping tricks. "He has huge pop on his kickflips."

The pop has to do with solid new wood and the shape of the edge on a new skateboard. A new board has a solid, rounded edge. It give good contact with the ground when you hit it for a trick. This contact makes the board pop off the ground well.

Stall - To land and hold a position on an edge or coping and stall without moving. As opposed to a slide where you would be moving along the edge. Doing stalls is the most common move done on mini ramp. It is good to start doing stalls on curbs when you are learning a new grind or slide. Just ollie or roll into the stall. Get the feel of the trick before you try to slide it. 

Tweak - This is a when you point a trick out into a stylish pose. Stretching your pose as far as you can get it before you start to land the trick. Most skateboard tricks look better if you point the front of the board down lower than the back. When you tweak it down far it is extra style points.

Shifty - A shifty is a tweak that goes off to the side. You shift the board 90 degrees frontside or backside then bringing it back straight. This is a stylish tweak that added to more simple tricks. It looks a lot easier to do than it is.

A frontside shifty kickflip or "easy flip". It looks easy but it is difficult. Tommy Penny did a few of them back in the 90's. His style was floaty. He made skateboarding look super easy.

Slappy - To ride into a grind or slide without popping an ollie.

Mob - Bad Style. When the board sags in the air. If the back part of the board stays low during a trick it looks bad. We call it mob. A mob kickflip still counts as a kickflip but it sort of sucks.

Late - Starting a rotation late in the trick. Doing a straight ollie or air. Once at the peak flicking a late flip, late shuvit or late 180. Can get more complicated but this explains it.

Line - A line is a path of travel through a bowl or down the street. You string tricks together in a line. I like watching trick after trick after trick in a line.

Dark - Landing with the board upside down and sliding. Anything that involves the board upside down. There is a lot of freestyle trick overlap here. Rodney Mullen had a few video parts around 2000 that feature tricks with a half flip into a slide and half flip out. People called them darkslides. Lots of other pros have done them but they have remained a bit of a gimmick or dork trick.

They are cool looking but damage your skateboard. The slide shreds your grip tape. You are also landing on the board where it is weakest. The concave buckles and doesn't resist cracking or breaking when stood on upside down. So darkslide away but you are risking breaking your board. You can just as flip the whole rotation and do a trick that won't damage you board. Darkslides are a cool trick but I don't bother with them.

Snake - Someone who cuts into your line or takes a run out of turn. No one likes a snake.

Big and Bigger - A "big" trick is a flip trick variation. They look crazy because they flip and spin a lot. Both the body and the board move a large or big amount in these tricks.

To be "big" you need to add a 180 body varial and 180 shuvit into the spin direction of the trick. A bigflip is a kickflip with backside bigspin put into it or a 360 flip backside body varial.

For a bigger trick, just like big you add a 180 body varial plus a 360 shuvit into the spin direction of the trick. A biggerflip is sort of like a 540 flip with a backside 180 body varial.

This sounds confusing. If performed on a bank it isn't that difficult to see with a kickflip and heelflip variation. They are more simple if done fakie. Difficult frontside.

Wax - used to make things slippery for skateboard tricks.

These are the basic skateboard terms that have come up so far. If you have some skateboard terms that could add to the list please share them. 

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