Skateboarding involves acrobatic feats performed with individual style. The four cornerstone
tricks are ollie, grind, slide and flip. Once a skater has mastered these, he or she can work
on more advanced variations of the basic deck tricks.
Skaters pride themselves on how many moves they can combine at one time. They also work to take the basics higher and farther.
Modern skateboarding begins with an ollie. There have been other milestones, but this fundamental maneuver gives a skater his or her power to defy gravity. The skateboard is catapulted into the air after its tail end has been smacked on the ground.
He begins with the toes of his back foot on the rear edge of the skateboard his front foot in the mid-section.
The tail of the skateboard is slammed on the ground by his back foot. At the same time, he raises his front foot up and kicks it slightly forward, which stabilizes the board.
Both feet are brought up as high as possible.
He prepares mentally for landing; it takes confidence not to bail.
Alan Gelfand is credited with inventing the jump. “I never realized how many people were affected by one little move an 80-pound kid from Hollywood, Fla., made in 1976,” Gelfand said after “ollie” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
To slide on the bottom of their skateboards, skaters must carefully gauge their speed beforehand. For beginners, it can be a vivid lesson in inertia: They usually start cautiously slow and fall backward. Skaters can use any part of their skateboard's deck to slide.
Grind When the metal axles, or trucks, of a skateboard scrape across the edge of an object, it’s appropriately called a grind.
Grinds give skaters bad reputations for damaging local curbs, ledges and handrails. For property owners it’s as annoying as a cat clawing a new sofa. For the skater, grinding is a visceral delight.
Kick flip Skaters also make their skateboards flip during flight. Skating legend Tony Hawk is among those who struggled to learn how to kickflip. “I started trying them right after Rodney Mullen invented them and they seemed impossible,” Hawk wrote on his website, “It took me the better part of a year practicing.”
He places his front foot a little closer to the side edge of the deck.
He ollies and drags his front foot off the side.
With a flick of the ankle he sends the board into a flip.
A solid landing requires patience and determination.
Here are some phrases that describe nuances such as a skater’s riding style, in what direction a trick is executed or how to ride a ramp.
Dropin To start at the top of a ramp.
Goofy foot Riding with the right foot forward, the opposite of “regular foot.”
Regular foot Riding with the left foot forward, the opposite of “goofy foot.”
Mongo-foot A style of push- ing where the back foot is kept on the board and push- ing is done with the front foot.
Switch stance Riding the board with the opposite footing than usual, i.e., "goofy foot" instead of "regular foot."
Carve To skate in a long, curving arc.
Frontside When a trick or turn is executed with the front of the skaters body facing the ramp or obstacle.
Backside When a trick or turn is executed with the-skater's back facing the ramp or obstacle.
Fakie Skating backward — the skater is standing in his or her normal stance, but the board is moving backward.
Slam A bad, unexpected fall.
Pumping A technique used while riding a half-pipe where a skater shifts his or her weight to increase momentum.
Half-pipe A U-shaped ramp of any size.
Vert ramp A half-pipe, usually at least 8 feet tall, with steep sides that are perfectly vertical near the top.
Jacob Benison, "On Deck," Information Graphic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1 January 2005.
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