All About Skateboarding

What are the parts of a skateboard? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 1 of 7)

How to assemble a skateboard? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 2 of 7)

How to find your stance on a skateboard? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 3 of 7)

How to start and turn and stop a skateboard? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 4 of 7)

How true are the stereotypes of skateboarders? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 5 of 7)

What are the "unwritten rules" of skatepark etiquette? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 6 of 7)How to ride and do basic tricks in a skatepark? - Learn To Ride A Skateboard (Chapter 7 of 7)

Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. A person who skateboards is most often referred to as a skateboarder, or colloquially within the skateboarding community, a skater.

Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation.  Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2002 report by American Sports Data found that there were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of skateboarders polled who had used a board in the last year were under the age of 18, and 74 percent were male.

Skateboarding is relatively modern. A key skateboarding maneuver, the ollie, was developed in the late 1970s by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand as a half-pipe maneuver. Freestyle skateboarder Rodney Mullen was the first to take it to flat ground and later invented the kickflip and its variations.

A skateboard is typically a specially designed plywood board combined with a polyurethane coating used for making smoother slides and stronger durability, used primarily for the activity of skateboarding. The first skateboards to reach public notice came out of the surfing craze of the early 1960s, developed to help surfers practice when waves were unfavorable. The first prototypes were simple wooden boards with roller-skate wheels attached, and the practice was sometimes referred to as "sidewalk surfing." The surfing group Jan and Dean even had a minor hit called "Sidewalk Surfing" in 1964. By the mid-1980s skateboards were mass produced and sold throughout the United States.

A skateboard is propelled by pushing with one foot while the other remains on the board, or by pumping one's legs in structures such as a pool or half pipe. A skateboard can also be used by simply standing on the deck while on a downward slope and allowing gravity to propel the board and rider. If the rider positions their right foot forward, he/she is said to ride "goofy"; if the rider positions their left foot forward, he/she is said to ride "regular." If the rider is normally regular but chooses to ride goofy, he/she is said to be riding "switch," and vice versa. A skater is typically more comfortable pedaling with their back foot; choosing to pedal with the front foot is commonly referred to as riding "mongo."

Recently, electric skateboards have also appeared. These no longer require the propelling of the skateboard by means of the feet; rather an electric motor propels the board, fed by an electric battery.

There is no governing body that declares any regulations on what constitutes a skateboard or the parts from which it is assembled. Historically, the skateboard has conformed both to contemporary trends and to the ever evolving array of stunts performed by riders/users, who require a certain functionality from the board. Of course, the board shape depends largely upon its desired function. Longboards are a type of skateboard with a longer wheelbase and larger, softer wheels.

Anatomy of a Skateboard

Anatomy of Skateboard Trucks


Skateboarding trick terminology

  • Air: riding with all four wheels in the air.
  • Backside: a trick executed with the skater's back to the ramp or obstacle, or a rotation of the rider/board where the front foot moves forward (e.g. a regular-footed skater facing north turning eastward).
  • Caballerial: a 360-degree ollie while riding fakie. The Caballerial was named after Steve Caballero, who invented the trick on vert in the early 1980s.
  • Carve: to skate in a long, curving arc.
  • Fakie: rolling backwards; the rider is in the normal stance, but rolling in the opposite direction.(Basically a switch nollie position)
  • Frontside: a trick executed with the skater facing the ramp or obstacle, or a rotation of the rider/board where the front foot moves backward (e.g. a regular-footed skater facing north turning westward).
  • FS 540: a frontside 540-degree turn.
  • Goofy-Foot: a skater who more comfortably rides with the right foot leading.
  • Grind: scraping one or both truck axles on a curb, railing, or other surface.
  • Crooked Grind: a nosegrind where the nose is angled toward the object and the tail is elevated.
  • 50-50 Grind: a grind on both trucks.
  • Nosegrind: a front truck grind with the rear of the board elevated over the obstacle.
  • 5-0 Grind: a rear truck grind with the front of the board elevated over the obstacle.
  • Smith Grind: a rear truck grind, with the nose pointed below and slightly away from the obstacle.
  • Kickflip: an ollie in the middle of which the skater uses the front toe to kick the board into an Aileron roll.
  • Heelflip: a kickflip in which the skater uses the front heel to flip the board in the opposite direction.
  • McTwist: a backside 540-degree turn usually performed on a ramp (generally a mute grab).
  • Mongo-Foot: pushing with the trailing foot kept on the board; most commonly used to push fakie.
  • Noseslide: sliding the underside of the nose end of a board on a ledge, rail, or lip.
  • Ollie: a jump performed by popping the tail of the board on the ground, and using the front foot to even out your body and attain air. The basis of most skating tricks, named after Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. See: Air, Pop
  • Pop: the act of striking the tail of the board against the ground to propel the board upwards.
  • Boardslide: a trick in which the skater slides the underside of the deck along an object.
  • Regular Foot: a skater who more comfortably rides with the left foot leading.
  • Shove-it: a trick performed by spinning the board 180 degrees beneath the feet without the skater spinning.
  • Switch Stance: riding the board with the opposite footing than usual.
  • Tailslide: sliding the underside of the tail end of a board on a ledge or lip.
  • Pop Shove-it: A shove-it performed while popping the tail to make the board attain air. See: Air, Pop
  • Varial Kick Flip: A trick consisting of a backside pop shove-it and a kickflip.
  • Varial Heel Flip:Same as a hard flip, but you heel flip and the board spins front side.
  • 360 Flip: A 360 shove it and a kick flip. The board does 1 full rotation.
  • Ollie North: an Ollie in which the front foot is taken off the board.
  • Laser Flip: A frontside 360 shove it and a heel flip. The board does 2 full rotations.
  • Hard Flip: Instead of the board spinning backside, the trick is performed by doing a kick flip and having the board spin frontside.
  • Inward Heel Flip: A heelflip variation where the board simultaneously rotates 180 degrees backside

  • Nollie: An Ollie performed with the front foot (N/ollie negative ollie) Can be referred as a fakie-switch ollie, or it could be added as a prefix to describe any other trick performed in fakie-switch stance (Nollie 360 Flip, Nollie Kickflip, Nollie Lazer, etc.).

Skateboard Deck Sizing Guide

Style   Width Length Wheelbase Nose Tail Description
Long Boards   8.5" 32.75" 15" 6.875" 6.75" Name tells all, LongBoards are for the boardwalk/Store Runs & Just going fast down some hills..
Old School   7.125" 31.125" 13.875" 6.5" 6.5" Bring back the BEST, different shapes for each style of skating. Use for cruising aroud or Pools/Bowls
Popsical   7.75" 31.625" 14" 6.875" 6.5" Med-Large Shapes for Larger Skaters,
Popsical   7.875" 31.625" 14" 6.875" 6.5" Widths and Lenghts vary on skill and preferance.
Popsical   8.125" 31.625" 14" 7" 6.375" Ideal for more Street/Park/Tranny
Popsical   8.5" 32" 14.25" 7" 6.5"  
Mini   7.25" 29" 12" 6.5" 6.125" Smaller Width & Length, Ushally Lighter,
Mini   7.375" 30.25" 13" 6.625" 6.375" Great for First Timer and Smaller Skaters

Sizing Chart

What size skateboard deck should you skate?

Decks come in many different widths. If you are a beginner to skateboarding, choose your deck according to the width, not the length or wheelbase. The width you need depends on your size, skating style and personal preference. Here are some general guidelines.

7.5" to 8" - Standard board for adult riders skating streets or doing more technical tricks
8.0" to 8.25" - Skating pools, ramps and parks
8.25" and larger - Vert, pools, cruising and just going old school

What type of skateboard deck should you skate?

Let's get some of the skateboard lingo down first. The skateboard deck is the actual board itself. The skateboard deck is the flat, long board that you stand on when skateboarding. SkateNutter offers a huge selection of skateboard decks in a variety of shapes, sizes, weight and color patterns. Skateboard decks vary in size but most are between 7"-10", and are made of either seven-ply wood, bamboo, resin, carbon fiber or plastic. Deciding which skateboard deck is best for you depends on what you will be skating and, of course, your personal brand preference.


Width The average width of a skateboard deck is 7.5"- 8.25". Width is influenced by the size of the rider and the type of riding. Bigger riders and those skating ramps and vert ramps typically prefer a wider deck. Street skaters usually choose a smaller deck. Choose your skateboard deck according to the width, not length.
Length The length of the skateboard is measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Average board length is 28"- 32" but length is only referred to by advanced skaters.
Wheelbase The wheelbase is the distance from one pair of inner mounting holes to the other inner pair. The average wheelbase is 13"-15", and again, the choice is influenced by the skill set of the rider.
Nose and Tail The nose and tail of a skateboard can be hard to tell apart, but most decks provide you with graphics to distinguish the two apart. Also, most skateboard decks have a bigger kick on the nose and mellower kick on the tail.
Mounting Holes Mounting holes are pre-drilled holes where the skateboard trucks are attached. Arranged as two sets of four holes; one set is near the nose, the other near the tail.
Ply When looking at the side of the skateboard deck, thin layers of maple veneer are visible. Layering the wood in a cross-grain pattern creates a stronger board than a single solid piece of wood. The typical skateboard is seven-ply.
Concave The section of the board between the nose and tail curves up slightly on the sides. The concave gives the rider more control and increases the skateboard's strength.



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