Photo: Julien Lanoy

Skate Lingo For Ur Mom: The A To Z Of Skateboarding

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Just for the info, the following Item wasn't made for you. Except if you bumped your head enough recently to forgot all the treasured skate lingo you've nurtured over the years and been known to mumble to your friends (or yourself if you have none) while hunched over your phone(s) on the gram!

No! It's for your bored/ excited non-skating/ friend/gf/ bf/ mom/ dad/ dog you've dragged to the park to witness the magic you're about to perform (sic)!

Just give them your phone and in the time you're not forcing them to film your antics let them educate themselves with our highly researched glossary so that next time you blow don' t blame us when your mom asks if you want a sandwich after that gnar noseblunt slam!

Skateboarding terms and jargon defined in this glossary dictionary.*

*DOSE can't be held responsible for embarrassing or inappropiate use of content.

Everything you need to know about skateboarding from A to Z

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  • ½ rotation.


  • One full rotation.


  • A 540-degree rotation in the air. ½ rotation more than 360 degrees.


  • Two 360s forward or backward.


  • Two and a half rotations. First landed by Tony Hawk on June 27, 1999, at the X Games.

5-0 grind

  • Type of grind where just the back truck is grinding.


  • Type of grind where both trucks are grinding.

A – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • The tolerance rating system for bearing that designates the level for stress resistance of the bushing. The lower the rating the looser the bearing, the higher the rating the tighter the bearing. Annular Bearing Engineers' Committee. This number defines the accuracy of bearings. Notice that the ABEC number does not say anything about the quality of the bearings! This means that ABEC 7 bearings could be worse then ABEC 3 bearings.

Acid drop

  • To ride straight off of something and freefall to the ground.


  • Short for aerial. When riders clear jumps or obstacles with all wheels off the ground.


  • When a trick is performed in the opposite direction of which the skater is moving.

B – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • When a turn or trick is executed in a direction that the back of the body is facing the arc of the trick.


  • Any sloped area under 90 degrees.


  • Bearings have an inner and outer part, which the balls ride on, allowing the wheel to turn.

Big Black

  • Nickname of Christopher Boykin who became Rob Dyrdek's (pro skater) body guard and best friend during the filming of the first DC Shoe video.

Big Brother Magazine

  • A former Larry Flint produced magazine (he also publishes the adult magazine, Hustler) edited by Dave Carnie.


  • When a trick is performed, the contact spot of the board with the obstacle is the area of the tail behind the back trucks. The wheels are also on top of the object.


  • Also called a deck. The platform that the hardware is mounted to, usually maple laminate.


  • To slide on an obstacle or lip with the contact point being the underside of the board.

Bones Brigade

  • Powell Peralta's first skateboard team who pioneered the idea of skateboard videos with the help of team manager and filmer, Stacey Peralta. Renown titles were Future Primitive and Animal Chin.

Brain bucket

  • Slang for a helmet.

C – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • While riding fakie, usually at the lip of a ramp, to complete a 360 in the air and head back down the ramp forwards without grabbing. Named after Steve Caballero.


  • To make a long, curving arc while skating.


  • The contour given to decks. The concave will dip down from the left to right and should be asymmetrical. Provides strength to the board and aids the skater when performing tricks.

Concrete Wave

  • A slang term for skateboarding (i.e.: riding the concrete wave). Also the name of a skateboard magazine catering to old school and alternative skateboarding.


  • A rounded lip at the top of a ramp or obstacle, usually made of metal, cement, or PVC pipe.

Crooked grind

  • Nosegrind with nose sliding at the same time.


D – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • To control and minimize the amount of resonance of vibration created by the energy separated by board flex and surface of the snow. Any material like rubber sheer, built into the edges, or core that keep the board quiet and more responsive.


  • As you approach something to grind, you flip your board and grind on the grip tape while standing on the bottom of the board.


  • Also called a board duh. The platform that the hardware is mounted to, usually maple laminate.

Devil's Lettus

  • Slang for marijuana.(drugs are bad)

Drop in

  • To enter the ramp or obstacle from the top.


  • A measurement of the resiliency, or hardness, of a urethane wheel.

F – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Face plant

  • Where one's face "meets" the ground before any other part of "one's" body.


  • 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").

Feeble grind

  • The back truck is grinding, front of body facing edge with toe-side rail grinding edge also.


  • When a turn or trick is executed in a direction that the front of the body is facing toward the outside of the arc of the trick.


  • A derogatory term for roller blades or inline skates.


G – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Gay twist

  • While riding fakie, usually at the lip of a ramp, to complete a 360 in the air while grabbing and head back down the ramp forwards.


  • A chick who emotionally drains people after pretending to be their girlfriend and then has sex with random people. Reference is from the movie, Haggard.


  • A shortened version derived from the term "gnarly" meaning awesome of cool.

Gnar Gnar

  • Gnar times 2. Also the title of Mark Gonzales' 2007 VHS video release.

Goofy foot

  • To ride with the right foot forward.


  • Grabbing either or both boards with one or both hands. Frontside or backside.


  • To ride on an object like a ledge or handrail with just the trucks making contact.


  • The best damn skate zine to never realize great fame or notoriety...until we came along.

Grip tape

  • Adhesive backed sandpaper material fixed to the top of the board to provide traction.


H – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Half cab

  • A 180 degree Caballerial.

Half pipe

  • A type of ramp that is shaped like a "U" having a flat section in the middle. Also that song that starts with "heaven is.."

Hand plant

  • A type of trick where one hand grabs the skate while doing a one-handed handstand on a ramp, or obstacle.


  • What riders slide and grind on, looks like and is a handrail.

Hang up

  • When either the back or front truck catches on an obstacle, usually causing a fall.


  • Part of the truck that gets the most abuse. When grinding it is done along the top of the hanger. Contained inside the hanger is the axle.


  • While performing an Ollie, the heel pushed down on the edge of the board causing it to flip over.

Heelside edge

  • The edge of the board closest to the rider's heels.


  • A metal cylinder threaded on the outside for tightening into and threads on the inside for attaching a screw. To repair either a stripped insert or a drilled hole in a board which was used to attach a binding.


  • The spot where a ramp or obstacle comes to a point. Tricks are done while flying over or off of it.


  • A jump

Horizontal lamination

  • Layers a component, most commonly wood, that are bonded together on top of each other to form a strong material from otherwise weak elements. Used as either the full deck material or the core in the construction of a board.


I – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • Another name for a hand plant.

J – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • A movie and Mtv series featuring a crew of misfits who gladly beat themselves to a pulp through various stunts earning them the title of jackasses. Pro skater Bam Margera is a key figure.

Juice Magazine

  • The largest and thickest sk8 mag on the market with enormous amounts of amazing content. Published in North Carolina since 1993, their tagline is, "Pools, Pipes & Punk Rock".

Jump ramp

  • A small ramp used to give the skater some air to perform a trick.


K – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Kick turn

  • When pressure is applied to the tail of the board, lifting the front and turning it in another direction.


  • A name for a jump ramp. Kickers usually have the property of throwing you up into the air rather than giving you distance.


  • A variation on the ollie in which the skater kicks the board into a spin before landing back on it. The same as a Heelflip except the toe pushes down to flip the board.


  • The bolt that holds the hanger and base plate together.

Knee pad

  • A type of protective padding worn on the knees. Your Mom will ask why YOU haven't got them on!

Knee slide

  • A way of controlling a fall by sliding on plastic caps on the knee pads.


L – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Landing fakie

  • Landing backwards.


  • A term used to describe incorporating something into a trick just before its completion and landing.


  • The moment a rider starts to execute a jump, and the time he is actually flying through the air.


  • A helmet or hat.


  • The route a rider chooses through a tricky section.


  • The top edge portion of the halfpipe wall.

Lip trick

  • Any trick performed on or near the lip of the wall of the halfpipe.


  • To force the tail over the lip and slide on the surface before re-entry.

Load up

  • To put weight on one side of the trucks or the other.


M – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • Another name for Wheelie - usually performed over as long a distance as possible.


  • A 540 degree turn performed on a ramp. Named after Mike McGill.


  • Slang for vagina.


  • A style of pushing where the back foot is kept on the board and pushing is done with the front foot. Generally, not a good way to push.


N – Skateboarding Glossary Dictionary Terms


  • Much like an Ollie only you spring off of your nose instead of your tail.


  • The front of the board.

Nose slide

  • Sliding on the nose of board on the edge of an obstacle like a handrail, ledge, or ramp lip.


  • Just the front truck is grinding.


O – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Off-Road Board

  • A skateboard with over-sized treaded tires and 2-inch riser pads, enabling it to take on rough terrain like a rock-infested hillside - no smooth concrete necessary.


  • A no-handed air performed by tapping the tail of the board on the ground or ramp surface. Named after Alan Gelfend.

Ollie Pop

  • Skateboard's only themed chewing gum.


P – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • Someone who acts better than they are or pretends to be someone/something they're not.


Q – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • A halfpipe with one wall; a banked hit. Often much smaller, in both height and width, than a half pipe.


R – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • The edge of the board. It also refers to plastic strips attached to the underside of the board.


  •  Also called boardslide. To slide on an obstacle or lip with the contact point being the underside of the board.

Ramp boards

  • Large deck and firm wheels mounted on wide trucks to make the board as stable as possible.

Regular foot

  • To ride with the left foot forward (opposite of Goofy-foot).

Retainer / keepers

  • Keep the ball bearings spaced correctly.


  • Plastic piece under the base of the truck to raise it for better wheel clearance. Often used with larger wheels.

Rock and roll

  • A trick where the underside of the board and wheels are tapped on the lip before a kickturn to reenter.

Rock to fakie

  • A trick where the underside of the board and wheels are tapped on the lip before the rider reenters traveling backwards.


S – The A to Z of Skateboarding

Scrub a wheel

  • To remove "gunk" and residue from a new wheel to ensure proper adhesion.


  • A wipe out so harsh that one's feet nearly touch the back of one's head. Commonly occurs when bailing down a handrail.

Sealed bearing

  • A bearing system that uses a physical seal to keep out water and debris.


  • A period of skating.

Sex Change

A kickflip with a body-varial.


  • Abbreviation of skate and skateboard. Most frequently used as a noun.

Skateboarder Magazine

  • The oldest currently published skate mag in existence.

Skate Maps

  • Skateboarding's first reality TV show based around the antics of the Zoo York skate team and their global travels.


  • A privately owned skatepark in OH, built and maintained by skaters who love to sk8 and party. Open to the public - just bring beer, lots of beer.

Skid Lid

  • A helmet.

Skid Lid

  • A helmet.

Smith grind

  • A type of grind trick where the back truck is grinding, while the rail of the board is also grinding the lip of the ramp or obstacle. Frontside Smith Grind: the toe-side edge is involved; Backside Smith Grind: the heel-side edge is involved.

Snow Skate

  • A winterized skateboard with a snow ski mounted to the bottom to grip a line across a snowy hill. Similar to snowboarding. Cheap models have no metal edges.

Spine ramp

  • Two half (or quarter) pipes placed back to back creating a double U shape.

Stalefish air

  • The frontside trick where the rear hand grabs the heel edge behind the rear between the bindings while the front leg is boned.


  • When a maneuver is intentionally started late into a jump/trick


  • Describes riders when they are pumped up and confident.

Street boards

  • Shorter and narrower than ramp boards. It usually has a shorter wheelbase than a ramp board.

street skating

  • Skating on streets, curbs, benches, handrails and other elements of urban and suburban landscapes.

Swing weight

  • The distribution of weight from the tip and tail to the center of the board. To balance a board and control its ability to initiate rotation or to stop rotation in relationship to its overall weight.


  • Any trick where the takeoff or landing is backwards.

Switch stance

  • When the feet are placed in the opposite of the normal stance and you are going forward with a slightly different balance point than in your normal stance ("goofyfoot" instead of "regular foot"). Not the same as fakie where you ride backwards with your normal balance and stance.


  • Used to describe turns that are around 180 degrees.


T – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • Type of jump - with a ramp going up, flat on top, and a landing ramp on the far side.


  • The rear tip of the board or ski.

Tail slide

  • Sliding on the tail of the board.


  • An especially tricky, obstacle-laden section of a run or trail.

Thrasher Magazine

  • One of the oldest skateboard mags still in production. It started in 1981.


  • The curved part of the terrain between 0 and 90 degrees.


  • The front and rear axle assemblies that connect the wheels to the deck and provide the turning capabilities for the board.


V – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • An aerial where the board is spun from backwards to forwards beneath the feet.

Vert ramp

  • A half-pipe, usually at least 8 feet tall, with steep sides that are perfectly vertical near the top.

Vert skating

  • Skating on ramps and other vertical structures specifically designed for skating.


W – The A to Z of Skateboarding


  • Any bank that is at or above 90 degrees.


To ride on a wall that has no transition.

Wanchese Bowl

  • A privately owned and built bowl on Roanoke Island, NC - part of the Outer Banks. After two years of construction it was completed in summer of 2002. It is 9.5 and 10 feet deep with nine-foot tranny. It has a twelve-foot oververt pocket topped with pool coping. The rest of the lip is hand poured pool coping. Built entirely with treated lumber and finished with skatelite.


  • Attached to the truck - rolling devices which are usually made of urethane 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. In addition to the standard wheels, there are those which have a nylon or high-tech plastic on the interior part of the wheel.


  • The distance between the front and back wheels, measured between the two sets of innermost truck mounting holes.


  • A crash.

Wood core

  • Various type of wood used to provide the shape and thickness of a board.


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