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Skateboarding Glossary

Air noun, verb Abbreviated from aerial. The act of riding a skateboard into the air with the intention of landing and continuing to ride. Can be done in many ways, but usually refers to transitional ramps.

Bail verb (Vert) A fall to avoid possible slam. To get out of an unmake able situation by purposely not making a trick. Usually due to a timing error or mistake. (Street) To step or jump off your board to avoid possible slam or injury.

Bearings noun The round hydraulic device which, when inserted snugly into a wheel and fitted onto the axle of a truck, enables a skateboard to roll.

Barge verb To skate or just go where you are not wanted, or where that chance is possible. i.e. "No one was home, and the sign said not to skate, but we barged anyway."

Backside adjective Generally refers to the direction of a turn on an incline, meaning the backside of the body is facing the wall. However, in modern street skating this has taken on new meanings as tricks progress from older, established tricks.

Curb Cut noun A curb incline, often found on the outer edges of a driveway, which is used to launch ollies. Also found at wheelchair ramps.

Carve verb To carve can mean three things: to turn when all four wheels are in contact with the riding surface; to turn in a pool or bowl corner in the same way, with all four wheels on the surface; or, when performing an aerial, to do so in an arc, that is, as opposed to straight up and down.

Concave noun The inward curve, like a bowl, which a skateboard deck is given to provide more stability for the feet.

Coping noun The material on the lip of a ramp or pool which is used to grind, slide, or bump as a method to perform an air.

Curb noun A small concrete edging forming a gutter on streets, sidewalks, etc. Used by skaters to do tricks on.

Deck noun The laminated (usually) piece of wood that is cut to different shapes as the standing surface of a skateboard.

Ditch noun A drainage ditch, designed for water runoff, which usually runs downhill and sometimes has smooth banks or transitions and can be skated in.

Fakie adjective A word used to signify the skater is going backwards. To clarify: the skater's board is moving backwards while the skater is standing in his standard position. Not to be confused with opposite-footed.

Frontside adjective Generally refers to the direction of a turn on an incline, meaning the frontside of the body is facing the wall. However, in modern street skating this has taken on new meanings as tricks progress from older, established tricks.

Flatland noun The term given to the type of street skating that became popular in the late eighties and early nineties which involved tricks done on flat ground. Usually things like kickflips, pressure flips, etc.

Gap noun A popular clothing store. Also, a distance between two riding surfaces which skaters ollie over, and often do other more sophisticated tricks over.

Gyrate verb The "pumping" motion a skater makes, usually on a ramp, to propel himself up the transitions and to gain speed. By moving body weight in one direction and then the other in conjunction with the curve and flat of the ramp, enough speed can be achieved to perform any trick. This motion is much like that used by a person in a playground swing-set.

Grind verb, noun A trick done on any sharp lip where the truck comes in contact with the edge of the pool, curb, ramp, etc. The act of performing said trick (i.e. to grind a rail).

Grip Tape noun The sandpaper-like product with an adhesive back that is placed on the skateboard to provide a non slip surface.

Hang or hang up verb, noun Primarily on vertical. To catch the back wheels or truck on coping as the board reenters the ramp. Doesn't necessarily indicate a slam i.e. "He hung up on the backside air but pulled it." see also: lock

Half-pipe noun A ramp of any size usually made of wood, on which a skateboard is ridden. Originally ramps were U-shaped, but now are designed with a flat section between the bottoms of the transitions.

Handrail noun A railing alongside a staircase which pedestrians use as an aid when walking. Also, a device skateboarders use as an obstacle to slide and grind down, and to fly over.

Helmet noun A safety device for the head which is often used when skating at skate parks, and should be used when skating ramps, or whenever the limits of one's ability are being pushed.

Heel Rail noun The rail of the board that the heel of the foot rests on. For regular-footers, the is the left side, looking down.

Hip noun The junction of two banks, transitions, or angled riding surfaces which meet at an angle, usually anywhere from slight (300 degrees) to right (90 degrees). These angles are ridden, grinded, and flown over.

Hipper noun A large, painful strawberry bruise on the hip which often becomes a hematoma, which is a swelling of blood. Avoid at all cost.

Jump Ramp noun A style of ramp which propelled a skater into the air with the intent of landing, after hopefully completing a trick. The jump ramp era refers to the period between about 1984 and 1987 when jump ramps were extremely popular.

Lock verb Primarily on vert. To catch the back wheels or truck on coping as the board reenters the ramp. Indicates the board stopped dead, or locked.

Locals noun, pl. The skaters who session a ramp, ditch curb, or any place to skate regularly. These are the guys with the best lines who usually live nearby.

Lip noun The edge of any obstacle that a skateboarder rides. On ramps, the lip usually is completed with coping. On a bank or curb, the square or angled corner is the lip.

Mini Ramp noun A half-pipe anywhere in size from three to eight feet tall. Smaller then that is probably impractical as a half-pipe, and larger than that is mid-sized or vert.

Nose noun The part of the skateboard intended to be the forward end when riding.

Pads noun, pl. Usually knee and elbow pads, which skateboarders use to protect themselves when riding. Usually only used for ramp riding, but often required in situations which require insurance.

Pivot verb, noun A trick or part of a trick where the truck touches the top of the lip or coping for just a moment before reentry.

Quarter-pipe noun A ramp which is equal to or nearly equal to one quarter of a 360 pipe. A quarter may, but usually doesn't reach vertical, and usually are made with a radius of five feet (tight) to eight feet (less tight).

Rad adjective An overused term which can mean many things, but is originally derived from the word radical, which simply put, means the extreme. In early interviews with the first pro skaters, radical was a big word, and it has come to mean just about anything (usually) good. Synonymous with cool.

Regular Foot adjective The name for the sideways stance on a skateboard which indicates the left foot in the forward position.( on the nose)

Revert noun, verb An extra element to add to a trick by continuing the motion of the trick until the board and skater are going backwards. To clarify: to do a frontside air revert is to do a frontside air, land, and then to turn around, in the frontside direction, and go backwards towards the next wall. The motion here completes a circle, all in the same direction. Therefore, a backside ollie revert means to spin in the backside direction. (clockwise for regular footers)

Shuffle noun, verb An extra element to add to a trick by landing sideways, or with the wheels parallel to the lip, and then sliding the wheels to reenter backwards. To clarify: to do a backside air shuffle, do the motion for a backside air, but as you reenter, land sideways with the wheels just below coping and slide to a the fakie position. Can also be done on a curb, bank, etc.

Street Skating noun, adjective Refers to any skating which is done using only those objects or obstacles found in the urban environment. Examples: fire hydrants, schoolyards, curbs, stairs, handrails. Also often refers to the simulated smaller ramps and banks found in "street courses".

Slam verb, noun A fall, usually accompanied by minor or major injury, which is unexpected. i.e. the skater makes the commitment to the trick and doesn't realize his mistake until he slams.

Skateboarder Magazine noun, proper The first skateboard magazine, which published four issues in 1966 and 1967, and then reemerged just after the urethane wheel in 1975. Endured until 1980, when, with the close of many skate parks, it became Action Now, a multi-sport magazine. Action Now eventually folded in 1981.

Skate park noun A place, either public or privately owned, that is designed for skateboarding. Can be cement, asphalt, or with ramps.

Skate Rock noun A term coined in the early eighties and made famous by Thrasher magazine. Represented the bands whose members rode skateboards. Could be any type of music, but is noted for its generally up-tempo beats.

Skate Camp noun A summer camp for skateboarders where street obstacles, ramps, bowls, and banks can be skated without hassle from cops, parents, etc.

Tail noun The part of the skateboard intended to be the rear end when riding.

Toe Rail noun The rail of the board that the toe of the foot rests on. For goofy footers, this is the left rail, looking down.

Transition noun The curved line of a ramp. On a half-pipe, the transitions begins where the flat bottom ends.

Trucks noun, pl. The two parts of the skateboard which connect the deck with the wheels and provide the turning capabilities for the board.

Transworld Skateboarding Magazine proper noun A glossy magazine for skateboard enthusiasts known for its' excellent photography and creative approach to covering the positive aspects of skateboarding.

Thrasher Magazine proper noun A magazine for skateboard enthusiasts known for its' dedication to the skateboarding lifestyle, including music and attitudes.

Tweak verb, noun To bend, contort, or otherwise move the body and board during a skateboard maneuver.

Vert Ramp noun A half-pipe, usually at least eight feet tall, on which the steepest section of the ramp, near the lip, is straight up and down, or vertical. The ideal height for a vertical ramp is arguably around eleven feet tall. The radius of the transition combined with the amount of vert gives the height. Most people prefer a nine-and-a-half foot transition with a foot-and-a-half of vert. At least sixteen inches of vert is needed to satisfy the physics of airs, because most boards have about that as a wheel base. In theory, the board can then be at true vert while still on the surface of the ramp.

Wheels noun, pl. The round spheres on which a skateboard rolls, made of polyurethane, generally sized between 39 and 66mm in diameter.

Wheel Base noun The distance between the front and back wheels of any vehicle with two axles. In skateboarding this is measured between the two sets of inner-most truck holes. (the rear set of the front truck and the front set of the back truck).

Wheelie noun, verb The balancing act of riding a skateboard on two wheels, either the front two or the back two.



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