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How to Do Skateboard Tricks

Sheetal Mandora
There are many skateboarding tricks which are grouped into various categories. Learn how to do skateboard tricks this summer and show-off in front of your friends.
What is skateboarding? An activity of riding and performing tricks with a skateboard. Giving a technical definition of "what skateboarding is all about" can be monotonous. So, I will not bore you with any tedious explanation. Let's just go over the list, and describe how each trick is performed.

Freestyle Tricks

360 Spin: 70s skate competitions would often have an event to see who could do the most consecutive 360 spins on a skateboard.
50/50: The 50/50 is done with a hand holding the nose of the board, or it can be done with the front foot holding up the nose with no hand holding the board up.
Anti-Casper: This is usually done by popping the tail, which would begin the half impossible or half vertical flip, and jumping. Once the board flips half of an Ollie Impossible, it comes down into Switch Casper, and is caught with the front foot on top of the nose and the back foot on the underside of the board in a nose/Switch Casper.
Beanplant: Like a Boneless, but the rider grabs the nose or grabs Lien (heelside of the nose) with the front hand.
Boneless: The skateboarder plants the front foot and grabs with the trailing hand as he/she catches air.
Broken Fingers: The skateboarder starts in Tailstop, puts his/her front foot near the truck, and then starts to jump backwards. The board flips over and goes upside-down, and the skateboarder catches the tail of the board and lands with the foot he used to hook the board on the truck.
Butter Flip: To do the Butter Flip, you stand in Heelside Railstand, and hop both feet to one side of the board. Both feet are side by side with no gap larger than an inch or two between them. The skateboarder puts pressure onto the end of the board, using the foot that is not on the wheel.
Calf Wrap, Flamingo: A trick where the skateboarder uses one foot wrapped around the board, and the other leg which is planted on the ground, then unwraps it to land back in a riding position.
Casper: In a Casper, the board is grip tape side down, with the back foot on top of the tail, and the front foot under the board near the nose. The only point of contact between the board and the ground is the tip of the tail.
Casper Disaster: The foot that's not touching the wheel will point down, and nudge the grip tape side of the Skateboard while the rider spins 180 degrees towards the direction of the trucks.
Carousel: You start from a 50-50, "throw" the board in "Semi-Circular" Motion but at the same time bend up your foot, so the board wraps around it, and you land on the truck and catch the nose of your board.
Daffy: This trick is done with two boards, one foot in a Manual on one board, and another foot on the second.
End-Over: A series of 180 degree pivots.
Gymnast Plant: To do the trick you can start from Tailstop or Railstand.
Manual: A trick similar to a bicycle Wheelie, where the rider balances with the front or back wheels off, and without the tail or nose on the ground.
M-80: Flip an Old School kick flip, but as soon as you're done flipping, instead of landing on the board with all 4 wheels touching down on the ground, land on it with more weight on the nose for a split second nose Manual, before you pivot on the nose.
No Comply: To ride away, the skateboarder jumps with his/her front foot back on. The No Comply was commonly used by street skaters in the mid to late 80's, most commonly being done on parking blocks by bumping the tail off them.
Ollie: Ollie is the most important and basic "no hands" aerial skateboarding tricks for beginners. It was invented by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand in 1978. The skateboarder has to bend down, and push the end of his/her skateboard down. Then while jumping back up with the board, the illusion that it gives of the board kind of defying gravity, and popping the board back up.
Ollie Airwalk: The rider initiates an Ollie and grabs the board with the front hand. While this is being done, the rider kicks the front foot forward and kicks the back foot backwards.
Pogo: Done with the board straight up and down, this move uses the skateboard as a pogo stick. One foot is on the bottom truck, and the other usually presses on the grip tape side of the board for grip.
Shove It: The skateboarder pushes down and forward or down and backward and the board spins 180 degrees frontside or backside. The back foot begins the trick and the front foot either assists in the spin by influencing the board or just jumps if the back foot influenced it enough.
Jaywalk: Set up with your stance foot, or your front foot, on the tail of the board, put your back foot on the nose of the board. Pressure is applied to the nose and you pivot 180 degrees on the tail to the side your front foot's heel was facing.
Spacewalk: The skateboarder enters a Manual on the back wheels and swings the nose of the board around. The front wheels cannot touch the ground while the Spacewalk is being done.
Street Plant: One hand holds the board, gets a running start, does a one hand handstand, puts the board under the feet, then comes back down. It is used as a fancy way to get onto one's board.
Switch Foot Pogo: To do the trick, get into a handed Pogo and then continuously switch your feet from the truck and pogo little to keep your balance.
TV Stand: A handstand done in a 50/50. While in a 50/50 or Pogo the rider grabs the bottom truck hops up into a handstand with the other hand holding the nose of the board.
Walk The Dog: Freestyle footwork in which you put one foot in the middle of the board, step to the nose with the back foot, and bring the nose to the back, spinning the board 180 around the center foot.
YoYo Plant: Usually done by rolling fakie and with one hand planted on the ground as the other is grabbing the board.
YoHo Plant: The HoHo Plant involves a Handstand with both hands, and only your feet in the air holding the board up as if you were upside down. The rider starts to roll fakie into the YoYo. Plant with one hand on the ground and one on the board.

Aerial Tricks

Airwalk: The skateboarder grabs the front of the board while performing a no-footed backside jump. The stunt looks as if he/she is walking in the air.
Backside Air: The skateboarder rides up, grabs the board on the heel side with front hand, lifts up, turns backside, and lands forward. This is a basic vertical skateboarding.
Benihana: One footed tail grab, where the skateboarder takes the back foot off the board and kicks it straight down or sideways in the back. The front foot is used to kick the board out and ahead of the skateboarder.
Body Jar: It's a backside Air where the skateboarder grabs the front of the board and slams the back of the board on the ground.
Caballerial: It's a 360 backside Ollie after doing a fakie.
Cannonball: It's an aerial where the skateboarder grabs the front of the board with front hand and the back of the board with back hand.
Christ Air: It's an Air where the skateboarder grabs the board with one hand and the body is in a "crucifix" type position.
Gay Twist: It's a fakie mute 360 with a twist of caballerial with a mute grab.
Indy: Grab the toe-side railing with back hand while the skateboarder is performing a backside Air.
Grosman Grab: The skateboarder takes the front hand down between both legs and grabs the heel side of the board.
Japan Air: It's basically a Mute Air where the skateboarder pulls the board up and behind his back with knees pointed down.
Judo Air: It's a backside Air where the skateboarder lifts the front foot off the board and kicks it forward while pulling the board back and then the back foot lands on the board.
Lien Air: It's a front Air where the skateboarder grabs the nose or heel of board with front hand.
Madonna: It's a one-footed lien to the tail where the skateboarder take the front foot off and kicks it straight down behind the board.
McTwist: This aerial trick is performed where the skateboarder does a backside 540 while grabbing Mute.
Melancholy/Melon: It's a backside Air as the skateboarder grabs the board from the heel side and between the feet with the front hand while pulling the board forward.
Mute Air: Ride up the transition, do an Ollie, and grab the board with front hand. Turn back ways and then land on both the feet.
No Comply: The skateboarder pops the tail of the board and plants the front foot on the ground at the same time. Then jump off from the planted foot and catch the board with the inside of back leg with the front foot landing back on the board.
Nosegrab: Same as the tail grab, but the skateboarder does an Ollie, pops back foot off the board, and grabs the front of the board. As he/she leaves the board, sets back foot down over the back bolts, and the front foot over the front bolts.
Roastbeef: The skateboarder grabs the edge of board from between the legs. It is similar to a Stalefish.
Rocket Air: The skateboarder grabs the front of the board with both hands and places both feet on the back board at the same time while in the air.
Saran Wrap: It is performed by grabbing the back of the board with front hand and kicking the front leg forward in a circular movement. As the leg goes 180 around the board, the back hand grabs like a front Air and the front foot is back on the board.
Sean Penn: Similar to Madonna, but the skateboarder turns backside while kicking the front foot up and off the side of the board and hits the back board on the coping.
Slob Air: Going up the transition where the skateboarder grabs the board with front hand and between the legs. Then popping off the coping and turning front side, he/she lands.
Stalefish: The back hand grabs the heel side of the board and reaches around the back leg.
Stiffy: The skateboarder is in the same position as the Indy and does a 90 while shaking the board with the back hand.
Tailgrab: The skateboarder jumps from either side of board, reaches behind, and grabs the back of the board with bank hand.
Varial: The skateboarder grabs the board between the legs with the back hand and performs a 180 front side landing back on the feet.

Slide Tricks

Anti-Casper Slide: This will be done in a nose Casper position. Flip the board into a nose Casper while half impossible and half sliding on the front board.
Bert Slide: When the board is still on the ground, the skateboarder puts his hand on the ground and rotates the board. Bert slide is used to brake, turn, or just show off in front of everyone.
Blunt Slide: Performed on a flat ground or downhill, Ollie over or on top of an obstacle and fit the tail of the skateboard on the edge of the railing and then slide.
Board Slide/Rail Slide: The board mounts on top of the obstruction perpendicularly, while the skateboarder slips on the center of the board.
Casper Slide: Performed by switching the board into an upside down position with one foot on the bottom of the board and the front foot underneath the front, and sliding on the tip of the board's concave.
Crail Slide: Performed on a ramp, the skateboarder grabs the front of the board with the back hand as he is sliding.
Dark Slide: The skateboarder comes near a rail and does a flip trick over the obstruction so he/she lands on the board upside down with their feet on the nose and the tail and slides across the obstacle.
Lip Slide: Same as a board slide, the skateboarder turns 90 for the trailing trucks to land over the rail and he/she slips to the middle of the board.
Nail Slide: Combined with a tail slide and nose slide which is performed between two obstacles at the same time.
Nose Blunt: Similar to blunt slide, skateboarder does a 90 Ollie over the obstruction, while locking the nose into a slide position and the wheels get dragged across the rail.
Nose Slide: Skateboarder rides parallel to an obstruction, performs an Ollie and turns the board 90, landing on the obstruction with the front of the board sliding on top of it.
Tail Slide: Similar to the nose slide where the skateboarder turns the back of the board 90 and lands on the edge of the obstruction.
Power Slide: Performed by increasing speed, turning 90, and leaning the entire body back. Hands don't touch the ground to make the board roll and look stylish.
Cess Slide: Increase speed as the skateboarder shifts his weight and slides the back wheels up and catches it while turning 90.
Coleman Slide: Skateboarder wears sliding gloves and performs a front side slide using the downhill hand with the glove, so that he/she can break the wheels free of grip. Then swinging the uphill hand close to the body, return the board back from the first slide in a pendulum movement.
Toe Slide: A backside slide where the skateboarder keeps both hands on the ground and in front of the toes, extending his/her body out performing a push-up and keeping the knees bent. Spinning around in a pendulum movement or complete 180.
Layback: A front slide where the skateboarder rides downhill while placing right hand on the ground behind the back of the board and stopping the back wheels. Rotate 180 or 90 and swing in a pendulum movement.
Surrender Slide: The skateboarder keeps both hands on the ground in front of the board and lowers his/her upper body near the ground. Extend the legs behind and grip the board with the sides of both feet.
Pressure Spin: The skateboarder dives forward in a surrender slide and slings the board around with both legs while doing a front/back 360 spin.
Nose/Tail 5-0 Slides: The skateboarder slides the front/back wheels on the ground and stands up on the board. If the front of the board slides on the ground, it will be considered as a blunt slide.

Flip Tricks

360 Kick Flip: A backside 360 pop shove-it while kicking the board and starts a kick flip and spins the board in a backside 360 pop shove-it.
360 Heel Flip: A combination of a front side 360 shove-it and a heel flip.
360 Jard Flip: A front 360, front pop shove-it, and a kick flip all in one movement.
360 Inward Heel Flip: A backside 360 shove-it with a heel flip in one movement.
360 Backside Flip: A 360 flip where the skateboarder twists 360 with the board.
360 Forward Heel Flip: Ollie and slide the front foot directly off the front of board. It's an inverted 360 inward heel flip.
Big Spin: The skateboarder performs a back 360 pop shove-it and then a 180 body aerial going the same direction as the board.
Big Spin flip: A combination of a backside big spin and a kick flip.
Front Side Big Flip: The skateboarder performs a front side big spin kick flip.
Caballerial Flip: A combination of a front side or backside 360 fakie stance and then a kick flip.
Casper Flip: First part has a half kick flip caught upside down with back foot on top of the back board and front foot holding the front part of the deck. Second part has backside shove-it spinning in the air.
Disco Flip: It's a regular heel flip with a backside 180 body aerial.
Finger Flip: The skateboarder flips the board in any direction using the fingers on the nose or tail of the board.
Gazelle Flip: The skateboarder does a 540 flip with a body rotation of 360 degrees in the same direction.
Ghetto Bird: Performed by a hard flip with a late backside 180.
Helipop: Front side or backside 360 Nollie.
Mystic Flip: A varial kick flip in which the skateboarder does a 180 body turn in the different direction.
Nightmare Flip: A pop shove-it and a double kick flip. It looks like a Varial kick flip, with an extra kick flip rotation.
Nollie: Another version of the Ollie, a Nollie is performed when the skateboarder takes his front foot (left or right, your choice) and pops the front of the board down. Then his/her back foot drags the back of the board and lifts it off the ground. This is exactly the opposite to an Ollie.
Under Flip: The skateboarder flips the board with one foot that's under the board and flips it in a kick flip direction.
Varial Heel Flip: A Varial heel flip is a flip which is combined with a front side pop shove-it.
Varial Kick Flip: A Varial kick flip is a kick flip which is combined with a pop shove-it.
Nerd Flip: A front pop shove-it and under flip in one movement.
Bull Flip: A front 720 gazelle nerd flip.
Haslam Flip: The skateboarder does a half Varial kick to a half late heel flip in one movement.
Daydream Flip: It's a Varial heel double flip in one movement.
Karate Flip: The skateboarder performs a one footed rail stand.
Grape Flip: Grape flip is a hard flip 360 body Varial.

Lip Tricks

Axle Stall: It's a stall on both trucks of a skateboard and is used commonly to regain composure before performing another trick or to "drop in" on a ramp.
Bam: Front or backside of 180 of an axle stall.
Boardstall: Between the trucks, this is a stall on the wheels of the board.
Bean Plant: The front foot gets planted from the edge of the board.
Blunt to Fakie: It's a small Ollie performed with the back board placed over the ramp and then come off the lip and ride back down the ramp in a fakie.
Crailtap: It's a tail block performed by the skateboarder holding the nose of the board with one hand and leaning over the transition as he/she lands.
Dark Stall: It's a stall on the edge as the board goes upside down and the gripped side touches the ground.
Disaster: The skateboarder does a 180 and lands on center board with the front facing toward the ramp. He/she then leans forward and returns back on the ramp.
Egg Plant: The skateboarder front hand is on the coping and the back hand is grabbing like an Indy.
Fakie: Any and all tricks that go back in switch-stance which was not initiated from a "switched" stance.
Feeble: Similar to a 50-50 where the front board goes over the coping or top of ramp.
Frontside Invert: It's an invert where the skateboarder keeps the front hand on the coping and the back hand will grab a frontside Air.
Good Buddy: An invert fakie.
Ho-Ho: Both hands are on the coping at the same time at one point during the trick, while the skateboarder walks on his/her handds if so desired.
Jolly Mambo: A frontside invert where the skateboarder performs a back flip around at the invert's peak, landing to fakie.
Layback Air: An invert-like trick performed frontside while grabbing mute and placing the back hand on the coping.
Miller Flip: An invert in which you flip all the way around and do the fakie position; basically, a vertical cartwheel.
New Deal: A nosepick snapped off into a disaster. Can also be done while grinding, then sliding.
Nose Blunt: Either 180 up to the lip, or come up fakie and land on the front foot with your nose and truck balancing on the edge of the coping.
Nose Pick: A stall on the front truck which is grabbed for re entry. May be done backside or frontside.
Nose Stall: A trick where the skateboarder reaches the top of the transition, leans on the skateboard's nose, and drops back in switch or reverts back to regular either frontside or backside.
Pivot: The most basic "go-up and turn-around" on your back truck. Add a little flair by slashing at the coping instead.
Pogo: Any air straight up and then landing in a rock and roll.
Poliki: Similar to a layback air, but grabbed on the outside rail, more commonly known as an Underplant.
Tail Drop: Essentially a Tail Stall done on a ledge and popping out of it onto the ground/bank. Variations can include flips with it.
Rock and Roll: Similar to the Rock to Fakie only a quick 180 is done as you come off the lip so that you don't ride fakie. The frontside variation is much harder and is considered one of the most stylish lip tricks.
Rock to fakie: This is a quick, common and easy lip trick performed mostly to link tricks together on mini ramps. The front truck is placed over the lip of the ramp and then the board is "rocked" slightly before coming back down backwards (fakie).
Sad Plant: An invert whereby the skater's front leg is fully extended.
Smith Plant: A regular invert where the board is tweaked in a backside rotation so that the legs are almost crossed, with the toes of the back foot touching the tail.
Smith Grind: A trick where the back trucks are on the coping and the front trucks aimed into the ramp.
Staple Gun: The skateboarder rides straight up and off the ramp while placing the back foot on the transition below the coping. The board is then stomped down onto the platform with the front foot and pulled back into the ramp toward the back ankle. Hopping of the back foot and back onto the board, the rider rides away fakie.
Sweeper: A fronstide nose grab foot plant, where the back foot is taken off and rests on the coping.
Switch: Any goofy foot trick executed by a regular foot skater or vice versa.
Tail Block: Usually done backside; grab the nose with the front hand while carving backside and stall parallel to the coping at the peak of the carve having only the edge of the tail resting on the coping.
Tail Stall: Stall on tail.
Texas Plant: Go up to the lip frontside and take the back foot off and plant it on the coping, while grabbing the tail and extending the front leg.
Texas Two-Step: Identical to a Texas Plant, except that, like in a Switch-Foot Pogo, the rider constantly (until dropping back in) alternates the planted foot.
Thruster: A fakie tail grab foot plant, where the back foot boosts off the coping. Can be done straight up and down, or moving across the coping.
Tuck-knee Invert: An invert that is grabbed like a Japan Air and tweaked severely, sometimes with the nose of the board hitting the helmet.
Woolly Mammoth: A fakie frontside invert the back hand is still grabbing the board, and the front hand is still on the coping.

Grind Tricks

50-50 Grind: This move evolved from the horizontal-stance carve grind in pools and was taken up on top of the lip.
5-0 Grind: In this maneuver, the back truck grinds the rail/edge, while the front truck is suspended directly above the rail/edge.
Nosegrind: The skateboard's front truck grinds a rail or edge, while the back truck is suspended over the rail/edge.
Crooked Grind: It is like a nosegrind, but the tail of the board is angled away from the rail/ledge on which the trick is performed, causing the edge of the deck's nose to also rub.
Overcrook Grind: The same as a Crooked grind but the skateboarder Ollies over the rail at an angle. It is when the majority if the board is angled on the opposite side of the rail to a normal 'crook' grind.
Feeble Grind: In this maneuver, the back truck grinds a rail while the front truck hangs over the rail's far side.
Smith Grind: This maneuver entails the back truck grinding an edge or rail, while the front truck hangs over the near side of the object,leaving the edge of the deck to rub the lip/edge.
Willy Grind: Very rarely executed, the Willy is done with the front truck sliding on the grinding surface (as in a nose grind) while the back truck hangs down below the surface on the opposite side to which the skateboarder approached.
Losi Grind: A Losi Grind is the equivalent of a feeble grind on the front truck. Also called "Nosefeeble" or "Over-Willy".
Salad Grind: This is very similar to the 5-0, but the front truck is suspended over the far side of the rail/edge the grind is performed on. Like the "overcrook" grind is like a crooked nosegrind the Salad grind is like a crooked 5-0.
Suski Grind: This is also very similar to the 5-0 but unlike the salad grind your front trucks are pointed towards you like a smith grind but above the ledge unlike the smith grind
Tailslide: When you slide with the tail of the skateboard.
Noseslide: Same as a tailside but sliding on the nose of the skateboard
Boardslide: A boardslide is a grind in which the skater puts the middle of his deck on the pole/curb, holds it in place, moving 90 degrees to the rail.
Lipslide: This is a boardslide but to get onto the rail you bring the back trucks over the rail. In a boardslide, to get onto the rail, you bring the front trucks over the rail.
Bluntslide: This is a tailslide but the board is more vertical than horizontal as in a tailslide.
Nosebluntslide: A Bluntslide performed on the nose of the board.
Hurricane: A 180 degree turn into a backwards feeble grind, exiting via a 270 degree return spin.
Sugarcane: Much the same idea as a Hurricane, except you Ollie 270 into a backwards Smith grind instead of feeble grind, so the board is hanging down below the lip, instead of over it.
Layback Grind: This is an archaic variation of the basic frontside or backside grind whereupon the skater leans back ("lays back") and places their trailing hand on or near the lip being ground, ostensibly to help "push" the grind further.

Grab Tricks

Airwalk Grab: The skateboarder grabs the nose of the skateboard and kick the front foot in a spin is when the rider take his/her front hand.
Backside Grab: Any grab with the either hand on the back rail of the board between the heels.
Bacon Grab: Backside air with leading hand reaches between the legs and grabs middle of board.
Buttcrack Grab: A grab where your legs are split with one leg stretched out across the board while the hand opposite the leg holds the tail of the board.
Cannonball Grab: This trick can also be done as an early grab, in which case it is commonly called a smallie, a smurf, or a bunnyhop.
Christ Air: The skater grabs the board out from under their feet and forms a "T" shape with their body as if on a cross with the board out-streched in either hand.
Crail Grab: The skateboarder grabs the toe side nose with the back hand brought in front of the body.
DelMar Indy: It's essentially an Indy but you tweak your body to the side (either) and you endup with your legs behind you most of the time.
Double Grab: The board is grabbed with one hand on the frontside of the board and the other hand on the backside of the board.
Frigid Air: Similar to a Judo, though the front foot is kicked out on the heel side, rather than the toe side, rail. Though the trick has been done on vert, it was most common during the mid '80s jump ramp craze.
Indy Grab: It's a simple grab in which the rider uses their back hand to grab the toe side of the board while in the air.
Japan Grab: With the front hand grabbing toe side between the heels, the legs are then bent and folded to the back of the board.
No Foot-air: The skateboarder grabs the board and virtually do a one handed superman pose, similar to a trailing haded christ air, without the rigid body positioning.
Nosebone: Whilst performing a tail grab, the rider must direct the nose of the skateboard downwards at an approximate angle of 45 degrees.
Nuclear: Similar to a Crail grab, where you grab the heel side of the nose with the trailing hand.
Stalefish Grab: The back hand grabs the heel side of the board behind the back leg. This results in a bending of both legs which can be emphasized to create more style.
Superman Grab: The board is grabbed on both sides (one hand each) and is brought in front or above the skater's body.
Tai-pan Grab: A tai-pan grab is where the skateboarder takes his/her front hand and wraps it around their leg from behind so they grab the toe side of the board.
Tailbone: A tailbone is performed by executing a nose grab and directing the tail of the board downwards at an approximate angle of 45 degrees.
Tuck Knee: A Tuck Knee is a grab consisting of putting your knees on the board with the soles of your shoes facing towards the tail, and bending your legs backwards while one hand grabs the side of the skateboard.