Skateboarding is an incredible sport, that's accessible for all ages and all skill levels. While learning the basics of skateboarding, such as pushing, popping your first ollie or even landing a kickflip may be relatively easy, learning more advanced skateboard tricks can prove much more difficult. However, with practice, dedication, and a few falls along the way, you too could be landing some of the more advanced and super cool skateboard tricks featured on our trick list below.
Flip Tricks and Tech
An alpha flip is just a hospital flip with a backside 180 body varial. They look and feel very similar to bigspins. Start the trick by doing a backside 180 ollie with a half kickflip. Leave the front foot in place to catch the board on the grip side, and throw it around the rest of the way to complete the 360 board spin.
Anti Casper Flip
The anti casper is high tech, but it’s not that tough to learn. To do one, you’ll need to do a half kickflip first. While in the air, catch the grip side of the deck with the top of your back foot and use the leverage to do a shuvit. A casper flip requires both feet to be in contact with the deck, but the anti casper is a back-foot-only trick.
A backside flip is a backside 180 ollie with a kickflip. It is difficult because you are blind to your landing spot while you turn, so get comfortable with backside 180s before you try to throw in the kickflip. Backside flips work great in a line to set up for a switch trick, but they are just as impressive over stair sets.
A big heelflip is a 360 shuvit heelflip (laser flip) with 180 body varial. Essentially, it is just a big spin with a heelflip thrown in the mix. Frontside big heels are much easier than backside, because 360 inward heelflips are insanely difficult.
A bigflip is a combination of a bigspin and a tre flip. Like most combination tricks, it helps to learn the constituent tricks first. So, you need to get 360 flips wired, and at least be close to bigspins on most attempts. Bigflips feel much more like bigspins than they do tre flips, though.
A biggerflip is a 540 shuvit kickflip with a 180 body varial, which must go in the same direction as the shuvit. Just like the biggerspin is just a big spin with an extra 180 degrees of rotation, the biggerflip is a bigflip that spins around one extra time. Think of it as a 540 bigflip. It helps to have some extra air for a biggerflip, so try learning them off a dropoff instead of flatland.
A biggerspin is a 540-degree shuvit with a 180-degree body varial. As the name suggests, a biggerspin is just a bigspin with an extra 180 shuvit. Like all bigspin variations, the body varial and shuvit need to turn the same direction.
A bigspin is a 360 shuvit with a 180 body varial. Or, you can think of it as a backside 180 ollie with a pop shuvit added. The bigspin is the basis for several other tricks – biggerspin, bigflip, biggerflip, alpha flip, etc. It is a gateway tech trick that opens the door to many more technical tricks.
These flip tricks look harder than they really are. A bubble flip is a half flip to an anti casper flip, except there is no ollie. Instead, the rider uses pressure to flip the board over with the back foot. Next, the skater catches the griptape side of the board with the top of the back foot before doing a shuvit half-flip and landing on top of the deck again.
The bull flip is a trick with a lot of moving parts, which all add up to a nollie 720 gazelle nerd flip. So, the board rotates 720 degrees, and the skater does a 360 body varial. Most people make the bull flip easier by doing a 540 nollie shuvit with a 180 body varial. They will then catch the board in a fakie manual and pivot around the rest of the way – a gazelle.
A caballerial flip is a fakie ollie 360 kickflip. Caballerials – invented by OG Bones Brigade rider Steve Caballero – are fakie ollie 360s. Cab invented them on vert. So, you go up the wall fakie, then do a 360 aerial and come back into the transition riding regular. It’s a much different trick on street, where you go fakie to fakie. With a kickflip thrown in, it’s a difficult and stylish trick either way.
A camel flip is otherwise known as a nollie hospital flip, though it is possible to use back-foot pressure to do it without the nollie. The board needs to half flip, so that the griptape faces down. The skater hooks the back foot under the deck, then kicks it out to do a shuvit half flip before landing back on the board.
A casper is a freestyle trick where the board is flipped over, the back foot is on the tail (behind the truck) and the front foot is hooked under the nose. To casper flip, half kickflip and catch the board in a casper while airborne. Kick the feet toward each other to shuvit the board around before you land.
Obviously, the Chetty Thomas is named for its inventor – Chet Thomas. It consists of a frontside shuvit kickflip (hardflip) with a pivot around (revert) at the end. The Chetty Thomas differs from the ghetto bird in that the latter is a nollie hardflip revert, though there is much confusion on the subject.
A daydream flip is the opposite of a nightmare flip. Daydreams are varial double heelflips. So, the board will frontside shuvit 180 degrees, and it will flip twice in the process. The daydream flip is much more difficult than the nightmare flip (varial double kickflip) for most skaters.
A disco flip is also known as a heelflip sex change. It is simply a heelflip, but the skater does a backside body varial while the board is flipping in the air. The rider will land fakie, but the board does not spin with the skater.
The dolphin flip is scary. It consists of a forward vertical flip of the board, rather than a sideways spin like a shuvit. As the board flips vertically forward, it will half kickflip and land with the griptape facing upward. The rider slides the front foot off the end of the nose to get the board to flip over, leaving a popsicle a serious risk.
The feather flip is a half impossible to anti casper. So, set up like a normal impossible, but don’t scoop quite as hard. While in the air, catch the board with the back foot under the deck and front foot on the tail. Then, just spin it back to its original position. The key to the feather flip is to not wrap the board as you would on a full impossible.
The fingerflip is a great trick to learn while you’re getting used to flip tricks. To do one, pop the tail as if you were going to ollie, but do not level the board with the front foot. Instead, allow the nose to rise, and catch it with your front hand. Then, simply flip the board with your hand in the same direction as you would kickflip.
A 540 flip is a shuvit with one and one half spins and a kickflip. Think of it as a 360 flip with an extra 180 degrees of rotation. It requires quite of bit of force with the back foot to spin the board 540 degrees, but without also adding force to flip the board with the front foot.
A frontside flip is a frontside 180 ollie with a kickflip. There are numerous variations of this trick, but it looks best when the rider catches the deck at 90 degrees in the air and rotates the rest of the way before landing.
A frontside heelflip is a frontside 180 ollie with a heelflip. It is an awkward trick to learn, because the board flips in the same direction that it turns. It sometimes helps to catch the board at 90 degrees in the ollie, then rotate around the rest of the way. When done this way over stairs or gaps, frontside heels are ender material.
On a front-foot impossible, the board spins 360 degrees around the front foot. It is similar to a regular impossible in that the board wraps around the foot, remaining in contact with it throughout the trick. There’s no scraping or scooping like on a regular impossible, though. Just pop the tail, and exaggerate your normal ollie motion to get the board to wrap.
A gazelle flip is a backside 540 flip with a 360 body varial. However, few people actually do the full spin in the air. Instead, they catch the board like a normal bigflip and then revert the rest of the way. Another name for that revert is a gazelle, which is where the trick gets its name.
In a gazelle spin, the board spins 540 while the skater does a 360 body varial. Like the gazelle flip, most skaters catch the board like a regular bigspin, then pivot around the rest of the way. The key to making it look smooth is to land in a fakie manual, then pivot around without touching the front wheels to the ground.
When done cleanly, the ghetto bird is one of the most impressive tricks you can do on flatland. It is also gnarly on transition, a la Kareem Campbell. A ghetto bird is a nollie frontside shuvit kickflip (hardflip) with a revert. This trick is often mixed up with a hardflip revert, which is also known as a Chetty Thomas.
This is a silly trick, but it can help you win a game of S.K.A.T.E. To do a gingersnap, stand in the hang-ten position, then snap off a nollie pressure flip. The board should go between the legs, more or less, as it rotates 180 degrees. The pressure flip part pretty much takes care of itself if you pivot off the front truck properly.
Grape flips look insane at first, but once you break them down, they’re not that crazy. Simply put, a grape flip is a frontside shuvit kickflip (hardflip), with a frontside 360 body varial. The easiest way to think of it – and to do it – is to do a frontside flip, but spin your body 360 instead of just 180. So, a grape flip is just a frontside flip sex change.
The handstand flip goes way back, even predating the Z-Boys revolution. For this trick, get into a handstand on the board while it is rolling. Then, hook your fingers under the board, and flip it as jump back on it with your feet.
A hardflip is a frontside pop shuvit kickflip. Obviously, the name arose because the trick is pretty difficult to master. Learn frontside shuvits and kickflips before trying hardflips. It helps to learn hardflips off the side of an embankment or a launch ramp. For some reason, the incline aids in getting the board in the right position to flip it.
Another trick named for its creator, in this case Chris Haslam; a Haslam flip is a varial kickflip late flip. It helps to see it in slow motion to understand the process. The board spins 180 and does a half kickflip. Before it can finish its rotation, the skater kicks down with the front foot to flip the board back in the opposite direction of the original flip.
Heelflips are similar to kickflips, except you use your heel to flip the board in the opposite direction. To get the board to flip on the rise and catch it like a kickflip, use the nose of the board for leverage. The outside of the front foot slides off the side of the nose, flipping the board with the same motion that levels it when doing an ollie.
A halfcab is a fakie ollie 180. Since a fakie ollie 360 is a caballerial, a fakie 180 is half a caballerial. Halfcabs have long been a popular way to get back to regular after coming in fakie on a street trick. On transition, the rider goes up the wall fakie, and comes back down fakie after turning 180.
A hospital flip is a half kickflip front-foot late shuvit. Start the hospital flip like a normal kickflip, but the trick is to catch the board with the top of the front foot as it does a half flip. Then, use the front foot only to push the board 180 degrees before you land on it.
The illusion flip is so-named because the board does not quite do the trick that it appears to do. It is also called a Muska flip, after Chad Muska, who popularized this style of frontside 180 kickflip. The difference in the illusion flip is that the board goes more vertical than does the typical, horizontal frontside flip. As the board spins vertically 180 degrees, it usually passes between the skater’s legs.
An impossible is similar to a 360 shuvit, only the board sticks to the back foot as it spins. To get the board to wrap around your foot, you’ll need to scrape the tail, instead of popping it as you do on a shuvit. It takes a scooping motion to get the trick to work right, and the hardest part is learning to scoop and jump at the same time.
An inward heelflip is a backside pop shuvit and a heelflip done all in one motion. Most people find inward heels considerably harder than varial heelflips, mainly because the front foot tends to get in the way of the board as it spins. It helps to use the bottom of the front heel to push down on the board to flip it, rather than flicking it off the nose like a regular heelflip.
To do a kickback flip, apply pressure with the back foot to the backside edge of the deck, near the back truck. Jump up with the front foot, and use the pressure on the back foot to flip the board over half way, so that the griptape faces down. Then, hook the board with the top of the back foot and lift up, forcing to board to do one and a half flips in the opposite direction.
A kickflip is when you use the toe of the front foot to flip the board sideways in the air. The board flips all the way around so the grip tape faces up again. Then, you catch it with your feet and ride it out like a normal ollie. The kickflip is usually one of the first technical tricks that most skateboarders learn.
When you’re feeling like getting crazy technical, try learning kiwi flips. The basic kiwi flip is a frontside shuvit late back-foot under heelflip, but there a many variations. The key is to wait until the board spins around 180, then hook the heel under the frontside of the board. As you bring you heel back up, the board stop spinning and flip.
Laser flips are frontside 360 shuvit heelflips. You can think of them like a continuation of a varial heel – with an extra half spin – or you can think of them as the opposite of a tre flip. Neither of those comparisons do laser flips justice, though. This is a highly technical, difficult trick to master.
A nerd flip is a nollie frontside shuvit with a late back-foot heelflip. So, pop a nollie frontside shuvit, but try to do it more like a pressure flip to get the board to rotate slightly as it spins. As it comes around 180, kick the underside of the middle of the deck with your heel. It should feel vaguely like clicking your heels together, but with just the back heel.
A nightmare flip is a pop shuvit (varial) with a double kickflip. If you don’t want to use this name, you can call it a varial double kickflip. Like a regular varial kickflip, you have to flick the board before it gets to 90 degrees. The only difference is you flick it a little harder to get the board to do a double flip.
The no comply is a classic trick that has seen a return to popularity in the modern era. To do one, step off with the front foot and simultaneously pop the tail on the pavement. The board should go vertical as it rises. Let the grip side of the deck contact the inside of the back leg, and push it back to a level position. Then, simply jump back on the board with the front foot. Try to do everything in one, smooth motion.
The orange flip is the opposite of the grape flip. It is an backside pop shuvit heelflip (inward heelflip) with a backside 360 body varial. Another way of looking at it is backside heelflip sex change.
The old school name for this trick is a one-footer, or a one-footed ollie. To ollie north, use your front foot to kick the nose of the board downward, leaving the foot up off the deck. The harder you kick, the more space you can create and the better the trick will look.
The ollie south is a much more difficult trick than it appears – if done correctly. It requires a normal ollie, but the back foot kicks off the board. You don’t simply let the back foot hang off the board as you level it with the front foot; it should snap backward.
The plasma spin is a frontside bigspin, but the board wraps around the back foot like it does on an impossible. The key to the plasma spin is in the setup. The front foot goes in kickflip position, but the back foot is turned almost completely around with the toes hanging off the backside edge of the deck.
A pop shuvit is an ollie where the board spins 180 degrees underfoot. Conversely, a shuvit is simply using your back foot to spin the board sideways 180 degrees. Get the weight off the front foot, jump and force the wheels to break traction. The pop shuvit requires the same process, except you pop the tail off the pavement. Learn to shuvit first.
Pressure flips were all the rage in the tech days of the early 1990s, but they fell out of favor after a while. Luckily, they are seeing a resurgence in the anything-goes era of modern skateboarding. Pressure flips are not all that different from pop shuvits, except the board flips under as it spins 180 degrees. To do that, scoop it with the back foot, instead of popping the tail.
The rail flip is a classic freestyle trick. You start out in primo for a rail flip. Then, you jump and kick your feet in an airwalk maneuver to get the board to do a varial flip before you land back on it.
Semi flips are two tricks in one. First, you have to do a half kickflip. Then, when the board is still in the air, you’ll catch the underside of the deck with the top of the back foot and pull up to do a varial underflip. Again, a semi flip is a half kickflip late-back-foot varial underflip. Like most of the tricks on this list, we can thank Rodney Mullen for the semi-flip insanity.
A 720 is two full circles. Therefore, a 720 flip is a shuvit with the board spinning completely around twice, coupled with a kickflip. Looked at another way, the trick is like a tre flip with an extra full spin of the board. The 720 flip is high tech, and extra time is usually a necessity to pull it off. So, try it off a drop or over a gap instead of on flat.
A sex change could also be called a stance change, because that is essentially all it is. In other words, the board stays straight, while the skateboarder jumps and spins 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. The sex change can be included in any number of tricks, the most basic variation being the ollie sex change.
A shuvit is when the board spins underneath the skater’s feet. Unlike a pop shuvit, where the tail needs to pop off the ground, a shuvit simply requires the rider to slide the board sideways with the back foot. The front foot only needs to get up and out of the way. Shuvits are usually one of the first tricks new skaters learn.
Sigma flips resemble hospital flips and casper flips. It is a varial kickflip late anti casper flip. So, first you do a varial kickflip, but the board should do only a half flip. As the board finishes rotating, catch it with the back foot under the deck and the front foot on top of the tail. Then, just scissor kick the feet to get the board to shuvit back.
A 360 flip, also known as a tre flip, is a 360 shuvit with a simultaneous kickflip. Before learning to tre flip, it helps to be able to do 360 pop shuvits and kickflips. However, the trick does not quite feel like either of those tricks.
A shuvit is when the board spins underneath the feet, so a 360 shuvit is when the board goes all the way around to its original position. Done without popping, 360 shuvits are not that difficult. The difficulty in the pop 360 shuvit is in keeping the board from flipping as it spins, but placing the back foot dead center on the tail is the secret.
360 Ollie Heelflip
This insanity is a combination of a 360 ollie and a heelflip, all done simultaneously. You’ll obviously need to have 360 ollies and heelflips on lock to have any hope of pulling this trick. The 360 ollie is the tough part, because you can’t simply scoop the tail and spin. You have to pop it to get the heelflip part right.
360 Ollie Kickflip
A 360 ollie kickflip is a combination of a 360 ollie and a kickflip. It is much easier to go backside, but there is nothing easy about it either way you spin it. It helps to scrape the tail like on a normal 360 ollie. The hardest part is keeping the board directly beneath the feet, but that’s just the start of the difficulties.
The toeflip, also known as a barrel roll, is a shuvit board flip that is done without an ollie. The key to the toeflip is to place the balls of the back foot right in the spoon of the tail. The rest of the back foot hangs off the board. Front foot position is unimportant. To make the board roll, use downward pressure on the back foot, then jump and kick behind you. The board should spin and flip all on its own.
An under flip is any time the rider hooks a foot underneath the board and pulls up to get the board to flip. There are many variations of underflips, usually involving some form of shuvit prior to the flip. Underflips are also almost always done late, after some other setup trick.
A varial heelflip is a frontside shuvit with a heelflip. There is no need to specify that the varial is frontside, because backside varial heels are called inward heelflips. Of the two tricks, most people find the varial heel a far easier trick to learn, though it is by no means easy.
A few years ago, varial flips got so popular that there was bound to be a backlash. No worries, though, as everything stale gets fresh again in skateboarding. The varial kickflip is a combination of a pop shuvit and a kickflip. Do a regular pop shuvit first, then use the front toe to flip the board before it spins 90 degrees.
Grinds and Slides
A barley grind is a 180 to switch smith grind. Learn the frontside version first. Do a frontside 180 to fakie nose grind. Then, straighten the back leg to push the tail down past the lip or rail. The deck should contact the grinding surface.
The Bertlemann slide is named for OG Dogtown rider Larry Bertlemann, and you can see his surfing roots in the maneuver. It is a layback powerslide, though there are grind and slash variations. All you have to do is crouch down and place one hand on the ground. Then, push the back wheels sideways into a powerslide.
To get into a blunt slide, ride parallel to an obstacle, then pop an ollie and turn to get the back wheels over the lip or ledge. Press down on the tail so that it contacts the lip as the board remains vertical. To exit, do a power ollie motion to elevate the board out of the slide.
The boardslide is the most basic slide trick, and it’s the first one a new rider should learn. If an obstacle is low enough, there isn’t even a need a to ollie into it. Just turn 90 degrees and set the middle of the underside of the deck on a rail or curb. Then, just turn 90 degrees again when you get to the end of the rail. Start with the rail behind you for the easier, backside boardslide, which requires a frontside turn to get into and backside turn to exit.
Frontside boardslides are much more difficult than backside. Ride parallel to an obstacle while facing it (so it’s on the right for a regular-footed rider). Ollie and turn backside, setting the middle of the deck on the obstacle, then turn frontside at the end. You’ll be riding blind with your back facing the direction of the slide, which is where the difficulty of the trick lies.
A casper slide is similar to a darkslide, in that you’ll be sliding on the grip tape side of the board. So, do a half kickflip and land in casper (front foot hooked under the board, back foot standing on underside of the tail). Let the board slide across a manny pad, then flip it back over (shuvit half flip) to exit the trick.
A crail slide is simply a crail grab frontside tailslide. It is done like a slash grind, with the body leaning out over the transition. Like any crail, the grab must be done like a mute, with the front hand grabbing the frontside edge of the nose.
A crooked grind is a combination of a nose grind and a nose slide, both of which contact the obstacle at the same time. The front truck pivots on the obstacle the same way as it does when we lean to turn (carve). The pivot causes the truck to grind toward one wheel, which keeps the truck from sliding off the obstacle (locked in).
Like most of the tech tricks in street skating, we owe Rodney Mullen thanks for inventing the board-wrecking darkslide. In a darkslide, the board is flipped over, and the rider stands on the underside. You’ll be sliding on the grip tape, which gives the trick its name. Learn darkslides on rails first. Half flip in and half flip out.
A 50-50 is any grind or stall where both trucks are on the obstacle being skated. This is the most basic grind and the first one any skater should learn. In street skating and transition, start working on this trick as soon as you can ollie. On transition, it is one of the simplest grinds or stalls.
A 5-0 is a grind on just the back truck, where the skater lifts the front wheels up in the air by pressing down on the tail. To stay in the grind, the skater must balance on the back truck throughout the trick. The sensation is exactly the same as when you do a manual – front wheels up and locked on the fulcrum.
During a feeble grind, the back truck stays in contact with the coping, while the nose of the deck is pushed over to the opposite side of the obstacle. Depending on the obstacle being skated, the deck may be in contact with the coping or ledge, or it may not. The key is that the front truck passes over the grinding surface, while the back truck does the grinding.
A hurricane is a frontside 180 to a fakie feeble grind. To do one, approach an obstacle such as a parking block with the obstacle to your backside. Do a frontside 180 ollie to get your back truck on the ledge, but keep your front truck off the ledge and on the opposite side of the obstacle. Parking blocks make great fodder for hurricanes, which are classic tricks and much easier than they seem before you try them.
A layback grind is where the skater leans all the way back, placing the rear hand on the coping. To do a proper layback, the board should slash at the lip, similar to a surfer spraying water with the surfboard on a wave. Variations of the layback grind include the smith layback, the ollie to layback and the layback 5-0.
A lipslide is a board slide, with the difference being that you turn when you ollie to get the rear truck over to the opposite side of the obstacle. The move is exactly like a 180 to disaster in ramp skating, and the trick was originally called a disaster slide. With the obstacle in front of you, ollie frontside for a frontside lipslide. The opposite is true for a back lip.
The nail slide is a combination of a tailslide and a nose slide, done at the same time. It requires that there be two obstacles with lips spaced the same distance as the nose and tail on the deck. Approach between them, then turn 90 and get the nose on lip and the tail on the other. The name comes from a mashup of nose and tail.
For those unfamiliar, a blunt is when the nose of the board points straight up, while the wheels rest on the coping or lip. The rear foot presses the tail straight down. A noseblunt slide is just like a blunt slide; it’s just done on the nose. To get into the noseblunt, the skater has to do a 90-degree ollie to get over the lip. It’s very similar to a lipslide in that respect. The hardest part of a noseblunt slide is getting out of one.
A nose grind is a front-truck grind, where the back truck is lifted off the coping or ledge. To get the back truck up, the skater must press down on the nose with the front foot and lighten the pressure on the back foot. Balancing on the fulcrum created on the front truck will help you grind longer. Do a little half-nollie to get out.
As the name suggests, a nose slide is a slide on only the nose of the board. To nose slide, approach an obstacle on a parallel line, with little or no angle to the attack. Ollie and turn sideways (90 degrees), then slam the nose down on the ledge. Be careful when leaning back on a waxed ledge, though!
An overcrook is a combination of a noseblunt and a nose grind. There are two ways to think of an overcrook grind. One is that it is a noseblunt slide that is under turned, so that the front truck grinds on the obstacle while the board is sliding. Or, you can think of as a nose grind that is boned out so that it almost becomes a noseblunt.
The overturn is a 5-0 that is turned 180 degrees into a switch crooked grind. It’s a little tricky to get the board to stay in the grind when the turn is executed. The secret is to give the board a little pop, like a power ollie. Hop up and twist at the same time, and the truck should go airborne just long enough to make the overturn.
Primos were originally freestyle tricks, and you don’t see many of them done these days that aren’t accidents. A primo is a stall where the board is on its side, with the ends of the axles contacting the riding surface and the skater standing on the edge of the deck and the opposite side of the axles. A primo grind requires a quarter kickflip to get into and a quarter toe flip to get out of.
A salad grind was originally called a Dressen grind, after its inventor, Eric Dressen. The original name sounds like “dressing,” as in salad dressing. It consists of a 5-0, but the tail is pressed down into the blunt position.
This is one of the oldest tricks in skateboarding, dating back to the first skaters to ride transition. The slash grind is just an aggressive kickturn done at the lip. As the rider turns with a hard, slashing motion, the truck grinds briefly on the lip. Slash grinds are not long, stalled-out grinds. They are meant to be done quickly.
As long as skateboarding exists, smith grinds will be cool. The trick, invented by Mike Smith, is a back-truck grind with the front truck hanging off the side of the obstacle. It looks precarious, but it is easy to stay in a smith once you’re locked into it. The front truck must stay on the same side of the obstacle that the skater started on. When the truck goes to the opposite side, the same trick becomes a feeble grind.
A Suski grind is a backside 5-0 grind in which the tail is pressed down onto the surface of the obstacle. It is similar in appearance to a crooked grind, except the skater is moving in the other direction. Another way to think of it is as a smith grind with the nose pushed up in the air. The trick gets its name from its inventor, Aaron Suski.
Tailblocks originated in the early days of pool skating. To do one, turn 90 degrees at the lip of a transition, and stall the board on the tip of the tail. A tailblock requires either a frontside or a backside nose grab. To slide it, attack the lip at more of an angle, rather than straight on. You can also do tailblock slides on street obstacles.
A tailslide requires a 90-degree ollie to get the tail above the obstacle. Set the tail down and lean back slightly to initiate the slide. It is easiest to do this trick on small street ledges or curbs, but tailslides are impressive on transition and rails. Learn front tails first, then move on to the more difficult back tail.
Willy grinds are like backward switch smith grinds. The front truck will be on the ledge or lip, while the tail of the board is pointed downward. The back truck just hangs of the edge of the obstacle. Willy grinds have the look of an accident, which they surely were when they were invented.
Grabs and Airs
Any time a skateboarder turns 180 degrees to face the opposite direction as before the trick, we call it a 180. The name comes from the degrees of a circle. A full circle is 360 degrees, so a half circle is a 180.
When a skateboarder turns during a 180 so that they face the direction of travel, it is a frontside 180. To look at it another way, when a regular-footed skater turns counter-clockwise, it is a frontside 180. The opposite is true for a goofy-footed skater, so that a clockwise turn is frontside.
Turning backside means that the skater’s back faces the direction of travel during a 180 ollie. Most people find backside 180s more difficult than frontside, because the rider is essentially blind to the landing spot during the trick. For a regular-footed rider, a backside 180 is a clockwise turn, but it is counter-clockwise for a goofy footer.
Following the degrees of a circle, a 270 is three quarters of a full turn. These are useful for getting into and out of slides like tailslides and nose slides. Though some people might refer to those tricks as 360s, it is more descriptive and accurate to call the trick a 270 in or out of the grind or slide.
A 360 is a full circle. A skateboarder doing a 360 ollie will spin all the way around, landing facing the same way as before the trick. The term is useful for describing lots of tricks, such as 360 flips, 360 shuvits, etc.
A 540 is one and one half turns. Another way to think of a 540 is that it is a 360 with an added 180. The 540 first became popular in vert skating. In street skating, the term is usually reserved for 540 shuvits or 540 flips. A 540 ollie is a rare bird in street skating.
A 720 is simply two full turns of the board, the skater or both. A full circle is a 360, so turning two times becomes a 720. Because of the time needed to complete the two turns, 720s are almost exclusively vert ramp tricks.
The 900 is the holy grail of vert tricks. It consists of two and one half turns, or two 360s and a 180. It was first pulled in competition by Tony Hawk in the 1999 X-Games. Very few vert skaters have equalled Hawk by pulling a 900. As one might imagine, the trick is insanely difficult.
An airwalk is a nose grab, where the skater then pulls the board to the side and simultaneously scissor kicks the legs. The lead foot should kick to the frontside, while the rear leg goes backward. The rider will then put the board back under the feet before landing on it. The airwalk was such a popular trick during the launch ramp days of the 1980s that a skate shoe company took the name.
The backflip is a rarely seen vert or transition trick, where the rider does a grab and completes a backward summersault. Therefore, the rider will hit the transition regular, but will come back in fakie. Rob Boyce is credited with being the first skater to land a backflip on a skateboard.
A Benihana is an ollie tail grab, but the skater removes the rear foot from the board and hangs it low during the trick. It sounds difficult, but the board actually comes right into the Benihana zone if you ollie and leave your back foot low. Normally, a Benihana is reserved for launches off transition, but you will see it thrown around on other terrain. The name comes from a chain of American restaurants that specialize in Japanese cuisine.
A body jar is a ramp trick where the rider does a grab (usually a nose grab) during an aerial and smacks the tail on the coping on the way back into the transition. To do it correctly, there must be no stall on the lip when the tail hits.
To do a caballerial, a rider must do a 360 while skating fakie (backward). The trick was invented on vert by Steve Caballero. On transition, the rider comes up the wall fakie, but comes back into the transition regular after doing the 360. Conversely, a street skater will go from fakie to fakie after the 360. There are many variations of the caballerial, including grabs on transition and flips on street.
A cannonball is a double grab, where the rider grabs the nose with the lead hand and simultaneously grabs the tail with the back hand. Most experienced skaters consider the cannonball a simple trick, and one that isn’t worth many style points.
The Christ air was invented and named after iconic 80s vert skater Christian Hosoi. It consists of a backside grab, and the skater then straightens the legs with the feet together, holding the arms straight out to the side. The pose is reminiscent of a crucified person on a cross, hence the name.
A crail grab is an aerial where the skater grabs the frontside of the nose with the lead hand (left hand for a regular-footed skater). It is similar to a mute grab, except you’ll be grabbing the nose of the board, ahead of the front truck, rather than between the trucks like a normal mute.
To do a crossbone, grab the backside of the nose with the lead hand. Then, twist the board so that the tail faces the direction of travel, before bringing the board back around to face regular again.
Del Mar Indy
A Del Mar indy is an aerial trick where you grab indy, then pull the board behind yourself. It is similar in some respects to a Japan air or a method air. The name harkens back to the Del Mar skatepark, one of the original concrete skateparks in California.
A double grab is any aerial where the skater grabs the board with both the front and back hands at the same time. The two grabs are usually opposites, so you may see a backside grab coupled with an indy, or a tail grab and a nose grab (cannonball).
To do a frigid air, grab the nose with the front hand, and simultaneously kick the front foot out to the backside. It is the opposite of a judo air, where the front foot kicks out to the frontside of the board.
A frontside air is a frontside 180 coupled with an indy grab. It is one of the original aerial tricks, which skaters were doing long before Alan Gelfand invented the ollie. The frontside air is still one of the first aerials that most skaters learn when starting out on transition.
A Grosman grab is when a skater grabs the board between the legs and the feet on the backside of the board. It is a Grosman if you use the front hand to grab the board, rather than the back hand, which would be a roast beef.
Rodney Mullen invented the helipop when he was ruling freestyle contests in the 1980s. It is also known as a nollie 360, or otherwise a nollie caballerial. So, you just nollie, spin 360 degrees in the air and land facing regular again.
An indy grab is a frontside grab in the middle of the board with the rear hand. There are many variations of the indy grab, including the Del Mar indy and the indy nosebone, among others.
To do a Japan air, grab mute (lead hand grabs frontside), and pull the board back behind yourself with your knees bent. Typically, the knee caps will point straight down to the ground during a Japan air. It looks similar to a method air, except a method requires a backside grab instead of a mute.
A judo air is a nose grab with a simultaneous kicking out of the front foot. Usually, the skater will grab the nose with the lead hand, but there are variations with different grabs. What makes it a judo is kicking the front foot to the frontside of the board while keeping the back foot in contact with the deck.
The Lien air was invented by infamous kook Neil Blender. Notice that the spelling of lien is an inversion of Neil. To do a lien air, grab indy and do a frontside air, but tweak the board so that the underside (graphics) face upward at the peak of the trick. You may find it easier to grab the frontside of the nose, rather than grabbing in the middle as on a normal frontside air.
To do a Madonna, grab the nose with the lead hand during an aerial. Then, take the lead foot off the board toward the backside of the deck. To make it impressive, be sure to straighten the back knee all the way. The trick is named after 1980s pop star Madonna.
The McTwist was invented by Powell Peralta rider Mike McGill in the 1980s. It is a vert trick where the rider does a grab and performs a 540 spin. McGill would flip his body to do the final 180 degrees of the spin, which separates the McTwist from the typical 540. McGill typically did the trick as a mute grab, but any grab would suffice.
A melancholy grab is a backside grab with a nose bone. In other words, the skater ollies, grabs the backside of the board with the front hand, then forces the nose of the board to point downward. The tweak is what distinguishes the melancholy from a normal backside air.
To do a method air, grab backside with the lead hand and bend your knees as far as you can, bringing the heels up toward the butt. Keep your feet in contact with the deck at all times, so that the bottom of the board faces upward during the trick.
Anytime a skater grabs the board on the frontside, between the feet, with the front hand, we call it a mute grab. It makes no difference what happens next. There are many variations of mute grabs, including spins and flips.
A nosebone is any tweak where the nose is pointed down by straightening the front leg. Often, the skater will use a tail grab, but there are also indy nosebones and melancholies (backside grab with a nosebone). The nosebone is the tweak, not the trick itself.
A nose grab is when the skater uses the front hand to grab the nose during an aerial. This is often the first grab trick a skater will learn, especially on the street. While it is simple to learn nose grabs, the variations that follow (crail grabs, madonnas, etc.) are much more difficult.
Ollie to Fakie
When the skater rides up the transition regular, ollies above the coping, then comes back in fakie, it is an ollie to fakie. Begin learning these as soon as you’re comfortable compressing on transition. It’s okay to do them below the lip at first, but they don’t really count until the board completely clears the coping.
Roast Beef Grab
To do a roast beef grab, ollie first, then grab the backside of the board between your feet with the back hand. You must reach between your legs to do the grab. The roast beef is an awkward-feeling trick. Even when properly executed, it feels strange. To make it easier to grab, be sure to tuck the knees and ollie as high as possible.
This is another one that we owe to Christian Hosoi, inventor of the Christ air. To do a rocket air, grab the nose with both hands during and aerial, and move the deck in front of you. Then, place both feet on the tail. To be a true rocket air, the board needs to be pointing up as you rise to the peak of the aerial.
To sacktap, grab the board and remove it from your feet, then tap it on your sack before jumping back onto it. Everything has to be done in the air, or it doesn’t count. Also, go light as you’re doing the actual tapping part. This one was invented by Tony Hawk.
The Sal flip is otherwise known as a hand flip. It gets its name from its inventor: Sal Barbier. To do one, ollie first, then grab the nose of the board with your hand flipped over and pronated. The fingers need to be on the griptape, while the thumb will be underneath the board. Because you wind your arm to get the grab right, you simply need to unwind it to do the hand flip. The hand stays in contact with the board throughout the trick.
During a saran wrap, the front foot will move in a circle completely around the nose. In order to allow this to happen, the skater needs to alternate the grab from one hand to the other. Usually, the first grab is to the backside of the nose, while the foot moves off the board to the frontside. Then, the skater switches to the back hand to allow the foot space to complete the wrap.
A seatbelt is the opposite grab of a crail. To do one, reach over with your front hand and grab the tail on the frontside edge of the deck. You can reach all the way and grab the rear of the tail, but that isn’t really necessary. Seatbelts are usually done in combination with a grind, such as a smith grind.
A frontside air with a mute grab (lead hand grabbing the frontside edge of the deck) is called a slob air. It gets its name from the funky look of the trick. Usually, the rider will tweak out a slob air by laying the feet sideways on the deck. The slob fastplant is another classic variation of this trick.
A stalefish is a grab to the backside of the board with the back hand. Typically, the skater will lay the back leg down to tweak the trick, sometimes to the point where the back knee touches the board. The stalefish is a difficult grab to master.
A stiffy is a frontside indy grab with a tweak, where the skater straightens out the knees before coming back into the transition. This trick is more commonly seen in snowboarding, but the occasional ramp skater will bust one.
This rarely used trick is a double grab, during which the rider picks the board up and holds it out at arm’s length. It is supposed to resemble Superman’s flying position. The grabs should be on both the frontside and backside simultaneously. This trick is similar to the Superman trick performed by motocross and BMX riders on jumps.
The tailbone is the opposite of the nosebone. Typically, it consists of a nose grab, where the skater then straightens the rear leg to bone the tail. However, anytime the tail is forced downward to tweak a trick, it can be said to be a tailbone.
A tail grab is when the skater grabs the tail with the rear hand during an aerial. Tail grabs to fakie are a perennial favorite of ramp and vert riders. Other variations include the one-footed tail grab and tail grab spins (360, 540, etc.)
Anytime a skater lays the shins and knees flat on the board, regardless of the grab, it is called a tuck knee. In other words, tuck knee is a tweak, rather than being a trick of its own. Typical grabs with tuck knee tweaks are frontside and mute grabs, but others are possible as well.
To perform a varial, grab the board during an aerial and physically turn it around 180 degrees. The trick has its origins in vert skating, but it is the basis of the varial kickflip in street skating. It’s not a shuvit, though, because the board stays in contact with the skater’s hand the entire time.
Stalls and Plants
An axle stall is when you set one or both trucks down on top of the coping and come to a complete rest. It is otherwise known as a 50-50 stall when both trucks are used. In modern skateboarding, the axle stall is not usually so much a trick in itself as it is a setup trick for something more difficult on the next transition.
A bean plant is similar to a boneless, but the skater grabs the backside of the nose with the lead hand. Depending on how it is done, a bean plant can look similar to either a sweeper or a fastplant.
For a blunt, the board remains vertical with the wheels stalled on top of the coping and the tail pressed against it. To get into a blunt on transition, you simply ride past the lip without turning. Use an ollie motion to exit a blunt, either by turning into a 5-0 or coming in fakie. The latter is definitely the harder trick.
A boneless is a footplant where you step off the board with the front foot and jump into the air. A grab – usually frontside – is necessary to keep the board stuck to your feet. While airborne, simply bring the front foot back onto the deck before landing.
During a crailtap, the board stalls in a nearly vertical position on the end of the tail. Grab the frontside of the nose with the lead hand – like a mute but closer to the front of the board. Most skaters will turn frontside into a crailtap, stalling only for a moment before diving back into the transition.
The creeper is another one of those tricks that gets its name from a mashup of the tricks that make it up. In this case, it is a sweeper with a crail grab. So, go up the wall of a ramp and grab the frontside of the nose with the lead hand. Then, step off into a boneless position, sweep the tail across the deck and jump back into the transition.
Disasters likely get their name from the accidental look of the trick, which looks like the opposite of a rock and roll. The back truck goes over the lip, while the front truck stays on the transition side of the coping. The deck simply rests on top of the coping. You can fakie into a disaster, but most people learn them by doing a 180 ollie over the coping and landing with the middle of the board on the lip. Slide the front foot up to the nose to pivot back into the transition.
An eggplant is a fairly difficult variation on the classic handplant. To do one, turn backside just as you pass the lip and grab indy. With the free lead hand, reach down and grab the coping, then push off back into the transition. Be sure to plant the hand on the way up, so that there is a little weight as possible on the wrist.
A fastplant is a grab-and-jump trick, similar in form and appearance to a boneless. The only difference is that you jump with the back foot for a fastplant, rather than using the front foot as you would for a boneless. Both tricks are easiest to learn with a frontside grab, but variations with other grabs are possible.
A gymnast plant is an invert where the skater holds the board out to the side, keeping the feet vertical in the air. It looks similar to a Christ air, except one hand stays on the coping the whole time. Tony Hawk invented gymnast plant.
In the early days of street skating, you weren’t anyone if you couldn’t do handplants (inverted stalls with a hand flat on the pavement). The king of the handplants was the ho-ho, which requires the skater to place both hands on the ground and balance the board on the feet. You’ll have to get one hand down first, doing a simple handplant, then let go of the board and get the other hand down. Walk the handstand for bonus points.
The layback air is one of the first handplants or inverts that most ramp skaters learn. It requires an early mute grab, so the plant is done with the rear hand. Reach out for the coping as you approach the lip, and force the board up past the coping as you turn frontside. The skater leans backward to get into this trick, which is where it gets its name.
Named after classic vert rider Chris Miller, a Miller flip is a layback handplant done below the coping. The rider grabs frontside and reaches backward with the lead hand, placing it flat on the transition. Then, the rider does a back flip and comes back in riding fakie.
A nose pick is a stall on the front axle of the board, much like a nose grind without the grind. To get into a nose pick on transition, ride up the wall with your front foot on the nose, and press down while turning once you get to the lip. That’s the easy part. The classic way to get out of a nose pick is to grab frontside and pull up on the deck, but there are many variations.
A nose stall is when the nose of the board is pressed flat on top of the lip. You’ll need to have your front foot on the nose as you approach the coping to get into a nose stall, but that isn’t necessary when stalling on a street obstacle. To come back into the transition, simply press down on the back truck and lean back. It’s like dropping in switch.
For a noseblunt stall, the board must be vertical, with the front wheels resting on top of the coping and the nose pressed below the lip. It is the opposite of a blunt, and that’s how it gets its name. The cheap way to get out of a noseblunt is to simply grab frontside and jump into the transition. The harder and cleaner way is to power nollie out of it.
A pivot is simply a stall on only the back truck. Think of it as a 5-0 grind without the grind. When approaching the lip, simply lift the front wheels into a manual and turn into the pivot as you would a 50-50 stall.
There are some tricks that are just awkward and scary, and the pivot to fakie is one of those tricks. It requires a back-truck stall, followed by a turn away from the transition to come in backwards. You will be blind to your re-entry, which is the terrifying part of this trick. The easiest way to learn it is with a backside pivot, which requires a frontside 90-degree turn to come in fakie. Be wary of hangups... This trick is helmet territory.
Rock ‘n Roll
The rock n’ roll is basic, like ramp skating 101. But it’s also a classic trick and a necessity for anyone learning to skate transition. To get into one, lift the front wheels as you approach the coping, allowing the front truck to go past the lip. Then, set the middle of the deck on the coping. To exit, press down on the tail and turn backside to come in regular again. Once you have backside rocks, try turning frontside to re-enter the transition.
Rock to Fakie
Fakie rock n’ rolls are the first trick most people learn after they can drop in on transition. It simply involves pressing down on the tail as you approach the coping to pick up the front wheels, then push down on the front foot so that the deck pivots on the coping. Press back down on the tail and roll backward on the back wheels to bring it back in to fakie.
The sad plant gets its name from the old Sadlands skatepark, but the trick was invented by Lance Mountain. It is really more of a tweak than a handplant, so any invert can be “sadded.” To do one, get into an invert and straighten out the front leg. It’s just like boning out a grab, except the tweak is done during the invert.
The staple gun is a silly looking trick, but it is more difficult than it appears to be. To do one, step off the board with the rear foot at the top of a transition. Next, push the board onto the deck of the ramp with the front foot. It should roll up onto the deck, then you will pull it back toward yourself and hop back onto it and into the transition to fakie.
To do a sweeper, grab the nose with the lead hand and step off with back foot. Rather than jumping as you would on a fastplant, simply stand on the lip. Sweep the tail around 180 degrees, keeping the front foot on the board the whole time. Then, either jump back onto the board and back into the transition or move into a tail stall and drop back in.
A tailblock is a stall done on the very tip of the tail. Typically, the skater will grab the frontside of the nose with the rear hand. The stall is usually performed while leaning out over the transition, rather than getting up on top of the lip.
The power ollie is the way to pop out of a tail stall and back into the transition. To do it, let the front truck drop during a tail stall as though you were about to drop in. Before the wheels get too low, press down on the tail to make the back truck rise above the lip. Then level the board out as you would on a normal ollie.
A tail stall is when a skater comes to rest on top of the coping while standing on just the tail of the board. When riding fakie, tail stalls are a simple way to keep a run going. Frontside 180 to tails are a bit tougher, and backside 180 to tails are harder still. Tail stalls basic tricks that every transition skater should learn.
The Texas plant is a double grab frontside fastplant. To do one properly, grab mute at the top of the transition and step off with the back foot. As you jump, grab onto the tail with the back hand. Let go of the mute grab, but hold onto the tail as you jump back into the transition.
Texas Two Step
To do a two step, grab the nose and step off with the front foot as if you were going to do a boneless. While standing on the lip, jump up and through the gap formed by your hand, the deck and your back foot. Land with the front foot on the lip again, then either sweep it to tail or jump onto the deck and into the transition. Another name for this trick is threading the needle.
The acid drop is one of the earliest street tricks, but it can be done on transition as well. It simply means rolling off the edge of an obstacle or drop. Do not ollie off the edge, but rather press the tail down into a brief manual to keep the board from nose diving.
An alley oop is a turn in the air done in the opposite direction to the line of travel. So, if the rider is moving in the direction of a backside air, but instead turns frontside, it is an alley oop.
A body varial is a transition trick where the rider grabs the board and holds it in place while doing a 180-degree turn with the body. When done on street, the same trick is called a sex change.
To bomb drop, stand on top of a drop off and jump into the air. Before you land, place the board under your feet. You can bomb drop off any ledge of suitable height, but the trick is even more impressive when done into a transition.
A casper isn’t so much of a trick as it is a position. In a casper, the board is inverted so that the griptape faces down and the wheels are pointing up. The skater hooks the front foot under the board and stands on the bottom of the tail with the back foot. Caspers were once a freestyle-only trick, but they are used in a few complex street tricks now.
A caveman is any slide or grind where the skater holds onto the board and jumps onto the obstacle, rather than ollieing into it. So, if the skater holds the board by the nose and jumps up into a boardslide on a handrail, it is a caveman boardslide.
This is some good old school fun right here. To get into a coffin, simply sit down on the deck while rolling, then lay down with your feet pointing straight out in front of the board. The trick gets its name from the skater looking similar to a person laying in a coffin.
A daffy is a little bit of freestyle silliness that requires two skateboards to do. It simply means standing with one foot on the tail of one board and the other on the nose of another board. The feet go inline with the boards, which should be rolling. Both boards should be balanced on the fulcrum points of the tail/nose and the truck. Therefore, one board is in a manual, and the other is in a nose manual.
The firecracker is one trick that pretty much anyone can do, regardless of skill level. A firecracker is simply a manual down a flight of stairs. The trick gets its name from the snapping sound of the tail on each successive step as you ride down the stairs.
The flamingo is a weird trick. Start by doing a half impossible, but catch the board between the legs when it has gone 180 degrees, and hold it there. You will be standing with the front foot on the pavement and the underside of the deck planted against the lead calf. The top of the back foot hooks the deck to hold it for a brief stall. Then, just shuvit the deck back around with the back foot and hop back on it.
A hippy jump is when you leap up off the deck and let the board roll beneath an obstacle. You will leap over the obstacle and land back on the deck after it clears it.
Just like the classic surfing move from which it gets its name, a hang ten simply means to step onto the nose with both feet and hang the toes off the edge of the deck. The difference being, on a skateboard the rider will do a nose manual. Hanging ten requires the skater to square off and face the direction of travel.
An invert is any transition trick where the skater gets inverted and places a hand on the coping. These same tricks are called handplants when done on street. There are many variations of inverts.
A kickturn is when a rider presses down on the tail and pivots off the back truck to turn the board. Kickturns can be done 180 on transition. They are also lifesavers when the board must be turned sharply to avoid some sort of obstacle, and when leaning will not provide a sharp enough turn.
Skateboarders have their own term for doing a wheelie, and that term is a manual. The rider must press down on the tail and balance on the back wheels. The rear axle becomes a fulcrum point, and it is possible to set the front leg in such a position that you lock into a manual.
Just like a regular manual, but done on the front truck, a nose manual is just another way of saying nose wheelie. The rider presses down on the nose and lightens the pressure on the back foot to let the rear wheels rise in the air. This creates a fulcrum point at the front axle, and the skater can then balance on that point.
A one-foot manual is a wheelie where the skater stands on the spoon of the tail, which is the curve of the deck at the base of the tail. The foot points inline with the direction of travel, so that the heel is on the tail and the toes are on the flat part of the deck.
One-wheel manuals are like regular manuals, except the board is tilted so that only one of the back wheels are in contact with the obstacle or pavement. It helps to have tight trucks to get into a one-wheel manual.
Primo is more of a position than it is a trick. It dates back to the days of freestyle skateboarding. In a primo, the board is turned sideways, so that it rests on-edge. The ends of the axles contact the ground. The skater stands on the other edge of the board and axles.
The pogo is another freestyle trick. The board is turned upward, resting on the tip of the tail. The rider usually holds onto the nose with both hands while standing on the inside of the back truck. The trick then is to hop up and down like a kid on a pogo stick.
A powerslide is when the rider kicks the board out sideways and slides on the wheels across the pavement. The trick was once called a bert, because of the sound urethane wheels make as they break traction. Powerslides are fun, but they also sometimes cause the wheels to develop flat spots.
A roll in is when the skater rides on the deck and acid drops into the transition. It is a good way to get more speed for an initial trick on the first wall, rather than needing a setup trick.
The tic-tac is the first trick anyone should learn on a skateboard. It consists of a slight kickturn, followed immediately by a kickturn in the opposite direction. The name comes from the sound the wheels make as the rider sets them down between kickturns. A tic-tac is a good way to get a little speed when pushing is not an option.
Have we missed a trick?
We hope you've enjoyed reading through our list of skateboard trick names. We've tried to include as many as possible and provide detailed instructions and how to's, but we obviously couldn't include everything as new tricks are being created all the time. If you have any suggestions for additions, photo's or videos of you doing your best trick please let us know in the comments as we'd love to share them.