23rd March 2006 Discuss Discuss

Which End Is The Nose, Which End Is The Tail?

Jay asks…

“How do you tell which end of a deck is the front and back? Are the rear trucks mounted closer to the kick tail or is it the front trucks that are mounted closer to the kicktail? All the decks I have looked at have one set of the truck mounting holes closer to the kicktail than the other set. Thanks”

I’ll assume you’re talking about a standard street skateboard, otherwise known as a “popsicle” board. As you’ve noticed, one end is often steeper and/or longer than the other, which gives the illusion that the trucks are mounted closer to the short end.

The longer, steeper end is the nose of the skateboard. This is designed to provide more pop off the nose because skaters typically lack popping power when doing nollie tricks.

Ultimately though, it’s all going to be down to personal preference. I had no clue about that whole nollie thing until I asked Tony Gale about it, but I’ve always used the steeper kicktail as the nose because there is more there to catch with your foot for flip tricks (except when you’re in nollie, of course, but I’m no nollie expert anyway).

The other types of board differ considerably (again, courtesy of Tony)…

  • The pool board (otherwise known as a pig or fishtail). This is the sort that you often find really poor examples of in Argos (Walmart?). They were used mostly through the 80’s but are making a bit of a resurgence now. They come a wide range of shapes, which is always nice, but often have a “snub nose”, or no nose at all, as they’re not really needed.
  • The modern freestyle board (otherwise known as a “hybrid”). Often looks like a squared-off popsicle and is more likely to have mellower kicktails and a nose and tail that are perfectly identical, meaning it can be ridden either way round.
  • The classic single kick freestyle board. These have a flat nose that is fractionally shorter than the tail as the fact it doesn’t angle upwards makes it seem longer than it actually is.

15th March 2006 Discuss Discuss

Skateboarding Question : Committing To Your Ollie

“I go to ollie but when I’m in the air my back foot comes off the tail and goes straight back. My foot slides off after my pop but before the peak of my ollie. Then when I land the board slides out from under me.”

This sounds like a commitment problem, rather than any kind of technique fault. Remember with ollies you should be jumping up and forwards off of your back foot (read how to ollie for a review of this), but to do what you’re doing you must be jumping and then letting your back foot lag behind the rest of the jump, or conciously moving it backwards.

To do good ollies (or any other ollie based trick) you need to commit to the trick and do your best to stay above the board. In most cases like this, people fear the landing and whether the board will fly out from under them, but the more you keep doing what you are doing the more you will fear the landing. The surest way to stomp a solid landing that won’t fly out from under you is to commit to the ollie and get your feet in the right positions.

If you keep having trouble, try ollying on grass or carpet – some kind of surface that isn’t so unforgiving. Then move to concrete when you are doing them consistently.

14th March 2006 Discuss Discuss

Skateboarding Video Clips

I’m going to build up a library of cool skating video clips. One of the problems with many of the places you can get video clips from is that they aren’t very well catalogued and sometimes you have to sign up (like at this site External Link). Like I’m doing with the tricktionary and defining tricks, I want to eventually build up the most useful collection of skateboarding videos online.

I’ll start modestly though, with just two videos featuring Keith Renna and Rodney Mullen that I have been particularly impressed with recently.

12th March 2006 Discuss Discuss

Stances Explained

One of the many things that commonly leads to confusion for beginners are the varying skateboarding stances and the differences between them. Today I’ve decided to write an article which explores the basic stances in depth.

2nd March 2006 Discuss Discuss

How Competitions Are Scored

A judge at the 2006 skateboarding world cupExternal Link explains how tricks are scored.

Chris Cole doing a kickflip backside nose blunt down the bigger rail on a course would be a 9 or 10. A 50-50 on a ledge would be a 2 to 3, K-grind down a handrail – 4 or 5, and a backside 360 ollie kickflip over a pyramid would get you a 7 or 8. For vert a standard backside air is a 2 to 3. A kickflip indy gets about a 6 or 7. One of Sandro’s 900’s would score a 9 or 10 depending. Same with Bucky’s Nollieflip McTwist.

Apparently a bail is just 0 points, I always thought somehow you’d pick up a penalty for falling though. Full writeup hereExternal Link.