Skateboarding Tricktionary – B


Pretty much exactly what it says – a backwards end over end flip of the rider and skateboard. This is only possible off of ramps, of course. This was invented by Andy McDonald in 1997, as confirmed by the man himself:

“…I was the first to do a backflip on a skateboard … I did that in 97. It was just in an era when skateboarders and BMXers were sharing a lot of the same courses for competition. And BMXers could do backflips because they have handlebars and they can just pull back on them when they leave the jump. Inliners could do it because they’re strapped in. But skateboarders couldn’t figure it out because we’re not strapped to our boards. So it was a matter of figuring out how to come off the ramp in such a way that the board sticks to your feet as you start to flip and you reach down and grab it.”

Quote from this interviewExternal Link with Andy MacDonald.


Backside is often abbreviated to b/s. Along with frontside, this term is used to further define any trick involving rotation of the rider, and some tricks that involve a rotation of the board. Grinds and slides are also defined as backside or frontside.

When a skateboarder flips the board or performs rotations, if their backfoot is moving backwards the trick is backside. For example, doing a shuvit by kicking the tail of the skateboard backwards is a backside shuvit.

When grinding or sliding, backside is used when the rider has his back to the obstacle as he slides away from it, or in the case of grinds where the board is parallel to the obstacle, if the obstacle was behind the skater as he approached it.

Backside Air

Gaining air (usually out of a half pipe) and travelling in the direction your toes are facing while turning backside. A 180° backside air in combination with a simple grab is probably the most basic half pipe trick you can do.

Backside Alley-Oop

The opposite of a simple backside air (again usually seen in a half pipe); gaining air and travelling in the direction your heels are facing (heelside) while turning backside. Therefore, you are turning away from your direction of travel, and cannot spot your landing until the last second, making alley-oops much more difficult than basic airs.

Backside Boneless

Unlike many tricks, where the rotation of the trick doesn’t change how the trick is done, a boneless is done differently when done backside — the front foot is planted to the toeside of the deck instead of the heelside, and the front hand grabs the board on the heelside edge of the nose (unlike in a normal boneless, where the back hand grabs like an indy).

Backside Flip

Refers to a 180° backside kickflip. When the general term ‘flip’ is used in a trick name it almost always refers to a kickflip. Similarly, when the amount of spin (ie, the number of degrees) is not specified, the trick is almost always a 180° trick.

Backside Grab

Grabbing the heelside of the board with the front hand between the heels, with the arm to the leading side of (and not between) the legs.

When backside airs were first done, they were always done with this grab, and as such, this grab ended up being called a backside grab. Now, most people call it a melon, although that’s technically wrong – a melon is a backside grab with a straightened front leg.

Backside Ollie

A backside 180° ollie; remember when the amount of spin is not specified, the trick is almost always a 180° trick. For more information on how to do a backside ollie, see this article on 180° ollies.

Backside Slide

A downhill slide where your board is pushed backside, with both hands on the road resulting in the skater sliding down the hill feet-first in a ‘pressup position’. It’s considered the most basic slide.

Bank Skating

Bank skating is using any kind of flat slope of varying steepness to do tricks on. The skater generally rolls up, does the trick, and rolls back down, but as with any obstacle, there are a variety of ways to skate it. Note that ditches basically consist of a multitude of banks.

Barley Grind

A switch frontside 180° ollie into a frontside smith grind.

Bastard Plant

A backside boneless to fakie.


Part of a skateboard, located inside the wheels. Their function is to keep the wheels spinning/rolling when you aren’t pushing. Bearings are commonly believed to be graded according to their ABEC value which is supposed to show how fast they are, anything from ABEC AA bearings for the slowest up to ABEC 9’s for (as far as I know) the fastest.

This myth is shattered in this article on skateboard bearings.

Originally suggested by Steven Reuss who knows how to clean skateboard bearingsExternal Link.


Essentially a tailgrab, with the back hand holding the tail, while the back foot is taken off the skateboard and extended downwards below the board on the heelside. A vert grab trick that was once popular in street and flatland skateboarding as well.


One of the original dogtown tricks invented by the Z-boys; simply crouching and placing a hand on the ground while sliding the skateboard and your body 180°. Submitted by Sal. Note – you see this all the time in old school videos and I have to say it looks pretty dumb nowadays. But this was invented when skateboarding was little more than surfing on concrete, and in fact was inspired by a surfer called Larry Bertleman (hence the title of the trick – Bertslide).

Big Flip

A 360° flip with a body varial in the same direction. Note the linguistic similarity to a big spin which is simply a 360° shuvit with a body varial in the same direction.

A body varial in the same direction as the spin of the skateboard is properly known as a body follow.

Big Spin

A combination of a 360° shuvit or pop shuvit and a body varial (see below) in the same direction. Read about practicing skateboarding on carpet for more details about shuvits and shuvit variations including big spins.


An advanced slide where the board is at right angles to the obstacle but at a very steep almost vertical angle. The skateboard slides on a lip with the underside of the tail on the side edge and the wheels on the top edge, or in the case of narrow rails, between the wheels and the tail of the deck.

Similar to a tailslide but cranked more vertically.


See bluntslide above; the same position without sliding. This is often seen in park and vert skating as a brief stall at the top of a quarter pipe, since to get into this trick all you need to do is keep the board vertical as you roll past the lip of the quarter pipe and stall with the back wheels hooked over the coping. The difficult bit is getting back into the quarter pipe.


A slide with the skateboard at right angles to and in the middle of the obstacle. The riders weight is distributed evenly between the nose and the tail.

In a boardslide the skateboarder approaches the obstacle (usually a rail, rarely a box or kerb) from either side and ollies onto the obstacle throwing the nose of the skateboard over it. This is the opposite of a lipslide.

A backside boardslide is where the rider approaches facing the rail and turns backwards as he ollies pushing the nose of the skateboard over the rail before landing on it and riding the trick out.

Body Follow

A body varial performed when the skateboard is also spinning in the same direction as the body varial.

Body Jar

A backside nosegrab on vert where you smack your tail on the coping as you re-enter the ramp.

Body Varial

Simply, a skateboarder turning in mid air without taking the skateboard itself with him (note that the skateboard can be spinning as well, just not in contact with the feet). Just jumping 180° on your board is a 180° body varial.

If your board is spinning at the same time and in the same direction as your body varial, then a little known difference is that this is called a body follow.


Part of a skateboard – four bolts attach each truck to the deck. The bolts are used in skateboarding trick tips to help locate a riders feet, as they often provide the only point of reference on an otherwise featureless skateboard – for example “place your front foot just behind the bolts”.

Bomb Drop

A skateboarding trick probably best described as a jazzy way to mount your board. The skater begins with the board held behind him with his front hand and jumps into the air, putting the board under his feet with his hand and slamming down to the ground. Can be performed stationary, rolling, or into a half pipe, bowl or other obstacle.


“Boning” a trick is a form of tweak performed by completely straightening one or both legs while in mid air. Doing so results in a boned version of another trick, most commonly a “boned ollie”. In some cases, a boned version of a trick eventually takes on it’s own identity and becomes to all intents and purposes an entirely new trick – a boned backside grab is now simply known as a melon.

Usually skateboarders bone the front leg, pushing the nose of the skateboard fowards as they do so (because this looks more stylish), so nosebone is pretty interchangeable with boned – eg, an “ollie nosebone”.


An old school way of getting airborne. The boneless was invented before the ollie. It involves stepping off the skateboard with your front foot and jumping off that foot while holding the board with your back hand. The boneless is discussed in the flatland skating article.


Originally a BMX trick name, I appropriated this to describe the simple yet quite cool trick of a shuvit with a body varial in the opposite direction. There is no ‘official’ name for this trick commonly agreed upon by skaters, so feel free to add your interpretation to the growing list of names.

Bowling Kickflip

Invented by Primo Desiderio, the Bowling Kickflip is a fakie kickflip (well, a classic flip to pretty much all non-freestylers) to a one footed landing. The difference between this and any normal fakie kickflip to one foot, however, is that you land on the nose, resulting in a fakie one footed nose drag, if you’re following me. The major problem with this trick is that it’s all too easy to make the nose stick on the floor and stop you dead, and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone but Primo do this trick.

Broken Fingers

A half truckhook impossible caught in a 50-50 – your front hand catches the tail, while the front foot lands on what was the front truck.

The reason this trick got the name is because of how dangerous it can be. If you lean too far over and don’t keep the board up high enough, you are literally going to crush your own fingers. Lovely.

BS or B/S

An abbreviation of backside. Or ‘bullshit’. Your choice.


A 360 eggplant, invented by Bob Burnquist.


A specific form of railflip to 50-50 (the freestyle trick, not the grind). You start in a cooperflip position, and push the back foot forwards as you jump. This causes the nose of the board to rise, the board to do a three-quarter flip and (if you’ve timed it correctly) you should land with the back foot on the back truck with the nose of the board in your hand.