Short for amatuer. This is technically used for any serious skater that isn’t considered Pro. There’s actually quite a lot of debate between different aspects of the skateboarding industry as to where the line is drawn. For many however, a skater moves from Am to Pro when they are living entirely off of the money generated from sponsorships and competitive skateboarding.
Example: “Are you entering the Am competition or are you going Pro?”
When your skateboard leaves the ground and you’re in the air. It’s usually done when jumping over obstacles such as staircases, when you ollie or in combination with other tricks. The highest amount of air is usually achieved when using a ramp or when skating in a bowl because the momentum has time to build.
Example: “You gotta get some air to land that trick.”
When you bail, you lose your skateboard, usually because you failed at finishing through with a difficult trick.
Example: “Oh, you totally bailed, are you okay?”
In the 1970’s a series of droughts swept through California, and everyone’s swimming pools were emptied out. Local skateboarders took advantage of this, and took to the streets with boards in hand and started skating on the concrete. Turned out, swimming pools were a great place to do tricks. Later on, when the water went back in the pools, skateboarders recreated it and now bowls are a staple in almost all modern day skateparks. There’s actually whole competitions dedicated to skateboarding bowls.
Example: “My favorite place to skate is the bowl.”
This term can be used in two different ways. In a bowl or ramp it’s usually used to mean making a sharp turn without lifting your wheels. It’s also used for cruising on longboards, specifically when going downhill. When you go down a steep hill in zigzag movements like a wave, then you’re said to be carving.
Example: “I love carving down this hill.”
This term actually has nothing to do with paying attention. It means to break your board by busting it in half. Normally, it happens because someone jumps on their board the wrong way after performing a trick and it snaps in two or three pieces. This is one of the reasons skaters always recommend to get high quality decks that can support your weight.
Example: “I focused my board yesterday.”
Although this sounds like an insult, it really isn’t. In skateboarding, there are only two kind of skaters, Regular and Goofy. Regular skaters ride their board with their left foot forward and Goofy means you ride with your right foot in the leading position. It’s used because of a popular cartoon where the Disney character Goofy is riding the surfboard this way and the term has stuck for both sports ever since.
Example: “Do you ride Goofy or Regular?”
Grinding is when you put the flat part of your board on something raised off the ground and slide down it. It’s usually referring to a rail, sidewalk or slab of concrete. It can also be done on the ledge of a bowl or ramp as well, and is a trick that experienced and professional skaters do very often.
Example: “That rail grind was awesome.”
An invert in skateboarding is when you do a trick where your body is upside down. Often this trick is done on the top edge of a ramp or bowl. After getting momentum, the skater will hit the ledge and go into a single handed handstand and grab their board with the free hand.
Example: “Did you see Nyjah’s invert in the championships?”
Primo, otherwise known as a rail stand, means to stand on the board while it’s resting on it’s side rather than on its wheels. It’s often used in combination with other tricks such as ollies and kickflips to create add interest and complexity.
Example: “Watch me go primo on my board.”
The word Poser is a derogatory term used by experienced skaters to describe people who pretend to be skateboarders just for the attention. A lot of time posers will dress in skater clothes, wear popular skateboarding brands and carry around an expensive board, but they don’t actually take the time to learn how to use it. They adopt the culture of skateboarding but don’t really skate.
Example: “What a poser, bet he doesn’t even know how to use that board.”
A ripper is someone who is really good at skateboarding. It’s a positive term used to describe someone who knows how to do impressive tricks or as earned respect in the skateboarding community.
Example: “That guy’s a ripper.”
A skateboarding session is when a large group of friends decide to go to a skatepark or a street spot and skate for a few hours. It’s when people meet up at the same location at the same time and hang out while practicing.
Example: “Wanna meet up for a session Saturday?”
No, it doesn’t mean you have the flu. In skateboarding, sick is a good thing. It’s used mostly to describe a person or a trick that is extremely impressive.
Example: “Wow, that dude’s sick.” or “That kickflip was sick.”
The word stoked was first made popular by surfers in the 1950’s. It’s a short way to say that you’re “fired up” or excited about something.
Example: “I’m stoked about going to the skatepark this weekend.”
Vert is short for vertical. In skateboarding it’s used to describe a certain type of skateboarding. Vert skaters do tricks that require being vertical, and normally need to use a bowl or ramp in order to get enough air and momentum to land it correctly. It’s used a lot to categorize subgroups of skaters during skateboarding competitions and championships.
Example: “He’s skating vert at the X Games.”