History of Skateboarding Tricks

History of the Skateboarding Trick




Skateboarding as we recognize it today has existed since its invention in the late 1940s. Since its

emergence, much of skateboarding’s appeal has been centered on the potential for stunts and

performance. There are a variety of different types of common tricks that are learned and

performed by skaters today.



Although boards resembling skateboards were seen as early as the 1940s, the skateboarding

tricks we are familiar with today did not emerge until later. Prior to the 1970s, the most common

skate tricks seen were 2D freestyle type maneuvers such as wheelies, manuals, and pivots. But

in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a number of new tricks were invented by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand

and Rodney Mullen that remain some of the most commonly seen tricks today. These include

the ollie and the kickflip, which opened the door for a variety of other aerial tricks, such as the

360 kickflip.


Types of Tricks

Since its invention in the late 1970s by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand, and its adaptation for use on flat

ground by Rodney Mullen in the early 1980s, the ollie has been one of the most commonly used

skateboarding tricks. It is useful because it provides the skater with a way to jump or over or up

to features of different heights. It can thus serve as a way to start a grind or slide, and can also

serve as an opening for other types of aerial tricks.

Flip tricks are another now common type of aerial trick derived from the ollie. To perform most

flip tricks, the skateboarder leaps into the air, and then spins the board in the air before returning

to the ground. A flip trick is defined as a kickflip if the board spins around the axis it is moving

along (and thus remains facing the same direction for the duration of the flip).

Slides and grinds both involve the skater building up momentum, then jumping to some type of

ledge or rail and sliding along it. The difference between a grind and a slide is the part of the

board that is in contact with the ledge. If the board itself is touching the ledge, the trick is a

slide. If the truck of the board (the part which attaches the wheels to the board) touches the

ledge, the trick is a grind. History of skateboarding tricks will never be the same again.



Works Cited

Marcus, Ben, and Lucia Daniella. Griggi. The Skateboard: The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly:

An Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: MVP, 2011. Print.

Mullen, Rodney, and Sean Mortimer. The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself. New

York: Regan, 2004. Print.

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