How To Speak Skate!
Getting used to the skatepark lingo can take some time, especially as the youngin’s continue to integrate new slang into the conversation.
Hey, it's all Gucci (or so the kids say)! We got you covered with our key takeaways for skating the terminology we choose to use to spread the stoke in the park!
If you know of any words we should add or remove, please continue the conversation in the comments of this blog!
Aggressive | ag·gres·sive | /əˈɡresiv/
Aggressive Roller Skating; A term used to describe roller skating in skate parks.
Many skaters don’t identify with this term as it sounds too aggressive. As alternatives, you can use Vertical Roller Skater or Park Skater to the same end.
“Look at all those aggressive roller skaters.”
Bail | bail | /bāl/
Failure to land or ‘make’ a trick, especially when someone chooses to fall rather than commit to sticking the landing.
Bowl | bowl | /bōl/
A skating obstacle that has no open ends creating a bowl type structure. Skate bowls are constructed with any number of materials and varying shapes, sizes, and transition angles.
Learn more about the names of skate park obstacles here!
“Look at how they dropped into that bowl”
Chapter | chap·ter | /ˈCHaptər/
A crew of quad skaters set up to spread the stoke and nourish their local skate community!
Find your local Chapter here
“Our Chapter meets on the first Friday of every month.”
Crew | crew | /kro͞o/
Your local skate posse!
“Meet my quad crew.”
Gnarly | gnarl·y | /ˈnärlē/rly
A difficult, dangerous, or challenging maneuver
“That was a gnarly trick.”
Janky | jan·ky | /ˈjaNGkē/
It is often used to describe the transition of a bowl or ramp when its a little ‘tight’ or unreliable.
“That mini ramp is super janky.”
Meet-up | meet·up | /ˈmēdəp/
An informal meeting or gathering. Our Chapters host meet-ups as a way to gather skaters from local and surrounding areas to skate together.
Find your local Chapter here
“CIB Meet-up this weekend!”
Newb | newb | /n(y)o͞ob/
A term to describe a newcomer/newbie. Also applicable, noob.
“I’m a newb, can someone show me the ropes.”
Shred | shred | /SHred/
A term to describe what we do in the skatepark! Shred the gnar specifically refers to skating the park to the maximum of your ability. Skating with reckless abandon and giving everything 110%!
“One does not simply shred the gnar” - Lady Trample.
Session | ses·sion | /ˈseSHən/
Often used when devoting time to a particular activity, in this instance, we use to describe time dedicated to skating. Also abbreviated to sesh.
"Sick skating sesh.”
Sick | sick | /sik/
A way of emphasizing how awesome you think someone’s skating style or tricks are!
Sketchy | sketch·y | /ˈskeCHē/
A description for when a trick is barely landed or the landing was a little rough. It can also function as a descriptor for the feeling of the obstacle, surface, or transition.
“That landing looked sketchy.”
Snake | snake | /snāk/
Snaking is the act of 'cutting in line' at the skatepark. Try not to be the snake in the park; it’s not a good thing. Check our Skatepark Etiquette blog for details on how to avoid it!
“They snaked my turn.”
Stoke | stoke | /stōk/
To encourage or incite excitement! We specifically use this as our official hashtag to follow our community #spreadthestoke
“Spread the stoke.”
Stance | stance | /stans/
How someone skates. There are multiple stances; most commonly, you see ‘prone’ however, the origins of this sport often use side stance. Be sure if you come from another skating background that you check your language. Using Native American words such as 'Mohawk' or 'Tomahawk' is appropriation. Make a conscious effort to use the terms provided in our Roller Skate Tricktionary.
If you want to know more about the history of side stance, check out this blog - Our Stance on Side Stance.
“That skater is shredding in side stance!”
Transition | tran·si·tion | /tranˈsiSH(ə)n/
There are many meanings behind this word. We typically use it to describe two things.
1) The act of rotating/turning.
“Did you see that sick 180 transitions.”
2) The curved section of a ramp or bowl.
“The transition of that bowl was super janky.”
Please note that in skating history, the term 'Transition' has been abbreviated, and we ask that as a community, you use the full word. We have made this mistake in the past and are asking that you learn from our mistakes, as it is deeply offensive to our trans friends, and as allies, we want to ensure that it is not used to describe either the action or surface.
Trick | trick | /trik/
A skillful act performed for entertainment or amusement. 'Trick' is the overarching umbrella name that houses all movements performed on the coping, air, and even flat ground on skates. We have curated a list of trick names here!
“Tricks for days!”
We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that pronouns are an essential part of our language. When possible, encourage skaters around you to introduce themselves with their pronouns, especially if you are cis, to take the workload off those who don’t identify with binary pronouns. For example, “my name is Lady Trample. I go by she/her.” And then work to remove so-called gender catch-all "he or she" and “dude, bro, chicks, and guys” from your vocabulary, this ensures that everyone feels welcome and represented when calling in a group. There are plenty of non-gendered easy switches, including “ya’ll,” “folx,” “everyone,”.. or even, “hey skaters!!”. If/when you’re corrected, say thank you, adjust and work to do better next time!
Be sure to continue the conversation in the comments, and remember, everyone makes mistakes, but together we can learn and work to make this community a better, safer place for all!