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Backside and Frontside explained

(How to tell the difference)

A photo showing backside grinds and front side grinds.

There are hundreds of different tricks to learn in skateboarding. There are even more when you count the many different variations of each trick. As we explain in our post The 5 stances of skateboarding, each trick has 4 possible variations of the same trick because you can perform each one in the 3 alternate stances.

What if I told you it gets a little more complicated than that?

There is another variable that allows for 8 more variations of the same trick. Isn't this the most exciting news? There is so much to learn on this wooden plank with wheels!

In this article you will learn all about backside frontside tricks, and how to tell the difference between the two.

What is backside and frontside in skateboarding?

These skateboarding terms have two different meaning on their own.

  1. Backside and frontside refer to the placement of any object you are going to grind or slide on in relation to the skater.
  2. They also refer to the direction that the skater and or the skateboard spin while performing a trick.

With the addition of backside and frontside variables, there are officially 12 different variations of the same trick. In each stance there are 3 possible variations of the same trick.

Let's break it down and make it easy to understand.

We will use the kickflip as our example trick.

Here are all of the possible variations of the kickflip.

In regular or goofy stance:

  • Kickflip
  • Backside kickflip (backside flip)
  • Frontside kickflip (frontside flip)

In Nollie stance:

  • Nollie kickflip
  • Nollie backside kickflip
  • Nollie frontside kickflip

In Switch stance:

  • Switch kickflip
  • Switch backside kickflip
  • Switch frontside kickflip

In Fakie stance:

  • Fakie kickflip
  • Fakie backside kickflip
  • Fakie frontside kickflip

This is how in depth the skaters before us have gone trying to push the boundaries of what is possible. 12 different variations for each trick.

What the difference between backside and frontside?

What is Backside on a skateboard?

Backside 50-50 on a skate box with angle iron for grinding

Backside is when you grind or slide on a rail that is at your back before you ollie onto it. Meaning that when you roll up to the rail and attempt to do a trick on it, your back is facing it.

backside 180 on a skateboard

Backside in aerial maneuvers like airing out on a ramp or just a flat ground ollie, is when you catch air and spin your back towards the direction you are riding.

What is Frontside on a skateboard?

frontside 50-50 grind on a skateboard box with angle iron for grinding

Frontside is when you grind or slide on a rail that is at your front before you ollie onto it. Meaning that, when you roll up to the rail and attempt to do a trick on it, your front is facing it.

frontside 180 on a skateboard

Frontside in aerial maneuvers like airing out on a ramp or just a flat ground ollie, is when you catch air and spin your front towards the direction you are riding.

When you ride on a skateboard you are riding 90 degrees from how you normally walk. When I say the words front and back in this text, I am still referring to the conventional front and back, i.e. your stomach and back faces.

-MY

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