So, you have flipped your board and successfully completed a trick that you have been practicing – grab your board. But which end is the front?
It can be tough to discern which side is the front or back — nose and tail — of your skateboard, but there are some tips that can help.
Confusion regarding the front side of your board can mess up a maneuver, or cause you to ride ‘fakie’ which is tail-first.
Your Skateboard from Front to Tail
The front of the skateboard is also called the nose or front kicktail of the board. The back kicktail or simply, tail, refers to the rear. Skateboards are typically ridden nose-first unless the rider is ‘riding fakie’ which means riding tail-first.
Anatomy of a Skateboard
If you have a regular skateboard, it can be difficult to determine the nose from the tail. Not all skateboards are designed the same, so some may have distinctive noses or turned-up tails that are easily discernible to the rider.
However, some are more subtle and the rider may want to add their own way of recognizing their board’s nose and tail — though it is less important for some skateboarders who don’t mind riding fakie.
Get to Know your Skateboard
It also makes sense to familiarize and get to know the various components of your distinct skateboard, that is, the deck, nose, tail, trucks, wheels, bearings, and other elements.
Note whether the tail is curved slightly higher than the deck and nose of the board — this is best gleaned by placing the board on a flat and level surface.
You can also measure the width of the nose and tail to see which is narrower, wider, or what the width is — which may be helpful information to have if you plan to use a skin or decals on the board later.
A Little Bit About Longboards
There are some differences when it comes to Longboards that are relevant for the rider and buyer.
For instance, the tail of a longboard is narrower than the nose — and, oddly enough, the front of the board or the nose is the upward-curved end.
Confused by longboards? It helps to talk to a professional seller or retailer to learn more.
Some Other Skateboard Distinctions
There will always be subtle distinctions that you will easily see if you look closely enough.
For instance, there may be a logo or trademark somewhere on the board — look for the right side facing the correct way to discern the front and back of a skateboard.
Also, graphics of any kind are typically a dead giveaway when it comes to orienting the front and back of a board.
Speaking of graphics, decals and stickers are an easy way to make sure you never ride fakie — unless you want to — again.
There are skins and vinyl, removable options that may be best for your board, depending on what it is made from.
Avoid paper stickers when possible as they simply do not last and hold up to the rigors that skating puts them through.
The shading and colors of a skateboard are another clue to the nose and tail of the board.
Generally speaking, the nose or front of the board will have the most saturated and vibrant coloring compared to the darker, more shadowed colors seen on the tail or back of a board.
See for yourself — check out some of the graphic skateboards available from online sellers to see the unique shading and coloring techniques used, which can be an excellent indicator of the nose and tail of the skateboard.
Is a custom paint job impossible for your board?
Riders that get their boards painted and that use complex graphics know exactly which end is the front and back of their boards, planning and designing the artwork and visuals accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions about Your Skateboard from Front to Tail
Which end is the front kicktail of a skateboard?
The front end is the front kicktail or nose of your skateboard. The back end is called the skateboard’s tail.
What makes a skateboard’s nose and tail different?
The nose is the front kicktail of a board and the tail refers to the rear kicktail of the same board. You can skate tail first rather than nose first, but you may find issues related to maneuverability. This style of riding is called riding ‘fakie’.
Are Skateboards Symmetrical?
Skateboards are not completely symmetrical though the differences may be subtle. The nose of the board is usually flatter and has broader width than the tail. The tail is angled upwards, inclined, to facilitate tricks, like ollies and flips.
Should You Ride Nose or Tail First?
Always ride with your front foot near the board’s nose, and your back foot near the tail. Need help positioning your feet? Make sure your back foot is just above the back truck screws for a visual aid.
Easily recognize the front and back of your skateboard with these tips.
Do something distinctive to distinguish the nose of your board — such as a decal or skin — to make it easier to grab and less likely to fall during maneuvers, tricks, and time spent riding.