Skateboarding is a fun recreational activity, but it can also be a great way to exercise. If you’re new to skateboarding, it’s essential to learn the basics to stay safe and have fun. One of the most important things to learn is identifying the nose and tail of your skateboard. Knowing where these are will help you balance and steer your board. This article will discuss how to know the nose and tail of a skateboard.
Many people will tell you that the nose is the furthest point forward on your board. However, this can be misleading because two points are ahead of the front axle – the front truck and the nose.
What is the Nose of a Skateboard?
The nose is the front of the skateboard. The first thing you will notice is that it has a slight bend to it just before an abrupt curve up into the tail, which we’ll discuss later. This is because, during construction, there are two steps in shaping the nose.
To make them symmetrical, they not only have to be different from each other but also from one side of the board to another. In addition, since street skaters tend to use their shoes as much as their wheels, the transition right at or near where a rider would stand needs more room for movement and flexibility since no matter how good you are with your feet, you have to use them your shoes as well.
What is the Tail of a Skateboard?
The tail is located at the end of your board that doesn’t have your front foot. When you’re learning how to skate, this is one of the most complex parts to get used to once you start pushing because most people tend to turn their toes while leaning forward. But since this will slow down any speed you have. Eventually, you’ll need to learn to turn your toes outward like a kickturn (or as if you were pointing them at the tail) and lean back. Then, the board will naturally turn, and voila! You’re strafing!
A Step by Step Guide on How to Know the Nose and Tail of a Skateboard
Step 1: Know Your Board
Before you step on your board, it is of the utmost importance to know what end is the nose of your skateboard. That’s simple! Your skateboard’s nose will be the part with the logo or name of your company/team/sponsor. You can also look at your board sideways and notice which side has one more miniature wheel than the other; this would be called the trucks.
The next bit of information is whether or not your board has a ‘rocker’. This means that instead of either end being flat, contoured shapes are carved into each end. If you have a rocker, then pick an arrow and follow it to the end of your board. For flat bottomed boards, find which end is closest to the ground.
If you are still unsure of what end is on your board, then take a look at this article for more information!
Step 2: Visualizing the Shapes on Your Board
Before you go ahead and try into the nose or tail of your skateboard, you should know how these shapes look. The most common shape for a nose is a small triangle or rounded edge on either side, also known as ‘noses’. Usually, tails are more significant than noses but not always!
Sometimes they might be more rounded like bullets (see photo). A few things to remember with tails is that it doesn’t matter what size the tail is since you can still kickflip out of them; all that changes is how difficult it will be.
Also, keep in mind that some decks may have different shapes on each end. For example, if your deck has one big circular radius on one end, it will have one big circular radius on the other end, too, just reversed. If you are still unsure what your board’s shapes look like, then take a gander at this article.
Step 3: Measuring Tape
This step is only necessary if you are still unsure which end is the nose or tail of your skateboard. I know, it’s crazy that after all this time, you’re just finding out what the noses and tails of your boards look like but hey! Nothing wrong with that. Before you can execute a kickflip or heelflip, you have to know which end is the proper one for executing tricks.
Use a measuring tape to measure the width of each end. You want to measure between the noses or tails, so if your board is more than likely rocker bottomed, don’t forget which side you measured from! If it’s wider on one end, kickflip out of that one first. If you still don’t know which end is Which after this, I’m sorry, but sometimes it just takes practice.
Step 4: Lengths on Each End
This step is all about measuring the length of each end. Once again, it greatly depends if your board has a rocker bottom. If it does, you will want to measure along the middle of the board because that’s where the board is flattest. If your deck doesn’t have a rocker, find which end is closest to the ground.
Let me take this time to remind you before you even head out on trying kickflips and heelflips, make sure that the kicks are parallel with each other, so they are both pointing exactly sideways towards each other! You can check by placing your back foot on top of your front foot and seeing if your toes are aligned with each other.
If not, bend your front foot until your toes match up perfectly. Next, look for a point on the ground that doesn’t move when you put both of your feet near it and close together. This should be a reasonably easy step, but I’m sorry if this step seems a bit confusing. Practice will make perfect!
Step 5: Check Skateboard Shape and Color
One last step before you can finally go out and kickflip or heelflip! How well your board is shaped will define how easy it is to pull off these tricks. I mean by this that if the nose of your board’s shape (the blunt end) goes straight down, it’s challenging to land on it correctly.
So instead, the proper way should be for both tips, the tail’s very tip and the bottom end of the nose, pointing straight up at a 90-degree angle. Hopefully, you won’t have any problems with this because most skateboards are symmetrical, but if you do, you’re going to have a bad time trying your new tricks!
Also, color matters too. Some boards may be too dark or light, making it challenging to land correctly on the nose or tail. If you are ever in doubt, simply go out and feel your board’s shape in person, balance it on the tips of the noses and tails or take a look at your board when standing under a streetlight with one foot on either end.
Step 6: Check Skateboard Protector to Find Nose or Tail
This step is only if you have a skateboard protector on your board, which most new and decent boards come with nowadays. If you do, then look at the protector. It should either be clear or white. Remember that when you’re scanning the shape of your board for where both noses or tails meet, they should both point up at 90-degree angles from each other.
A white skateboard protector will make it easier to see if both tips are pointed up at 90 degrees because the light reflecting off the ground will show through the protector, making it easier to tell which end is which. If your board does not have a skateboard protector, you won’t have to worry about this step.
Step 7: Check Brand Name to Identify Tail or Nose
This is the final step! If you’ve followed all of the previous steps, you should have already known your board’s shapes, how wide each end is, how long each end is, and whether or not your board has a rocker bottom. Now it’s just simply checking out your brand name.
Most skateboard brands usually put their logos right near one tip, so look for that logo to determine its tail or nose. Also, miniature models will sometimes be drawn right next to their respective tail or nose, so these can also help tell you exactly where the tail or nose starts! These steps will help in how to know the nose and tail of a skateboard.
Knowing the nose and tail is essential if you are starting on a skateboard. These two ends of your board have different uses for each trick or maneuver. For example, the nose is used as an anchor point by leaning back on it while riding up ramps or hills, whereas the tail will be pushed down to slide across surfaces like sidewalks and cement walls.
To ensure these parts last long-term, always use pressure with both hands when gripping onto either end of your board, and don’t give in to any sudden movements! We hope you have learned how to know the nose and tail of a skateboard.
You may also read: How to Measure Skateboard Wheelbase