Skateboarding is not a Japanese culinary delight, but a rich source of delicious morsels. Sunday's competition in the new Olympic sport of skateboarding will be conducted in a completely different language.
Skaters use a jargon to describe their tricks. This allows them to communicate with each other regardless of where they are from. For example, an ollie is a ollie from Paris, Portland, or Perth.
Alexis Sablone, a U.S. skater, says that "you can meet friends skating really fast because of this." "Even though you don't know all the tricks, you can still cheer each other on and skate together.
Skate-speak is also time-saving. It is much easier to say "ollie" rather than "skating’s basic trick, where the skater makes the board take flight by pushing down on its tail, and then, once it has landed, levels it out before landing."
A nollie? The same trick but with the nose acting as the take-off impulsion. Nose. Nollie. Get it? Many of the lingo has a logic. Olympic fans will soon be able to speak skating in no time.
THE ABCs: Skaters will race over steps, rails, ledges, and other urban furniture in the "street" competition. On Sunday, the men will go, while Sablone and the women will follow on Monday.
The 20 contestants will then be judged on their style and skills over two runs of 45 seconds each and five individual tricks. The final eight finalists will be chosen. In week two of the "park" competition, skaters will be able to roll around in a huge, feature-filled bowl.
Sablone is one example of this. He skates "goofy" with his right foot forward as opposed to "regular" skaters who skate with their left foot forward. They can also "switch," which is riding against their natural preferences. They'll need to do stunts that are both dangerous and exciting.
TALKING THE TALL: Sometimes the names of tricks can tell their story. Scraping one or both of the "trucks", the strong axles at the bottom of the board, along with a curb, rail or other obstacle is a "grind," which evokes the sound of metal against metal or concrete.
It's called a "slide" if the surface that is scraping the wood board is the one between the wheels ("boardslide") and the tail ("tailslide")).
Some tricks with degrees of rotation are also easy to identify. The "frontside 180" ollie has skater and board turning half-turns while being airborne. Or the "frontside 360" ollie, where the skater and board do a complete rotation.
There are many ways to grab the skateboard, such as holding onto it with one hand or clutching it in mid-air. The stalefish is one, held between the heels.
There are so many variations.
What's in a Name?
Some tricks pay tribute to their creators. Steve Caballero is the name of the 360-rotated "caballerial," which is ridden backwards. Eric Dressen's surname, which sounds similar to salad dressings, is the reason that the salad grind was named after him. This play on words was the inspiration for the name.
Greg Poissonnier says that there are no rules when it comes to naming tricks. He'll be commenting about Olympic skateboarding on French TV. He also contributed to an illustrated guide or "tricktionary" of skating stunts.
He says, "Sometimes it's just the name they gave it at that moment." "They are like, We've done that, now what's the name?' and they give it a name."