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Aerials (skateboarding)

Aerials (or more commonly airs) are a type of skateboarding trick usually performed on half-pipes, pools or quarter pipes where there is a vertical wall with a transition (curved surface linking wall and ground) available. Aerials usually combine rotation with different grabs. Most of the different types of grabs were originally aerial tricks that were performed on vert ramps before flatground aerials became common. Aerials can be executed by ollieing just as the front wheels reach the lip of a ramp, or can be executed simply by lifting the front wheels over the coping (or lip). The former is preferable on shallower ramps where the skateboarder has less speed to lift them above the ramp.

Aerial tricks


The rider spins 900 degrees in the air. It is often referred to as the holy grail of skateboarding. It was first landed by Tony Hawk at the 1999 X-Games.


A one-footed tail grab, taking the back foot off and kicking straight down or sideways in a backwards direction.

Body Jar

A backside nose grab air to tail. A varial Body Jar is called a Body Bag.


A 360 backside ollie from fakie. Invented by Steve Caballero.

Christ air

An air where the board is grabbed in one hand, and the body is in a "crucifix"-like position. Usually performed backside (as invented by Christian Hosoi), but occasionally done frontside (as by Monty Nolder).

Finger Flip Air

Another Tony Hawk trick. Generally a backside air grabbing on the nose, and spinning the board in the heelflip direction with the front hand. Sometimes stopped by an Indy grab.

Gay Twist

Similar to a Caballerial; the difference being that the board is grabbed, whereas the cab is performed without touching the board with the hands. Invented by Lance Mountain, supposedly because he couldn't do Caballerials.

Gnar Jar

A 540 degree spin with a bodyjar (tail tap) when re-entering the vert ramp. Variations include: judo Gnar Jar, Double Judo Gnar Jar, Anti-Judo Gnar Jar, Christ Air Gnar Jar (all invented by Sandro Dias), and the Frontside Gnar Jar (invented by Bob Burnquist).

Judo Air

During a Judo Air, the skateboarder performs a nose grab, takes his/her front foot off the board and kicks it forward and pulls the board backwards while the back foot is still on the board. The name of the trick stems from the skateboarder looking like to be doing a Judo kick in mid air. This trick was invented by Tony Hawk. An Anti-Judo Air is where the front leg is kicked out twice: first in front, then behind, then back on the board.

Lien Air

Lien air is another name for a frontside air backside grab. It was named after the inventor Neil Blender (Lien is Neil spelled backwards). Variations: Lien-to-tail, Finger Flip Lien-to-tail, Crossbone (Chris Miller), Method Lien.


A one-footed lein to tail, where the front foot is taken off and kicked out straight down (behind the board). Although it is called a Lien grab, most people grab the nose instead.


The McTwist is an aerial where the athlete executes a backflip, but while still flipping on one axis, performs a backside 540 while grabbing Mute (front hand grabbing the toe side of the board). In other words, the athlete approaches the half-pipe wall riding forward, becomes airborne, rotates a backside 540 and lands riding forward. It was named after its inventor Mike McGill, who first performed it in public in 1984 Del-Mar Skatepark contest. In skateboarding the Mc Twist is synonymous to a Mute 540 (even though it may be executed with an inversion). But in snowboarding McTwist always combines an inversion so that the rider is upside down amidst the trick. Snowboarders also use the term McTwist no matter what grab they use.

Samba Flip

A kickflip that is grabbed on the toe-side then flipped again downward where the skateboarder grabs it in an indy grab.

Sean Penn

The Sean Penn is similar to a Madonna lien to tail except the skateboarder kicks the front foot up and over the board (like a judo air) before finishing the lien to tail. It was named because Sean Penn was married to Madonna for a while, and thus was the opposite of Madonna. Possibly invented by Mark Rogowski, who popularized the trick.

Sloth Air

A type of double grab in which the skateboarder grabs indy and grabs a roastbeef with the front hand. Invented by Nathan Shellhorn. Usually done in vert.


The skateboarder reach behind the back leg with the back hand and grabs the backside of the board right in front of the back foot. The Stalefish can be done going frontside or backside.

Rocket Air

During a rocket air the skateboarder grabs the nose of the skateboard with both hands and at the same time places both feet on the tail.

Method Air

The Method Air is when a skateboarder gets air and grabs the backside edge of the board between the feet while pushing outward. It looks like one is kneeling on air.


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