How to Tell the Front of a Skateboard

Ishod Wair

Skateboards come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. But for some, figuring out the front of a skateboard can be difficult. A regular skateboard looks somewhat like a popsicle stick and so it can be hard to figure out which side is the front and which is the back.

However, there are a few ways to confidently determine the nose and tail, or front and back, of the skateboard.

Look At The Graphic On The Bottom Of The Skateboard

Typically, if you lay your board down flat and look at the graphic head-on, the right side will be the nose or front of the deck. However, if the graphic is up and down then it’s self-explanatory that the tail (back) is at the bottom of the graphic and the nose (front) is at the top.

That being said, this is not always the case. If you still are unsure of which side is the front or back of your skateboard then take a look at which side is more narrow and steep.

The Nose Is More Narrow & Steep

In many cases, the nose of a skateboard is more narrow and/ or steeper. The nose is also known as the “catch” since it literally catches your foot when you do an Ollie.

To have a better pop and faster response, the tail of the skateboard is smaller and closer to the ground. Your tail should have slightly more pop and be wider than the front of the deck. You can find the tail by looking for which side doesn’t stick up as much as the other while looking at it from a side profile.

Why Do Skateboards Have A Nose & Tail?

Skaters have varying preferences for how they skate their boards. Some prefer to skate the nose of a skateboard rather than the tail, and vice versa. The explanation for this is that it is a matter of personal preference. In general, because by design the tail is shorter and allows for a better pop when learning how to ollie, it is utilized over the nose.

What Is A Twin-Tail Skateboard?

A twin-tail is a skateboard with two tails that are the same size “symmetrical” rather than a nose and tail which are slightly different sizes. Pro skateboarder, Ishod Wair, is a strong advocate of riding twin-tail skateboards.

Features of a twin-tail:

  • The same amount of pop on both sides
  • Consistent pop
  • The skateboard never feels like it’s backward

Take a look at Ishod Wair’s twin-tail skateboard deck made by REAL Skateboards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Skateboards Symmetrical?

Most skateboards are not perfectly symmetrical. The nose should be slightly steeper than the tail to catch your foot when performing ollies and flip tricks. Similarly, the tail shouldn’t be as steep and should be wider than the nose of the skateboard.

Do You Ride Nose Or Tail First?

Your front foot should be by the nose and your back foot should be on the tail or above the screws of the back truck. However, there are a few different skateboarding stances when riding your board.

Skateboard stances:

  • Fakie is when you’re in the regular stance but the skateboard is rolling backward.
  • Goofy is when you ride with your right foot in front.
  • Regular is when you ride with your left foot in front.
  • Switch is when you ride forward but in the opposite stance that you’d usually ride in. For instance, if you ride regular, in switch you would go into the goofy stance.

Is There A Front And Back Truck On A Skateboard?

There is no such thing as a front truck or a back truck. However, after you’ve been riding your skateboard for some time you may want to mark which is which before removing them from the deck.

Over time, the bushings will get worked in at different rates. So if they’re flipped it could feel as if the skateboard is backward because of how they’ve naturally adjusted over time.

What Angle Is A Skateboard Tail?

The rear of the skateboard, usually measured from the back truck bolts to the board’s end (usually curved up at about a 10-degree angle from the rest of the deck).

Is The Nose Or Tail Longer On A Skateboard?

The tail is the end of the skateboard that is shorter or smaller, while the nose is larger.


Skateboards are a lot simpler than they may seem. Even if you’re unsure of the difference between nose and tail, just remember that the nose is slightly steeper while the tail is more gradual. Not only will this make it easier for you to tell which side is front or back but also help keep your board in good working condition over time.

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