Skateboarding Trick Chart

Description (Brief)
The ten page, handwritten document shown here has descriptions of many different skateboarding tricks and the directions on how to execute them. These definitions were written by Michael Hays in preparation for the shooting of the "Street Survival" video. As Michael Hays explains, "One of the most complex issues to confront when teaching skateboarding is the highly unusual names for maneuvers. They are glossy and represent interesting cultural suggestive ideas, as opposed to giving the maneuvers actual scientific names, based on chronological roots." For instance a McTwist, created by Mike McGill is actually an aerial 540 degree flip but is easier remembered by the McTwist nickname which also ties it to its creator.
The “Street Survival” video is an instructional video that teaches the watcher all there is to know about learning to skateboard, including tricks. The video was written, produced and directed by George Leichtweis, owner of Michigan’s Modern Skate and Surf chain. Hays was also a director on the video. Before video, skateboarders had to rely on skate magazines to learn tricks through photographs. Videos, such as this one, revolutionized the way skaters learned tricks and increased the sport’s popularity worldwide. The star of the video is Bill Danforth also known as "The American Nomad" for his compulsion to travel anywhere to skate. A Detroit native, Bill Danforth began skating in the 1970s with his first skate deck issued in 1986. He became a member of Tony Alva's skate team in the late 1980s and skated in Thrasher’s King of the Road in 2005. Danforth still skates today and is widely respected among old and new skaters for his resilience and natural ability.
Currently not on view
Object Name
trick chart, skateboarding
Hays, Michael Alan
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 8 1/2 in; 27.94 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Sports & Leisure
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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