Slides & grinds: what's the difference!?

Understanding roller skate terminology can be a bit like learning a new language, especially when you're just starting out or entering a new community. At Chuffed, we believe in supporting each other and creating an inclusive space where everyone feels comfortable, regardless of their knowledge level. We've all been beginners, and the learning process is ongoing, especially in a sport like roller skating that keeps evolving.

Today, we will delve into the distinctions between a slide and a grind on roller skates!

When we talk about a slide in roller skating, it usually involves gliding on the coping, ledge, or rail positioned between your front and back wheels. Many skaters use slide blocks to achieve this, although some incredibly skilled skaters can pull off slides directly on their plates—a sight to behold!

Rib by Mark Zouroudis

The most common slides are frontside and backside. Frontside (Sam in left image) is when the obstacle is "in front" of you , whereas backside (Caro in right image) will be when the obstacle is behind as you slide it.

Images by Aya (left) & Anny Ayala (right)


On the flip side, grinds occur when your trucks are parallel to the coping, ledge, or rail. When using wide trucks, the truck will usually make contact and create that characteristic "grinding" sound against the surface (did anyone else just drool a little?).

The most common "simple" grinds are 50-50s (all 4 trucks on the coping, ledge or rail) and one foot grinds (aka. makio or fish-brain depending on the foot that is grinding). 

Tia doing a 50-50, image by Shaun Williams

But what happens when one foot is set up for a slide while the other is positioned for a grind? It's still considered a grind! And that's when the terminology expands and gets a bit more complicated. Some people have taken trick terms from blading, like "soul grind" or "acid grind", whereas some people refer to more OG trick lingo like "box grind". 

Bantam doing a "soul grind", image by Madison Huffman


Navigating these terms can be a bit tricky, and some people out there have big feelings and opinions about it! Our advice? Don't get too caught up on the names! Here at Chuffed, we think that whats most important is that you are out there having fun - no matter what tricks you are doing or what you are calling them. We think it's essential to foster a supportive community where questions are welcomed, and learning from each other is encouraged. 

Embrace the learning curve, celebrate every achievement, and keep rolling forward—because in this diverse and vibrant roller skating community, there's always room to grow and learn together!

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