The Juke

As Brandon Westgate demonstrates, The Juke is not easy. Emerica  Stay Gold , 2014.

As Brandon Westgate demonstrates, The Juke is not easy. Emerica Stay Gold, 2014.

We'll bet you five bucks that pretty much every skater you talk to has one trick above all other tricks that stands out to them. We're talking the kind of trick that whenever they see it, they feel compelled to call it out. "Oh dude, _____ just did a ______!", that sort of thing. It can get annoying, but we all do it -ourselves included

We've gone so far as to create a nickname for our trick, which come to think of it isn't exactly one specific trick. We call it "The Juke", and it's a term we use to refer to any alley-oop 50-50 variation. They're rad to see done and, as you'd expect from guys who watch a lot of skate media via the Internet, our Google Chat windows light up every time one of us sees one. Although the exact reasoning behind our choice of name cannot be determined, it has been agreed upon that "The Juke" was chosen at least partially due to the twisting motion involved in doing the trick(s) looks especially dance-like for a skateboard trick (shouts to skate dance comparisons).

As we started digging in to why it is that The Juke is so significant to us as a blog, a few ideas came up. One is that it combines the simple stylishness of a basic trick and the visible effort of an advanced maneuver. If there's any wonder regarding where the effort part comes in, just try one next time you're out skating. Unless you're an experienced practitioner of the Juke, you'll understand why after a few attempts. They're hard.

It's like your legs are doing one thing and your torso is doing something else entirely. Trying to aim the trick is especially difficult because there's always a moment where your vision isn't where it needs to be. It's also an especially easy one to slip out on, as coordinating both trucks onto the curb/ledge/whatever is tricky when your body doesn't seem to know which way it's going.


The earliest any of us can remember seeing The Juke done was in Think's 1998 video Dedication, by Wade Speyer. Being that the rest of his part in the video is almost exclusively transition skating, it's been pondered that Spyer could have first learned these on a ramp, where they are much easier to do.


We later learned that like many things in skateboarding, Gonz was doing them well before anyone else. In fact, there are multiple instances of The Juke in his Video Days part. Above is an especially dope one.


Skateboarding in general took a break from producing video footage of The Juke during the era when anything involving a 50-50 on a ledge under neck height was treated with suspicion. However, once a new crop of kids came in, the story changed. Austyn Gillette has carried the flag for contemporary practitioners of the move and has applied multiple stylings to it, including the nollie backside version seen above. It's also worth mentioning that Austyn filmed the only two Juke line.    

We're not saying you need to use our terminology, but it's a nice tip of the cap to the skaters who execute these hard-to-do and rad-to-look-at tricks to acknowledge them when you see them done.

Village Psychic