What was the first skateboard trick? No one really knows.  There is a good chance it was either a kick turn or some kind of tail block.  Skaters began using tailblocks to stop while riding.  Doing so will stop you very quickly indeed.  There is a big draw back in using tailblocks as a means to stop, it wears does your tail very quickly.   For that reason skaters had tail guards in the early days.  Towards the mid 80’s, skaters found out that popping (either and ollie or while holding onto your board) works better without a tail guard.  This fact was the death of the tail guard.


Marc with a tailblock to revert in Bristol, CT


Duane Peters backside tailblock at Joker’s pool

Did the tailblock die with the tail guard? No way.  During the 70’s, skaters found out that they could tailblock on coping.  To add difficulty to the axle stall, balancing on the end of your tail on coping was cool.  I’d heard somewhere that Duane Peters was accredited with this trick.  At least he was the one I’d always see in magazines doing tailblocks.  When vert ramp riding became unpopular, it seemed like tailblocks disappeared.  With the reincarnation of vert skating, the tailblock has come back in a fury.  Duane Peters still does them all the time and many other riders have joined him.


Guy with a frontside Tailblock on the jersey by the Burton Bowl.


Kevin getting a quick tailblock on the window at Orkus.

When the Flip guys rolled into town a couple of years back, before splitting for their Quebec City demo they came by the Pipe for a little session.  I usually don’t care when pros roll through and skate the Pipe but this time Lance Mountain was one of those pros.  The first thing he did was to check out the construction of the Pipe itself and feel it.  It seemed that he could sense the epicness of the Pipe.  At one point, Marc tried a tailblock revert and stepped of it.  Marc’s board rolled away from him and Lance picked it up.  Lance offered to give BACK Marc’s board to him only if Marc would land that tailblock revert.  Who would say no to Lance?  Marc happily obliged and landed it quickly for Mr. Mountain.  To bad Marc then told Lance the story of me drilling the front truck one full length up the nose (to have a larger wheel base) on my Lance Mountain board.  That custom board was sick by the way, haha.


Marc teaching the Pipe fiends how it’s done.