50-50 grind: the first step into the world of skateboard grinding tricks | Photo: Red Bull

Grinds became popular in the 1980s and remained a fundamental technique in modern street and park skateboarding. Here's how to do a 50-50 on a ledge.

Grinding consists of sliding the skateboard's trucks along a curb, ledge, rail, box, ramp's coping, or any other curve or angular surface in front of you.

Therefore, anything that grinds is valid for the 50-50.

To perform a grind, the skater must already feel comfortable with a series of core maneuvers, including pushing the skateboard, landing the ollie, and getting into an axle stall on a curb.

The ollie is definitely critical. It's hard to grind a surface without jumping onto it, so the rider must previously master the sport's foundational trick.

50-50 grind: a skateboard trick that can be performed on a rail, curb, ledge, box, the ramp's coping, or any other curve or angular surface | Photo: Red Bull

The Five Steps

Grinds can be broken down into five stages:

  1. Gaining speed;
  2. Ollieing into the object;
  3. Landing on the surface;
  4. Grinding across the obstacle with both trucks;
  5. Coming off the ledge at the end;

The 50-50 grind is the easiest and most basic form of grinding, and it was also the first of its kind to be performed back in the day.

The trick's name says it all.

Your two left wheels will be on one side of the grind surface, and the other two right wheels will be on the other side of the obstacle.

To practice your first 50-50 grinds, find an efficiently waxed curb that isn't too high so that it is ready to welcome your trucks.

Then, while standing still, ollie up and onto the object into the 50-50 position, and try to maintain your balance.

You can perform this exercise, for instance, on a street curb.

Also, try to ollie and make your board move forward in front of you in a lateral motion. Repeating this movement will help you get into the grinding object.

You can do the 50-50 grind either frontside or backside, but it's easier to learn it with your eyes and chest facing the direction you're going.

Frontside 50-50: sliding the skateboard's trucks along grind surface | Photo: Red Bull

Frontside 50-50 Grind Tutorial

The frontside 50-50 grind is the best starting point for all other grinding tricks.

Remember to wax up the ledge to ensure the trucks slide smoothly across the surface.

Here's how to perform a 50-50 grind:

  1. Push on your skateboard at medium speed;
  2. Adopt an ollie stance, moving the front foot up or down depending on the height of the object;
  3. Roll at a slight angle toward the object;
  4. Ollie up onto the grinding surface;
  5. Aim and lock in your trucks against the side of the wheels;
  6. Keep your front and back foot over the bolts;
  7. Maintain a low stance while sliding at a medium pace along the obstacle;
  8. Keep your weight slightly forward for maximum ride control;
  9. To come off of a 50-50 grind, just slightly press down on the tail of the board, lift the nose of the board, and slide off the end;
  10. Land cleanly and roll away;

Extra Tips

Try to have your wheels locked in against the edge of the obstacle to keep your board from sliding around randomly.

Also, if you land too far toward the other edge of the trucks, the board may fall out from underneath you.

Rails are more dangerous, especially if you're inexperienced and trying the move for the first time, so try to avoid them until everything else gets into your muscle memory.

The secret of a well-executed 50-50 grind lies in locking up the trucks correctly against the side of the curb so that they remain stable and balanced throughout the slide.

In the end, it will be the edge of the wheels that will keep your skateboard from sliding too far over on top of the obstacle.

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