Is Skateboarding a Sport or a Hobby?

Have you ever wondered if skateboarding a sport or simply a hobby? Let us find out what experts say by looking it up online. Encyclopedia Britannica defines skateboarding as a form of recreation and as a kind of sport. The most popular online encyclopedia further defines skateboarding as an activity popular among the youth where a person rides a board mounted on wheels.

It is an extreme sport and a professional sport as well, says Britannica, and there are competitions such as vertical and street events where professional riders join.

Skateboarding as a childhood hobby

You may consider skateboarding as a hobby while you were still young or maybe even until now. It’s fun to ride your skateboard around town and it’s even more fun when you’re with friends. Some people love the way they can tinker with their boards as they can modify different components to enhance speed, improve stability and so many more.

There are artistic riders who appreciate skateboarding beyond the sport. They use the skateboard boards to create different designs. Do you know that a hand-painted skateboard costs double or triple the price of an expensive longboard?

And when it comes to appreciating skateboarding as a hobby, some people also collect different kinds of boards. You will find avid collectors with all kinds of skateboards with impressive designs, cool wheels, and unique styles. There is certainly so many ways to make skateboarding a hobby.

Let’s talk Olympic –style skateboarding

Skateboarding has risen from the streets to be an Olympic sport. In the coming 2020  Tokyo Olympic games, skateboarding is one of the Olympic sport. There are two major variations: Park and Street and these events are different for men and women.

According to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic site, this coming Olympic games is the debut of this street sport. There are different theories regarding the origin of skateboarding but experts say that it started in the 1940s in the US West Coast when people used metal wheels attached to a narrow piece of wooden board. In the 1950s, the wooden skateboard with metal wheels received an upgrade. The “Roller Skateboard” was developed and this paved the way to the form and shape of the skateboards we now know today.

Initially, it was only accepted by younger generations but soon enough, it was soon used even by older people until it became very popular all over the world. In the 1990s, skateboarding developed into a street culture with the start of skateboarding parks and contests. More and more people became skilled with making their own boards and this has made the sport even more popular.

Skateboarding sport 2020

Men and women skateboarders can join the Olympics Skateboarding event in 2020. There will be two categories: park and street and this are for men and women. Athletes will demonstrate their impressive skills and their ability to perform under pressure in a festive atmosphere in Tokyo next year.

What is street skateboarding in the Olympics 2020?

Street skateboarding has a different type of course than park skateboarding. In this competition, you’ll find curbs, humps, walls, slopes, handrails, and even stairs. You might think: how can athletes get scored for street skateboarding?

Each athlete will perform individually and must use each section to perform a wide range of skills. The judges will base their scores on the athlete’s level of difficulty, speed, height, originality, and execution. The number of moves will also be accounted for to come up with the best score.

The outdoor skate park will have a deck where participants can slide. This is a wooden board designed in various inclines. Skateboarders will grind their trucks along the man-made curbs as well as on the handrails.

As participants ride along rails and curbs, they will usually come up with an ollie or a trick where the rider and his board will leap to the air. Professional riders make this trick very easy but its actually the work of years and years of practice.

A stance is a side-on position that riders love to do. The left leg faces the direction where the skateboarder wants to move. This is known as a regular stance. If a rider wants to position their right leg to the direction where they want to move, this becomes a goofy stance.

The usual stance of a rider is called the main stance. This is when a rider changes the front leg position during a competition. Judges award tricks performed while with the main stance but the points differ from tricks performed with a switch stance. This is because a switch stance tricks are more difficult to perform.

Still another common street skateboarding trick is to flip the deck. This trick entails the skateboarder revolving as the deck flips without using his hands. This is a common but complex trick that most riders take a lot of time to perfect. When flipping is performed flawlessly, it may appear as though the rider’s feet are attached to the board using some kind of powerful magnet!

But this is more than what it looks like, flipping requires time and training. Some riders may even perform high levels of technique with multi-dimensional flips.

What is park skateboarding in the Olympics 2020? 

Park skateboarding for the 2020 Olympics is an outdoor sport with hollowed-out courses as well as curves, and ramps. You will find complicated curves that look like large dishes and bowls. From the bottom part of the bowl, the curved walls rise very steeply with the upper portion of the incline vertical or nearly vertical.

Aside from the bowls, there are immense heights that riders can conquer by climbing curves at great speeds and performing impressive tricks while in mid-air.  The different kinds of tricks increase as the rider uses a kicker ramp. This ramp allows riders to gain more height.

The degree of the difficulty of the trick can vary whether the skateboarder can grab his deck with a hand as he remains in midair, the part of the skateboard that he grabs, which hand was used and his posture as he grabs the deck.

Riders may also be scored according to the level of difficulty as well as the originality of their stunts. They get extra points when the deck is rotated while in midair and if they are able to rotate their bodies while in midair. There are many variations of this trick and each rider may have their own way of doing the flip.

Olympic games in an urban environment

The 2020 games will be held in a dynamic venue where the rider is free to choose which area of the course he wants to tackle and what tricks he can do. And even when the same kind of trick is performed, the flow can depend on how fast the rider goes. Speed is a very important component and the rider with the best speed and overall level of originality and difficulty takes the prize.

Aside from these, judges also consider the overall flow, stability, and timing of the riders. And do you know that all the athletes will need to perform tricks and stunts with music?  Yes, music is an important part of their routines. It provides a vibrant and youthful atmosphere.

The competition will take place at the Aomi Urban Sports Venue. This is also the venue for the 3 on 3 basketball games and sport climbing competitions. This venue allows the riders to make the most out of their routines and skills plus to interact with their audience and their fans.

Skateboarding Hall of Famers

Honoring skateboarding as a sport won’t be complete without mentioning its hall of fame inductees. Do you know that every year, the most influential and the most accomplished pros are honored as inductees of the Skateboard Hall of Fame? These people are not just known for their impressive skateboarding skills but have one way or another contributed to the growth of the hobby or sport. Let’s look at the most popular of the inductees for every year:

Tony Hawk

Inducted in 2010, Tony Hawk is an American skateboarder, actor and the owner of Birdhouse. Hawk was the first skateboarder to complete a 900 and for his video game titles. He is considered to be the most successful skateboarders and the pioneers of modern vert skateboarding.

Tony Hawk has launched the Boom Boom HuckJam, a skateboarding exhibition, and tour in Las Vegas. He has made numerous cameos in films, media, and video games. He has launched the Tony Hawk Foundation which constructs skate parks in underprivileged places in the country.

Tony Alva

Tony Alva is a musician and skateboarder. He is one of the pioneers of vertical skateboarding and is one of the original members of the group called the Zephyr Competition Skateboarding Team or Z-Boys. Tony Alva was ranked 8th among the 30 most influential skateboarders in the history of the sport.

Bruce Logan

Bruce Logan was inducted in 2009 but he has owned the sport since the 1950s. He started riding a board that he has built himself out of a two-by-four and some rollerskate wheels. Bruce Logan was creative, inventive and these he used to create professional skateboards. He is one of the first professional riders of all time.

Danny Way

Danny Way is an American professional rider, businessman and rallycross driver. He has received Thrasher magazine’s “Skater of the Year” prize two times. Danny Way has a thrilled audience with his extreme performances including jumping from a helicopter to a skateboard ramp and starting the trend of mega ramps. He was the first and only skateboarder who jumped over the Great Wall of China using only a skateboard.

Stacy Peralta

Stacy Peralta is one of the members of the Zephyr Competition Team or the Z-Boys from Venice, CA. He is also a director and businessman. Stacy Peralta claims to be the inventor of the stunt called the frontside flip to fakie. Stacy has helped skaters perform this stunt using a device called the lapper which is a polyethylene flap attached to the rear truck.

Steve Caballero

Steve Caballero is a professional skateboarder and a musician. He is popular for his impressive stunts and air maneuvers for vert skating. He claims the record for the highest air on a half pipe. He was named “Skater of the Century” by  Thrasher magazine in 1999.

Larry Stevenson

Larry Stevenson was the creator of the kick fall, which is a major component of difficult stunts in skateboarding. He was known to be one of the innovators of the sport. He started MAHAKA skateboards and was credited as the creator of the first top-quality skateboard.

Peggy Oki

Peggy Oki is an American skateboarder, surfer, artist, and activist. She was a part of the Z-Boys and skated in the film Dogtown and Z-Boys. She claimed the first prize in the Women’s Freestyle event in 1975 at the Del Mar Nationals in California.

Jay Adams

Jay Adams was an American pro skateboarder during his teenage years. He was the youngest of the Z-Boys and was known for his spontaneous freestyle performances. He has helped improve modern skateboarder through his aggressive stunts. He was inducted to the Skateboard Hall of Fame in 2012.

NHS Inc.

A company was inducted in the Skateboard Hall of Fame. NHS Inc. is an American skateboard distribution company with headquarters in Santa Cruz, CA. It is the distributor of Santa Cruz Skateboards, Bronson Speed Co., Ricta Wheels, Krux Trucks, Road Rider and Bullet to name a few.

Rodney Mullen

Rodney Mullen is an American pro skateboarder, inventor, and speaker who has innovated freestyling and street skateboarding. He is the innovator of numerous stunts including kickflips, flat ground ollie, 360 f35-s and the impossible. He is also known as the Godfather of Street Skateboarding.

Tom Sims

Tom Sims is the founder of SIMS Snowboards and Skateboarders. He is the 1983 World Snowboarding Champion and the 1975 World Champion Skateboarder. He also works as a stunt double. He has doubled for Roger Moore for the 007 James Bond film A View to a Kill.

Sources:

  1. Skateboarding – Tokyo2020
  2. Skateboarding – Wikipedia
  3. Who’s in the Skateboarding Hall of Fame – Skateboarding Magazine

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