Of the first purpose-built skateparks, from the 1970s boom years of the sport’s second wave, very few remain. Preserving them is about more than sporting history.
The desire to transfer the thrills of surfing on to dry land created the monumental culture of skateboarding, now vividly documented in a new exhibition.
The ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ are embracing different forms of spirituality – skateboarding may be one of them.
As the Winter Olympics are showing, the unique cultures of action sports seem to support long careers among the top athletes – something other sports and society in general could learn from.
From skateboarding and climbing to baseball, the new Olympic events had varying degrees of success.
Although it’s now an Olympic sport, at its core skateboarding is still a counter-cultural activity that represents creativity, community and personal expression.
Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo but research shows female athletes are likely to cop abuse online when the competition starts.
The inclusion of new action sports can offend Olympic traditionalists and outsiders alike. But it’s part of a long-term strategy to keep the games relevant and appealing to younger fans.
It was once seen as a public menace – now, skateboarding is a global sport that empowers young people to improve their cities.
Skateboarding is no longer just for punkish, subcultural rebels – it’s everywhere, for everyone.
Even as our world goes digital, there will always be an appetite for craftsmanship, for art and for the work only human hands can truly bring to life. Art and design schools should celebrate creators.
The first worldwide skateboarding conference, Pushing Boarders, showed how skateboarding is evolving to include people of all genders, ethnicities and sexualities.
Can skateboarding – with its anti-establishment ethos and emphasis on individuality – mesh with the corporatized Olympics?
More action sports will be on the Olympic bill in Tokyo with skateboarding, surfing and climbing added to the programme.
Some are sceptical about the sport’s involvement in the Olympics – but skateboarding has long proven capable of coping with corporate interest.
Skateboarders are being driven from Melbourne’s Lincoln Square after community complaints. But skaters are citizens too, and with obesity on the rise, their activities should be encouraged.
The Japanese Olympic Committee recently announced five new sports for possible inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics: baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing.
Skate scenes are social, creative, and can make urban living better for everyone.