Written by Michael

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

girl who is riding on skateboard

If there’s one thing that epitomizes the spirit of freedom and rebellion, it has to be skateboarding. An unconventional blend of sport, art, and lifestyle, skateboarding has undeniably carved its mark into popular culture. Let’s delve into the world of skateboarding and unearth 18 fascinating facts about skateboarding that will make you appreciate this thrilling activity even more!

Table of Contents

The Birth of Skateboarding

The origins of skateboarding date back to the late 1940s or early 1950s when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. They began by attaching roller skate wheels to a board to create a “land surfboard. This was the genesis of what we now know as skateboarding.

Skateboarding’s Initial Moniker

Interestingly, the term “skateboarding” wasn’t the first name given to the sport. It was initially referred to as “sidewalk surfing.

The Billion Dollar Industry

Skateboarding is not just a sport, it’s a major global industry. By 2020, the global market for skateboarding was estimated to be worth around $2 billion, emphasizing its widespread popularity and commercial success.

The First Skateboard Patent

The first patent for a skateboard was issued on May 22, 1962, to a gentleman named Lawrence Hover. His design featured a board with a pair of skates attached to it.

No Left or Right Foot

Unlike shoes, there’s no left or right skateboard. Both ends of the skateboard are identical, meaning you can ride and perform tricks in any direction.

The ‘Ollie’: A Fundamental Skateboarding Trick

The ‘Ollie‘ is a fundamental skateboarding trick, often the first one beginners learn. It was named after its inventor, Alan “Ollie” Gelfand, who developed the maneuver in 1978.

Skateboarding Will Make You Burn

Skateboarding is an excellent workout! A skater can burn an average of 150-500 calories per hour, depending on their speed and the intensity of their tricks. So, it’s not only fun, but it’s also great for staying fit!

Skateboarding Park
Image from Flickr

The World’s Largest Skatepark

The world’s largest skatepark is located in Shanghai, China. SMP Skatepark spans over 145,000 square feet and includes a wide range of terrains for both street-style and vert-style skaters.

Skateboarding’s Olympic Debut

Skateboarding made its official debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, highlighting the sport’s growing recognition and popularity. The competition included two disciplines: park and street.

Gender Equality in the Sport

Skateboarding, like many other sports, is breaking down gender barriers. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics featured an equal number of male and female skateboard competitors, promoting gender equality within the sport.

First Skateboarding Magazine

The first dedicated skateboarding magazine, “The Quarterly Skateboarder”, was published in 1964. Though it ran for only four issues, it paved the way for the multitude of skateboarding media we see today.

The Influence of Video Games

The iconic “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” video game series has had a significant impact on skateboarding’s popularity. The series introduced the sport to a global audience and inspired many players to pick up a real skateboard.

Skateboarding Trick
Image from Flickr

Skateboarding Saves Trees

Most skateboards are made from Canadian Maple. Seven layers of this wood are pressed together to make a skateboard deck. Fortunately, every tree harvested is replaced with a new one, contributing to sustainable forest management.

Skateboarding and Philanthropy

Many skateboarders and skate companies are involved in philanthropic activities. They help build skateparks in underprivileged areas, donate skateboards to less fortunate kids, and support various social causes.

Most Expensive Skateboard Ever Sold

The most expensive skateboard ever sold was a 24-karat gold-plated skateboard. This ornate item fetched a whopping $15,000!

The Speed Demon

The highest speed ever recorded on a skateboard is a hair-raising 91.17 mph. This world record was set by Peter Connolly in 2017.

World’s Largest Skateboard

According to the Guinness World Records, the largest skateboard ever built measured 36 feet 7 inches long, 8 feet 8 inches wide, and 3 feet 7 inches tall. It was created by Californian skateboard fanatic, Rob Dyrdek.

The Thriving DIY Skatepark Culture

The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skatepark culture is a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of the skateboarding community. Skaters worldwide build their own ramps and obstacles, transforming abandoned spaces into bustling skateparks.

Final Word

Skateboarding is more than just a sport. It’s a culture, a lifestyle, an art form, and a global community that values creativity, courage, and freedom. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just a fan of the sport, these facts underscore the fascinating world of skateboarding. So, pick up a board, and let’s ride the wave together!

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