Here’s a simple question that can be challenging and difficult to answer: what is skateboarding? Now, we know what a skateboard is and what the activity of skateboarding is like. For those who don’t know, a skateboard is a flat piece of wood with wheels attached to the bottom and skateboarding is the act of moving by moving your body on top of the skateboard deck. Now, that of course is a very crude definition of the whole skateboarding package, but I hope you understand it at least.
Skateboarding can, in fact, be many different things. It all depends on how and what you intend to use your skateboard or longboard for. For many skateboard professionals and enthusiasts, the act and use of a skateboard can have many different variables. Let’s take a look at some of the many different ways that people use a skateboard:
1. As a mode of transportation: This makes the most sense, since a skateboard is designed to allow people the freedom to move quickly. Many young people are realizing that skateboarding is a great way to navigate an urban center without worrying about gas prices, locating parking spots, and releasing harmful toxins into the environment. Just as more and more people are biking to work, many people are now also skateboarding to their workplaces, or wherever they need to go.
2. Skateboarding as an activity: Some people run, some people swim, some people climb mountains, and some people decide and choose to skateboard for fun and recreation. Skateboarding is a great way to get in shape and improve your overall body balance, posture, and flexibility. Additionally, skateboarding as an activity is relatively inexpensive to get started compared to other forms of sports, recreation, or hobbies.
3. Skateboarding as an art form: If you’ve seen some of the tricks and moves that high-end skateboarders can pull off on their boards, then you’ll definitely agree that skateboarding is an art form. The sheer fluidity of how the board moves to the gravity-defying heights that skateboarders achieve with the jumps and spins they can achieve while airborne truly makes skateboarding a form of physical performance art. Also, some of the designs on the skateboards are true visual spectacles to behold.
4. As a profession: Yes, there are professional skateboarders who make their living competing in competitions all over the world. From tricks to jumping to racing, more and more athletically inclined people are looking to skateboarding as a way to earn money. An established part of the X-Games, skateboarding has taken hold in all corners of the world and people are realizing that skateboarding is, in fact, a profitable and fun way to make a living. In fact, one could argue that it’s only a matter of time before skateboarding makes it to the Olympics.
So the next time you look at a skateboard, don’t just look at it as a piece of wood with wheels attached to it. Consider all of its possible definitions and possibilities, and how people use skateboarding in their daily lives, both personally as a source of fun and enjoyment, and professionally as a source of income. Since its development in the 1940s, skateboarding has exploded like few other cultural activities before or since.