Skateboarding: A Sport? A Lifestyle? Or the Birth of a Trend?

We all have seen crazy teens gliding on the streets, in front of marble paved Banks. They skate "in packs".

It's interesting how the number of skateboarders nowadays has tremendously increased. And this is not necessary a bad thing. In just 50 years, skateboarding has become a worldwide known and practiced sport, and I dare to add a trend, and a lifestyle.

Although no one knows who invented skateboarding, it developed rapidly. At first, who wanted to skate had to make his own skateboard.

A very rudimentary form (planks with wheels under them), and skateboarding did not represent anything else than just gliding down the road. However, after only 13 years after skateboarding was invented, in 1963 this sport began to gain popularity, even though it was in a primitive state.

To shorten the story, skateboarding had its ups and downs. In the '70s its popularity decreased, then went back up in the '80s with the invention of new tricks. Allan "Ollie" Gelfand invented the 'ollie'.

However, skateboarding was disregarded again in the late '80s and the starting of the '90s. These last years were troublesome for pro-skaters like: Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill.

It is interesting that skateboarding did not die, but in exchange it covered more ground. It developed in the streets. Passionate skateboarders decided to create their own skateboard production system. New and improved skateboards appeared. This helped skateboarders do more daring and new stunts, which attracted the youth.

In the late '90 and starting with the year 2000, a new kind of musing appeared, and a new generation of skateboarders: "the punkers". While skating is about being free, just you and the board, having the possibility of doing endless tricks, and riding in any way you want, punk music expressed this desire of being free and independent and it shouted out loud the needs of a generation. Therefore, the loud rock music merged almost perfectly with this sport.

An interesting thing is that anyone can try to skateboard and skateboarding is for everyone. In a skate park you can find "punkers", nerds, normal teens, Goths, and what is more interestingly is that they get along. They socialize, and they express themselves freely. You find there pro-skaters that give tips to guys that just bought their first skateboard. And this is one thing skateboard is about.

Teens and not only teens start to love this sport. Things like, skate shoes, special decks and boards, performance wheels, video stunts, contests, video games, bring skateboarding in the mainstream.

Nevertheless, skateboarding is not about, looking cool, or doing tricks on a board, but more often hanging with your friends, having a good time while ridding the skateboard, and evolving at your own pace. Moreover, progressing in skateboarding can hurt, and it usually does. It implies with no doubt a great dose of adrenaline!

The feeling you get when you jump 10 feet in the air is incredible, although you don't land on your feet every time! Skateboarding is about danger and facing it, fulfilling your pride, going beyond your own limits.

The development included the development of a few other things: boards, decks producers, shoe ware, clothing, etc. All these brought together different types of people, of characters under a single name: Skater.

For all those who want to be skateboarders, it's easy because you can find anything you want at an acceptable price. Specialized shops sprang out of nowhere, shops in which you can find everything a skateboarder needs-from decks to wheels and shoes, and all kinds of accessories.

Here are just a few world known brands: Alien Workshop, Blind, Cape Fear, Aesthetics, Origin, Outlook, Firm, DNA, Zero, and the list could go on. Shoe brands: Ethnics, DC, Osiris, etc. Wheels: Bones, Powell, Spitfire. And all kinds of accessories, from stickers and colored boards to t-shirts markings, and backpacks with a special place for the skateboard.

It is no wonder that skateboarding is more and more popular, and more accessible to everyone.

Trend is defined as a popular tendency at a given time. In its short and adventures history, skateboarding has become more than a trend. It has become a lifestyle.
By Claudia Miclaus
Last Updated: 10/13/2011
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