Here’s a simple question that may prove challenging and difficult to actually answer: what is skateboarding? Now, we know what a skateboard is, and what the activity of skateboarding looks like. For those who are unaware, a skateboard is a flat piece of wood with wheels affixed to its bottom and skateboarding is the act of moving by shifting your body on the topside of the skateboard deck. Now, that, of course, is a very rudimentary definition of the entire skateboarding package – but hopefully you’ll at least get the drift of it.
Skateboarding can, in fact, be many different things. It all depends on how and what you intend to actually use your skateboard or longboard for. For many skateboard deck professionals and enthusiasts, the act and the usage of a skateboard can have many different variables to it. Let’s take a look at some of the many different ways in which people use a skateboard:
1. As a mode of transportation: This makes the most amount of sense, as a skateboard is designed to allow people the freedom to move about quickly. Many young people are realizing that skateboarding is a great way to navigate through an urban center without worrying about gas prices, locating places to park and about emitting harmful toxins into the environment. Just as more and more people are cycling to work, many people are also now skateboarding to their workplaces – or to wherever they need to go.
2. Skateboarding as an activity: Some people run, some people swim, some people climb mountains and other 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 begin when compared to other forms of sports, recreations or hobbies.
3. The skateboard as an art form: If you’ve seen some of the tricks and moves that high-level skateboarders can perform on their decks, then you would definitely agree that skateboarding is an art form. The sheer fluidity of how the board moves to the gravity-defying heights that boarders reach to the flips and turns that they can achieve while in mid-air truly makes skateboarding a form of physical performance art. As well, some of the designs on the skateboards themselves are true visual sights to behold.
4. As a profession: Yes, there are professional skateboarders out there who make their living participating in competitions all over the world. From tricks to jumps to races, more and more athletically inclined people are looking to the skateboard as a way to make money. An established part of the X-Games, skateboarding has taken hold in all corners of the world and people realize that skateboarding is, indeed, a profitable and fun way to earn a living. In fact, one might argue that it’s just a matter of time before skateboarding makes its way into the Olympic Games.
So, the next time that you look at a skateboard, don’t just view it as a piece of wood with wheels attached or affixed to it. Consider all its possible definitions and possibilities, and how people are utilizing the skateboard in their everyday lives – both personally as a source of fun and enjoyment, and professionally as a source of income. Since it’s development in the 1940’s, skateboarding has exploded like few cultural activities either before it or since.(mbe)