In 2017, it was reported that there were 85 million skateboarders worldwide. Of these people riding a board 644 thousand are American and this number seems to suggest an increase in the amount of participants while others decrease here as well with both trends being very alike for each country’s respective numbers!
The first skateboards appeared in the 1940s, when California surfers sought an activity to pursue when the waves were flat. These early boards consisted of a wooden plank with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. The activity of skateboarding gradually became more popular, and by the 1950s, it had evolved into its own distinct sport.
There is no single individual credited with inventing the modern skateboard; rather, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas around the same time. The first mass-produced skateboards were manufactured in the 1960s, and since then, the sport has continued to grow in popularity.
The first skateboarding magazine, The Quarterly Skateboarder, was published in 1964. In his editorial, John Severson wrote about the importance of skateboarding and the need for the sport to have a positive future. Skateboarding competitions began being broadcasted in 1965. However, due to opponents of the sport talking about bans and restrictions, the popularity of skateboarding declined in the 1970s.
The 1960s were a golden age for skateboarding. With small and medium-sized businesses manufacturing new boards, the scene was thriving. However, by 1965 the industry hit rock bottom. The public was upset with reckless riding, inferior products, and excess stock. This resulted in skateboard bans and many businesses shutting down.
However, in 1970 the development of the urethane wheel revolutionized the sport and sparked a new era of skateboarding. North America saw the rise of California skate culture and the popularity of vert skating. This rebirth of skateboarding led to new techniques, styling, and tricks that are still popular today. Skateboarding has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1960s, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The skateboarding industry began to experience significant financial losses in the early 1990s due to a global economic recession and the rise of Rollerblading. However, things began to change in the mid-1990s with the advent of new technology, such as satellite television, cable TV, and affordable camcorders. This new technology allowed teenagers to express themselves in new ways, and skate shoe manufacturers began selling vast quantities of products.
The popularity of skateboarding reached unprecedented levels with the launch of ESPN’s X Games in 1995, and skateboarding has been a popular sport ever since. Thanks to this surge in popularity, the skateboarding industry is once again thriving.
A definitive guide to skateboarding participation figures
According to a study done by the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the number of skateboarders worldwide grew more than 60 percent from 7.8 million in 1999 to 12.5 million in just three years. In 1995, the IASC was founded by a group of skate industry professionals who wanted to provide support for the rapidly growing sport.
By 2001, there were more Americans under the age of 18 riding skateboards than playing baseball. Skateboarding participation has shown consistent growth since the sport was first introduced and shows no signs of slowing down.
The International Association of Skateboarding Companies (IASC) was formed in 1994 with the goal of representing skateboarding’s business interests and promoting participation in the sport.
In 2002, IASC released a report estimating that there were 20 million skateboarders worldwide, with 16 million of them located in the United States. California alone had nearly five million skaters, accounting for nearly a third of the total US skateboarding population.
Throughout the country, there were over 800 skateparks open and available for use, providing plenty of opportunities for skateboarders to practice their craft. In addition, there were nearly 300 skateboard companies selling decks, wheels, trucks, bearings, grip tape, mounting hardware, shoes, clothing, backpacks, t-shirts, and other accessories. This widespread availability of skateboarding equipment and facilities helped to contribute to the sport’s popularity.
There is a great deal of disparity in the reports of skateboarding participation figures worldwide.In 2009, an IASC-based document declared there were only 11.1 million skateboarders worldwide, two years after the beginning of the world financial crisis.
The discrepancies become more evident a decade later – in 2017, reports reveal that there were 85 million skateboarders worldwide, 6.44 million of which were skateboarding in the United States.
The first interpretation is that the number of skateboarding participants worldwide increased significantly while the number of American skaters decreased. However, without delving further into the matter, it is difficult to say for certain what contributed to this change.
Nevertheless, it is clear that there is a large discrepancy between reports of skateboarding participation figures and more research needs to be done in order to understand why this is the case.
Size of the U.S. Skateboard Market
The skateboard market value in the United States is expected to grow steadily in the coming years, according to Grand View Research and Statista. In 2015, the street skateboard segment was valued at 268.8 million U.S. dollars, and this is expected to increase to296.1 million by 2022. The cruiser skateboard segment is also expected to see healthy growth, rising from 111.6 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to142.3 million by 2025.
The longboard segment is projected to grow at a slightly slower pace, rising from 104.8 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 128.5 million by 2023. The others category, which includes mini boards and electric skateboards, is expected to grow the fastest of all, increasing from 38.7 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 48.2 million by 2025. This steady growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of skateboarding as a leisure activity and the recent rise in electric skateboards sales.
Skateboarding tricks refer to a variety of maneuvers performed on a skateboard while skateboarding. The board itself is an important part of doing tricks, as it must be of the appropriate size, shape, and strength. Most skateboards are equipped with small wheels and large decks, which help the skater perform large or small flips, respectively.
The most common trick is the “ollie,” named after Alan Gelfand who originated the move. In its simplest form, the ollie is done by popping the front wheels off the ground and then rolling forward without touching the board. Skaters can also use their momentum to do other tricks like spinning or jumping.
Skateboarding tricks require skill, timing, and practice to perfect. With perseverance and dedication, any skater can learn to do them. Who knows, you might even be able to land a 900 like Tony Hawk one day!
Skateboarding Is Getting More Popular
Despite a decline in popularity over the last decade, skateboarding is once again on the rise. Skate shops are closing, sales dropped, and many skateboard brands went belly up over the last decade. Google Trends data shows a huge drop from 2004, but there is an upward trend and market predictions show a growth of 2.1% for the next 5 years.
While the number of participants in contests has declined over the years, this does not seem to be deterring new skateboarders from taking up the sport. In fact, with the increasing popularity of extreme sports and alternative lifestyles, skateboarding is once again becoming cool. So don’t be surprised if you see more people skating down your street in the near future.