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Added Apr 28, 2016 at 08:06PM EDT by Ari Spool.

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Skateboarding is a sport in which a person rides and performs tricks on a skateboard, which can also be used as a mode of transportation. The sport has experienced many periods of popularity, and has inspired consistent online discussion. One who skateboards is called a skater.


Skateboarding was first developed in the 1940s and 1950s, when children in America and France began attaching wheels to boxes and planks and riding them around. In the 1960s, many who surfed also became interested in skateboarding, and the sport started to gain a subculture following. In the 1970s, with the advent of polyurethane skateboard wheels, skaters began using the boards for transportation and also sneaking into pools to begin doing complex ramp-style tricks. Many of the first national stars of skateboarding rose to prominence in the 1970s, including Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Ty Page. In addition, the sport began to have major competitions and publications during this time, and was known for being especially popular in California.

In the 1980s, skateboarding became popular worldwide. It was during this time that skateboarding moved out of the pools, skateparks, and beach-boardwalks of Southern California and in to the urban environments of New York City and other cities. New varieties of skateboarding, including street-style skating, were developed, and new styles of boards were invented. Skateboarding continued its rise in popularity throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Several video games, including the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series were released.

The debut of the X-Games, an extreme sports competition, brought the sport to even greater popularity. By the 2000s, it was determined that more young people were interested in skateboarding than were interested in playing baseball. At this time, municipalities began building public skateparks, both to keep kids from skating on the street and also to allow them access to ramps and other useful landscapes for doing tricks. Several offline resources for skaters to discuss skateboarding appeared during its rise to popularity, including many magazines like Thrasher.


Skateboarding, while being a fully-fledged institutional sport, is well-known for having an anti-establishment attitude, which dates back to its roots in illegal street skating. However, in a similar manner to Sneakerheads, skateboarding values collectible merchandise, including shoes, apparel, and artistically designed skateboard decks. Brands like Supreme and many others sponsor popular skaters by giving them free gear, which often encourages other skateboarders to become proficient at the sport.

Some art-covered skateboard decks

Online Presence

The reddit community /r/skateboarding has more than 72,000 subscribers, who mostly distribute skate videos and discuss different types of tricks and gear. Skate videos are big part of the discussion of skateboarding; on YouTube alone there are over 2.8 million examples of skate videos of all types.

Tillman the Skateboarding Bulldog

Tillman was an English bulldog who rose to viral fame in 2007 for his exceptional skills at skateboarding and setting the Guinness World Record for “Fastest 100 Meters on a Skateboard by a Dog.” On October 28th, 2015, the celebrity bulldog died from complications of heart disease on October 28th, 2015.

Skateboarding Professor

Skateboarding Professor, sometimes referred to as Skating Professor, is an advice animal-style image macro series based on a photograph of University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Tom Winter riding his skateboard on campus. The captions typically incorporate various technical terms and references relating to skateboarding culture into expressions that are often heard during college lectures.


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