5 Interesting Skateboarding Facts
5 facts about skateboarding
If you’re a die-hard skateboarding fan, you probably think you know plenty about the sport. Just in case you weren’t aware of some of these more interesting and obscure tid bits, we’ve collected some of the lesser known facts about skateboarding to make your knowledge all the more comprehensive.
1) Skateboarding is the sixth most popular sport in the world
Skateboarding has earned this ranking based on the number of people who are skaters. Over half of all American skaters live in California in the USA, making it one of the most popular areas in the world to be a skater.
The first skateboard was called the “Roller Derby Skateboard” and went onto the market in 1959. It was totally unlike today’s skateboards, with wheels made of clay! With 50 years of development, the modern board is now built with several layers of wood compressed together for strength, and the wheels are made from polyurethane.
The first public outdoor skate park appeared in Florida in 1976 and was built from concrete.
2) It wasn’t always called skateboarding
When it first gained in popularity, skateboarding was initially called “sidewalk surfing”. This was because skaters would replicate the techniques of surfers, but on a paved surface. One of their primary imitations was to crouch down and touch the pavement like surfers do with the sea.
3) Norway didn’t like skateboarding
From 1978 to 1989, Norway banned skateboarding because of the high numbers of skateboarding accidents. Importing skateboards, selling skateboards and even owning one was punishable by a fine. The movie “Thrashin” was even rated an 18 certificate in Norway because it was about skateboarding.
To get around this, the most avid fans of the sport set up illicit ramps in hidden locations so they could practice it in secret.
4) It’s a very dangerous sport
Each year, more than 100,000 skaters are injured from skateboarding incidents. This is mostly due to skaters wearing improper protective gear. The most common broken bone from a skating injury is the wrist, but many other bones can be broken in accidents.
In 2011, there were a total of 30 fatalities in the USA from skateboarding.
5) Signature skating shoes are a goldmine
Skateboarders are known for having endorsement and sponsorship deals from major companies like Adidas, Nike and various other skate fashion manufacturers, but getting a signature skating shoe is the biggest earner for skaters because the skater earns a fat cut of the sales of their signature shoe, which are sold around the world.