The Great Skateboarding Debate

What is skateboarding? Is it an art form? Is it entertainment? Is it an impressive display of athletic achievement? Or, is it nothing more than a daredevil exercise? Well, that all depends on who you ask, of course. If you ask a hardcore and knowledgeable skateboard enthusiast what skateboarding is, they’ll tell you that it’s the ultimate thrill. They’ll tell you that everything about skateboards; from grip tape to wheels to trucks and to the deck itself all combine to create a gravity defying source of speed and agility. And yet, if you ask others who are passionate about skateboarding, they may simply tell you that it’s nothing more than a hobby and something fun to do.

Of course, like Newton said, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In this case, for every skateboard fan who loves and marvels about what skateboarding is all about, there are those who simply think that skateboarding is an exercise in futility. Ask them who Tony Hawk is, and they may respond that the tony hawk is an endangered species. Now, some skateboarding detractors may be senior citizens, who would reminisce about how “in their day”, no one would dare skateboard (if only they knew just how long skateboarding has been around). And there are others who may be in the target demographic which skateboard companies are pinpointing, yet who have no interest in skateboarding whatsoever. electric skateboard with remote control

The great thing about skateboarding is that, much like many unconventional standards in pop culture, it draws, incites and invites debate. On one side of the ledger, you have individuals who trumpet the building of skate parks, as it provides boarders with a safe place to hone their craft. Yet, on the opposite corner, you have people who believe that skate parks will lead to unsavory characters, which, in turn, will lead to violence and crime in the neighborhood. And like many passionate and detailed arguments, there are usually three sides to every story:

One side. The other side. And the truth.

For many years, people from all walks of life – regardless of their passion or knowledge about skateboarding – have viewed skateboarders with an arched and curious eyebrow. Yes, there is physical skill required to successfully operate a skateboard. But, no, skateboarders are not athletes. Yes, riding a deck is a different way to get around town. But, nobody in their right mind would actually do it. Skateboarding should be encouraged because it can turn into a nice little hobby. On the other hand, why would you want to direct anyone to actually become a skateboarder?

Because it’s not fully understood, skateboarding will continue to draw passionate responses and stances on both sides of the debating fence. What that really means isn’t quite so clear, because there are those who are also absolutely entrenched in their beliefs and, as such, will never yield or relent otherwise. Perhaps the best course of action may be to simply agree to disagree. Some will look at the sheer explosion in skateboarding popularity as concrete proof of acceptance into the mainstream culture. Others will view that and lament on the lowering of cultural standards to allow skaters to become a part of it.

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