Skateboarding can be your job. It can be your hobby. It can be how you get to work. It is many things to many people around the world and, as of 2020, will also be represented at the Summer Olympics.
However, it wasn’t always so favourable. In fact, in 1965, Life magazine described skateboards as a ‘menace to limb and even to life’. So what divides opinion? Why do people like skateboarding? Why do some people dislike it? Let’s find out.
Skateboarding is no monkey business
(or is it?)
Well to begin with the good news or bad? The lovers or the haters? We’ll start with the latter and play devil’s advocate.
Many people go to parks to enjoy the peaceful side of life: they like to hear the wildlife, smell the plants, watch families interact and grow up. All of this is then interrupted when somebody comes crashing loudly past, wheels scraping surfaces. Now imagine it’s a group of people skateboarding and the problem magnifies. Your curbs, your benches, your railings, all screeching in protest with the scratch marks for proof.
This squirrel will be the first to admit he sometimes turns into a bit of a nut-ter on his skateboard
Some communities have even installed ‘skatestoppers’ to prevent the sport, with these devices placed along smooth surfaces to interrupt a skateboarder’s slide. Many do, however see this as unsafe, as this break in balance causes more injuries. And isn’t the disruption and lack of safety what communities disliked about the sport anyway? At Koala Chess Art HQ, we find this a little ironic.
So what about the good news? Why do people love skateboarding?
Well, many people view the hobbie as a way of bringing communities together. A lot of skateparks encourage kids to venture outside and away from their iPhone, their iPads, their XBOX. It encourages them to be active and to join in with others. In a time when playgrounds are being swapped for PlayStations, skateparks are a haven for kids and adults alike who still want to live outside an entirely digital world.
It should also be noted that the former argument about a lack of safety can also be seen as a positive. Skateboarding teaches kids how to fall and get back up. Through tough falls you build a thick skin.
Who could be annoyed at this skateboarding Yorkie anyway?
So which side is coming up trumps?
As mentioned before, skateboarding is now to be recognised at the Summer Olympics. With this boost in coverage comes a boost in popularity. Governments and communities are beginning to back initiatives for building more skateparks. The sport and pastime is becoming more widespread, and we for one, are happy to see it flourish. Although we do hope that tricks such as landing on the roof of the family car will remain exclusively reserved to the likes of Bart Simpson.