It wasn’t long ago that skateboarders were the ire of cranky neighbors, security guards, city officials and much of the public as being the cause of damage to public (and sometimes private) places. But that perception of skateboarders is starting to change within our society as a whole.
The New York Times dove into the subject in a major feature over the weekend entitled “Skateboarders Won.”
In the feature, reporter Jeff Ihaza makes the argument that skateboarding can be found just about everywhere these days: in the streets, on fashion runways, all over Instagram and soon to be in the Olympics.
“Skateboarding is no longer something people fear. The skate punk of the late 1980s is now a suburban dad. Across runways, and in music videos and film, subtle influences of skate culture are noticeable. Everyone wears Vans sneakers,” says Ihaza.
Skate parks are now a widely-accepted project for cities to build multiple of. The article references a handful of new projects just built in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities around the world that add up to the estimated 3,500 skate parks worldwide.
While that is quite a large number, many skaters and advocates for skateboarding admit that even that number falls short of providing a proper supply for the demand. Just take Tony Hawk’s assessment of the matter on Twitter:
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) April 9, 2018
While the NY Times story doesn’t make the reference, skateboarding’s recent wider acceptance can be akin to snowboarding after it made its debut in the Olympics in 1996. Before then, there were still many mountains that banned the board sport. Now just about every mountain resort in the U.S. allows snowboarding.
With skateboarding set to debut on the Olympic world stage in a little over two years, this could just be the beginning for a boom in skateboarding growth.
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