Skateboarding is the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. Someone who skateboards is a skater (or skateboarder or most fully skateboard rider), though the shortest term may also refer to someone ice skating or roller skating.

Like roller skating, skateboarding is often done for recreation and as a sport, but, more often than ice skating, it can be used as a method of transportation (it is faster than walking).

History of skateboarding

Skateboarding has its origins in surfing,and was originally called "sidewalk surfing". Now, with wakeboarding replacing much waterskiing and snowboarding replacing much skiing, skateboarding is increasingly popular.

In the 1970s skateboarding was still a sidewalk "sport" with surfboard shaped boards designed more for the California vibe than for function. Narrow trucks kept the wheels close together and made the board a bit unstable. As boards and truck widened, there was also a growth of terrain skating. Originally drainage ditches and empty swimming pools were used, but then skaters began to build their own terrains, the ramp. In the beginning, the ramp was a quarter pipe that you would skate up to and up to the edge at the top. A big improvement came with the halfpipe. Though there are skateboard parks with extremely complex 3-d terrains, the halfpipe is still the core of upper level skateboarding. Ski resorts have them for snowboarders, and the pipes for skateboarders are also commonly used for rollerbladers and BMX bicycles.

Approximately simultaneously with the evolution of skateboard park and ramp riding, the skateboard began to change. The street riding was originally basically two dimensional tricks (eg: riding on only the front wheels (nose wheelie), spinning like an ice skater on the back wheels (a 360), high jumping over a bar, long jumping from one board to another (often over fearless teenagers lying on their backs), slalom, 900 and stale fish etc. Around 1978 or so, street riding became transformed by the invention of the ollie or no hands aerial, the first modern skateboarding trick, by Alan Ollie Gelfand. The ollie is to fly off the ground (flat or a wall) with the board, but without holding onto the board and then landing back on the board. It involves using your feet to press against the board in various complicated combinations, depending on the trick to be performed. No longer is the trick to fly from one place to another. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider, then to be united before hitting ground. The development of these complex tricks went from the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrains).board.

Very skillful skateboarders often become famous through sponsorship and endorsements. Examples include Tony Hawk (who has a series of video games in his name), Bob Burnquist, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero and Josh Kalis (who has appeared in numerous television advertisements for DC Shoes Kalis's EXPN stats). Hawk has recently appeared in the MTV music video awards.


Skateboarders often wear saggy, baggy trousers exposing underwear (when that is not covered by a long T-shirt), because of fashion and to provide more freedom of movement. However this is not always the case as there are many different sub cultures in the skateboarding world, so skaters tend to dress accordingly.