Why Is Skateboarding So Popular? A New Golden Age

February 12, 2024

Old skaters suddenly got back into the sport and kids dropped their scooters. We truly are experiencing a boom, and suppliers can’t handle the demand. It’s a great time to be skating (2020), never have I personally experienced such recognition of the sport. Skateboarding is in ads, movies, app, games, it’s everywhere. And most importantly, it’s cool again!

In the mind of most people, skateboarding always represented some kind of rebellious act. Until very recently, skaters were mostly viewed as outcasts or some kind of anarchists. Punks destroying public property while drinking beers and smoking cigarettes.

However, in the last 5 to 10 years, the general population seems to have become more accepting of skateboarders. Cities started to build skateparks to occupy the youth. Some even dedicated spots to skaters. For instance, the famous street plaza “Hotel de Ville” in Lyon, France, has been renovated for skaters and passersby to cohabitate.

Besides, Skateboarding will be an Olympic Sport in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Meaning it might gain even more recognition and esteem by the overall population. Your grandad might watch it and become a skate-head himself. Who knows?

This also translated the other way around. Originally, the core of skateboarding never wanted to be accepted by the masses. They weren’t so fond of the new kids who came from Youtube, only swearing by Revive and Braille Skateboarding.

As time went on, the mentality shifted as the core skate media understood they weren’t the front-page of skateboarding anymore. As a result, in 2020, the community is arguably the more welcoming and open it has ever been.

Skateboarding entered yet another golden age in the past 5 years. Its industry is flourishing like never before. According to researchers, the skateboard market will be worth 2.4 billion $ by 2025 according to Statista but those estimates were made before the recent boom.

The recent surge was definitely fueled by the global pandemic, suddenly everyone wanted to start or get back into skateboarding.

With skateboarding being more socially accepted, we’ve observed a shift in the audience.

As of 2018, only 44,1% of skaters were teenagers. While they represented 55% of the skaters 10 years ago.

Nowadays, we see a lot more adults going back into skating. Thought anecdotal, I definitely see more older skaters in my local park. Some never stopped while others picked up skateboarding again.

The same thing happens with girls. Although they don’t even represent 10% of skaters, substantially more girls get into skating these days. There are now many professional girl skaters who make a living through sponsors and contests, which even 10 years ago was unheard of.

Beforehand, the main skate scene was very located. Outside of California, and a few other big cities like New-York, Barcelona, London, or Paris, it was almost impossible to make it a career.

Social Media brought eyes to skaters who would never have been seen by the world otherwise. For this reason, you don’t have to be in California anymore to gain traction and make a living out of it. The beauty of the internet, isn’t it?

When video sharing platforms like Instagram and Youtube got popular, skateboarding started evolving exponentially. Mainly because of the vast quantity of content instantly watchable. Whereas 20 years ago, you would have to wait months, maybe years, between two video releases. And then again, you would have to buy the VHS.

Even better, the internet gave a wider audience to skateboarding.

Now, people who aren’t particularly interested might see some viral skate clips scrolling down their Facebook feed. Most of the time, a skateboard fail compilation, but still, it’s progress.

In the current social and economic context, we might presume that the popularity of skateboarding dropped, as did many other activities.

Surprisingly, we’ve seen quite the opposite go down. People spend most of their free time at home now. What’s best when you want to mix up physical activity and fun – while staying safe – than to pick up skateboarding.

In reality, it might be one of the safest activities you can do. Unlike many individual sports, you don’t need to be anywhere nor with anyone to skate. As long as you have a decent enough flat ground spot nearby, you can start skating by yourself right now!

In 2020, skateboarding is on the verge of becoming mainstream. Although, the industry is nowhere close to the other major sports.