Before Our First Push

With the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 remake on the rise, there is a lot of excitement on the web. This game franchise got so many people into, or at least aware of, skateboarding. In the comment sections of various skateboarding YouTube personalities, you can read how they got many people into skateboarding as well. Times change, I thought, so I went on to the Skateboard Amino app and asked the community when and why they got into the art of skating.

Overall, twelve people have given me their stories. Most of the stories I received were way more elaborate than I anticipated. On this note, I want to thank everyone for their submission.

Unexpected Answers

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Ironically only one skater besides me got into skateboarding through video games, not THPS but the EA Skate series. The first time I was made aware of skateboarding, was when my brother came over with this new console, the Playstation 2. Aside from GTA 3 and the latest Fifa, he also had the third game of the Pro Skater series. Since then, skateboarding was always something that I considered cool, but never really tried. A few years later, I watched some kids skateboarding on Nickelodeon. This happened shortly before my birthday, and I begged my mother for a skateboard that day. That’s how it all began for me.

I expected the Tony Hawk Games and YouTube to be a much more prominent factor in why they started. However, I was proven wrong. Most people, regardless of when they started or where they were from, said almost the same thing. They saw it in real-life or happened to know someone that skated. YouTube was only mentioned twice in answers and made only one person get a skateboard. The oldest commenter is 56 and had just started a few years ago as a way of exercise.

I almost imagined it more like basketball with Michael Jordan in the 90s or Kobe Bryant in the 2000s. Every decade had it’s one or two all-time greats that inspired a lot of kids to pick up a ball and mimic their moves. The difference I can make out here is that these kids would be aware of basketball anyway, whereas this wouldn’t be the case with skateboarding. To be able to try to copy what the most prominent skateboarders are doing, you would have to find your way into skateboarding in the first place. That’s where we hit our first barrier. It is easy these days to go online and search for skateboarding content. Still, if these kids decide to try skateboarding, they will either get skateboards of lousy quality or have to spend a lot of money. That paywall makes it hard to get into something, especially if you’re unsure whether this activity is something you’d even like.

Approaching Accessibility

About three years ago, our local skate shop owner introduced a mini-ramp into our local waterpark. So you could go there to swim, but also to skate. The idea was to have something for our local skate scene, which craved a place to go and to get more people aware of skateboarding. He provided a few boards to the park owner that you could rent to skate the ramp. This would give everyone interested in it, easy access to the world of skateboarding.
Maybe with the introduction of skateboarding in the Olympics, things may change, and we see a new wave of skateboarding beginners. And possibly, this renting system will be able to catch on to a few local skateparks, so kids will have easy access to the sport.

How (and when) did you get into skateboarding? Leave me a comment below!

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