14 Irresistibly Interesting Skateboarding Facts

Last updated 04. November 2018


Skateboarding is a well-loved sport with thousands of followers but it’s also one of the most underresearched activities. The beauty of this sport is seen through its history and what it’s offered people looking to have fun.

Here are some of the most interesting skateboarding facts to keep in mind.

1) Started As “Sidewalk Surfing”

Before skateboarding took off as a major success, it was seen here and there around local neighborhoods. Most people were creating these skateboards and calling them sidewalk surfers. In essence, the idea was to recreate the charm of surfing on land.

Kids would find small hills around the neighborhood and “surf” downwards with the help of their skateboard.

2) Bearings Determine Speed

A lot of people assume it’s the wheel or build quality that determines how fast you’re able to go. However, studies have shown it’s the bearings that have a big role to play. If you set the bearing higher, it is going to lead to a faster skateboard compared to the traditional option.

3) Initials Users Remained Shoeless

In the beginning, people went out of their way to go shoeless on a skateboard. Remember, the initial purpose was to recreate surfing on land and that’s done without any type of footwear. This meant people would grab their board, take off their shoes/socks, and head out for a quick ride.

4) Originally Shaped Like A Rectangle

Its original shape wasn’t as rounded as it is nowadays. In fact, it was simply a plank of wood (2×4) that had wheels attached to it. Over time, designers started to understand the theory behind speed, balance, and durability making it easier to create aerodynamic products. However, this came after a long period where skateboards remained simple planks of wood.

5) Goofy Stance Named After Disney Character

Most people are going to hear the term “goofy” when it comes to the skateboarding stance. This is when you put your right foot forward instead of your left foot. The reason it was named after Goofy had to do with how he would use a skateboard in the show.

skateboarder on a goofy stance

6) Many Skateboarders Are Ambidextrous

Skateboarders train to manage both their left and right foot with equal success. Due to the amount of practice being put in, they are able to do a lot more with either side compared to the average person/athlete. Over time, most skateboarders are able to complete tricks off either foot without giving it a second thought.

7) Longest “Ollie” Was 16 Feet and 6 Inches

Tricks are a big part of skateboarding and that’s not going to be changing anytime soon. As a result, many people have tried to break world records including a man named Jordan Hoffart. He was able to hit a 16 feet and 6 inches ollie.

8) First Skateboarding Shoe Was Created In 1965

The shoe was designed in 1965 and named “Randy 720.” It was created by the Randolph Rubber Company and became popular for its uniqueness (i.e. flat outsole). With time, many companies have designed similar shoes including a well-known company named Vans.

9) Skate Stoppers Have Become Common

With so many skateboarders completing tricks in public areas, “skate stoppers” were set up to stop such behavior. These are often noticed around areas such as public parks to make sure people aren’t getting onto rails or ledges that can cause a disturbance.

10) Skate Parks Are In Every Country

Surprisingly, local skate parks are set up in almost every country in the world. This is a staggering fact and one that shows how popular the sport has become with time. It continues to grow with each passing day!

11) 3.100 Skate Parks in the USA

America is the hub of skateboarding and has made the action sport into one of the biggest activities in the world. It is home to around 3,100 skate parks and that’s from one end to the other. California is home to some of the finest skate parks in the world.

12) 176 Skateboarding Injuries Per Day in America

Getting hurt is a part of any sport but it’s certainly noticeable in skateboarding.

Whether it’s falling off a rail while doing a trick or simply tripping over a bump, skateboarding injuries happen all the time. As a result, over 176 skateboarding injuries are recorded every single day. This shows how important safety gear is!

13) Skateboards Were Used In Wars

It was in the late 90s when the US military tried mixing things up and brought in skateboards to move around tight areas where other solutions couldn’t get in (i.e. military trucks). These went away after a while as it became hard to manage in combat situations.

14) $5 Billion Industry

Skateboarding isn’t a small-time setup that doesn’t make a lot of money. In fact, it brings in around $5 billion (USD) every single year!

This illustrates the viability of the action sport and how much it’s been picked up around the world. With each passing day, it continues to become more and more popular across different segments of society. Whether it’s boys or girls, everyone is starting to get into skateboarding.

Each skateboarding fact provides insight into the beauty of this sport and why it has become such a worldwide phenomenon among enthusiasts. Whether it’s riding around on your own or at a local skate park, the experience can be a boatload of fun for you and your friends.

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