What is Skateboarding?
You would have heard about action sports such as base jumping, skiing, paragliding, river rafting etc. and would be wondering about an action sport that is relatively safe, cheap and even common people can learn and enjoy. Majority of these action sports are very dangerous and need special training and are very expensive to learn and practice as well. There is one simple, safe and relatively inexpensive action sport named skateboarding. As a matter of fact, skateboarding can also be considered as a kind of recreational gaming act as some of the feats done using skateboarding as artistic like gymnasts. Interestingly skateboarding has use in our day to day life as a means of transportation like cycling where there is a campus like life style. Skateboarding is comparatively of recent origin and becoming extremely popular with the youth.
Let us try to understand what is skateboarding is all about.
In its simplest form skate board is nothing but a simple wooden board with wheels, generally four in number fixed to the bottom. The skateboard is about 180 to 200 mm wide and 750 to 800 mm long. The skateboard wheels are made of PU (polyurethane) material known for its light weight, hardness and durability. The small size wheels do not add to the weight of the board making it easy to overcome the inertial forces easily. The skateboarder places his foot on the top surface of the board and uses the other foot to roll the board forward by pushing the driving foot backwards. The reaction force pushes the board forward where athlete foot is firmly in place. As the skateboard attains a decent speed, the athlete places the driving foot also on the board. With the both feet on the board, the skateboarder can now attempt various feats to entertain himself besides others. The momentum gained by the board, can take the boarder to some decent distance without further investment in the energy thus making transportation possible especially in an institute where a person has to walk long distances.
History of skateboarding
There is no exact evidence as to when the skateboarding originated but has been in vogue since 1940s. Originally devised as an extension to roller skates game, the skate board has transformed itself into a full fledged entertaining game similar to crate scooters. The 1970s saw improvement in skateboard wheels turning into PU as its material of construction taking the board to a versatile category. The 1980s period can be credited with innovative use of the skateboard to performing various kinds of feats. The year 2004 saw institution of “Go skateboarding” on 21st of June every year by the association of skateboard manufacturers to boost their sales.
The art form of skateboarding
The development of skating parks and special ramps brought life and art to the skateboarding. The artistic form of skateboarding is popularly called “Ollie”. The skateboarders invented innovative uses of skateboarding starting from simple two wheel usage for ramping and riding on rear wheels for spinning. Rodney Mullen created a feat now known as “Magic Flip” where flat ground is used for performing various feats in artistic fashion akin to gymnastics. Some of the popular artistic formations include, 360 degree kick flip where the kicking is used to make a 360 degree rotation in mid air by the athlete before landing back on skateboard and the recent development of 1080 stunt took skateboarding to a new high where the athlete performs of three revolutions in the mid air making a total of 1080 degrees.
How safe is the skateboarding?
By virtue of its unsupported connection between the foot and the skateboard and its relative motion over tiny wheels, you would wonder about the safety aspects of skateboarding. Well, when played or performed within the prescribed limits, skateboarding is relatively a safe sport. Similar any other sport, spontaneity and instinctive approach shall always save the player from the serious injuries. Some of the safety tips include, watching out for cracks and protrusions in the path of travel. Sometimes higher skateboarding speed saves to jump over the cracks and pits while the outcroppings need careful maneuvering. Among the reported injuries with skateboarding cuts, bruises, sprains and scrapes are the common occurring while breakage of bones, especially that of hands and legs is of some concern.
Some important forms of skateboarding
In the transportation form people use skateboarding for movement within a campus of an institute where traffic is limited. In trampboarding form the skateboard is used without wheels to perform various feats after gaining height using trampoline. Swingboarding is usually performed by hanging the board from a pivot above the rider which rolls over an arch and the skateboarder swings over the board to perform the stunts. The landpaddling form is similar to that of boating where a long stick is used to gain momentum and maneuvering.
Now, having read about skateboarding, what are you looking for? Rush to your nearest sports store, buy one skateboard for yourself and enjoy the activity in leisure following safety tips.