Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. Skateboarding can also be considered a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Since the 1970s, skateparks have been constructed specifically for use by skateboarders, Freestyle BMXers, aggressive skaters, and very recently, scooters. However, skateboarding has become controversial in areas in which the activity, although illegal, has damaged curbs, stoneworks, steps, benches, plazas and parks.
Skateboarding was popularized by the 1986 skateboarding cult classic Thrashin’. Directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin, it features appearances from many famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. Thrashin’ also had a direct impact on Lords of Dogtown, as Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Lords of Dogtown, was hired by Winters to work on Thrashin’ as a production designer where she met, worked with and befriended many famous skaters including the real Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero.
Skateboarding was, at first, tied to the culture of surfing. As skateboarding spread across the United States to places unfamiliar with surfing or surfing culture, it developed an image of its own. For example, the classic film short Video Days (1991) portrayed skateboarders as reckless rebels.
California duo Jan and Dean recorded the song “Sidewalk Surfin'” in 1964, which is the Beach Boys song “Catch a Wave” with new lyrics associated with skateboarding.