Home » 21 Fun Facts About Skateboarding

21 Fun Facts About Skateboarding

Looking for the best fun facts about skateboarding? Learn about kickflips, grip tape, and the greatest skateboarders of all time right here!

fun facts about skateboarding

Skateboarding is one of the most exciting, affordable, and adrenaline-filled activities around. It’s no wonder it’s so popular among kids and teenagers. All you need is a skateboard and a world of freedom opens up before you.

But young people aren’t just skating for the fun of it. Believe it or not, most of the skateboarding gold medalists from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were teenagers.

With these fun facts about skateboarding, we’ll grind into the history of the sport, its unique equipment, and some of the most jaw-dropping records that you’ll have to read to believe.

These skateboarding records include the highest vertical, the fastest speed, and the richest skateboarder of all-time. You’ll just have to keep on reading to find out all of these.

skateboarding facts
We absolutely loved skating growing up

Invented in the 1940s as an alternative to surfing, skateboarding has quickly become an iconic sport in American culture. In fact, over 80% of the world’s skateboarders hail from the USA.

It’s no wonder that the world’s best skateboarders like Tony Hawk have their roots in California, the birthplace of the sport, and the setting of so many great skateboarding films!

So what do you say? Are you ready to ollie, grind and heelflip your way into the ultimate skateboarding facts? Let’s go!

worlds best skateboarder
It’s time to learn all about skateboarding

21 Fun Facts About Skateboarding

1. When was skateboarding invented?

Skateboarding originated in California in the 1940s and 1950s and was originally intended to train for surfing on land. Actually, the first name for a skateboard was ‘sidewalk surfer’.

In the late-1950s, the first mass-produced skateboards hit the market and the skateboarding craze has just grown in leaps and bounds from these humble origins.

2. What elements make up a skateboard?

There are five main components of a skateboard. First is the deck, which is the platform a rider stands on. Next is the grip tape that allows for a firm stance on the deck.

Trucks are what attach the board and the wheels. Lastly, you have the wheels themselves and the ball-bearings that fit inside the wheels.

facts about skateboarding
Skateboards are pretty simple when you think about it

3. A breakthrough in skateboarding technology

In the 1970s, Frank Nasworthy invented urethane wheels for skateboards. This made skateboards more smooth-riding, durable, and maneuverable. 

Before that skateboard wheels were made of metal or clay. Another advantage to urethane wheels – the enormous amount of speed that can be generated!

4. The richest skateboarder in the world

When you think of a famous skateboarder your mind probably goes to one person – Tony Hawk. Not only is Hawk one of the legends of the sport, he’s also an astute businessman with video games, apparel, and his own skateboarding brand, Birdhouse. 

Tony Hawk is estimated to have a net worth of over $125 million dollars.

5. Is skateboarding in the Olympics?

Yes! In fact, skateboarding is one of the newest Olympic sports making its debut alongside surfing, sport climbing and karate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Summer Games.

Interestingly, skateboarding competitions are ruled by teenagers. The women’s street skating gold medal was won by Momiji Nishiya, a 13-year-old from Japan.

tony hawks
Tony Hawk is still one of the biggest names in the sport

6. Do you have a goofy foot?

Depending on what foot you lead with on the skateboard you’re either classified as regular or goofy. 

Goofy-footed riders have their right foot forward and push with their left. While regular is the reverse. The same terminology is also seen in snowboarding.

7. What’s the largest skatepark in the world?

If you’re a skateboarder this skatepark has to be on your bucket list! The GMP Skatepark in Guangzhou, China is the world’s largest with 182,000 square feet (16,000 square meters) of skateable surface. 

The park, completed in 2015, is located near 10 universities making it a popular hangout for students.

8. Skateboarding is a crime in some countries

Because of the inherent dangers of skateboarding it is outlawed in some places around the world. Current skateboarding bans are active in Singapore, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It was also outlawed in Norway in the 1970s and 1980s.

rodney mullen
Rodney Mullen is considered to be the godfather of skating

9. The godfather of skateboarding

Rodney Mullen is one of the pioneers of the sport inventing such iconic tricks as the kickflip, heel flip, impossible, and 360 flip. For his creativity, boundary pushing tricks and impact on the sport, Mullen is an inductee in the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

10. Who is considered the greatest skateboarder of all-time?

Here’s a hint: we already talked about him as the richest skateboarder. It’s Tony Hawk! Hawk was the first skateboarder to land a °900 and is a 10-time Summer X Games Champion. 

He also had a professional career that spanned 20+ years. Hawk is the certified skateboarding GOAT.

11. What are the health benefits of skateboarding?

While some may think skateboarding is dangerous, its health benefits definitely outweigh the risk of injury. Firstly, skateboarding is excellent for improving balance and strengthens the core. 

Skateboarding also strengthens muscles, increases cardio endurance, and boosts mental health and well-being. Skate for the adrenaline, but also do it for your health!

when was skateboarding invented
How many of these films below have you seen?

12. The best films about skateboarding

There are so many iconic films that have featured skateboarding, from indie masterpieces to influential documentaries. 

Some of our favourites include Lords of Dogtown (2005), Mid90s (2018), Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001), Minding the Gap (2018) and Paranoid Park (2007). The first time skateboarding was featured in a movie was in Back to the Future (1985).

13. How many people skateboard worldwide?

It’s estimated that over 20 million people skateboard around the globe. Amazingly, 16 million (80%) of those are in the United States. 

The USA, inventor of skateboarding, is still holding strong as the skateboarding mecca. Other countries where skateboarding is extremely popular are Canada, Brazil, Australia, UK and Japan.

14. Longboard or popsicle?

The standard skateboard shape is known as the popsicle. This is due to the deck resembling the rounded edges of a popsicle stick. Popsicles are by far the most popular type of board.

However, longboards are becoming more and more popular each year because they allow for beginners to cruise without the danger of falling off as easily.

Longboarding is becoming more and more popular

15. How high can a skateboard go?

Danny Way is the highest skateboarder out there. He holds many of the highest air records ever recorded including a 25.5 feet (7.8 meters) clearance in the 1997 X Games Big Air competition.

Another skateboarding fact about Danny Way – he once dropped out of a helicopter on a skateboard. Now that’s extreme!

16. Fun facts about skateboarding dogs

Did you know that you can train your dog to skateboard? In fact, if you have a bulldog, you may have a skateboarding champion on your hands! 

Since bulldogs have a low centre of gravity their balance is impeccable. A bulldog named Tillman holds the record for the fastest 100 meters on a skateboard for a dog.

17. The skateboarding mecca of the USA?

Laredo, Texas may just beat out Sacramento, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco as the skateboarding capital of the United States. 

The city of around 300,000 has an amazing 11 skateparks. This is the most per capita of any other city.

skateboarding information
More and more women are getting involved in skating

18. Women who skate

Skateboarding has been dominated by men throughout its history, but that’s beginning to change. In fact, each year more and more women and girls are picking up the sport. 

As of 2022, 24% of all skateboarders were female … and this number is predicted to significantly grow in the next decade.

19. Who is the fastest skateboarder?

Kyle Wester holds the record for speediest skateboarding when he topped out at a speed of 89.41 mph (144 km/h). The record took place along the steep incline of Rist Canyon in Colorado. 

This may be a skateboarding record that is never topped! We wonder if he got a speeding ticket?

20. A few quick skateboarding facts

Here’s a few extra skateboarding facts we thought were too good to keep out of this article. 

Did you know that skateboarding burns 500 calories an hour? Or that the skateboarding industry is worth over $4.8 billion dollars? Or that the record for most ollies in one minute is 37?

worlds fastest skateboarder
Kyle Wester is recorded the fastest ever speed on a skateboard

21. A special day for skateboarding

Is there a better way to start the summer than spending the day skateboarding? Go Skateboarding Day takes place every year on the summer solstice, June 21st. 

Check out your local skatepark for BBQs, competitions, and skating into the evening hours. You can even learn to skate in the evening sun!

Who wants more fun facts?

fact books

If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!

  1. Interesting Facts for Curious Minds
  2. 1,144 Random, Interesting & Fun Facts You Need To Know
  3. The Intriguingly Interesting Book of 555 Fascinating Facts

We really hope you enjoyed all our fun facts about skateboarding! Did you learn something new? 

If there’s any skateboarding facts we missed, you can let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to this article! 

Share these fun facts now!

Leave a comment