Skateboarding – making its debut at the Olympic Games and with Little Big Sports!

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The Olympic Games are going to be hitting our TV screens soon and bringing with them all the excitement and drama that only ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ can deliver.  The Games are made up of some stalwarts of sport such as athletics (who remembers super Saturday at the 2012 London Games?!), football, tennis, and swimming but did you know that new sports are introduced too?  This year there are five sports making their Olympic debut: baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding.

Skateboarding background

Skateboarding may seem like a relatively new sport, but it’s been around long enough to have ‘legends’ already.  American Tony Hawk is probably the most famous professional skateboarder in the world, the idol of many a teenager in the 1990s as he took skateboarding to new heights (literally) and showcased jaw dropping skills.  He has gone on to build a billion-dollar business around skateboarding, developing his own range of skateboards and a video game franchise. 

If you own a Tony Hawk skateboard, maybe from your teenage years, do look after it, (it could be worth quite a bit!), but if you don’t want your child having a go on your precious (and perhaps valuable) skateboard, then do take a look at the ones that we have in stock which are great starter skateboards.  They’re a fantastic price, durable and have some cool features too which are sure to entice any boy or girl to give skateboarding a spin.  

Skateboarding

Skateboarding – the present day

Bringing us up to present day, I can’t mention skateboarding without shouting about British superstar skateboarder Sky Brown. The embodiment of cool Britannia for these times, Sky is off to the Olympic Games at the tender age of just 12 - she will be the youngest ever British summer Olympian and she is definitely a medal hopeful.  You won’t see her in your local skate park though as she spends her time on the beach fronts in California and Japan.  You can keep up to date with her training and her surfing (she’s really good at that too!) by joining her other 800,000 followers on Instagram @skybrown. 

Sky is keen to inspire others to take up the sport and in particular girls.  Skateboarding participation is already on the increase, though, and the pandemic only helped this boom.  It’s easy to see why.  You don’t need much kit and most parks will have a designated skate park where you can have a go, although a flat surface is all you need at first until you feel more confident.  MySkate, an app which tells skateboarders where skateparks are located around the UK, has seen an increase in users of 180,000 a month this year, according to Skateboard GB

How to get started with skateboarding

Skateboarding lessons are popping up all over the country, keen to take advantage of the ‘Sky effect’ and also the attention the sport will receive as a result of its inclusion in the Olympic Games.  Roo Goodyear is a skateboarding tutor at weekends in south-east London: skateboarding most of his life, he is now teaching children how to get started and progress, including his son Dexter, 12.  I asked Dexter, a keen cyclist and parkour enthusiast too, more about his passion for skateboarding.

Skateboard

What do you love about skateboarding?  How does it make you feel?

I like that you’re not competing with anyone; you’re just against yourself.  It makes me feel free.

What’s the best way to start? 

It’s best to start with the basics and build up from there.  You don’t want to be too ambitious at the beginning. 

Who inspires you?  Who would you recommend watching on YouTube or social media?

I’m inspired by Jake Wooten, and I would definitely suggest watching the Santa Cruz skateboard videos on YouTube.

What do you think of skateboarding being at the Olympics?

I don’t think skateboarding should be in the Olympics because it’s not a sport for competition, it’s just for personal gain.

Thank you to Dexter for sharing his love of skateboarding!

For skateboarding you need a strong sense of balance and good core strength, both of which will develop the more you practice.  These skills and attributes will help in other sports and hobbies too, such as snowboarding, surfing (that’s why Sky Brown is so good at that too!) and gymnastics.

I love it when new sports evolve and move into the spotlight as it reinvigorates people’s interest in being active and it might just ignite a spark in someone, helping them to develop a lifelong hobby.

 Skateboarding at the Olympic Games

The Olympics start on 23 July and the skateboarding competitions are on 25 & 26 July and 4 & 5 August.  I can’t wait to watch the Games on TV and see these new sports!  Let me know which new sport you’re most looking forward to watching and who you’re keen to see compete.

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