In Search Of Skateboarding Styles

Normally, when skateboarding styles are mentioned, the immediate idea that comes to mind is the different manoeuvres that skateboarders perform while using their boards. In a way, this assumption is accurate although strictly speaking, experts classify skateboard styles into two general categories. The first has to do with the performance of certain tricks while the second focuses more on the skateboard being used as a method of transportation.

Nevertheless, the first category has become the more acceptable description when it comes to skateboarding styles. In this regard, it is important to note that although skateboard tricks and skateboard styles may initially appear to be similar, the two are not exactly the same as several differences exist between them.

Skateboard tricks are more concerned with the manoeuvres set to be performed by a participating skateboarder. Skateboard styles, on the other hand, tend to focus more on how these manoeuvres will be performed given a few modifications, often through the introduction of several obstacles or differing boards.

Given this, it is not uncommon to find new skateboarding styles being introduced every now and then. Some make use of existing skateboarding tricks and give them a slightly different look. Many though look towards developing entirely new skateboarding approaches or sub-genres like longboarding for example.

Of the many styles developed thus far, freestyle skateboarding is seen as among the oldest. It follows no strict method of execution especially when it comes to actual competitions. Instead, fluidity in motion and technical skills are the major considerations. This style of skateboarding was often performed on flat wooden platforms and runs consisted of tricks like tic-tacking. Old school as hell!

Interestingly, the freestyle approach to skateboarding evolved when the board began being used as a mode of transportation back in the 60s. The consequent changes were adopted when pioneering tricks like the Ollie were introduced by skateboarders along with the invention of polyurethane wheels.

Street skateboarding incorporated obstacles extensively into the style now that Ollies were a common practice. In this case, stairs, handrails, park benches, street plants, and the like are common objects being used. The key to perfecting this particular skateboarding style is to be able to hurdle the obstacles by performing tricks around, over, and through them.

Next up is park skateboarding. Ostensibly, the obstacle in park skateboarding is the skate park which is specifically constructed for urban skateboarders. These specialized parks boast half-pipes and bowls which are essentially a pair of concave ramps having a flat ground transition. The distinctive shape of the ramps allows skateboarders the opportunity to perform a number of tricks while trying to keep their balance at the same time. Park, or bowl skating was inverted by the infamous Lords of Dogtown, who spent the winters in Los Angeles skating in empty pools.

Bearing close resemblance to park skateboarding is vert skateboarding since this also makes use of ramps. The basic difference with this skateboarding style is that the ramp is usually a one-piece structure starting from a completely flat ground and ending up to an inclined vertical; thus the term vert skateboarding.

Just like in park skateboarding, skateboarders have to manage the vertical ramp in vert skateboarding and perform several tricks in order to succeed. In doing so, the boards used are often constructed with larger wheels alongside generally wider decks as these will provide the needed stability. This has however changed as skill levels have progressed and many skaters use the same deck and wheels in vert as they do in street and bowl skating.

A few other skateboarding styles include those that are performed more for personal satisfaction rather than for public adulation. A good example of this is downhill skateboarding.

As the name suggests, this skateboarding style involves sliding from a high point with the use of generally longer boards. Longboarding has quickly become a style of its own as many skaters switch the trick boards for longboards to satisfy their need for speed!