Efforts have been taken to improve recognition of the cultural heritage as well as the positive effects of encouraging skateboarding within designated spaces. In 2015, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., hosted an event at which skateboarders accompanied by music did tricks on a ramp constructed for a festival of American culture. The event was the climax of a ten-day project that transformed a federal institution formerly off-limits to the skateboarding community into a platform for that community to show its relevance through shared cultural action in a cultural common space.
Longboards excel when covering longer distances on roads and bike paths or for “bombing” hills. The wider trucks and wheelbase provide superior stability, and larger wheel options help retain speed for faster commuting. Still, longboards are less responsive than shorter boards and don’t always have kick tails, making them less functional in tight spaces.
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If you're in the market for a skateboard for your child, there are some general points to keep in mind: A complete skateboard is one that comes fully built, size doesn't matter, and as with all things you buy, you get what you pay for. Conventional wisdom says to go with a good-quality board that will last longer and is safer. Here are some good choices to check out.
“I think it’s just also like, people want to have fun. If you watch say those types of Street League type of skateboarders, who are super amazing skateboarders that can push these crazy tricks down rails and stairs, like switch tre down fifteen stairs or whatever trick they do — it’s amazing to see that level of skating, but if you are an average Joe living in a small town you’re just like, “I’m never going to be able to kickflip back noseblunt twenty-stair rails”. That’s always the biggest trick. If you ask me it’s like, “What videos do you really enjoy?” The videos that you can some how relate to. Like, “Hey, I could actually do some of these tricks.” You connect to it and you feel like you can picture yourself being a part of the whole thing. When people put out these amazing super stunt skateboarding videos, pushing it to the furthest level possible, that’s rad in one sense, but to me personally as a kid I could never in my wildest dreams believe that I could do that too. I respect it. I understand it. But does it make me want to go skate? No.”
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.