Since the early 1950s skateboarding has become a global force. Both as a counterculture and an activity, skateboarding has weaved its way into many countries.
From the early beginnings of sidewalk surfing in the United States to the amazing skate culture in Barcelona today, skateboarding has provided a refuge for youth. With skateboarding officially entering the next Olympics, many are interested in the countries that will be competing.
Here’s a list of countries where skateboarding is popular and a little bit of history of how skateboarding developed there.
Countries Where Skateboarding is Popular
The United States
The United States is the birthplace of skateboarding. In the early 1950s surfers in Los Angeles needed something to do when the waves calmed down. They put wheels on their boards and took to the streets. Over the years skateboarding in the United States has grown from a West Coast hobby to nationwide activity. Los Angeles remains a hub for skateboarding. The city features several amazing skate parks that feature ramps, rails, and full-size pools for you to ride. San Francisco also offers intense downhill street rides and historic pools that are sure to impress any adrenaline junkie.
New York has also become a hub for skateboarders in America over the years. Almost every city in America has a skate park and high-quality skateboard parts are accessible everywhere. The majority of young people have tried skateboarding at least once, with many of them riding into adulthood. The history of skateboarding in America has made it so that the activity can be shared by generations of people. In America, people young and old skate frequently.
Skateboarding in America was primarily seen as the activity for outcasts in the ’80s and ’90s. With professional skateboarders like Tony Hawk breaking onto the scene, skateboarding became more normalized in the early 2000s. The release of the Tony Hawk video games brought skateboarding to the masses. The number of skateboarders in America continues to grow significantly each year.
Since the late 90s skateboarding has been incredibly popular in Spain. The activity is done across the nation in skate parks and streets alike. Freestyle skating is huge in Spain and you can often see unique and interesting tricks being done throughout the streets. Spain has a good amount of skate parks across the country, but not nearly as many as the United States.
The Spanish Capital of skateboarding is Barcelona. It is here where the majority of skate parks are. Barcelona is the place where Spanish skateboarding culture thrives. It is the birthplace of many traditional Spanish tricks and techniques. Professional skateboarders use Barcelona as their playground and amateurs from around the world come to skate the beautiful scenery.
Brazil features a long history of skateboarding. The activity reached Brazil in the early 70s. Skateboarding has been growing in popularity in Brazil ever since. Brazil features a wide variety of skate parks and beautiful street skating all around Rio de Janeiro. Skateboarding legend Bob Burnquist lives in Brazil and continues to grow the scene play, building skate parks and helping kids go pro.
The skateboarding culture in Brazil has helped grow several professional skateboarders, but it is also open to anyone interested. The Brazilian skateboarding scene is mostly focused on Sao Paulo. Rio de Janeiro also features tons of opportunities for young skaters. Brazil’s skateboarding scene has recently witnessed a resurgence and the number of skaters in the country is expected to continually rise over the next 10 years.
Skateboarding is relatively new to this northern African country. The sport has only entered the Egyptian zeitgeist within the last 10 years. Since then, the number of skaters in Egypt has grown significantly. Egyptians most often used skateboarding to escape the troubles of daily life, but they also rely on it as a form of transportation.
The majority of skateboarding in Egypt is centred in Cairo and is done by children and young adults. There are not a whole lot of skate parks throughout Egypt, but the amount of kids who skate in the streets is on the rise. Skating through the streets of Cairo has often been compared to a ride through an early 70s Los Angeles.
China is a vast country that has a good amount of skateboarding. Since the dawn of the new millennia, young people in China have taken up skateboarding. China’s skate culture is pretty small compared to its huge population, but those who do skateboard are very active. Multiple cities in China are considered must-skate destinations for all serious skateboarders.
Guangzhou is China’s third-largest city but is the home to the majority of the country’s skateboarding population. Guangzhou features and number of plazas that are perfect for skating. If you prefer to ride ramps, the city also boasts some of the most intense halfpipes in the world.
Australia has had a budding skateboarding scene since the 70s. The rebellious attitude of most Australians is perfectly depicted when they skateboard. The country is filled with skate parks that feature a wide variety of ramps and rails to ride on. street skating is especially popular in Melbourne. The city lends itself to be the hub of skateboarding in Australia.
Melbourne has 20 skate parks in a 10-mile radius and has the perfect city layout for interesting rides. The skateboarding community in Australia is incredibly friendly and welcoming. Cities like Melbourne are hot spots for groups and clubs that skateboard regularly. The number of skateboarders in Australia increases each year. this is due to the growing support for skateboarding by The Australian government in the overall population.
Skateboarding is a global phenomenon that can be done anywhere. Although some countries do not traditionally skateboard, it is possible to find spots with skaters in any country. Skateboarding builds a community and provides an excellent source of exercise. Many cities value skateboarding is an activity that brings young people together it keeps them active. With its new place in the Olympics, skateboarding will only continue to grow across the globe.
 Zeitgeist – Link