Social media has impacted the culture of skating, but is this a good thing? Mo Gaibee asks the pro’s.
Skateboarding is a sport of pure creative freedom, everything is unique to the rider from how you position your feet for an ollie even down to the way you ride your board.
With the recent emergence of skateboarding in social media it has made massive ripples in the mainstream as well as underground it’s popularity has skyrocketed, even managing to attract enough attention to become an official Olympic sport but some have mixed opinions about its revival.
Jonny Giger said: “I have two minds about this. I think Skateboarding was made for people that wouldn’t fit in any conventional sport structures like soccer teams, or any kind of team in general.”
Another professional skater Ricky Glaser said: “More people are exposed to skating and skating is always good.”
One massive positive the sport has seen is an almost widespread acceptance of it. While of course you have the odd security guard and Karen that have some kind of issue with it, however those encounters are far less and few between.
Giger said: “Through the popularisation of skateboarding it is becoming more and more a ‘cool thing’ to the masses which is ok for me.
“Skaters receive a little more respect from non skaters nowadays, also it is more accepted.
“But we’re still considered as kids that just play around in the skatepark and parents tend to take their little children to the park more and more often as some sort of playground.”
It is something I’m sure that many skaters can agree – a bunch of kids is the worst thing to see when pulling up to a park. Giger in particular has a problem with this as it: “gives me a hard time to produce videos or skate.”
Another issue that has arisen from the boom in popularity is the blatant lack of suitable space for skaters to perfect their craft. Sure you can find a half decent local or D.I.Y here and there for the most part the parks are poorly designed, over populated, or just un-skateable for a multitude of other reasons.
Giger added: “More skateparks are built these days but it doesn’t really help if we can’t skate them”.
One major positive that Giger outlined was his ever growing fanbase he said: “through the popularisation my audience on YouTube is growing every day which makes my job easier.”
Circling back to the Olympics Giger reinstates how he is conflicted on whether this is a good thing for the sport or not. This was made clear when he said: “Some skaters have trainers nowadays to get fit for the Olympics.
“I don’t know if this is a bad or good thing. The core of Skateboarding was as said, the spontaneous choice to do it or not and to learn whatever tricks you want.”
He also expressed doubt about how he’s “not really sure if a good percentage from the Olympic money gets back to the core skateboarding industry, which is concerning”
He then ended on a hopeful and positive note “But for some hard working skateboarders it’s a chance to make a living out of it. There are so many incredibly talented skateboarders out there today and only a couple hundred make a decent salary of skating. So that might be good.”