Skateboarding: History, Olympic sport, tricks and boards - teenflixsports

Skateboarding What it is, history, Olympic sport, tricks and types of board

Skateboarding makes its debut as an Olympic sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games . For this reason and so that you understand all the competition in this alternative and urban sport, below we explain what skateboarding is, its history and its evolution until it became a the Olympic sport that it is today.

It is true that the history of skateboarding is somewhat uncertain, as there is no single patenting moment or person who can be specifically said to be the inventor of skateboarding. Skateboarding was born as something casual and has evolved in its own way over the years to become a sport in the Olympic Games. From the types of boards to the tricks, in this article we will explain everything you need to know about skateboarding . Know the main differences between a classic freestyle skateboard and a longboard , pennyboard , waveboardor fingerboard .

In addition, we tell you everything you should take into account when choosing a skateboard, such as trucks or wheels. Finally we explain how to perform some of the basic skateboard tricks to get started in this sport. Stay with us and become a skateboarding expert.


  • What is skateboarding
  • Skateboarding history
  • Skateboarding, Olympic sport
  • types of skateboards
  • Skateboard
  • skateboard trucks
  • skateboard wheels
  • skateboarding tricks

What is skateboarding

Skateboarding is a sport that is based on propulsion with a skateboard, that is, an element made up of a wooden board, axles, bearings and wheels . In addition, while handling the skateboard , different tricks or maneuvers are performed.

The purpose of skateboarding is to move on a skateboard on the ground or on surfaces enabled for its practice such as ramps, pots or bars among many others. While moving on a skateboard you can perform several tricks, these tricks consist of lifting the board off the ground and doing figures, positions or pirouettes in the air.

The pieces that make up the skateboard usually have standards to be able to perform the different maneuvers. The wood board has a general measurement range between 7'5 and 8'5 inches in width and between 30 and 31 inches in length. In addition, it presents concavity at the ends so that it can be raised when pressed.

The trucks also have their range, since they can be higher, lower, wider or narrower, depending on the skateboard  that is used. The quality of the bearings is guided by their material (steel or ceramic), precision, lubrication (it can be grease or oil) and sealing.

The wheels of a skateboard are made of polyurethane and have a diameter of between 49 and 60 centimeters. It must be taken into account that the wheels of centimeters taller are used for ramps and to be able to pick up more speed. Meanwhile, those of less centimeters are more used for the street, because they are lighter and easier to rise when performing tricks and to slide over obstacles.

Skateboarding history

The first skateboarders emerged in the late 1940s by California surfers who, during the days without waves, realized that they did not have the option of practicing their favorite sport. No one knows for sure who created the first skateboard , as several surfers had similar ideas at the same time.

The first skateboards made were made by a Los Angeles surf shop and were very similar to a surfboard but with skate wheels. The idea was that surfers would have something to entertain themselves with during downtime. This is why at first skateboarding was considered as surfing in the street and the first skaters had a more surfer technique than today.

In the 1960s, small surfboard manufacturers in Southern California began to build skateboards more professionally. Teams began to be assembled to sponsor the sport as well. In addition, a small American television show called "Surf's Up" helped promote skateboarding as something new, fresh, and fun to do among young people.

skateboarding evolution

Later, in the 70s, various improvements to skateboards began to be developed, such as new polyurethane wheels, which were much lighter than the existing ones. This change was vital in the popularization of skateboarding, since it allowed to improve traction and grip. Thanks to these improvements, movements on the skateboard could be more agile and dynamic. It is here where the technique on the skateboard begins to evolve as a new style different from surfing.

During this stage , skateparks did not yet exist , so skaters met in urban places such as stairs or railings. This beginning is what makes skateboarding considered an urban and alternative sport, since skateboarding is practiced in any urban area where the conditions exist to be able to skate on the board.

At the end of the 70s, skateboarding contests began to be held. It was here that some skaters began to live more or less professionally thanks to prize money. Skating down mountain roads also began to become popular . Many skateboarders had dramatic accidents, which did not help skateboarding 's reputation .

During the 1980s, skateboard companies created and run by the skaters themselves began to appear . Ramps also began to be marketed and the axles, bearings and wheels were increasingly perfected.

In the 1990s, skateboarding was generally practiced on the street. The boards are already between 7 and 8 inches as standard. The 90s design is the one that remains today. The wheels are already made of hard 99A polyurethane. Therefore, it is at this time when all the components of the skateboard end up being standardized .

Skateboarding today

During the 2000s, skateboarding was so popular in the United States that some schools began to implement it in their sports programs. In addition, skateboarding is beginning to be promoted as a healthy activity for strengthening muscles and bones. Another positive impact is that psychologists realize that skateboarding improves respect among young people and helps them connect socially with other people within the good environment generated by this sport.

Currently, more and more cities and towns have skatepark construction projects in their urban planning and green areas plans . One of the largest built skateparks in the world is in China and has 12 square meters with 5,000 seats in the stands.

In recent years, barefoot skating has been reborn, although the best option is still to wear proper skate shoes. Using a good shoe allows you a better grip and traction with the deck of the skateboard . To do this, brands such as Vans, DC Shoes, Globe or Nike SB manufacture specific models for skateboarding. In addition, these models are designed to go according to fashion, so it is not necessary to practice skateboarding to wear them.

Skateboarding, Olympic sport

After a long time being claimed by more and more public, finally on August 3, 2016 the IOC approved the incorporation of skateboarding as a sport in the Olympic Games. With this confirmation by the International Olympic Committee, a new stage for skateboarding opens. Many wonder if this officiality in the Olympics will harm the street origin of the discipline.

Among the doubts that arise in this regard, there is also the approval of the materials used in their practice or the mandatory use of protection measures. Time will clear those doubts. Now, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic  Games , we will have the opportunity to see one of the best skateboarding sports competitions .

types of skateboards

Do you know how many types of skateboards there are? What skateboard will be used in the Olympic Games? Perhaps you may think that there is only one board to practice skateboarding, but the truth is that there are many types that suit different characteristics. In addition to the division of the type of skateboard by skating style, we can divide skateboards by the physical characteristics of their boards.

Each type of deck has different characteristics and therefore each type of deck is used in a different style of skateboarding . Knowing this and knowing your style, you will be able to choose the skate that best suits what you like.

The main difference between each type of skateboard is the structure of the board, which changes drastically depending on whether we are on one type or another. Below we show you some types of skateboarding and we explain which skateboard will be used in the Olympics.


The freestyle type of skateboarding is the classic skateboarding that probably comes to mind when you think of the sport. They were the first skates that came to light to perform stunts and tricks. In addition, it is the skateboard that will be used in the Olympic Games. These types of skates are an excellent option for skating in pools, ramps or simply on the streets. In addition, they are the most versatile.

It must be taken into account that these types of skates are designed for people who already have a certain level of experience handling the skate , such as the athletes who will participate in the Olympics.


They are also known as long board skates . The main difference with the standard skateboard is the size of the deck, since longboards are longer. They are the most used for downhill races (descent), freeride (skidding), freestyle (multipurpose, tricks), cruising (moving), carving (strong turns) and dancing (dancing).

They are built in a completely different way to a standard street skateboard . Thanks to this, they allow a more stable posture when traveling around the city or driving on any surface.

The size of longboards  can vary from 35″ to 50″ or more. Its concave shape and curvature also varies depending on each modality or style to which it is focused.


In exchange for longboards , pennyboards are quite basic and small in size. They are the most generic skateboards and are suitable for any field, even to perform basic tricks and stunts. They are usually called simply Penny due to the brand that popularized this type of skate .

These types of skates are ideal for children, especially for those who still do not have enough mastery over skateboarding . They usually have very bright colors.


It is the union of two boards in one, it is a mixture of skate, surf and snow. The name waveboard comes from the English 'wave board'. It only has two wheels. Due to this peculiar fact, the way of driving this type of skate is quite special and requires some practice.

If you are a 'waveboarder' it means that you have a very good technique because its use is not easy. It is a type of skateboard that has emerged very recently and there are not many models of this type for sale.

It must be borne in mind that this type of skateboard could never be used in the Olympics, since it is a totally different board from the one used in the sport of skateboarding.

finger board

Do you have more skill with your hands than with your feet? Fingerboards are a miniature version of skateboarding that allows you to do all the tricks in the world of skateboarding but with your fingers. They are also called finger skates .

Oddly enough, there are special miniature skateparks and ramps for this small version of skateboarding. This type of skateboard could never be used in the Olympics, since it is a totally different skateboarding table .


To choose a good skateboard it is very important to take into account several factors, not only the graphic, since after all, it is the first thing that is damaged by its use. It is necessary to take into account the weight, height and size of the foot when choosing the most suitable board for skateboarding .

Weight and height are important to consider, but not as important as foot size. One thing tends to trade off the other, so choose the size of the skateboard mainly according to your foot. Then, among those measurements, choose the one that you think best suits your body.

If you have a foot size between 36-39, a board between 7.5 and 7.8 inches is ideal for you. If you wear a size between 40-43, you should choose a table between 7.6 and 8.0 inches. In case you have a larger shoe size, between 44-47, it is best to use skateboards  between 8.1-8.5 or even more if its use is for ramps.

As we have already mentioned, there are a wide variety of modalities for the use of the skateboard. This also influences a lot when choosing both the table and the rest of the components.

Skateboard deck measurements generally start at 7.5 inches (about 19 cm) and can go as wide as 9 inches (about 23 cm). The smaller sizes (7.5 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 7.8-7.9) are usually the ones used for streetstyle or freestyle. The larger sizes (8.0-8.1-8.2-8.3-8.5-8.6-8.7-9.0) are mainly used for ramps or for street transportation.

Other features

The concave of the skateboard deck is also something important, there are 3 different types:

  • Low, would be the lowest and is used in ride boards .
  • Medium, is the concave of a most common skateboard .
  • High, is the tallest and most recommended for tricks due to its feeling of grip.

Another important factor is the technology or composition of the skateboard , especially if you already have experience on the skate and you are looking for something resistant and durable. If you just want to get moving with it and do a few tricks, a skateboard deck with Thriftwood or Resin-7 technology is best for beginners. Both are made with 7 plies of Canadian maple and Epoxy resin.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something more resistant to shock, Resin-8, Featherlight or Evo Shape technology is the right one for you. Finally, if you are looking for a very light and durable skateboard to do the best skate tricks, the Impact, Impact Plus, Double Impact, Impact Light and Über Light technologies are the perfect ones. These compositions are characterized by greater strength, rigidity and durability. Thanks to this, the movements are much more precise and have a greater pop.

skateboard trucks

Skate trucks are not much of a mystery. Many of its characteristics are imposed by the other pieces of your skateboard . Some of the characteristics of the axes that you must take into account are the height or the width.

For one, the width of skateboarding trucks should match the width of the deck. However, the units of measurement of the trucks can vary depending on the manufacturer of the skateboards . Below we explain what each measurement of axle width is for.

Trucks less than 7.5” wide fit thin decks and are especially recommended for kids' skateboards . Those with a width between 7.5” and 7.99” are ideal trucks for urban and freestyle boards . The next measurement is between 8.0” and 8.49” wide and they are the ones we find in park decks , ideal for skating in skateparks. Finally we have the trucks of more than 8.5 "in width, which are recommended for bowl and vert boards .

On the other hand, when we talk about the height of a skateboard truck , we refer to the distance between the baseplate and the hanger. That is, the distance between your wheels and your board. When it comes to skateboard trucks, there are three different heights: low (for 50-53mm wheels), medium (for 53-56mm wheels), and tall (for larger wheels).

skateboard wheels

As for the wheels, practically all skateboard wheels today are made of polyurethane. It is a material that is quite resistant to abrasion and has good grip conditions. Any skateboarding wheel that has a minimum quality must be made of polyurethane.

The measurements of the skateboard wheels are a very important aspect. In fact, the dimension of the wheels should be the first thing you should look at when you are choosing a skateboard . The measurement used by the brands is the diameter of the wheel expressed in millimeters (mm). The larger the diameter, the higher the speed the wheel can reach, so it is faster. In addition, by increasing the wheel size, it is easier to enter and exit when grinding obstacles.

However, the smaller a skateboarding wheel is , the less weight and height off the ground. The center of gravity is also lowered, making the skateboard more performant for technical street tricks.

Wheels smaller than 49mm are not recommended. They are hardly used for skateboards , since they are inefficient on practically any terrain. Wheels between 50mm and 56mm are the most common, as they work well on smooth surfaces and allow for easier tricks. If we are going to do a bit of everything, the 53mm size is probably the most popular size for street right now.

Finally, wheels between 56mm and 60mm are the ones sought after by skaters who need speed. They are widely used on ramps, where all possible speed is needed to reach height. They are also the most comfortable for skateboards intended to move around the city, since they respond very well to uneven terrain.

skateboarding tricks

In skateboarding you can do whatever you want. The search is totally personal and will evolve to the maximum according to your abilities. Being able to flow on a skateboard will take time and we can't assure you that it will be easy, but we can assure you that you will have an incredible time and that learning a new trick will feel so good that you will want to go for the next one. Below we leave you the basic tricks to start your path in the world of skateboarding. You can perform these tricks with a classic freestyle skateboard , just like a longboard , pennyboard , waveboard , or fingerboard .


The ollie is the most basic movement in skateboarding and opens the way to other tricks. Hit back hard with one foot and at the same time step the other foot forward to control the movement of the skateboard .

Frontside or FS

The basic ollie movement has its first variation by adding a 180 degree turn. It doesn't matter if the twist is done Frontside or Backside, the idea is that over time you will master both. Something key to be able to achieve a good movement is to rotate both with your lower body and with your upper body, so the movement will be more harmonious and effective. If it's FS, roll your shoulder out, if it's BS roll your shoulder in.

FS Pop Shovit

To perform this skateboarding trick , you step on the board, your back foot should hit the board on the ground and propel it slightly forward or backward. The front foot does nothing more than jump up, waiting for the exact moment to step on the skateboard and stop it from spinning.


The excitement generated by doing a skateboarding flip for the first time is incomparable. It is one of the moments in which you affirm that skateboarding is what you will love the most for the rest of your life. To do it you have to follow the same steps as the Ollie but with the difference that, in this case, the scraping foot must leave the skateboard with a diagonal movement, and then put the foot back inside and complete the trick. .

Having knowledge of these skateboarding tricks and mastering some of them, the next thing is infinity. There is no end to the combination of possible skateboard tricks based on the ones we have explained to you before. Flip with Backside, Flip with Frontside, Frontside 360, Shovit with Flip, Shovit 360 with Flip… We could spend all day naming skateboarding tricks .

Also, you can learn to master a trick on a classic freestyle skateboard , and then try to practice it on another type of deck. Have you ever tried to ollie on a longboard , pennyboard , waveboard or fingerboard ?