Having strong ties to American culture, skateboarding is a pretty popular pastime in the US. There’s hardly a person who hasn’t heard of Bam Margera and Tony Hawk, even if he or she isn’t an avid skater.
Below you can find skateboard statistics that show how widespread this sport is. We’ve gathered some in-depth skating industry data, information on its demographics, and some fun facts.
Top 10 Skateboard Stats and Facts
- Roughly 77.1% of skaters are male, while 23.9% are female.
- An 11-year old broke Tony Hawk’s record in 2020.
- Skateboarding has been around since the 1920s and 1930s.
- Roughly 70% of all skateboarders are younger than 18.
- In 2017, over 98,000 Americans ended up in an emergency room after skateboarding.
- There are 40 skateboarding deaths per year.
- Kids who skateboard have greater self-esteem
- Polyurethane wheels led to the rise of skateboards in the 1970s.
- Laredo, TX, and Sacramento, CA, are the best places for skating in the US
- The skateboarding industry might be worth $2.4 billion by 2025.
Skateboarding Trends and History
As mentioned, skateboarding has a long history. As such, it has also influenced many trends over the years. Here are some facts about skateboarding that you might find entertaining.
1. An 11-year old broke Tony Hawk’s record in 2020.
In 2020, Tony Hawk’s two-decade record was broken. One of the most exciting skateboarding facts on this list is that Gui Khury, an 11-year-old from Brazil, did a 1080 degree turn.
This vertical ramp trick had a record carried by the great Tony Hawk for years. However, he managed “only” a 900-degree turn (at the age of 31).
2. Skateboarding has been around since the 1920s and 1930s.
Some interesting historical skateboard facts teach us that, while the earliest prototypes of the skateboard were invented in the 1930s, it took four decades for the sport to take off.
Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure how it all started. Some say that surfers invented the skateboard, so they could still practice when there were no waves. Others say skateboards developed from scooters.
What we do know is that the first mass production of skateboards, as we know them today, came about in the 1950s.
3. Polyurethane wheels led to the rise of skateboards in the 1970s.
Frank Nasworthy recognized the potential of polyurethane and its importance for skateboarders. Ordering a couple of skateboard wheels to be made from this material, he noticed the smoothness, speed, and improved control these wheels offered.
They replaced the clay and steel wheels and gave skateboarding sports the boost they needed, making skateboard-related activities much safer.
4. At first, skateparks were “pay-to-play.”
(The Skatepark Project – Vision)
Unlike most of today’s skateparks, the first skateparks were commercial places that required a small fee to enter. Skateboard statistics show that during the 1970s, these parks had to close due to insurance premiums (and already low budgets).
This is when skateboarders took their sport to the streets, often causing a nuisance to regular pedestrians. Eventually, cities saw the benefits of skateparks and started designing them professionally.
5. Luis De Los Reyes beat the previous 50-50 grind record, grinding 292 feet.
In 2016, Jagger Eaton set a 204-foot 50-50 grind record. According to skateboarding stats, this record was beaten by Luis De Los Reyes (also known as Moose) in 2017.
This trick boils down to sliding along whatever edge you can find. Rails, curbs, benches, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re moving.
6. Milton Martinez won the 2019 Skater of the Year award.
It may come as no surprise to skateboarding fans that Martinez won the skateboarder of the year award. In an interview, he talks about how he traveled all over the world thanks to skateboarding. So, for him, it’s definitely not just a hobby — it’s a lifestyle.
7. There will be 80 skateboard athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Skateboard statistics from the 2020 Olympics will be interesting. The event will include both male and female athletes from across the globe. The USA Skateboarding national team has 16 skateboarders, some of them being quite famous in the skateboarding world.
General Skateboarding Facts and Stats
Moving on to the present times, skateboarding is unlikely to die out anytime soon. So, here are some more general facts and stats about this unique form of entertainment.
8. Skateboarding is rising in popularity.
Several factors are leading to a rise in skateboarding popularity. Factors like:
- Covid — people have more time on their hands and less work.
- No more stigma — the sport is no longer seen as an activity enjoyed by misfits and punks.
- Greater female interest — more and more women are becoming involved in skateboarding.
9. Skateboarding might be worth $2.4 billion by 2025.
Skateboard industry statistics are looking good. The industry’s global market size will most likely reach the mentioned amount with a CAGR of 3.1%.
The core factors that will most likely lead to this growth are (at the time of writing):
- Greater awareness of newer sports
- Increased interest in outdoor sports
- More skate parks being built
10. Laredo, TX, and Sacramento, CA, are the best places for skating in the US.
Some cities are better for skating than others. While this is slightly subjective, we can choose based on the number of skateparks per 100k residents. As far as skateboarding popularity in 2019 is concerned, Laredo and Sacramento are probably the best, with 3.3 parks per 100k residents.
11. There were around 3,500 skateparks in the US in 2019.
(The Skatepark Project)
According to skateboard stats gathered by the Tony Hawk Foundation, there were around 2800 public skateparks around the US. They also estimate that about 700 skateparks existed without them having factual data.
The foundation urges the construction of another 3,000 parks. They claim that this will meet people’s needs completely, and it will prevent people from skating on streets, campuses, parking lots, and other “inappropriate” places.
12. Kids who skateboard have greater self-esteem.
(NBC New York)
It’s no secret that increased physical activity is very beneficial to children. However, sports and skateboarding statistics and data show that kids who like to skateboard are less likely to take certain health risks and tend to have higher self-esteem.
So, who skateboards the most? Is it just a hobby for teenagers? Keep reading to learn more about who enjoys this activity the most.
13. Roughly 70% of all skateboarders are younger than 18.
(Public Skatepark Guide)
Skateboard stats show that most skaters are younger than 18. However, there are still many people who practice skating well into adulthood and even old age. Around 13% are between 18 and 24 years old.
Around 1% of skaters are aged between 45 and 54. However, people as old as 55 (and older) still skate, with 1% of skaters making up this demographic.
14. Roughly 77.1% of skaters are male, while 23.9% are female.
(Public Skatepark Guide)
Skateboard statistics show a wide gap regarding gender. The difference is even greater when one considers the numbers behind “core” and “casual” skaters.
Core skaters (people who skate once a week on average) are 83.4% male, while 16.6% are women. Hopefully, skating will follow trends seen in surfing, where more and more women are showing interest in the sport.
As fun as this sport can be, it’s not exactly the safest one out there. Some of the acrobatics included can easily lead to injury if done incorrectly and without proper safety gear. But is it as dangerous as people think? Let’s find out.
15. There are 40 skateboarding deaths per year.
Still, the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health Claims that skating isn’t that dangerous.
As far as injuries are concerned, 8.9 out of 1,000 participants get injured while skateboarding. Basketball, for example, has 21.2 ER visits per 1,000 players.
16. In 2017, over 98,000 Americans ended up in an emergency room after skateboarding.
Many people consider skating one of the most dangerous sports around. While men’s football causes the highest number of severe injuries compared to any other sport, skateboarding can still get you hurt.
Skateboard injuries statistics show that almost a hundred thousand people got hurt in 2017 while skateboarding. Of that number, 47,000 were people aged 15–24.
17. Skateboarding is not environmentally friendly.
Skateboarding trends do not include much innovation when it comes to the environment — at least not in terms of sustainability.
Skateboarders erode benches and curbs when skating outside of skate parks, causing urban decay. Skate parks themselves are large cement structures taking up the space that could have been used for gardens or parks.
The materials used are relatively unsustainable too. The skating industry leads to deforestation, specifically maple, as it’s a staple for building skateboard decks. Polyurethane used for wheels requires the creation of harmful emissions during its production process, as well.
18. Skaters between the ages of 14 and 24 account for half of all skating injuries.
Furthermore, children aged 4–14 accounted for one-third of all injuries. According to skateboard injury statistics, most injuries occur due to vehicle collisions and hill bombs.
How much does a skateboarder make?
Skateboarders’ salaries depend a great deal on sponsorships and endorsements. Winning the Maloof Money Cup competition can earn you a $100.000 prize. But until you get some excellent sponsorship deals, you are on your own. Some can make millions, like Ryan Sheckler and Tony Hawk, while others barely scrape by.
According to the co-founder of World Cup Skateboarding, Danielle Bostick, pro skateboarders can have salaries that range anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 a month.
How big is the skateboard industry?
According to reports from 2018, the US market size of the skateboard industry was at $1.9 billion. Moreover, as mentioned, it is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2025.
We hope this article helped you get a better understanding of skateboarding itself. We’ve tried to clarify some myths (like injury rates), give you a taste of skateboarding history, and provide you with real skateboard statistics showing its ubiquity.