There are over 11 million active skateboarders today, but you wouldn’t know that sitting here in India. Even if you follow mainstream American or European media, you are unlikely to find too many mentions of the sport. Yet, wikipedia states that the skateboarding market was worth $4.8 billion wordwide, and that was in 2009!
The question then is, how does a sport still relatively marginalized by mainstream media attract millions of fans and build iconic superstars?
Well, back in 2000, this was how I learnt about skateboarders.
The X Games on TV. And my PlayStation with the game Tony Hawk Pro Skater. A combination of the two made me learn about guys like Bob Burnquist, Andrew Reynolds, and my personal favourite Rodney Mullen.
If not video games, it was movies like the ’86 cult classic Thrashin’ or videos shot and released by skateboarders themselves, that historically led to the acceptance of the sport as well as the popularity of its greatest performers.
Social media and pro skaters
The video below explains through opinions from pro skateboarders ranging from the age of 16 to 40, the importance social media plays in self promotion.
As a glimpse of the perspective that the video will give you – Ten years ago, a skateboarder had to get an interview with a magazine to get his face, name and word out. Today, social media serves as is their personal magazines.
Watch the full video below. You will hear skaters talk about social media and its benefits, endless possibilities, video capabilities of Instagram, and even show a little scepticism.
This video is part of a series on the Red Bull YouTube channel called “Pushing Forward”.