But skaters have been coming out in in force in recent years – both on pavements and professionally. A trend that accelerated even more during the various lockdowns. And skateboarding is BIG, booming and inclusive. It is expected that by the end of 2021 there will be more skaters than ever before and the overall business of skating will be worth at least about $2.4 billion by 2025 (not so fringy then).
The skateboarding craze has spread to TikTok, which shows thousands and thousands of videos of skaters wiping out, executing amazing tricks, or just people hanging out at skateparks. It is clear skateboarding is bringing in billions of views on social media. It has its own online community on TikTok referred to as ‘SkateTok’. You may also be familiar with ‘Doggface’ - the Idaho farmer who, after a first video of him skateboarding to the tunes the Fleetwood Mac went viral on the site, has amassed 6.7 million followers on TikTok.
The explosion of interest in skateboarding has encouraged one-time skaters to pick up the hobby again and equally convinced complete newbies to try it for the first time — and unlike the male-dominated world that was the face of skate culture for decades, many of TikTok’s skate stars today are young and female. Hashtags such as #girlswhoskate and #skatergirl are growing exponentially.
One of the female ‘star’ skaters today is schoolgirl Sky Brown, 12 years old, who is a real inspiration to all skateboarders out there. At the age of just 11, Sky was in a life-threatening accident that could have ended not only her career but also her life. She fractured her skull and broke her wrist after falling off a ramp whilst training in California. Now, Sky is back to full health, and has used her accident as a sign of strength, wanting to show people how she could ‘get back up again’.
Skateboarding is one of five new sports that will be introduced at the Olympics in 2021, and it is Sky’s dream to perform in Tokyo. Ranked third worldwide, and being the youngest competitor on the circle, Sky’s position is entirely unique and very impressive. With a Nike sponsorship and a world-class reputation behind her, I for one have plenty of faith that Sky will wow at the Olympics and will continue to for many years to come. Check out a video of her amazing moves here.