12 Common Skateboarding Myths Debunked: Wheeling Out the Truth

Uncover the truth and shatter 10 big skateboarding myths. Get stoked on facts, not fiction, in the world of skates and flips.

Ever wondered about the truth behind those skateboard myths you’ve heard? If you’re anything like me when I first started shredding the streets, you’re probably curious about separating realities from tall tales in the skateboarding world. In this post, I’m going to take you on a ride down the path of common skateboarding myths and the truth behind them. From the weird quips about session styles and their reflections on your personality, trust me, we have a lot to cover. Ready to separate the downright sketchy from the solid truths? Let’s dive in.

What are the most widely believed skateboarding myths?

Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of this list, let’s take a moment to remember why we’re here. We all love skateboarding, but it can be tough to sift through the myths and the truths, especially when they’re coming from those we trust or look up to in the skateboarding community. Grab your boards, and let’s debunk some myths!

Image of an adult skater at the skatepark. Source: pexels
Image of an adult skater at the skatepark. Source: pexels

1. You can’t skate after you’re 30

Now, this is a fun one. The myth that you can’t skate after you’re the grand old age of 30 is simply not true. I’ve seen skateboarders older than 50 doing insane vert tricks that would leave any young gun open-mouthed. Skateboarding, like any form of exercise, depends more on your overall health and well-being than the number on your ID.

The truth is, while our bodies change and may have a slower recovery time as we age, it doesn’t mean you have to quit something you love doing. Pro Skateboarder Steve-O is a living example, skating well into his 40s and still shredding it up like there’s no tomorrow. Check Steve-O’s story to get a burst of motivation.

2. Trick riding is the “only” way to skate

Skateboarding, like any other sport, encompasses a wide variety of styles and techniques. The belief that trick riding on ramps and rails is the “only” way to skate is both narrow-minded and woefully incorrect. Street skating, longboarding, and downhill riding are all bona fide forms of skateboarding.

Remember, there is no “one way” to enjoy a passion. Many skaters prefer to cruise down city streets or carve around a bowl, and they’re as real skateboarders as any Olympic athlete can be. Need more proof? Look no further than the Brooklyn Banks – a skateboarding haven that is surprisingly low on the tricks.

3. Only athletes can skateboard

Ah, the old “you need to be an athlete to skateboard” nugget. It’s a myth, pure and simple. While skateboarding undoubtedly requires physical exertion and coordination, it does not mean that it’s completely off-limits to those of us who never made it to the football team in high school.

“Just like learning to ride a bike, skateboarding can be taken up by anyone willing to put in the effort, athletes or not.”

Just like learning to ride a bike, skateboarding can be taken up by anyone willing to put in the effort, athletes or not. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to stay healthy and build strength. It doesn’t require a particular physique, just passion and dedication.

4. Falling is always bad

This is one of the more pervasive myths in the skateboarding community. Yes, taking a tumble isn’t exactly enjoyable, and you definitely don’t want to get injured. However, this does not mean that every time you bail, it’s a bad thing. In fact, learning how to fall correctly is a fundamental part of skateboarding that can help you avoid serious injuries.

Pro skater Jaws has famously tackled insanely high jumps (and the subsequent falls), proving that a bad fall isn’t always as bad as it seems. Read about some of Jaws’ insane adventures to see falling in a new light.

5. Skateboarding is not a real sport

The myth that skateboarding is not a real sport often gets thrown around by those unfamiliar with the skill and athleticism required to pull off a kickflip or grind down a rail. Skateboarding requires balance, strength, timing, and a fair amount of risk-taking – all elements found in what we commonly refer to as “traditional” sports.

12 common skateboarding myths debunked: wheeling out the truth | image of skater luiz francisco at the olympics wiki commons | skateboard salad
12 common skateboarding myths debunked: wheeling out the truth | image of skater luiz francisco at the olympics wiki commons | skateboard salad

Moreover, skateboarding has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and it was included in the game for the first time in 2021. If that doesn’t solidify its standing as a legitimate sporting endeavor, I don’t know what would. Check out the greatest skateboarding moments to see some of the amazing feats achieved in this not-a-real sport. Can your prejudice do a flip and stick the landing?

6. Girls can’t skate

This myth drives me up the wall. Skateboarding is not gender-specific, and it’s a myth that only boys can skate. Girls can skate, and they can do it damn well, if I may add. Check out the women’s skateboarding scene; it’s thriving with killer female skaters who all show that girls can shred just as hard as boys. So whether you’re a guy, a girl, or anywhere in between or beyond – if you want to skate, just get on that board and make it happen!

7. Getting sponsored is easy

I hate to burst your bubble, but getting sponsored isn’t as easy as pulling off a few tricks in your local park and waiting for the big bucks to roll in. It takes years of practice, a unique style, some serious networking, and a hefty dose of luck to catch the eye of a sponsor. But hey, anything’s possible.

8. All skaters are rebels

This one is pretty much straight out of an 80s movie. Not every skater is a rebel, nor is skateboarding inherently rebellious. This stereotype is one major myth that contributes to the overall negative opinion some people hold about skateboarding. In reality, most skateboarders are everyday people who simply enjoy the sport.

9. Skateboarding patterns are the same worldwide

Believe it or not, there’s a cultural aspect to skating. The style, tricks and even the skate spots change from country to country. American skaters may not skate like Brazilian skaters, and that’s the beauty of it. Skateboarding is a global sport influenced by local culture and taste.

10. Skateboarding is easy

Any sport takes time and practice to master, and skateboarding is no different. One cannot simply step onto a board and immediately start busting out pro-level tricks. It requires balance, coordination, perseverance, and a bit of a thick skin for the inevitable falls initially.

11. Skateboarding stance reflects personality

“Left-foot forward means you’re more artistic, and right-foot means you’re more athletic.” You’ve probably heard this one in your local skate parks and street spots. Let’s make this clear, folks: your skateboard stance has nothing to do with your personality traits or creative prowess.

It’s all about what feels comfortable for you. So whether you ride goofy or regular, remember, the sick tricks come from practice, not your stance. Check out this post on Skater vs Session to see some insane stories about stance and style.

12. Skate decks are made up of a special type of wood

Ever heard the one about skate decks being made up of some special holy-grail type of wood that’s only grown in a secret corner of California? Yes, that’s a total bust. Most skate decks are made from Canadian maple, a solid choice for its strength and flexibility. No magical woodland creature or secret tree involved, I promise.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

12 common skateboarding myths debunked: wheeling out the truth | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

The necessity of injuries: mandatory rite of passage or illusion?

Every skateboarder respects the pain that comes with the game. But does this mean you have to get injured to be truly initiated into the club? Nah, that’s just a morbid myth. While injuries might happen, your goal shouldn’t be the gnarliest slam for initiation. Instead, it should always be more about skills and passion. Here’s a list of common skateboarding injuries you may want to watch out for, just to stay safe.

The skateboarding community can do better

I might not be a long-time skateboarder, but my brief journey in this world has taught me that misconceptions run wild. I’ve heard enough “You can’t do a tre flip because you’re too new to this” to last a lifetime. We need to rise above these myths.

“Skateboarding is more than just a sport, and it’s more than some rebellious teenage phase. It’s a lifestyle and a community. It’s a creative way to express oneself and freedom on four small wheels and a plank of wood.”

The skateboarding community is full of diverse, incredible individuals who break these stereotypes every day. And to the beginners out there powering through these myths, remember what happened during some of the worst pro skateboarding bails. Even pros fall, but they always get back up. Keep pushing, keep learning and keep debunking!

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Got more burning questions about those outlandish skateboard myths? Fear not. I’ve got a few more answers tucked in my sleeve to help silence those whispers. Enough talking, let’s dive into some frequently asked skateboarding questions.

Is skateboarding illegal?

Not at all! Skateboarding is perfectly legal. However, there are certain locations, such as private property or specific city streets, where skateboarding might be prohibited. It’s always best to check local laws and regulations or visit your local skate parks. Just don’t be the person who treats all spots like a free-for-all skate park, as mentioned in this post about people that ruin skateboarding.

Do all skaters listen to punk rock music?

Music preferences vary by individual, not their sport of choice. While punk rock has historical ties to skate culture, not every skater has a playlist filled to the brim with The Ramones or Black Flag. Many skaters enjoy hip hop, electronic music, indie rock, and a whole variety of other genres.

Do I need a specific type of board to learn to skate?

While certain types of skateboards can enhance specific styles or tricks, you absolutely don’t need a particular board to start learning. The best board for a beginner is something comfortable, stable, and well-suited to your size.

Should I invest in high-end gear as a beginner?

High-quality gear can potentially make the learning curve smoother. That being said, as a beginner, you likely won’t notice much difference between an entry-level and high-end setup. It’s more important to focus on learning the basics and gradually upgrading your gear as you develop your skills and preferences.

Final thoughts

Whew! That was quite the ride. We’ve shredded through some of the most common skateboarding myths out there and painted a clearer image of the truth on our skateboarding canvas. From debunking stereotypes to understanding cultural variations, we’ve not only broken down barriers but also fostered a more diverse and inclusive narrative around skateboarding.

Are you now more prepared to bust some myths the next time you hit the skate park? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on shredding the stereotypes around skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep rolling!

Key takeaways

This article busted some long-standing myths about skateboarding. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Skateboarding is not limited to any age or gender.
  • There are numerous forms of skateboarding apart from trick riding.
  • One doesn’t need to be an athlete to skateboard, and there’s no hard and fast rule about falling.
  • Skateboarding patterns vary worldwide, and certainly, it’s not as “easy” as it seems!

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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