Written by Steve Garcia
The skateboard has become a standard item of equipment for many young adults. With the growing popularity of skateboarding since it's invention, the skateboard can be associated with youthful energy and adventurousness. In essence, skateboarding may be a solo sport but boarders usually hang around in groups while performing stunts or runs.
It takes coordination to apply balance and grace to master the sport of skateboarding. The fitness benefits as a result of skateboarding are that the joints and the stability of ligaments around the knees and ankles are strengthened. This is in part to the running, boarding and stunt performance involved in skateboarding.
In the late 1950s, the skateboard was invented as a means of surfing outside of water. The idea stemming from surfing enthusiasts, frustration on relying on the weather conditions to surf. The first skateboards were basically the bases of roller skates nailed to the front and back ends of wooden planks.
Standard maneuvers for skateboarding include the 180, 360 and the "Ollie". The "Ollie" was invented by Alan Ollie Gelfand and the manoeuvre involved leaping into the air while having the board stay flush with your feet.
With skateboarding growing popularity, more and more specialized skateboarding parks are being built. Some in which formal competitions are being held such as the popular extreme sports competition, the X-Games.
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When choosing the right equipment for skateboarding it is important to be selective. Skateboards vary depending on the styles of riding you wish to do. Things to pay attention to when choosing a board are the skateboard deck, the trucks (components, which the wheels are attached to), and the wheels, which is the most critical element of a skateboard as it provides functionality and safety. The prices can range from $20 - $200. Other equipment includes helmets that are designed specifically for skateboarding, and protective pads for your knees and elbows and wrist supports. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing and investing in a good pair of skateboarding shoes adds to the skateboarding experience.
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Contact your local parks & recreation department or check out these Hamilton area skateparks:
|Beasley Park Bowl||Beasley Community Centre @ 27 Elgin Road, Between Mary St, Cannon St E, and Wilson St, near Kelly St.||A 1.5 hectare park with skateboard area with barrier curb, start ramp, half pipe and bowl. Adjacent are a community centre, playground, plaza, spray pad, display fountain, walkways, benches, washrooms, parking. There is no charge. Annual skateboarding championships are held at Beasley Park. (905) 546-4042.|
|Parkdale Skatepark, Hamilton||East Hamilton, corner of Queenston and Parkdale (visible from main street) in all. Washrooms in arena.||All-concrete park with roll-ins with rail / ledge on one side of the park and a quarterpipe / banks on the other. There is a table top in between and a small rail.|
|Evolushun skate shop and park, Hamilton||1508 Upper James Hamilton (905) 383-6575||Two 16 foot wide mini ramps, back to back, but not with a spine. It also features a street section, but it's pretty tight. It cost 10 bucks a session, and helmets are required.|
|Ancaster Skateboard Park||Spring Valley Arena, 29 Orchard Drive by Wilson Street West, Ancaster.||This is an indoor skateboard facility, running July to August. Outstanding features are the 1/4 pipe, fun box, vert wall, rails, and many more ramps. Open 2:00pm to 8:00pm, Thursday to Tuesday, and Snacks and drinks are available from vending machines. The fee is $4 for half a day, and $7 for a full day. Helmets mandatory & a waiver must be signed (for those under 18, the parents must sign).. (905) 648-4571 ext. 251|
|Dunnville||Located in Lions Park||A tennis court park with ¼ pipe, flat bank, grind box, hand rail, kickers, launch. Street course good for beginners. Free. No pads required|