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Competition Led Skateboarding Essay

812 words - 4 pages

Competition Led Skateboarding
Back in the 1960’s when skateboarding first became a pastime, it was not popular at all, and amongst those who did it, it was more of a dance than anything else. It wasn’t until 1975 that skateboarding started heading towards what we know it as today. The Zephyr Surf Team, based in Dogtown, began skateboarding as a substitute to surfing when the waves were choppy. They created their own style that was debuted to the public in 1975 at a competition that they won. That one competition is what changed skateboarding forever and converted it from a pastime to a sport. Stephen Holden, a film reviewer for the New York Times, uses the fact that, “the Zephyr Team gained national attention in 1975 when its members competed at the Bahne-Cadillac Skateboard Championship (Del Mar Nationals)” to show that without competition, some sports would never have made it at all. Some people might say that sports are played for the love of the activity and that games/competitions are not necessary. Most others argue that without competition it is not a true sport. However, competition is what fueled the beginning (and comeback) of skateboarding and competition is crucial to sports in three ways: promotion, notoriety, and money.
While skateboarding was still new, the truly talented needed a way to promote the sport in hopes of creating a fan base and making a career out of skateboarding. When the Zephyr Team, the Z-Boys, debuted their new surf-like/ low-to-the-ground style of skating at the Del Mar Nationals in 1975, the judges and crowd were so floored that the team was immediately disbanded because all the members were receiving offers from professional skateboard companies. With these unique, original, and contemporary young skaters, the companies were able to use competitions to get there names out and promote their merchandise and also the sport of skateboarding. Because of the Z-Boys and their new professional status, skateboarding escalated in popularity and so did the sale of skateboards. It was the competitions that made them famous. Killeen Gonzalez wrote, in an article about the history of skateboarding competitions, “[Skateboard competitions] were, however, an integral part of the skateboarding culture.” The Bones Brigade, a next generation skateboarding team created and led by former Z-boy Stacy Peralta, continued to bolster the sport through their fame of winning competitions. Skate...

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