Studies conducted by various organizations have provided evidence that skateboarding has a multitude of social benefits. These benefits include but aren’t limited to diversity, inclusion and community.
Skateboarding has acted as a diverse space where skaters from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have come together to share in their passion for skating. Researchers from the University of Southern California found that skaters of color felt a greater degree of safety from judgment within the skateboarding community than in non-skate contexts. While a study conducted by Instinct Laboratory and Flo Skatepark surveyed skaters that described “feeling like they could be themselves when at a skatepark, surrounded by others with a similar outlook.” The common thread that binds skaters together is that they have a shared love and appreciation for skateboarding which results in a space that embraces a “the more the merrier” attitude.
Inclusion has been present in skateboarding and is even more so now than ever. Skateboarders were initially seen as a counter-culture by mainstream society and often welcomed those who were misunderstood and mislabeled by the rest of the world. In recent times, more light has shined on female and queer skateboarders around the world. The nonprofit Skate Like a Girl has hosted women and trans sessions at Seattle skateparks. Women divisions have become more prevalent in competitions and several transgender skaters have competed in various skate competitions around the country with some who have gone pro like Leo Baker and Marbie Miller.
A first-of-its-kind study of skateboarding culture conducted by the University of Southern California showed that skateboarding and skateparks facilitate a sense of community among skaters. The skaters that were surveyed reported the value of connecting with people who share similar passions in skateparks. These encounters foster intercultural communication and offer skaters the opportunity to interact with, and gain an increased understanding of, skaters of diverse racial, age, socioeconomic and gender backgrounds.
The social benefits of skateboarding are abundant and go beyond those mentioned here. With your supporting contributions, we deliver access to these benefits and more to well-deserving youth in underserved communities around Arizona.