Conflicting Cultures of the Skateboarding World

January 08, 2018

electric skateboard

The electric skateboard is fresh on the scene, whereas the traditional skateboard has a lengthy history and rich culture. The skateboarding industry itself can be a little culty at times. Even among traditionalists, 77% of skaters prefer to purchase from smaller, less mainstream brands over the big names. 

In the skateboarding world, there have been some recent additions that haven't gotten the warmest welcome. Among them is the electric skateboard. We're going to break down the three main skate categories that are out there.

This group you know best. Whether it's from videos you've seen floating around the web or people waxing a ledge in a local park, you know the group. Crowding street, park, and pipe, this group has been around and dominant for a long time. Not so receptive to outsiders, but once you're in the fold, you're family. 

Having become increasingly popular in the last 15 years, this group is a more leisurely and practical one. Longboards aren't meant for tricks, but for speed and a smooth riding cruise. Across the United States, it's a common form of college campus transportation. You'll see these on open flat surfaces peacefully wheeling around, which tends to annoy traditional skaters. 

Electric Skateboards
The skate culture noobs are electric powered skateboards. And they are awesome. They're similar to longboards but have controllable motors that can boost you to speeds your pushing feet could not. Rechargeable battery powered skateboards are a wonderful, sustainable form of transportation. These can even leave the pavement. Off-road electric skateboards are hitting treacherous dirt trails that traditional and longboards wouldn't dream of riding on. 

Why The Beef?
Skate culture -- generally from the traditional side -- has always had a beef about something. Brand rivalries, skate crew rivalries, pick a fight and they've probably had it. Usually, they're nothing more than invented nonsense for the sake of starting something. In this case, it's about a sport that's long been one thing (traditional) finding its way into other versions of the sport that they're having trouble coming to grips with. Longboards and electric skateboards are pretty cool together, mainly because they're very similar in build except one has a motor. 

The moral of the story is it's all one culture and the old and new should vibe together. Will you be doing kickflips on an electric skateboard? Probably not. And that's okay. Getting from place to place on the wheels of a skateboard is a beautiful feeling, no matter the style. Push, motor, longboard, traditional? Whatever, just ride.

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