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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There are a number of skate parks, large and small in the Niagara area:
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