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World Skate was ratified in September 2017 after the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) was dissolved, almost 100 years after its 1924 inception.

Rink hockey was the first of the sports to receive Olympic recognition when it became a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992.

Roller speed skating became a medal event at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while skateboarding was awarded a seat at Tokyo 2020 where it will make its debut.

Italy’s Sabatino Aracu is the President of World Skate. He was elected for a four-year term in May 2017.

Origins

There is no single person credited with inventing skateboarding or the first skateboard. The actual invention of the skateboard appears to have been a spontaneous occurrence in the United States sometime in the 1950’s, fuelled by the rise of surf culture and the modification of Great Depression-era kick scooters. Surfers are credited with this invention in their attempt to replicate surfing on land when the waves were flat, but by all accounts these homemade skateboards were being built all over the United States in the 1950s.

Skateboarding rapidly evolved from a fad during its first boom in the 1960s, to the centre of mainstream youth culture in the early 2000s. Skateboarding developed as an insular subculture; independent of the structure that defines traditional organised sports. It has been a grassroots movement driven by youth, with the vast majority of first-time participants under the age of 18.

Skateboarding is as much an art as it is sport, the fun and freedom of expression bestowed on those willing to step on a board is rewarding for all, regardless of ability, age, gender, socio-economic status, or ethnicity.

Tokyo 2020

There will be 40 athletes evenly split between men and women competing in park and street disciplines.

Park terrain courses are based on transitional concrete bowls from 5 to 10 feet (1.52 to 3.01 metres) in depth and are distinguished by design features such as spines, hips, extensions, escalators, banks, elevation changes, gaps and variable grinding surfaces.

Skateboarders generate and maintain momentum and move through park courses without pushing, utilising two specialised techniques known as pumping and carving.

Park skateboarding tricks consist primarily of airs, lip tricks and inverts. Park differs from street skateboarding in that competitors almost never push to generate speed and frequently perform tricks grabbing the board with their hands.

Street skateboarding courses are designed to replicate real-world urban terrain and consist of stair sets, rails, gaps, benches, ledges, and planters on riding surfaces of variable elevations up to approximately 8 feet (2.44 metres). Traditional skatepark elements such as banks and quarterpipes are also included.

The foundation of modern street skateboarding is a trick called the Ollie. An Ollie allows skaters to lift the skateboard off the ground only using their feet, and unleashes thousands of different opportunities for tricks where skateboarders spin and flip their boards, and leap up, down, onto or over every obstacle in their path.

Each competitor utilises the course to demonstrate a range of skills, with judges assessing the degree of difficulty, height, speed, originality, style and execution to award an overall score.

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