Skateboarding <br />California’s Continuing Dominance of a Global Sport<br />Timothy Andrew Miller & Michael Pretes<br />D...
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Skateboard Poster Presentation

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A presentation used at the annual meeting of Association of American Geographers conference in Washington DC in April 2010. This was used to show California's continuing dominance in the sub-culture of skateboarding.

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Skateboard Poster Presentation

  1. 1. Skateboarding <br />California’s Continuing Dominance of a Global Sport<br />Timothy Andrew Miller & Michael Pretes<br />Department of Geography, University of North Alabama<br />Abstract<br />Skateboarding is one of the newest American sports and one for which global diffusion has been rapid and immediate. Like other sports, it diffused beyond its hearth region. Some American sports, such as baseball and basketball, have diffused so thoroughly that their original Northeast hearths have no special dominance or meaning. Unlike most other sports, skateboarding is still dominated by its California hearth. The bulk of skating locations, professionally sanctioned events, and place of residence of top skaters are all in the Los Angeles area. This project explores the factors behind the continued dominance of southern California in the skateboarding world, examining the spatial distribution of leading skaters, skateboarding events, and skateboarding magazine publishing and readership. We also consider the landscapes of skateboarding and the impact of perceptions of the California landscape on skaters.<br />Methods<br />For this project we identified 40 top skaters, based on information about professional standing available from several skateboarding websites. Biographical information about these skaters, including their birthplaces and current places of residence, were collected from other online sources (for details of sources, see maps). From the same sources we gathered data on the number of skateparks in each state. We identified the geographic locations of the publishing offices of major skateboarding magazines from online sources and the magazines themselves. In addition, we collected data on major professional skating competitions. These data were mapped and the maps are used to identify spatial patterns. <br />Data Source: www.concretedisciples.com<br />Findings<br />The results show that for each indicator (top skater birthplace, top skater place of residence, number of skateparks, skateboarding magazine publisher location, and major professional skating competitions) California ranks number one. California dominates in the number of top skater birthplaces, with 60% of top skaters born in that state. California also dominates in the current place of residence of top skaters, with almost 88% of top skaters residing there) with the remaining 12% residing in only two other states). California has more than two and a half times the number of skateparks as does the next leading state, Texas. Of the five leading skateboard magazines, four (80% of the total) are published in California. The most popular and competitive skateboarding event, the X-Games, has held 15, including the past 7, in California. <br />Conclusion<br />California, particularly the Los Angeles region, is essentially the central hub of skateboarding. Professional skateboarders, if not born there, flock to California to pursue their love and passion for the sport. We speculate that the traditional culture of skating, the large number of skateparks, and year-round pleasant weather account for California’s dominance. Competitions along with magazine distributors congregate in California as a result of the high interest in the sport there. The magazine exposure and televised events highlight skating in California, resulting in increased skater migration to the hearth area, as new skaters hope to leave their mark on sport. <br />Acknowledgement: Funding for student travel provided by Department of Geography, University of North Alabama.<br />

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