Skating For Gold: Guide to Tokyo Olympic Skateboarding

Since its inception in the 1970s as an alternative land activity for surfers, skateboarding has existed in it’s own creative subculture.

There have been flirtations with the masses through Tony Hawk’s video games, however this year is truly a watershed moment for the sport. For the first time in history, skateboarding has been included in the Tokyo Olympic Games, so here’s a quick breakdown of the competition itself and the skaters fighting for golden glory.

How does the skateboarding competition work?

Both men and women will compete and competition is divided into two disciplines: street and park

In street, the course comprises city street-style features such as ramps, benches and rails, with competitors given two seperate 45 second runs and scored on five individual tricks per run. 

In park, the arena more closely resembles the sports beginnings, when Californian skaters used drained swimming pool bowls to perfect their airborne tricks. Each skater competes in a preliminary round and a final round, with 45 seconds per athlete in each. Only the score from the best run is counted.

Athletes are scored on creativity, stability, speed, air or ‘hangtime’, use of the course and flow, as well as other factors. If however, competitors wipe out or perform repeated tricks then points will be deducted from their score.

Names to look out for

Skates retailer have given the lowdown of their hot stars to watch this summer:

‘In the street competition we’re really excited to watch Nyjah Huston from the USA. He’s been the best mens skater for such a long period of time now and we’re tipping him to add Olympic gold to his 12 X-Games titles and 3 World Championship wins. In the park we’re stoked to see the youngsters Sky Brown and Bombette Martin tear it up for team GB. It’s also going to be interesting to see if Ayumu Hirano can become a medallist in two separate sports, adding to his snowboarding silvers from the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Pyeongchang.’

When and Where

The competition is taking place at Ariake Urban Sports park and Will start on Sunday 25th July with the Men’s streets preliminaries and finals. The women’s street event will follow on Monday 26th July, followed by the mens park on Wednesday 4th August and finishing with the women’s park on Thursday 5th August.

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