When looking at the timeline factors of a skateboard, it is important to keep in mind that the culture surrounding the product have affected it more than the product itself. In terms of design, exploratorium.com said a skateboard is targeted to all people to help them have a sense of freedom and fluidity while moving throughout the urban landscapes of our world. This shows that the skateboard in itself is not a product targeted to any one group but the use of it has been encouraged toward a certain gender because of culture.
In today’s skateboarding industry, many skateboard makers know how to make the standard skateboard. In the industry, there is very little variation on the standard skateboard, there are different kinds of skateboards besides the standard but within each product there is no variation. A standard skateboard is a standard skateboard, a long board is a long board, etc. Due to this, there is no need to really test each skateboard because the testing has been done over the years by customers in the industry, those customers mainly being male.
The skateboarding industry is ruthless. It is an industry filled with competition and new entrants get eaten up regularly. With this being said, those at the top at the industry are there because of superior products, history in the market, and proven reliability with customers. Bestskateboarddecks.org ranked the most popular skateboard based off of their creativity and sales. The list that the site published went as follows: Enjoi, Zero, Girl, Plan B, and Element. When it comes to production, skateboarding companies will pass off the actual production to other companies but the design (what you see on the bottom of the deck) is all them. Skateboarding.transworld.net wrote an article highlighting the production process and how it is affected by the economy. A lot of the manufacturers are based on the west coast, mainly southern California.
One of these companies in the article is Watson Laminates from San Diego, California. The insides of these companies, and Watson Laminates, correlates with the skateboarding industry itself, women are scarce and few. Conditions are very good and this leads to great quality from these manufacturers, but women are rarely found within these companies. Materials come from many parts of the United States. Lumber comes from the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest regions, and mostly all the other pieces are manufactured in the company itself.
The concept of the skateboard was birthed for and gained traction in the era of people wanting a way to express themselves in a new and innovative way. Skateboarding became an edgy way to pursue exercise and became a culture where people could “stick it to the man”. Skateboarding was, and still is, marketed toward all people. Young people, specifically young adults are those who are targeted.
Statista.com stated that from 2006 to 2014, young adult participation in skateboarding grew from 970,000 to 1,600,000. The largest spike was in 2007 when 1,380,000 young people participated in skateboarding. The majority of these young people are men. This isn’t because of the industry purposefully targeting men, but because this is how the culture of the industry has evolved.
The skateboard industry is very saturated from top to bottom. It is a very hard market to compete in and make a profit in. The companies that make the most money are those big name brand and they really get the most profits because of the ability to be direct. This has really hurt mom and pop skate shops which, while being the center of a skaters day, are actually losing money. The Ride Channel talks about how the ability for skaters to work directly with the big name players in the industry have cut out the middle man which are the skate shops.
Skateboarding is a very independent activity and it was made for people to represent oneself. With that comes the problem of when a skateboard needs to be fixed or tuned up. Most people will take it to a skate shop, however less and less of these are in existence because they aren’t very profitable, also according to The Ride Channel. So because these skate shops are disappearing from a skaters life, the support and knowledge falls more and more onto the skater themselves. This means that support is almost non-existent as well.
Maintenance has become easier and easier for skaters due to the internet. Back in the day, skaters would need to take a board to skate shop to get it cleaned up, tightened, and/or loosened. However, now because of the ability to learn on the internet and the fact that it is necessary for skaters to do self maintenance, it has become done more by the skater and become easier for self maintenance rather than taking it to an expert.
A skateboard is made out of wood which we all know is recyclable. So the deck part of a skateboard is very easily recycable.
In order to do that, one must unscrew the trucks (the metal part that connects the board to the wheels) from the board. The board can be recycled and the trucks and the wheels and all of the other small pieces go to the land fill.