Boardsports are sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. These sports take place on a variety of terrain, from paved flat-ground and snow-covered hills to water and air. Most board sports are considered action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. A large proportion of youth partaking in these sports, together with aesthetic damage to property from sports like skateboarding, has led to many board sports being marginalized by the greater world of sports in the past. However, many board sports are ever-more frequently gaining mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.
Surfing was the first board sport, originating from Polynesian culture. Skateboarding was then invented by surfers looking to “surf” on land. It is hard to estimate when most board sports were “invented” because people have been making homemade versions throughout history. For example, it is not hard to conceive of a person, who is familiar with the concept of skiing or sledding, standing sideways on a plank of wood and riding down a snow-covered slope. M.J. “Jack” Burchett is credited with first doing this in 1929, using horse reins and a clothesline to secure his feet on the plank of wood. Most board sports have similar, equally unknown origins.
Using data collected in the past decade, it is estimated there are 18-50 million skateboarders, 5-25 million surfers, and 10-20 million snowboarders in the world. Approximately 100 million people participate in board sports worldwide.
Types of Boardsports
- All-terrain Windsurfing
- Street surfing
- Snow skating