Street skateboarding is a style of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and transitions in public places. Street skateboarders skate in urban streets, plazas or industrial areas, making use of park benches and picnic tables, guard rails and handrails, planter boxes, bins, stairs, retaining walls and other street furniture not purpose-built for skateboarding.
Competition street skateboarding is conducted in purpose-built skateparks designed to replicate real-world urban environments featuring purpose built benches, stairs and rails alongside traditional skatepark elements like vert ramps and funboxes.
As skateboarding gained popularity during the 80s and 90s, skateboarders no longer limited their activities to drained swimming pools and purpose-built skateparks. Instead, they began performing tricks in urban areas and skating through urban areas as skateboards increasingly became an accepted mode of transportation. Traversal through urban areas evolved to where some skateboarders began focussing on skating in and around those urban areas; honing their skills by skating improvised courses made up of existing urban features.
Interaction with general public
Given street skateboarding makes use of urban environments and public areas, it is the style of skateboarding that most often brings skaters into conflict with the public, law enforcement, and other authorities. In some cases, local authorities in popular skateboarding areas have introduced a range of initiatives to ban skateboarding, confiscate skateboards, or make skateboarding difficult or impossible.
A number of major international competitions include a street skateboarding event or component, including:
Skateboarders usually set-up their boards with 55mm (or smaller) wheels and narrower decks to make the board flip and spin faster and to make performing tricks easier. Most boards are about 7 1⁄4 to 8 inches (184 to 200 mm) wide and 30 to 32 inches (760 to 810 mm) long. The wheels are made of an extremely hard polyurethane, with hardness (durometer) approximately 99A. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards are lighter, and the wheel's inertia is overcome quicker, thus making tricks more manageable. Board styles have changed dramatically since the 1970s but have remained mostly alike since the mid-1990s. The contemporary shape of the skateboard is derived from the freestyle boards of the 1980s with a largely symmetrical shape and relatively narrow width. This form had become standard by the mid '90s. Parts can be individually replaced and fixed should they require maintenance.
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