Skateboarding Audience and Culture

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Skateboarding - Demographics

The average core skater is a male between the ages of 13 and 14, Caucasian, and coming from a household where the median income is between $25,000 and $49,999.

SKATEBOARDING DEMOGRAPHICS

Age

  • The average age of skateboarders is between 13 and 14 and they participate in the sport on average 50.8 days in the year. 60% of core skaters are under 15.
  • Only 1% of core skaters are above the age of 55, and only 2% of the skater population is over the age of 45.

Gender

  • 83.4% of core skaters are male.

Ethnicity

  • As of 2019, 73% of core skaters are Caucasian, 16% are Hispanic, and only 1% are African American.

Income level

  • The majority of core skaters come from households where the median income is between $25,000 and $49,999.

Education level

  • 38% of core skaters are coming from households that primarily did not finish high school, while 13% completed only high school.
  • Only 13% of core skaters come from college-educated households. 36% of households are a mix of high school graduates and college graduates.
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Skateboarding - Psychographics

The main values of core skateboarders are independence, creativity, resourcefulness, and friendship, which are oftentimes reflected on social media, primarily Instagram. Music and fashion are the primary interests of core skaters.

Values and behaviors

  • The main values of core skateboarders are independence and resourcefulness regarding how they approach life.
  • Additionally, creativity and friendship are the two things that draw core skateboarders to skateboarding in the first place but showcase the skaters' core values as human beings as well.
  • Authentic skateboarding behaviors, such as the use of traditional niche media, including zines, magazines, and old-school videos, has been replaced by social media use, mainly Instagram.
  • Skateboarding is positioned as a resistive counter-culture within core skater groups, and skaters are more often than not strongly rejecting many middle-class values and practices.
  • Ideologies against conformity and beliefs against preordained structures of society are at the forefront of many conversations within the group. The idea behind living is expressed through the personal projects of skaters living their lives without societal norms and in a way that allows for the biggest personal fulfillment.

Media platforms/digital engagement

  • According to scientific studies, Instagram acts "as a key outlet for skaters to develop and maintain their authentic subcultural identity. Skateboarders’ view, discuss, and share media to refine and display their understanding of the subculture."
  • On Instagram, skaters are usually sharing videos of their own practices and successes but are also using it to learn new tricks and keep up with trends in skating. Moreover, Instagram is the go-to channel for core skaters to stay up to date with their skateboarding heroes who are living and competing as professional skaters.
  • Social media practices are seen as identity claims in core skaters. The skaters' social media identities can make or break the success of skaters in their skating group, as their online behavior can completely influence their offline experience.

Interests and affinities

  • According to studies done on skateboarding, the enjoyment and fun of the sport come from watching and studying other core skateboarders, and this situation can happen only in big areas such as parks and streets. This is why the interests of core skaters will be focused on the "ambiguity of the ownership and function of urban public spaces."
  • Fashion is one of the key interests of core skateboarders. Skateboarders use urban fashion more effectively than any other group in society to portray themselves as a resistant subculture "of their own challenging capitalist norms, cultural forms and physical relationship with the urban environment."
  • Skater style draws from the style of the 60s and 70s. The most important part is the shoes, such as skater sneakers like Vans or Converse.
  • Music is the third most-defining interest for skaters, with unique musical preferences pertaining to different skater groups and times. Music, which has survived different eras and is still listened to by skaters, includes the likes of Wu-tang Clan, Beastie Boys, Ed Templeton, and Plan B.



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