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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 boardsports 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. [1]


Surfing was the first boardsport, originating from Polynesian culture. Skateboarding was then invented by surfers looking to "surf" on land. [2] It is hard to estimate when most boardsports 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 clothesline to secure his feet on the plank of wood. [3] Most boardsports have similar, equally unknown origins.

Using data collected in the past decade, it is estimated there are 18-50 million skateboarders, [4] [5] 5-25 million surfers, [6] and 10-20 million snowboarders [7] in the world. Approximately 100 million people [8] participate in boardsports worldwide. [9]


There are a variety of board sports, which are characterized by terrain: Surf, Snow, Wake, Skate are the primary.


The grandfather of all board sports, is a surface water sport that involves the participant being carried by a breaking wave.
Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP)
A variant of surfing where one always a stands up on the board and propels oneself by a one-bladed paddle, without lying down on the board. Although originally the goal was to catch and surf the waves, a racing modality has emerged with similarities to kayaking.
Skimboarding (1930s)
A discipline of surfing involving riding a board on wet sand or shallow water. A predominantly recreational activity that has evolved into a highly competitive water sport.
Windsurfing (1970)
Also known as sailboarding. A water sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4.7 metre board powered by wind acting on a single sail. The sail is connected to the board by a flexible joint
Bodyboarding (1971)
Wave riding consisting of a small, roughly rectangular piece of foam, shaped to a hydrodynamic form. The bodyboard is ridden predominantly lying down, (or 'prone'). It can also be ridden in a half-standing stance (known as 'dropknee') or can even be ridden standing up.
Kneeboarding (1973)
A discipline of surfing where the rider paddles on his belly into a wave on a kneeboard, then rides the wave face typically on both knees.
Riverboarding (1978)
A boardsport in which the participant is prone on the board with fins on his/her feet for propulsion and steering.
Wakeboarding (1983)
A surface watersport created from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. As in water skiing, the rider is towed behind a boat, or a cable skiing setup.
Skurfing (1984)
Another fast growing boardsport is skurfing a mix of surfing and more conventional water sports in which the participant is towed behind the boat.
Flowriding (1991)
Similar to surfing but done on a man-made artificial sheet wave.
Wakeskating (1990s)
A rider is pulled behind a boat on a wakeskate which is smaller than a wakeboard and has no bindings with a foam or griptape surface.
Kitesurfing (1996)
Also known as kiteboarding. Boards similar to those known from windsurfing or wakeboarding are propelled by an inflatable or foil power kite, allowing for high speeds and high jumps. Other variations are to use a wheeled board or buggy on land, or skis or a snowboard on snow.
Wakesurfing (1997)
A rider is pulled behind a boat on a mini surfboard and can ride the boat's wake with no rope.


Paved surface

Skateboarding (1950)
Uses a board mounted on wheels, and often ridden on a half-pipe, in urban settings, or emptied specially built swimming pools.
Longboarding (1970s)
Similar to freeboarding but with long skateboards that come in different shapes and sizes, longboarding is mostly a racing sport but there are many other styles as well.
Snakeboard (1989)
Similar to skateboarding, but also influenced heavily by snowboarding.
Freestyle scootering (1996)
an action sport which involves using scooters to perform freestyle tricks, in a manner similar to skateboarding and BMX freestyle.
A board that has wheels similar to a car except smaller, it turns better than most boards on four wheels, its main purpose is to cruise and carve, it can turn 65 degrees, and has spring-loaded trucks that are almost as unique as a flowboards trucks.
Often said to be the board whose feel is the most similar to snowboarding. There are two extra castor wheels in the middle of the base that are somewhat lower than the other four. This allows the rider to distribute his weight to only one "edge", as in snowboarding. This gives the rider the ability to slide, an ability no other land board has besides the longboard.
Caster board
Two narrow platforms known as "decks" are adjoined by a rubber or aluminium coated metal beam that houses a strong spring. Each truck has one wheel that is connected to the board in such a way that each wheel can rotate independently. Both wheels are mounted on slants that measure around 30� in angle, facing away from the front of the board. Similar to Vigorboard (2003) : Constructed from two platforms, each supported by a single caster with a single wheel giving the board a total of two wheels. the two platforms are connected by heavy metal torsion bar that enables the board to twist in the centre.
Street Skurfing
Similar to Caster board, but the rider can move both feet independently.
Freeline skates (2000's)
A pair of skates designed to give the feeling of skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and inline skates all in one. Freeline Skates are extremely portable, making them the smallest and lightest form of transportation. See also Street Skurfing.
Street surfing
A split deck board connected by a spring rod to allow each half of the board to twist independently from the other, each side only having 1 caster wheel, allowing for tight maneuvers and self propulsion.
On-shore boards
A type of board that has four inline wheels and four in the back (two on each side) and is deeply concave in the front.
A skateboard deck with two wheels that can spin 360 degrees.

Off-paved surface

Land windsurfing
A sport similar to traditional windsurfing that is performed on land rather than water. A four-wheeled deck, similar to a mountain board or skateboard deck, is commonly used in conjunction with a mast and sail in order to project the board across land.
Mountainboarding (1992)
Similar to snowboarding, but on snowless peaks (in between winter seasons). The board is wider and sturdier. Mountainboarding is similar to skateboarding in the way that mountainbiking is similar to regular biking.
Kite landboarding
Similar to Kite Surfing but the kite is used to pull the rider along flat ground (often a hard packed sandy beach) on a mountainboard


Snowboarding (1977)
A cross between skateboarding and skiing, the board medium is snow, although the condition of the snow can have a major impact on snowboarding style and technique. The four subcategories are freeride, freestyle, alpine and powder.
Snowskating (1998)
This is similar to snowboarding but there are no bindings used. Instead the snow skate has a foam grip similar to griptape, enabling you to do skateboard style tricks. There are four main types of snowskates: Single deck (a skateboard-deck-like platform made out of either wood and/or plastic)
Bilevel (similar to a skate board but, instead of trucks and wheels, a small ski with metal edges called a subdeck is used with special trucks to be used on a ski hill);4x4 (a skateboard but the wheels are replaced by very small skis); Powderskate (can either be like a Bilevel snowskate or a single deck snowskate but longer and wider).
This is when a kite is used to pull a snowboarder along.


A recreational activity similar to snowboarding that takes place on sand dunes rather than snow-covered hills.


A kind of skydiving in which the skydiver wears a board attached to their feet and performs surfing-style aerobatics during freefall.

See also

Related Research Articles


Kiteboarding or kitesurfing, is an extreme sport where the kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow. combines aspects of sailing, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding and paragliding. It is among the less expensive and the more convenient of the sailing sports.

Articles related to surfing and surf culture include.

Longboard (skateboard)

A longboard is a type of skateboard. It is often longer than a conventional skateboard and has a wide variety of shapes. It tends to be faster because of wheel size, construction materials and more precise hardware. Longboards are commonly used for cruising, traveling and downhill racing, known as longboarding. Longboard 'dancing' and 'freestyle' are also becoming more popular styles, in which the rider uses skateboard-like motions and steps up and down the board, generally in a fluid manner.


Longboarding is riding on a longboard. Longboards vary in shape and size. Compared to skateboards, longboards are more stable, and have more traction and durability due to larger wheel size and lower wheel durometers. Generally, a skateboard comes in between 28-34 inches long and 7-10 inches wide, while a longboard has a length of 35-60 inches and a width of 9-10 inches. Many longboards use trucks (axles) that have different geometric parameters than skateboards. There are a variety of longboard disciplines, and types of longboards. Longboarding has competitive races down hill where riders can reach speeds exceeding 60 mph (97 km/h). The wider turning radius of longboards, as well as their ability to coast long distances make them more suitable for cruising and commuting on streets than regular skateboards.


Mountainboarding, also known as Dirtboarding, Offroad Boarding, and All-Terrain Boarding (ATB), is a well established if little-known action sport, derived from snowboarding. This was initially pioneered by James Stanley during a visit in the 1900s to the Matterhorn where snow was not available. A mountainboard is made up of components including a deck, bindings to secure the rider to the deck, four wheels with pneumatic tires, and two steering mechanisms known as trucks. Mountainboarders, also known as riders, ride specifically designed boardercross tracks, slopestyle parks, grass hills, woodlands, gravel tracks, streets, skateparks, ski resorts, BMX courses and mountain bike trails. It is this ability to ride such a variety of terrain that makes mountainboarding different from other board sports.


A snowskate is a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard, intended primarily to allow for skateboard-style tricks on the snow. There are many types depending on the brand or style of snowskate.


A kneeboard is a board ridden in a kneeling stance. Kneeboards are ridden in ocean surf, or while being towed behind a boat on a lake or river.

A T-board is a longboard skateboard with only two wheels, designed to mimic the sensation of carving on a snowboard. The design differs from a traditional skateboard in a way similar to how rollerblades differ from traditional roller skates. The two wheels simulate a carving edge on pavement. The innovative design allows the board to tilt at a 60-degree angle, like a surf/snowboard, rather than the standard 25 degrees on a skateboard.

Skurfing is a towed water sport similar to waterskiing, in that an individual is pulled behind a boat on a tow rope. However, instead of water skis, the sport uses a skurfboard—a floating platform the user balances on, similar to a surfboard, but typically much shorter, with two footstraps to prevent falling off the board and three fins positioned on the bottom that make it easier to maneuver when the board is being towed. The word itself is a portmanteau of skiing and surfing. Skurfing is often considered the precursor to wakeboarding.


Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat. After getting up on the wake, typically by use of a tow rope, the wakesurfers will drop the rope, and ride the steep face below the wave's peak in a fashion reminiscent of surfing. Wakesurfers generally use special boards, designed specifically for wakes.

Powder surfing, also known as powsurfing and often spelled as one word e.g. "powdersurfing", is the act of surfing on snow free of any form of bindings and without the aid of ropes, hooks or bungee cords. Powdersurfing is performed on "powsurfer" which is a specially designed board engineered to be controlled using only the rider's feet and balance. This birth of style of riding was inspired by powder snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding. The lack of any bindings or bungee ropes along with the design of the boards allow riders to bring movements and tricks from surfing and skateboarding onto the snow. Much like surfing, the only connection between the board and the rider is a leash to prevent runaway equipment should the rider fall. Powder surfing is closely related to snowskating in its fundamentals, style and required skill. Powder surfing was sometimes confused with Noboarding while in its infancy but the two are quite different both in fundamentals, equipment used, and the skill required to ride them. Noboarding is performed on a typical snowboard using a kit that includes a rubber pad and bungee cords that are anchored to the board and held in the hand of the rider to hold the board to the riders feet and make the board turn. Noboarding and the kit called the "noboard pad" was pioneered by Greg Todds. In contrast, powdersurfing and snowskating are performed completely binding free and hands free on specially crafted boards that are designed to be ridden without the aid of any ropes or binding.

Skateboard Wheeled wooden board used for skateboarding

A skateboard is a type of sports equipment used for skateboarding. They are usually made of a specially designed 7-ply maple plywood deck with a polyurethane coating for smoothness and durability and wheels attached to the underside by a pair of skateboarding trucks.

Skateboarding styles

A skateboard style refers to the way a skateboarder prefers to ride a skateboard. Skateboard styles can be broadly divided into two different categories: skateboarding to perform tricks and skateboarding as a means of transportation. Styles of skateboarding have evolved over time and are influenced by a number of factors including sociocultural evolution, mass media, music, technology, corporate influence and individual skill level.

Freeboard (skateboard)

A freeboard is a specialist skateboard designed to closely simulate the behaviour of a snowboard. Freeboards were developed to allow snowboarders to transition to skateboarding without the need to adapt to a smaller deck and narrower wheel-base.

Oxbow is a brand of clothing and athletic equipment. Since its creation in 1985 in Pont-Audemer, France, Oxbow has positioned itself in the world of boardsports as an international brand. Oxbow restarted the World Longboard Championship in 1992, and sponsors athletes such as surfer Laird Hamilton and windsurfer Jason Polakow. Oxbow's Back to Powder winter event draws some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world. The business is involved in five sports: surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, snowboarding, and skiing. Oxbow became an affiliate of the French group Lafuma in 2005.

Carveboarding is a boardsport on hard surfaces.
Carveboard is also the brand name of the board which popularized the practice of this sport.

The board was invented by Californian snowboarder & surfers to practice their moves during flat sea days and summer. The result is a board that shares with the surfing, snowboarding, skateboard ride experience. And although by its anatomy the carveboard looks somewhat like its cousins skateboards, the handling and feel are ultimately much closer to those of surfing and snowboarding. Joe Gerlach, Brad's father, started Carve Board Sports based on the design.

Human-powered land vehicle

Human-powered land vehicles are land vehicles propelled over ground by human power. The main ways to support the weight of a human-powered land vehicle and its contents above the ground are rolling contact; sliding contact; intermittent contact; no contact at all as with anything carried; or some combination of the above. The main methods of using human power to propel a land vehicle are some kind of drivetrain; pushing laterally against the ground with a wheel, skate, or ski that simultaneously moves forward; by pushing against the ground directly with an appendage opposite to the direction of travel; or by propeller. Human-powered land vehicles can be propelled by persons riding in the vehicle or by persons walking or running and not supported by the vehicle.

Hamboards manufactures and sells rail-to-rail Surfskates, SUPskates, Paddles and Accessories. Most Hamboards are longer, wider and sit higher off the ground than conventional skateboards and longboards. Hamboards also turn much more than conventional surfboards. The enabling technology are the patented Hamboards Surfskate Trucks (HST), featuring 30 degrees of roll, which allows these huge boards to track and pump aggressive surf-style carving maneuvers. The patented Street Sweeper SUPskate Paddle flexes significantly, allowing the user to spring themselves along with comfort.


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