How difficult is skateboarding compared to other sports?

This is a common question we hear. Just how hard is it to skateboard? Well ESPN conducted an investigation to compare 60 different sports to find out which is the toughest. The panel of experts included sports scientists from the Olympic Committee, academians who study the science of muscles and movement and journalists who spend their professional lives watching athletes succeed and fail. And the results?

Well apparently skateboarding is ranked 37th.

This puts it behind surfing (23rd) and freestyle skiiing (25th).

What’s interesting is when you look at how it scored for the different elements – Endurance, Strength, Power, Speed, Agility, Flexibility, Nerve, Durability, Hand-Eye Co-ordination and Analytical Aptitude.

For example, skateboarding scored highly in Nerve (6.5 out of 10), in Agility (6.13 out of 10) and Durability (5.25 out of 10). Nerve refers to the ability to overcome fear, Agility the ability to change direction quickly and Durability the ability to withstand physical punishment over a long period of time. That all seems pretty fair.

However what about the very high level of foot co-ordination and timing needed for technical tricks? Have they factored this into Agility or Hand-Eye Co-ordination? If so, those scores seem a little low!

Also what about if we compare sports. Surfing for example scores a massive 8.25 for Nerve – compared to Skateboardings 6.5. Remember this refers to the ability to overcome fear. Now in our opinion having surfed and skated, isnt the prospect of slamming into concrete and breaking another bone a little scarier than tumbling off into the water? Obviously this isn’t too say that you cant have serious injuries whilst surfing but you only have to compare the number of times skaters bail compared to surfers, and surely either that surf number is too high or the skate one too low? (Unless of course this refers to Big Wave surfing but I don’t think it is)

Now this investigaton we assume is focussed on the toughness of the sport for professionals – so perhaps what would be an interesting investigation for SkaterGirl International to do, would be the toughness of the sport to learn? How tricky is it to get into skating and learn the basics? We’d say there was quite a steep learning curve compared to other sports – even that first step going from rolling around to doing an olly can seem like an insurmountable challenge for new recruits.

What do you think? Is skateboarding easier or harder than any other sports? What about learning it?

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About the author

My name is Lotta and I am one of the authors from the original SkaterGirl website. I'm a big fan of snowboarding, sushi and sangria!

View all articles by Lotta

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