Because of the popularity of skateboarding, it is not surprising that many competitions exist for skateboarders to show off their skills. Exciting both for competitors and fans, these competitions usually take place in an arena, with ramps, jumps, and other skateboarding park fixtures. Competitions may take place indoors or outdoors, depending on the style of skateboarding. Some tricks are performed in a bowl, while others take place on the street. In many cases, skateboard competitions are about showing off the most complicated tricks you can perform.
Because skateboarding is a relatively new sport, the most prominent skateboard competitions have only existed for a few decades. In fact, the first recorded skateboarding competition happened in 1975 at the Ocean Festival in Del Mar, California.
The most prominent competition today is the X Games, although there are many other popular contests. These are usually open only to invited boarders or those who have won qualifying competitions. For example, the most famous pro skateboarders are known for debuting their new tricks at the X Games. The X Games, which began in 1995, are held twice per year, and focus on extreme sports including not only skateboarding but also motocross, BMX, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Currently, the four skateboard categories include vert, street, big air, and SuperPark.
Several other popular skateboarding competitions are the World Cup of Skateboarding and the Vans Triple Crown. The World Cup takes place at different cities around the globe throughout the year. The Vans Triple Crown takes place on a vert ramp, and the season usually ends in Southern California. Each competition includes one or more styles of skateboarding, with a specific way of calculating point totals for the skateboarders. In part because skateboarding is such a new sport, there is no one competition that stands above the rest, and most professional skateboarders show their tricks at a wide range of competitions throughout the year.
Many competitions are hosted by skateboard manufacturers as an advertising gimmick to boost the popularity of their brand with skateboarders. The winners of these competitions may end up with trophies, prizes, or endorsement deals. Skateboard competition winners may also get noticed by various sponsors.
For most skateboard competitions, there are no upper age cutoffs or other restrictions. Most competitors are boys, although girls are also involved in the sport. There are also several competitions which cater to women in skateboarding, including the All Girl Skate Jam and the Ride Like a Girl contest.
There are countless local contests wherever there is a concentration of skateboarders in a given town. Most of these are open to everyone, although those under 18 will likely need parental consent. At these competitions, skateboarders at all skill levels can show off their tricks. There is not usually a high standard for entrance qualifications, although this is not always the case. Most local competitions are more about fun and showing off than about prizes or endorsement deals, although they may be sponsored by a local skate shop or skateboarding company.