How the Internet Changed Skateboarding
Skateboarding has never been more accessible than it is today. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, watching a skate video meant buying it for as much as $50 from a shop, or more likely, borrowing a well-worn VHS dub from a friend. Monthly magazines were your only source of news, and unless you lived in San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles, the prospect of communicating with a pro—except for at a demo or autograph signing—was non-existent.
Then the Internet arrived. Just as it has permeated almost every part of our lives, it has seeped into every aspect of skateboarding. Upon waking up today, you likely reached for your phone to check your Twitter and Instagram feeds, which updated you on the comings and goings of the pros you follow on either service. Your Web routine almost certainly included a visit to Hellaclips, which posts dozens of clips each morning. You might have also browsed one of several forums in search of the most recent rumors of team changes, new companies and beefs.
Even in the days of dial-up, when only a handful of skate sites existed, the Internet had begun to color how we see skateboarding. Almost two decades later, it is the primary medium through which we monitor the sport.