Skateboarding has come a long way from its 1960s origins in California, and is now more a sport than a lifestyle choice with it making its Olympic debut in Tokyo last year and now receiving High Performance Sport New Zealand funding.
A Wellington City Council survey in 2020 talked with over 800 representatives from the skateboarding community to better understand their demographics, behaviours and future needs to develop a skate plan – a key finding was they wanted to skate more and be accepted by the public.
Some skate for their commute, to keep fit and healthy, to spend time with friends, to reduce carbon emissions and to have fun. As well as providing great cardio exercise, skateboarding is great for balance, toning muscle and also aids in coordination.
Yet, there is a history of negative stigma around skateboarding, and Wellington City Council’s latest campaign, We Skate Pōneke, is designed to challenge and break down these negative stereotypes by profiling some local skaters and the reasons they do it.