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Boardsports are sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. Surfing, first mastered in the Pacific islands, was the first board sport. Eventually, it was expanded to land applications, often with the addition of wheels. Many board sports are classified as action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. Board sports have had a history of being dangerous, "punk" or reckless, and thus were marginalized in the sports community. However, many board sports have gained mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.

Surfing was the first boardsport, or the mother of the other boardsports, originating from the Polynesian culture. Skateboarding was then invented by surfers looking to "surf" on land. Snowboarding came around when surfers and skaters were looking to board on the snow. Wakeboarding was invented by people so that they could get towed in snowboard fashion behind a boat in the same relation as waterskiing to alpine skiing. Mountainboarding was then invented by snowboarders who wanted to keep riding on the piste even after the snow had gone.

One can calculate, using estimations for the numbers participating in certain individual boardsports (30 million skaters, 25 million surfers and 15 million snowboaders), that there are approximately 100 million people participating in these sports. That is if you do not take into consideration people doing more than one of these sports each, which of course, in reality, is highly likely.

Contents

Classifications

There are a variety of board sports, which are characterized by terrain:

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Water

Surfing
The grandfather of all board sports, is a surface water sport that involves the participant being carried by a breaking wave.
Windsurfing
Also known as sailboarding. A water sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4.7 meter board powered by wind acting on a single sail. The sail is connected to the board by a flexible joint
Bodyboarding
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.
Wakeboarding
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.
Wakeskating
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.
Wakesurfing: A rider is pulled behind a boat on a mini surfboard and can ride the boats wave with no rope.
Skurfing
Another fast growing boardsport is skurfing a mix of surfing and more conventional water sports in which the participant is towed behind the boat.
Kneeboarding
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.
Kiteboarding
Involves using a power kite to pull a small surfboard, or wakeboard on water. Other variations are to use a wheeled board or buggy on land, or skis or a snowboard on snow.
Skimboarding
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.
Riverboarding
A boardsport in which the participant is prone on the board with fins on his/her feet for propulsion and steering
Flowboarding
Similar to surfing but done on a man-made artificial sheet wave.
Wallyboarding
Powered surf gliding on a body or surf board.

Paved surface

Skateboarding
Uses a board mounted on wheels, and often ridden on a "half-pipe" or in urban settings. Some of the most famous skateboarders, and early pioneers of the sport are Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk.
Streetboarding
Similar to a skateboarding, but also influenced heavily by snowboarding. Also known as Snakeboarding .
Longboarding
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
Carveboard
A board that has wheels similar as 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 flowbaords trucks.
Caster board
Two narrow platforms known as "decks" are adjoined by a rubber or aluminum coated metal beam that houses a strong spring. Each truck has one wheel that is connected to the board in 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.
Vigorboard
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 center.

Land, off-paved surface

Mountainboarding
Similar to snowboarding, but on snow-less 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.
Pineboarding
A recreational activity in which a participant rides down the pine-needle-covered slopes of pine forests on a skateboard deck (without trucks or wheels).
Rope boarding
Uses a board hanging from a rope, ridden by swinging through the air, and landing on elevated platforms of launching off the tree it hangs from.
Freebording
Often said to be the board who's 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 their weight to only one "edge", as in snowboarding. This gives the rider the ability to slide, an ability no other land board has.
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.
Balanceboarding
Maintaining balance on a cylinder while using a board-shaped (rectangular or oval) object as the balancing mechanism, which is placed on top of the cylinder. Cylinder diameter sizes range from 4” to 8”. Board sizes range from 25" to 40" in length and 10" to 18" in width. A Balance board is like a see-saw that a user stands on with one foot at one end of the board and one foot at the other end.
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.
T-boarding
A skateboard deck with two wheels that can spin 360 degrees.

Snow

Snowboarding
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. The top-ranked snowboarder today (as of 2006) is Shaun White.
Snowskating
This is similar to snowboarding but there is no bindings used, therefore you are enabled to do skateboard style tricks.
Snowkiting
This is when a kite is used to pull a snowboarder along.
treadboarding
A treadboard is a board the size of a skateboard and instead of wheels it has treads. some treadboards have bindings and some don't.
smallboarding
A smallboard is exactly like a snowboard except that riders use boards 48 centimeters shorter than they would use on a snowboard.
Monoskiing
is like two skis put together

Sand

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

Air

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

See also


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