Skateboarding has come a long way since the Dogtown days. Depending on your age, you might have seen Welcome to Hell or The DC Video or even Gleaming the Cube and gotten a board of your own. The sport probably had some brief popularity with you and your friends, but once you broke a bone or got kicked off the Safeway loading dock for the 15th time, the board went back in your parents garage and rarely saw the light of day after that.
Maybe there were a few moments when the sport popped back onto your radar. X-games moments like Tony Hawk’s 900 or Ryan Sheckler winning gold at 13. And when Tony Hawk put out that damn game, you might have tried to impress the neighborhood groms with a kickflip.
But for true skate aficionados, the sport has continually grown and evolved through various stages of mainstream popularity. City-sponsored street spots are being opened to skateboarding regularly. And instead of being thrown into the mix with other action sports for a 45-second spot on TV, today’s professional skateboarders are legitimized as real-life professional athletes. Part of the new wave of skating is Street League — the brain child of Rob Dyrdek. The event has become the premier contest series in skateboarding. With international stops, a legitimate qualifying circuit, and major prize money on the line, Street League opens the gates, allowing the top men and women in the sport to showcase their sport at a high level.
This past weekend, Street League‘s season culminated in their Super Crown World Championship in Chicago. The field of 25 men had been thinned down to just eight over the course of the season, while the women were invited to participate for the first time ever. If the weekend was proof of anything, it’s that skateboarding’s progression shows no signs of slowing down.