The growth of board sports is a pet topic here at ACM. After all, it has essentially given us a career and many of the most fulfilling moments of our lives. It’s a fascinating subject in its own right, and is something Chris explores thoroughly in his as-yet unpublished history of boardsports, Standing Sideways.
So we all know extreme sports are ‘big’ these days – they’ve infiltrated the mainstream so much that it is something we all take for granted these days. Still, every so often you get a reminder of what this actually means in real terms, and last night’s Tony Hawk show in Brighton last night was a pretty good indication of just how far skateboarding and extreme sports have come in the last twenty years.
The event itself probably didn’t compare to the previous leg of the tour in Barcelona, in which 25,000 people apparently turned up, compared to the 3,000 who were in Brighton. Plus, Tony didn’t throw down the old 900.
Still, it was a good show as far as these things go. I’ve been lucky (or, at times, unlucky: the Nokia Big Air in Thessaloniki springs to mind) enough to attend more of these ‘In The City’ style events that I count over the years, and yes, they usually attract big crowds. But these are usually massively promoted contests. This is the first one I can think of where it has been marketed around one athlete alone. The fact that Quiksilver can organise this type of event and know they’ll have a sellout on their hands is a powerful demonstration of Tony (and skateboarding’s) mainstream pull these days.
All photo credits: James McPhail. Cheers Jamesy.