slalom skateboarding interest cycles

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Adam Trahan
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Post by Adam Trahan » Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:49 pm

History shows us that our relatively new sport of slalom skateboarding is cyclical in it's numbers of participants.

My question(s) to you:

#1. Is the current growth just another cycle of renewed interest due to the internet?

a.)If you answered yes, are you one of the people who make it a cyclical interest? Do you want to prevent this from occuring again? Or is there overall growth and we are just a part of this growth?

b.)If you answered no, are you sure of your answer? How many people from the "old days" do you know that no longer participate? How many new people do you know in the sport or are these new people simply from areas that you didn't know about before?

#2. If the present "resurgence" is not a part of this cyclical interest, what can we do to further grow the numbers of participants using the current formula?

I'm looking at United States of America and the global numbers in regards to participants. Venturing a look ahead, I don't think we are out of the clouds in regards to not slipping back into a period of relative inactive racing activity. It's important to support our race organizers and companies that supply slalom specific equipment. It's important to support slalom skateboarding internet sites.

Is the sport growing numbers of participants year by year or are we simply all stoked up and just participating in our current interest cycle?

I don't know. All I do know is that the sport as a whole seems somewhat fragile. I would like to see an organization or more importantly interest that will keep the sport alive when some of us get tired of it.

I think we need to act globally right now. I read somewhere that someone donated a few boards to a group of interested slalomers in a different country. How cool. Talk about growing the sport. We all need to provide this sort of support if possible.

Supporting the INTERNATIONAL interest is paramount.

Anybody see where I am coming from and where I am going to??? Is the sports interest internet based or is the internet interest in slalom skateboarding feeding the current interest???

If you want slalom to grow, I think one of the most important things you can do is write responsible about it when regarding slalom skateboarding. I think this will help. That is one of the main reasons why this site has been developed.

What do you think?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Adam Trahan on 2003-01-27 16:53 ]</font>

Maria Carrasco
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Post by Maria Carrasco » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:24 pm

Keeping the momentum up is of obvious importance here. I've been collecting ideas which people have posted about and having conversations with others to brainstorm new ideas to further the reach to the next generation. I'm going to the skate park convention in San Diego this week (Wednesday) to do some networking with skate park owners, etc. who I'm told are interested in developing terrain within the parks which can accomodate slalom. Will share what I learn here. Comments and suggestions via direct e-mail are welcome.

Andy Bittner
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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:47 pm

"#1. Is the current growth just another cycle of renewed interest due to the internet?"

GBJ: I'm think that this is two or three different questions.

#1a. Is the "current" growth a matter of renewed interest due to the internet?

Absolutely, yes. The current (i.e. past 2 years) growth is clearly fueled by renewed interest due to the internet.

#1b. Is there a "cycle" of slalom renewing itself on the internet?

Not enough data. This is only the first time it's happened.

#1c. Skateboarding itself has clearly been manifesting itself on a fairly regular, 9-10 year cycle, since the 1960s. Is slalom skateboarding on a cycle as well?

Not in any one geographic location, but a larger, global cycle could be argued, but even any attempt at proving a global cycle would have to be ill-defined. (60s-US, 70s US and World, 80's-World except US, 90s-a little bit of neither, 2000s-First Internet Driven resurgence.) This is quite different from the rest of skateboarding where I can pick a clear and definable pattern of peaks in years ending in the number "7" and/or "8". ('67/'68-skateboarding's very young, but visible; '77/'78-skateboarding's kicking butt, height of the Skateboarder-era; '87/'88-skateboarding's kicking butt, height of the whole, NSA, vert-era; '97/'98-skateboarding's kicking butt, Hawk is GOD!

Follow-up: "If you answered yes, are you one of the people who make it a cyclical interest? Do you want to prevent this from occuring again? Or is there overall growth and we are just a part of this growth?"

GBJ: I've been interested and personally active in slalom riding all along, so I guess I'm not one of those you're saying made it "cyclical". Obviously, I want to work toward not having the sport disappear again, particularly since I'm not convinced that there actually is a cycle for slalom and am afraid the wheel may never turn this way again.

"#2. If the present "resurgence" is not a part of this cyclical interest, what can we do to further grow the numbers of participants using the current formula?"

GBJ: Avoid the pitfall I believe kept skateboarding so limited and cyclic for so long. Make slalom skateboarding an equal opportunity sport where the emphasis is not on fashion, "cool", what your social politics are, how many tattoos you have or how baggy and low you wear your pants. Let slalom skateboarding be exactly what it is, which is a fairly easily (generally) defined discipline and an easily understandable (racing) sport format. Let slalom skateboarding be a serious athletic pursuit for the serious athletes and a recreation for the less serious, a skill for the technicians and an art for the artists, a craft for the dedicated and a party for the fun-loving. However, heaven help us if we ever decide crafting or limiting the image "we" present in order to manipulate or artificially enhance the market, is a good thing. Ultimately, restrictive choices do one thing... restrict.

Slalom Skateboarding for everyone.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-27 18:01 ]</font>

Adam Trahan
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Post by Adam Trahan » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:55 pm

Thanks GBJ, I appreciate what you have done and what you are doing. Although I may not always agree with you, I know you are pulling hard... Looking forward to more.

Maria, thanks for the comment. I look forward to what you have to report as well.

Gary Fluitt
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Post by Gary Fluitt » Tue Jan 28, 2003 12:03 am

Adam,
The current growth of slalom, it's second birth, IS VERY MUCH DUE to the care and feeding the internet has provided the sport. Without the internet to communicate what's going on and gather slalomers into this community, I very much doubt that we would see this "rebirth" of the sport. We might see regional growth in southern california, DC, Colorado, but I'd say a great deal of the current growth is due to this vehicle of the internet.
Now, this isn't to say that the sport will die again because it's an internet thing. The internet is not going away, and honestly I don't think slalom is going away either. Maybe that's the ONLY reason why slalom wont die again, because now we have the internet to keep it going. We're not dependent on the love the magazines give (or don't give).
But as for growth, we need something to take this beyond a bunch of old guys and their mid-life crisis. Most of the added faces in the race scene are really old faces coming back to the sport. With few exceptions most of the growth has been "returnees". That's why youth racing, Grass Roots, USSSF, FCR, are critical to the continued growth of the sport.
gary

Adam Trahan
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Post by Adam Trahan » Tue Jan 28, 2003 3:42 am

Hey Gary, thanks for taking the time to answer.

I don't know if you know, but Europe had a big interest in slalom when America was asleep in between waves. I look at this period as the "second wave" in the set. Jani Soderhall and John Gilmour totally kept my interest alive in Arizona in the mid 90's by actually writing letters and sending them in the mail along with a little half page magazine called slalom! It was devoted to coving international slalom skateboarding events and interest.

I will not forget this time period and for some of us, it is a thread that joins the two waves in America. Is Europe is waking up? Maybe Russia as Vladdy is aluding to. Checking the internet will bring up many European web sites dedicated to skateboard slalom.

The idea here at http://www.slalomskateboarder.com is to present the sport in an international light but definately serving each individual.

Here I sit in Phoenix, less than 5 slalomers in the state of Arizona, Phoenix of which is the sixth largest city in the United States. I am pretty much an idividual here but I am connected to the rest of you by the internet this time, but slalom! still lives...

On any account, I know you know your stuff having been around...

Thanks again for the input. The question I brought was as much me thinking out loud as it was to get you guys to air your views.

Keep it comming.

Best Regards.
On 2003-01-27 18:03, Gary Fluitt wrote:
Adam,
The current growth of slalom, it's second birth, IS VERY MUCH DUE to the care and feeding the internet has provided the sport. Without the internet to communicate what's going on and gather slalomers into this community, I very much doubt that we would see this "rebirth" of the sport. We might see regional growth in southern california, DC, Colorado, but I'd say a great deal of the current growth is due to this vehicle of the internet.
Now, this isn't to say that the sport will die again because it's an internet thing. The internet is not going away, and honestly I don't think slalom is going away either. Maybe that's the ONLY reason why slalom wont die again, because now we have the internet to keep it going. We're not dependent on the love the magazines give (or don't give).
But as for growth, we need something to take this beyond a bunch of old guys and their mid-life crisis. Most of the added faces in the race scene are really old faces coming back to the sport. With few exceptions most of the growth has been "returnees". That's why youth racing, Grass Roots, USSSF, FCR, are critical to the continued growth of the sport.
gary

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