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Old May 9th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #1
oldiesk8er
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Default Reasons for the Decline of Skating

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Originally Posted by Demolishun View Post

That is assuming skating is on the rise. From what I have seen skating is on the decline. Companies dropping like flies or abandoning product lines. Inability to even get to product on websites that anything to do with skating (Solamon). Granted skating has gotten better since I started, but lately it seems to be waning.
What do you think is the main reason for skating to be in decline, in your opinion?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #2
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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BWI-Sheldon,

I think you have hit the nail on the head and you know what the UK is going exactly the same way!
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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Thank you. Iím particularly proud of this post, I think it was my best yet. It should be in itís own thread.

Once in a while something right pops into my head full of fluff.
I agree I think you should make this a separate thread.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #6
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DITTO!
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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Done! (this discussion now has its own thread).

- K
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #8
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Thank You Kathie! You are so on the ball! How do you find the time?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #9
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It's too hard to talk on a cell phone and do text messaging while skating. Plus, you get all sweaty. You can get a Wi game system and play games right in your living room. Actually getting out and skating or riding a bike is old fashioned.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #10
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Well, spoken as a n00b here are my reasons:

1) hard to find skates ANYWHERE. I drove around for 4 hours Saturday afternoon, after my first class. I just had to have some! I went to specialty shops first, when they told me they were out of 2006's for several months, and had ordered the 2007's which wouldn't be in for a few weeks.

2) So I went to Venice Beach to buy some - parking was a complete hassle. I've lived here for several years, the company paid me to move to CA, but I'm not a local by any stretch.

3) Fear of falling. When I finally did fall, it was no big deal. I don't even have a bruise, even though my skates went all the way out and I landed flat on my back. (I was trying a slalom stop). I did have full protective gear on.

4) Hard to find places to go.

5) Those damn Kids! What I mean is agressive skaters sliding on stuff and wrecking things - now, I'm not actually as against it as it sounds, just making a point from the opposing POV. All it takes is for a couple of parents to see some kid grinding (loudly) on public property to stamp the sport as 'bad'. I'm into fitness skating, I"m not interested, but in the right area I think it's OK. But I think that this is one way for people to get a negative view.

all the other stuff, 'me generation' etc. ... I think that has an effect, but that will affect all fitness too (cell phones, etc). What about hands free?

If the decline in skating is due to couch potatoe disease, then all sports would be in the decline.

Just some random thoughts, lunch hour's over

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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #11
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Skaterdog raises a very good point. The more technologically advanced a society gets, the more sedentary it tends to become. Look at what has happened to our society since the Neolitic Revolution. We are lazy as a society these days. Heck, nobody forces you to do anything physically taxing unless you choose to do it. Going to the grocery store does not equal hunting and gathering!

Sorry, that's the anthropology major coming out in me. I wish more people would take up skating, or any sport that gets us off our butts for that matter. We wonder why we have such issues with health... hard to believe that it's not obvious. I tell people that I skate 10 miles and want to push to do more and they call me crazy, roll their eyes, and munch on their candy bars. Oh the irony.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #12
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Jenn/Skaterdog, I agree, but this would mean all sports are declining. Are they? (not sure). I don't see that many runners around where i live, but I usually run at 9:00 or later.

On fitness ... I read about a study they did of some Amish. They looked at their diet ... it was horrid! Sugar and Fat; breakfast was bacon and eggs, and all of the parts too, none of this 'throw out the fatty parts'. One guy was eating 1/2 a pie a day.

They had fantastic cholesterol levels; very healthy.

It turns out the women were walkign more than 40 miles A DAY. One guy clocked 60 miles. His comment was "and they weren't easy miles either". He was plowing a field behind a mule.

Turns out you can eat whatever you want if you get a lot of exercise.

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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #13
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Jenn/Skaterdog, I agree, but this would mean all sports are declining. Are they? (not sure). I don't see that many runners around where i live, but I usually run at 9:00 or later.

On fitness ... I read about a study they did of some Amish. They looked at their diet ... it was horrid! Sugar and Fat; breakfast was bacon and eggs, and all of the parts too, none of this 'throw out the fatty parts'. One guy was eating 1/2 a pie a day.

They had fantastic cholesterol levels; very healthy.

It turns out the women were walkign more than 40 miles A DAY. One guy clocked 60 miles. His comment was "and they weren't easy miles either". He was plowing a field behind a mule.

Turns out you can eat whatever you want if you get a lot of exercise.

Great point! I hope all sports aren't declining, but I fear they might be. Things like basketball and football are of course going strong. Those I don't worry about because they are so ingrained into our society. Although, there's not that many people that actually play those types of sports in comparison to the number of people around. I see a good number of people walking and running at the Loop in the afternoons when Bryan and I head out there for a long skate. I also see a good number of runners at UNC-Wilmington where I go to school. But, I don't see any skaters usually. I guess a lot of people are easily put off by skating because it isn't exactly a cheap sport to get into if you buy decent skates and protective gear, and it's definitely not something that's easy. I can see where people would try it a couple times, and give up on it because it takes a bit more effort and stubbornness to get really good. I spent most of my younger years on quads, but stopped skating until about a year ago when Bryan gave me a set of blades. I picked it up really easily, fortunately! I'm drooling over speed skates now. Hehe

And just to reiterate the point about your Amish example... I went to the doctor over my allergies and they discovered some extremly high blood pressure. We're talking 200/120. They wanted to put me on beta blockers and all kinda other crap but I refused and wanted to do it the natural way. I hadn't been skating that much since I started, but in the last month and a half I've skated more miles than I have in the last year, and also started running on the treadmill. My BP this morning was 130/80, unmedicated. Maybe I'm just lucky, but seems like I made my point to my doctors.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #14
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Not all sports are in decline and there are so many more to choose from to-day than ever before. Individual sports seem to be cyclical in their popularity, skate boarding being a good example in the UK.

This is the way I see it why, I think, folk don't start skating.

Very often the first point of contact are chain stores that have absolutely no interest in skating but sell cheap (hopeless) skates for a quick buck. Specialist sport shops have a lot to answer for, not only are they reluctant to stock inline skates but when they do, in my experience, invariably sell the beginner skater the wrong type of skate and offer very little in the way of helpful advice.

In my area there is not many places to skate and even less where the skater is actually welcome. ( I have to admit that in some cases skaters have through their behaviour only themselves to blame). So few skaters are to be seen in the city that they feel intimidated by the public at large who consider them odd. Yes really.

Many new skaters are surprised how much effort has to be put into skating to become proficient. The very idea of practise is totally alien to them in a society that thinks, I start to-day and next week I am the world champion.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #15
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Well the vast majority of new skaters would come from the youth market but this market is the least able to afford the sport. The local rink here does pretty well in the winter but at then end of this month they will close until after Halloween. Now how many of these kids that are that rink 3 - 4 times a week will be out on the roads. I can answer this one, almost none. The vast majority of the kids I see there are on rental skates and have no hope of their parents purchasing even a $100 pair nor would they even consider wearing protective gear if they did get out on the road.

Now the catch 22. The only way to get these new outdoor skaters is to first hook the parents.

Perhaps if gas prices keep increasing these parents will move away from motorized recreation onto something that does not require gasoline.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 02:05 AM   #16
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2) Along with the dynamics in #1, goes the non-parenting of kids who somehow do try to skate. There is no guidance in life for these kids in the form of responsibility and common sense life values. Nobody is around to teach about wearing protection such as wrist guards and helmets, and to insist on wearing them. Usually it doesnít take long for the first serious injury to occur such as the common broken wrist. I hear it all the time when I try to sell skating to others. ďIt is so dangerous, Iím scared to let my little poopsie get his/her feathers ruffle on such a violent sport". Skating has gotten a bad rap in this country because of lack of personal responsibility. The sue happy lawyers do not help this situation either.
I have to disagree with this point. The part that drives kids away is the mentality that broken wrists, scrapes, and bruises aren't a normal part of growing up. Getting hurt is part of exploring one's environment and limitations. Too much protective gear, and a kid doesn't learn realistic limits. Too much insistence on protective gear, and a kid doesn't want to bother with the sport. Why inline skate with mom and dad insisting you need to wear a bunch of pads like they do, when you can skateboard with the cool kids and not have to worry about that stuff?

An over-emphasis on safety is a surefire way to kill interest in a lifestyle sport, especially among the teens and young adults who are the most essential consumers. It's ridiculous to try and make young people enjoy an activity the way us codgers would want them to enjoy it. We have to create an environment where the kids feel like they can *be kids* on skates!

I have to agree wholeheartedly about the lawsuit issue. The civil suit industry is ruining the quality of life for *everyone* in this country, including the lawyers and plaintiffs who foolishly believe they are profiting from the system.

----Scott
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Old May 10th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #17
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sk8scott,
I agree with the pads, but not the helmets. I broken wrist will heal. A broken brain will not. Also, it is interesting how one family can affect the rest of the community. When we started going to the rink none of the kids wore helmets. All of our kids did and continue to do so. Now when we go to the rink at least 2 or 3 out of 30 to 40 kids are wearing helmets. Not a great ratio, but better than none.

I have explained to all of our kids the reason we wear helmets. They are all for it. To my surprise when I got kid sized pads they were fighting over them!

As for decline:
It probably comes in cycles. What skating needs is a good video game to get kids going. Tony Hawk got me off my butt to some extent. Also, communities are learning that they need to provide places for skateboarders and inliners to go. At least locally to me they are.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #18
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:17 AM   #19
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I'm not sure it is declining. I see more people rollerblading this year then last year. Then again I live in a city with a lot of trails.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #20
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I'm not sure it is declining. I see more people rollerblading this year then last year. Then again I live in a city with a lot of trails.
I'm not sure it's declining either. I would agree that it's in a slump, but who's to say it won't pick back up at some point? Most things that are as cool as skating have a steep peak, a sharp drop-off, and then a steady incline to a plateau. We're somewhere in the trough of the sharp drop-off. Then again, I don't have any numbers on this. BTW, what are the numbers on this anyways??? Does anybody know anyone who aggregates skate sales numbers?

I predict that with the advancement in technologies and lower production costs (thank China!), skating will become more appealing.

On a separate but related issue, does anybody know of any programs that allow for used skating equipment to be donated to or sold for little cost to children from low-income households?
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