By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Skateboarding is going through a lot of changes in the way that a skateboarder turns pro. As an audience, we are seeing so many new pro skateboarders who are a part of what we would like to call 'the new generation'.
Among them you might recognize names like Rayssa Leal (13), Tate Carew (15), Brighton Zeuner (16), Alana Smith (19), Jagger Eaton (19), Gustavo Ribeiro (19), Yuto Horigome (21), Heimana Reynolds (22), Tom Schaar and many more.
Then we have our iconic old school pro skaters like Tony Alva (63), Stacy Peralta (62), Tony Hawk (52), Bob Burnquist (43), Rob Dyrdek (46), Paul Rodriguez (35) and more who have provided skateboarding with a lot of development thanks to their passion and love for skateboarding.
Skating as an activity provides you with an unexplainable feeling that gives you a whole lot more than what it takes from you. As a passionate skater it is very likely that you will skate for the rest of your days, not because of fame but out of respect, community and love.
Professional skateboarding is always changing. And it's probably not an overstatement to say that the level is rapidly increasing. Because of this I can only imagine it getting harder to do get into professionally in the future than it is today.
On the other hand skateboarding as an industry, and a profession IS growing, and we have a lot more means to reach people with our skating today than we had before. The game is simply changing.
A Kid Can Be a Pro Skater
Skateboarding is for everyone, but thanks to skateboarding development in the past decade in contests, TV-shows, industry and skateparks people have started to trust in this sport for their kids. As a sport we have been through developments and specific events that have now put skateboarding in the place it is today.
This sport is so special that it has helped a lot of kids turn pro just because of their amazing talent. Contests like the X Games, has opened a huge door to the youngest skateboarders. The Olympics are allowing many people to show how they skate and are bringing in new crowds and respect by putting skateboarding in the class together with other established sports genres.
Among the youngest skaters who have turned pro we can talk about Ryan Sheckler, Nyjah Huston, Jagger Eaton, Tom Schaar, Rayssa Leal, Brighton Zeuner, etc. The idea of what it means to be a professional skateboarder is changing as well, and we now have sports specialists who think that this sport is like the others.
Brands Are Going To Be a Bridge to Accomplish Goals
As a pro skater you're not only representing yourself, once you start to get recognition, brands will get interested in you and bring you offers, this is the moment when results come in and you will be able to think about skateboarding as being a part of a brand as well.
When a rider signs with a brand they have to understand that it is having an impact in the community who show their respect by buying the products that were made for that skater. You establish a market where more people are going to buy because they see you winning, they saw you loving skateboarding so much that you deserve what you get.
Depending on the brand, skaters start to do some tasks like wear their clothes or shoes, record ads or make content for social media, do video parts, agree to be interviewed, traveling, competing and represent their brands as well as they skate.
Skaters and agreements with brands have evolved through the years. In the brands hands are those talents and kids, but also due to the riders the brands are positioned as they are, those companies will have to take care of the pro skaters well being and help them fortify their skills and strengthen their game.
Brands used to dictate who got to be pro skateboarders. For decades if an athlete wanted to be pro, he needed to have his own pro model skateboard with a brand. For the riders, audience and brands this was the way to be a real pro. But now if you want to be a pro, you just need to live from skateboarding, sign contracts and of course release all the necessary products, not just the board.
Social Media Have an Essential Role For a Pro Skateboarder
On the web everything happens, especially when you are a public figure. In the past the TV was the place to be supported but nowadays the internet has become the go-to platform for pros and regular riders alike. Social media has been redefining the whole game for everyone.
According to some behaviors on the web the chances to be featured because of your talent are huge now compared to the past, and if you are really good at skating you will be found by the right brand. If you could be sponsored by your dream brand, which one would be?
There are 3 types of skaters; the ones who compete and are respected for that, those who make amazing and unique tricks that are always trending on social media and finally those who don't like social media and stays a little bit off the radar, but who loves to skate and are recording street skateboarding all around the world.
Consequently, skaters can be pro with just a skateboard and a good attitude, but definitely if you have a lot of talent and show it but aren't skating to be sponsored, support will come to you without you searching for it. Just by skating and improving, as well as making sure it gets captured on film here and there, might give you everything you need in 2020.
Discipline, persistence, determination, love, passion and all the things you feel for skateboarding are the same that have brought you where you are, so be grateful and never stop to think that opportunities are out there, and when you see them, grab onto them!
Read also: How to Buy Skateboards for Kids and Teens