Another Reason Why I Want to Share My Business Knowledge

Often, we are influenced by things outside our area of interest, leading us to believe what aligns with our preconceptions. For example, if I strongly believe in the existence of aliens visiting Earth daily, I will seek articles that reinforce this idea, further solidifying my belief and creating my reality. The internet and algorithms play a role in this process, as they curate content tailored to our preferences, perpetuating our views.

This phenomenon is also evident in skateboarding. Relying solely on what we observe, without considering actual data, can sway our beliefs about the sport’s popularity.

As a skateboarder with an entrepreneurial mindset, watching Aaron Kyro’s video, “Is Skateboarding Dying,” was a bit startling. His emphasis on analyzing figures and data intrigued me. I was genuinely surprised to see the Google graph showing a clear decline in “skateboarding” searches since 2002. My personal experience had me convinced that skateboarding had grown significantly due to its inclusion in the Olympics, the flourishing X-Games, an increase in contests and festivals, and widespread celebrity involvement. However, from a business standpoint, I started piecing together the puzzle, noticing my company’s sales declining amidst intense online competition, oversaturation of skate shops, and enticing price reductions by larger distributors.

Aaron’s observations about skateboarding’s popularity fluctuating and many starting skaters eventually quitting resonated with my own experiences. Children, with varied interests and peer influences, might not stick with skateboarding for the long term. Additionally, skateboarding being relatively new lacks the generational tradition seen in other mainstream sports.

The impact of the COVID lockdown in 2020 boosted skateboarding’s appeal as an individual sport. My business thrived during this time, benefiting from the unique circumstances that drove demand.

Surprisingly, Aaron mentioned that the peak number of skateboarders worldwide was in 2002, a pre-social media era. Since then, various factors have contributed to a decline in the skateboarding community:

1. A decrease in new entrants into the industry.

2. Challenges in understanding skateboarding, such as learning trick names and popular moves.

3. Gate-keeping behaviors that may discourage new skateboarders.

At my business, Skate The Foundry, we constantly strive to maintain a fresh influx of young skateboarders. We focus on engaging the entire family, building a supportive community around skateboarding. As children grow older and gain independence, there is a risk of them losing interest, leading to reduced engagement with our business.

The demise of influential skateboard magazines, such as Transworld Skateboarding, which also had a business magazine, Transworld Business, left a void in valuable industry insights. To fill this gap, I am eager to give back to skateboarding and support like-minded entrepreneurs in pursuing their dreams.

Regarding safety, I have observed how injuries can deter newcomers from skateboarding. To address this, we enforce a rule at my skate training company, Skate The Foundry, ensuring first-time skaters don’t fall on their initial lesson. This allows them to explore skateboarding safely, and once they develop a passion for it, they can embrace falls as part of the learning process.

My goal aligns with Aaron’s ambition to introduce skateboarding into schools. Collaborating with educators, we have developed skateboard PE curriculums that emphasize the fun aspect of skateboarding without the pressure of “being good” or turning professional.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that skateboarding is worth nurturing and growing. It presents opportunities for those who share my passion to become skateboard instructors, making a positive impact on young skateboarders’ lives. Furthermore, the skateboard industry appreciates the contribution of those who teach skateboarding, evident in the support and recognition received by my company, Skate The Foundry.

Teaching skateboarding not only enables me to do what I love but also reinforces my commitment to building a thriving skateboard community and industry.

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