Guessing what the state of skateboarding will be in 100 years is no easy feat. 100 years is an incredibly long time. It’s nothing like guessing what will happen a year from now because that’s just speculating on the progression of current trends, or even 20 years because that’s just looking at how current trends will be reinterpreted by the next generation.
100 years ago, World War II hadn’t happened yet, Americans couldn’t legally buy alcohol, and Warren Harding was president. Exactly… who? He was an old guy who has since been mostly forgotten about, just like many of the beloved skate figures and brands of today will be.
But Jenkem is not one to shy away from challenges, so as the youngest person here, and the person who is most likely to live to see 2122, I decided to take a crack at predicting the state of skateboarding’s very distant future.
E-skating will be bigger than real skating
In the next 100 years, as eSports continue their rise in popularity, skateboarding will fully embrace the virtual world and start to leave the physical world behind. Skater XL has already gotten an early head start by hosting a Virtual Tampa Pro and we’re bound to see this go even further over the next century. We’ll probably have Virtual Street League, Virtual Battle at the Berrics, and maybe even Virtual Dime Glory Challenge, where virtual pros will compete to do the steeziest virtual wall ride over virtual pools filled with virtual sharks.
There might only be as many physical skateboarders in the year 2122 as there are fingerboarders right now. Sadly, real skating will become a niche sideshow sport that only gets a boost in popularity and visibility every four years at the Olympics, kind of like table tennis and synchronized swimming.
Skate shops will be (basically) defunct
With (physical) skateboarding’s popularity dying, and skaters losing their “cool status” in society, skate shops will no longer be the boutique shopping experience they are today. Sure, a few may survive and kick around for a while, but it’ll be more akin to going into one of those oddities stores that sell dehydrated rabbit feet and shark teeth in formaldehyde. With the world losing interest in skating, there won’t really be any need for skate shops in every city, just like the world doesn’t need any bob sled or curling shops.
At least that means you’ll no longer get cool guy’d by the employees at the shop.
Hoverboards still won’t be a thing
We’ve got to get the fantasy of hoverboards out of our heads. If we don’t have flying cars and jetpacks readily available in 2022, we’re definitely not going to have levitating skateboards in 2122. Think about what a shitshow driving in a major city already is. The logistics of people, boards, and cars floating about the sky will never make sense.
However, since cornballs will always be cornballs, we will continue to see skateboarding “alternatives” pop up, like how we have the one-wheel and boosted boards today. That means luckily, the few skaters left in existence will still have dorks to point at and make fun of when they whiz by the spot during a session.
Vert skating will be popular again
In 100 years the remaining skate community will be in dire need of something new. It will have gotten so bad that no matter what trick you do at any street spot, it’s ABD. Skating will desperately need someone to come in and reinvent the wheel.
But since that person will never materialize, vert skating will come back into fashion instead, because some archaeologist in Wisconsin will find a rip of The Search For Animal Chin on a buried iPhone 28 Pro that still magically turns on, and proceed to blast it across the metaverse. Every skater will watch it in fascination, and even though he is in the video, nobody will remember the history of Tony Hawk, so there will once again be a race to land the 900. Except this time, the trick will be called “the big ass spin in partnership with Meta™.”
Pants will have one baggy leg and one skinny leg
By 2122, pants trends will have cycled through different degrees of bagginess and tightness multiple times over. People will be so over the multiple switch-ups that instead of trimming the fat off baggy pants or adding some bulk to nut huggers, pant manufacturers will realize the only thing they haven’t tried is making pants with two different levels of bagginess on each side. Of course, to our naive modern minds, this sounds absurd and ugly, but people used to rock monocles and ten-gallon hats, so who’s to say this is too far out of line?
People will think you’re a kook if you don’t wear a helmet
Rigorous CTE testing will reveal that 95% of skateboarders have minor to severe CTE. This new revelation will lead Red Bull to take some kind of initiative and someone on their sports medicine team will create the first-ever Helmet Beanie. The blue and silver half-helmet-half-beanie will be seen on every skater they sponsor, and from there it will slowly trickle down to the few remaining IRL skaters. The helmets won’t look good, and in fact, they’ll be the final nail in the coffin for stylish skateboarders, but at least nobody will have swiss cheese brain anymore, right?
Vlogging is the only form of skate video left
In 100 years, the average skate video will just be the hottest-looking skater you know filming themselves cruising around rubble and reviewing a pair of shoes from the only skate shoe company still around, Cariuma. Mikey Alfred’s grandson, Dorito Alfred, will make “Mid 90s” and the few skaters still around are going to be totally pissed.
Nobody will remember Jenkem
By the time the next century comes to a close, skateboarding will have finally been pushed through every mainstream channel imaginable, killing off all of its appeal as an “alternative” activity for kids to be into. It will finally land in the single place in the universe with the most power to turn things uncool – middle school classrooms. Kids will learn about the history of skateboarding just like we learned about Manifest Destiny and The Great Depression, and because kids are kids, most of them will snooze through the entire lesson and proceed to talk shit about it at recess.
Just like in US history, there will also be certain aspects of skating purposefully left out of the curriculum to help paint a squeaky clean image. All of the people we love, and all of the things that make skating great today, will be watered down. Your children’s children’s children will most certainly not be learning about Fred Gall, the SLAP message boards, or Baker 3, and instead will learn that the most important figures of all time in skating were Steve Berra, Ty Evans, and Andy Schrock.
Luckily, that means nobody will have a clue about this article and won’t be able to fact-check any of our predictions. Since you made it this far, though, make sure to set your calendar reminders to check back in 2122 to see how we did!
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