Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Publication Date



Advance online publication


Sage Publications Ltd.


The influence of middle-aged skateboarders was spectacularly demonstrated in October of 2016 when the original Bones Brigade (Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, and Mike McGill), now in their early fifties and late forties, recreated a spectacular photograph taken in 1986. The photo highlights that skateboarding is not purely a youth pursuit and that middle-aged practitioners are able to command respect and acceptance as serious skateboarders.

In this research I respond to the work of Wheaton (2013: 60-64; 2016) who has identified the issue of ageing in lifestyle sports as a pending area of enquiry. The aims of the research have been to further understand the cultural politics of skateboarding through a qualitative methodology of open ended biographical interviews and participant observation with middle-aged skateboarders. This research contrasts with Wheaton’s (2016) work on older surfers and Thorpe’s (2010) on snowboarders and masculinity that identify a number of central issues such as the dominance of masculinity in both sports, the ‘culture of commitment’ and issues of age, status, and identity. It also contributes to existing discussions on social and cultural capital in the skateboarding field (Atencio et al., 2009; Jenson et al., 2012; Dupont, 2014; Weller, 2007).



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Recommended Citation

O'Connor, P. (2017). Beyond the youth culture: Understanding middle-aged skateboarders through temporal capital. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. Advance online publication.