Coming of age : over 40 and still skateboarding
Hong Kong Sociological Association 18th annual conference : Coming of age: sociology through the generations
The University of Hong Kong
Skateboarding has become a mainstream sport and will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. A noticeable feature of skateboarding in recent years has been its popularity with middle-aged participants. Both men and women throughout the world have begun, resumed, or continued to skateboard beyond the age of 40. This research draws on qualitative interviews and ethnographic research with over 30 middle aged skateboarders. It explores why so many people continue to skateboard in their forties and fifties. The findings further challenge the stereotype of skateboarding as a youthful, rebellious, and risk taking activity. In contrast middle-aged skateboarders communicate a passion and enthusiasm about skateboarding the enables them to have exercise, fun, and a sense community. These skateboarders entirely reject criticisms of their activities as a ‘midlife crisis’ and ‘immaturity’ and assert a sense of contentment that they have found through skateboarding. The research contributes to the sociology of ageing and wellbeing and provides insight about meaningful recreation for middle-aged people.
O'Connor, P. (2016, December). Coming of age: Over 40 and still skateboarding. Paper presented at Hong Kong Sociological Association 18th annual conference : Coming of age: sociology through the generations, Hong Kong.