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Skateboards vs BMX Bikes: History, Facts & Learning Curve

ByAnthony Hendriks

Feb 23, 2021
Skateboards vs BMX Bike

Even though they are quite different, skateboarding and BMXing have a lot in common. Both are super fun, allow you to perform awesome tricks that can be quite hard to master, are physically demanding as well as dangerous at times… But BMX bikes and skateboards, similarly to other extreme sports, such as mountain biking and pro scooters, have become an integral part of the lives of people who use them. That being said, they are much more than a sport, much more than a simple pastime, much more than a reason to hang out with friends. They are a lifestyle, a culture, a passion. So, it’s no surprise that huge communities have been built around both BMX bikes and skateboards around the world, and believe it or not, those communities overlap more than you think.

To Skateboard, or to BMX, that is the Question

If you are thinking about whether you should start one or the other, it really isn’t about which one is better than the other, but more about what feels more comfortable to you, what your preferences are, your goals, etc. Both are great and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Another important thing you might want to take into consideration is your budget. BMX bikes, of course, cost much more than skateboards. When you start searching for skateboards for sale, you’ll see that even the best ones are far less pricy. And the differences can be quite significant.

However, when choosing something that will possibly become part of your identity, price shouldn’t play a huge role. BMX bikes come in a range of prices, and if you prefer them, you can look for BMX complete bikes instead of building a custom one. Completes are cheaper, and even if they don’t suit you entirely, you can change a few parts without spending a lot of money. And more importantly, you can find great complete BMX bikes.

In any case, if budget isn’t a concern to you, and you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to start with, you may want to learn some facts about both of these great sports, which will hopefully help you decide.

Other Questions to Ask Yourself

Besides your budget, there are a few other things you should take into consideration if you aren’t clear about your preference. Think about what you’ll need in order to learn your new sport. For instance, does location matter for you? Do you have skateparks nearby? Are they BMX-friendly? Where do you live? Are you dedicated to the idea of learning? These are just a few of the questions that can narrow down your choices.

The Learning and the Mastering

Obviously, BMX bikes and skateboards aren’t the easiest things to master. But which one takes more time?

Skateboarding can be difficult to learn at the beginning. Even standing on the board and finding your balance can take some getting used to, not to mention standing on a moving board or learning how to push or brake. Of course, how long it will take to learn will depend on many things, not only on your physical readiness. It will depend on your self-confidence, how dedicated you are, how much practice, how disciplined you are, how motivated you are, etc. The beginning with BMX bikes is far easier, simply because most people already know how to ride a bike before getting their first BMX.

Regardless, BMX and skateboarding are more about performing tricks than about riding or strolling around. So, when it comes to mastering them, is mastering one easier than the other?

If you have your new skate, in order to be able to start learning how to perform even the simplest tricks, you must first learn the aforementioned basics. Furthermore, you need to learn how to control your balance and your coordination as much as possible.

With BMX bikes, on the other hand, you can start learning tricks as soon as you get used to the bike. However, BMX can be more physically demanding, since performing tricks with it will require a lot of strength.

The History

So no matter whether you decide to start looking for BMX complete bikes or skateboards for sale, if you intend on making them a huge part of your life and everyday routines, you should learn about their origins. Both sports have some interesting historical facts.

From Humble Beginnings…

Skateboarding is thought to be invented by surfers trying to get some adrenaline outside of the water, always looking to chase the waves. They used short surfboards and metal wheels, practically creating a board for “surfing” on the streets. This was in the early 1950s. By 1959 the toy industry caught on and Roller Derby, a company in the USA, released the first mass-produced skateboard.

BMX bikes became a thing in the 1970s, rising to popularity almost overnight. They were inspired by motocross motorcycles and instantly became a cheaper alternative and a new way to ride a bike. Initially used for driving and performing tricks across motocross terrains, it wasn’t long before young people started using them for freestyle BMX riding, performing tricks, creating routines, etc.

…To the Olympic Games

Both skateboards and BMX bikes have become so popular that there are competitions involving them at the Olympic Games. BMX racing made it to the Summer Olympics in 2008 for the first time, while both skateboarding and BMX freestyle were going to make their debut in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic (which were postponed due to the pandemic).

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.