Growing up, I remember adults talking about kids riding skateboards as "problem kids." They were considered bad for business, and you would see signs at strip malls, grocery stores, and public buildings that banned skateboarding. Those darn kids and their skateboards were always causing problems in the 90s and early 2000s.

Do you remember when people thought skateboarders were rebellious troublemakers?

I had completely forgotten those negative attitudes about skaters until I stopped by the Post Office at 13th and River near downtown Boise today and saw "NO SKATEBOARDING" printed in bold capital letters on a building post outside. I immediately got flashbacks of my grandmother telling us to steer clear of those troublemakers!

Why has the perception of skateboarders changed so much in Boise?

These signs seem to be a thing of the past. We have so many other things to worry about that the occasional skateboarder doesn't bother us like it used to. It's remarkable to see how much the attitude has changed in a relatively short period of time. It could be because so many people grew up riding them. They are now adults and can relate to and appreciate the skateboard culture. It has become more mainstream through media and fashion, becoming an Olympic sport. Skateboarding has also become profitable, bringing in over 3.2 billion dollars last year. Movies and TV shows have also begun showing the skateboard lifestyle more positively over the past twenty years, leading to even more acceptance by most people.

Why is Boise so important to the skateboarding community?

While skateboarding may never be more popular than football, baseball, or soccer, Boise has been at the forefront of skateboard culture for decades. Boise's skateboard community and facilities were showcased to the world when we hosted the X Games. This week, the skateboard community came together for Jadin "Bird" Zurawski, as Boise artist Hawk Shalein and his team at Sector Seventeen created a mural memorializing the Boise High School teenager at the spot where he was hit and killed by a truck as he was riding to school orientation on August 3rd in the crosswalk at 16th and Washington Street. The Boise Skateboard Association has long worked with the city to help create fun and challenging skateparks. Rhodes Skate Park is the most well-known of those efforts.

YouTube/Idaho News 6
YouTube/Idaho News 6

Is skateboarding still popular in Boise?

According to, skateboarding is the third most popular sport among teenagers, behind football and basketball. Boise has some of the country's best parks and landscapes for skateboarding. Signs like the one at the Post Office might be a thing of the past, but skateboarding isn't going anywhere.

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