It seems that skateboarding has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Skateboard parks have popped up all over the place, providing an outlet for skateboarders to get together and have a good time. In addition, the number of skateboard parks has grown as well, providing even more options for those looking to purchase new skateboards and other street skateboarding accessories. In addition to the skate parks, of course, you have also the ramps and half pipes, as well as a wide variety of wheels for skating. Of course, you can also find a wide array of new bikes and other streetable vehicles as well.
The reason for the popularity of skateboarding is simple- it’s fun! When people think about outdoor sports, they usually think of baseball and basketball, two sports that require a lot of running and jumping around. However, when you take a look at the actual action of street sports, you’ll see that the action takes place not on the hard surface of the field or court, but rather, on the soft, smooth metal surface of many skateboard decks. The same is true of skateboarding. The whole point of taking to these outdoor sports is to jump and slide your way across the board.
Even before the 1990s, there were already rumors and news reports about skateboard manufacturers that indicated that the future of the industry was looking bright. These reports spoke of a possible future where skateboards would be more than just a fashion accessory. Instead, they were predicted to become a significant part of the American culture, much like baseball and basketball have been in the past several decades. As a result, many American companies saw the opportunity to get involved in the rising market for street skateboards and so started to produce direct selling items for the skateboard market.
The first of these companies was Cagritt. This company produced two distinctly different lines of skateboards. One line focused on skateboarding and dirt jumping while the other focused on street skating. In its effort to create a complete street skateboarding experience, the company designed and produced a number of different skateboards, each focusing on a particular style and type of rider.
Cagritt also saw an opportunity to enter into the direct selling market and to do so, they established their own skateboarding distribution channel. The distribution channel would exclusively deal with independent distributors from the United Kingdom, who would purchase directly from Cagritt. American retailers could buy directly from the manufacturer, circumventing the retailer’s cost structure. In the forecast period, direct selling sales far outstripped inventory sales on skateboards and other accessories produced by Cagritt. This was the opportunity that many retail outlets had been waiting for. With a strong foothold in the American market and a strong distribution channel, they could develop a foothold in the European market as well.
When skateboard X-rays captured the American imagination and began appearing regularly in print and on television, this signaled the beginning of the end for Cagritt. Cagritt could not compete with the mass production that was occurring in skateboarding magazines and videos. Their boards were getting more expensive, their warranty terms were becoming more limited, and the warranty on their boards was eventually invalidated due to their reliance on standard skateboard trucks. No one could bring their skateboards to the top of the charts any longer. Their reputation in the skateboarding industry had become tainted and they had lost much of their influence over the independent skateboarder.
The year’s end came with a new opportunity for the manufacturers of street skateboards accessories market. They decided to create a new direct selling channels for the U.S. market. This time, instead of relying on skateboard distributors and stockists, they would develop their own websites and offer a catalog of products. They would then allow independent retailers to sell directly from their catalog. This would allow them to keep prices low and build their own customer base.
So, how does the predicted trend in the Street Sport Wheelchair predict the end of the U.S. Street Skateboards and Accessories Market? Well, we can expect that the brands that benefit most from this new arrangement will be those that have built a name for themselves in the independent market already, such as Tony Hawk, Kustoms, and the likes of Waxaholics. They will also benefit from creating an open source brand for skateboarders to use for their own projects. And finally, the end of direct selling and the opening up of the market to independent retailers may spark new interest for some of the older, more established brands who have been in the game for decades.