Skateboarding is one of the most popular street sports in America with millions grinding, carving, and kick flipping from coast to coast everyday. But a growing hobby called fingerboarding allows skaters to practice their tricks on a miniature scale when bad weather or injury hits.
“Like skateboarding, the physics behind it is the same,” said owner of Homewood Fingerboards Justin Rodriguez. “That’s what really makes it a fun hobby because you can replicate skateboard tricks without cheating.”
Fingerboarding has been around for more than 30 years, but it has come a long way since kids first used their hot wheels glued to cardboard cutouts of mini skateboards to perform tricks.
“It’s progressed to where people have started to mimic skateboard manufacturing,” said owner of No Comply Fingerboards Todd Cuzzort.
And its not just the boards that have changed, but they way fingerboarders compete has as well. In the past, competitions were held online and entrants had to submit a video of their tricks for judges to vote on. Now, thanks to the growing number of enthusiasts, fingerboarders can go head to head in person as they did at the 2012 International Fingerboarding Championship held at Players Indoor Sports Center in Naperville.
Organized by Rodriguez and Cuzzort, the event drew enthusiasts from across the country including 2007 Fingerboarder of the Year, and the eventual winner of the 2012 championship Gary Chin. Chin who resides in New York has a YouTube page that teaches fingerboarders how to perform tricks and has garnered over 13 million views.
“People don’t really think about the way your body is positioned during tricks,” said Chin. “Even though it’s called fingerboarding, your body plays a big role in doing the tricks.”
Almost as impressive as the tricks were the miniature skate parks built by the organizers and sponsors. Made to scale in order for boarders to pull off certain tricks, some parks included famous landmarks from the sport. And while everything associated with fingerboarding is miniaturized, the popularity of the sport can only get bigger thanks to competitions like this.
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