Skateboarding? Nor-way!

Why Norway banned Skateboarding

The skate scene in Scandinavia is as big now as it’s ever been. With Norway contributing to some of the most advanced skateboarding architecture in the world and their neighbors Sweden going as far as offering skateboarding as a fully-fledged gradable subject back in 2006, it’s safe to say Scandinavia's progressive scene is in a good place. 

Despite the recent revelations, Norway’s government in particular hasn’t always seen the great benefit of skateboarding. In the Autumn of 1978, Norway completely outlawed skateboarding. The use of skateboards and import of skate good banned, advertising the sport or products considered a criminal offense and anyone caught defying these rules, considered a criminal. 

The reason given for banning of skateboarding was the dangers it posed to it’s participants, the Norwegian government cited statistics from the US stating that hundreds of thousands of people were injured in skateboarding related accidents, however the population of the US is incomparable to that of Norway so many felt the statistics weren’t reason enough to ban the sport completely. 

Much like any law, there were those who opposed it and many Norwegian skaters began constructing DIY ramps in forests and any other secluded areas they could find, manufacturing homemade boards and secretly having boards smuggled into the country.

The 11 year ban saw many skaters, most of whom were children, arrested for being caught skating in what must’ve felt like such a dystopian period in the history of the Scandinavian skate scene. A piece of wood with some wheels on it being smuggled into a country like it’s a class A drug is the insane reality of skaters living in Norway between the years of 1978 - 1989.

The restrictions were loosened in the late ’80s, with a single skatepark in the countries capital, Oslo, being the only legal place to skate in the entire country and even then you were required to show a membership card upon arrival and if questioned by the police on your journey there or back. 

Thankfully the restrictions were lifted completely in May of 1989, officially decriminalizing skateboarding in Norway. As a result, skateboards flooded the market and the sport gained exponential popularity and has continued to become bigger and bigger ever since. 

Despite the setbacks, Scandinavia is proud of the exciting skate scene they have today, with many of their athletes hoping to compete on the world stage very soon. 


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Related: skateboarding , Norway , scandinavia .