Board Wars: The History of Skateboarding in Billings, Montana

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Authors
Kraft, Duncan
Advisor
Pavlakis, Dean
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Title
Board Wars: The History of Skateboarding in Billings, Montana
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Abstract
Skateboarding and boundaries have never mixed well. Unlike conventional sports, which are confined to a field or court, Skateboarding can be found anywhere their four wheels can take them. Once Skateboarding made its way to Billings, Montana, the city had to ask the question so many other communities were trying to solve: what do we do about the growth of Skateboarding? The exploration involved in Skateboarding often leads those looking to push their limits to city streets or private property. As Skateboarding grew so did the concerns of parents, public officials, and property owners. The culture war of Skateboarding was centered on how to handle the street Skateboarders who became prevalent after the Dark Age of Skateboarding in the 1980s, and the Billings city council decided the solution would be the construction of a skatepark. By utilizing interviews and other primary sources, the evolution of the conflict between Skateboarding culture and mainstream culture is brought to light. Skateboarding caused a culture war in Billings, Montana that the construction of the Downtown Skatepark in 2004 resolved only in the eyes of public officials and law enforcement but not for Skateboarders who still encounter social alienation and negative stereotypes in the schools and community.
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Spring
Department
History