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Freestyle scootering (also known as scootering or scooter riding) is an extreme sport that involves using kick scooters to perform freestyle tricks. This is done mainly in skateparks but also in urban environments on obstacles such as stairs, hand rails and curbs. Freestyle scootering gained popularity following the Razor craze in the early 2000s after the invention of the foldable aluminium scooter by Micro Mobility Systems in 1999. Since then the construction of pro scooters have progressed immensely, making it a big business with many brands solely focusing on creating trick scooters world wide.

A scooter rider grinding a rainbow rail in the streets of Trondheim, Norway.
A scooter rider grinding a rainbow rail in the streets of Trondheim, Norway.

Early years

After the first version of the foldable kick scooter, invented by Swiss banker Wim Ouboter[1] (founder of Micro-Mobility Switzerland), hit the market in 1999, scooters became extremely popular amongst kids worldwide. Micro was the first to produce and sell these scooters. Shortly after, Micro licensed their new invention to JD Sports who would go on to sell the scooter under the name Razor[2] in the United States and under the JD Bug name in parts of Europe. The invention of the foldable scooter was made with easy transportation in mind, however, some people with roots in skateboarding and BMX quickly started to realize the potential of using scooters to perform tricks in skateparks.

Razor scooters were the first to form a legitimate team of scooter riders, including some of the best riders from the United States in the early 2000s. This team included riders such as Josh Toy, John Radtke and KC Corning.[3] Videos like Razor Evolution (2000) and the RVM series (Razor Scooters Video Magazine) helped grow the interest in freestyle scootering, as a copy of RVM1 was included in the box with the first Razor A-model scooters. The popularity of the Razor scooter also resulted in the release of the video game Razor Freestyle Scooter (2000).

Since the sport's inception in 1999, stunt scooters have significantly evolved[4]. As the sport progresses, businesses and systems have been created to support the growth of the scootering community. An example of an early support system is the Scooter Resource (SR) forum founded by Andrew Broussard in 2003,[5] which helped grow the scootering community by connecting people interested in scootering across the world. A similar forum for the French scooter community, Trotirider, was created by Fabian Delos[6] around the same time. As scootering became more popular, there was a demand for stronger aftermarket parts and for scooter shops to carry those parts.

The first ever scooter competition was held in Montreux, Switzerland in 2005.[6]

World championships

In 2012 the first scootering world championships was organized by the International Scooter Association (ISA) (now known as the International Scooter Federation, ISF),[7] won by Dakota Schuetz. Since then, the world championships have been held annually, with exception of the year 2020 due to restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the year 2019 there has been crowned a winner in three categories: men's park, men's street and women's park (prior to 2019 there was only one category, men's park). The winners are listed below:[8]

Year Men's park Men's street Women's park Location
2012 Dakota Schuetz (US) N/A N/A Evolution Extreme, Deeside, UK
2013 Dakota Schuetz (US) N/A N/A Scootfest, Stoneleigh, UK
2014 Dakota Schuetz (US) N/A N/A Scootfest, Stoneleigh, UK
2015 Jordan Clark (UK) N/A N/A Extreme Barcelona, Spain
2016 Jordan Clark (UK) N/A N/A Extreme Barcelona, Spain
2017 Dante Hutchinson (UK) N/A N/A Extreme Barcelona, Spain
2018 Jordan Clark (UK) N/A N/A Extreme Barcelona, Spain
2019 Jon Marco Gaydos (US) Auguste Pellaud (FR) Beca Ortiz (US) WRG Barcelona, Spain
2020 N/A N/A N/A Copperbox, London, UK (Cancelled)
2021 Jordan Clark (UK) Luca DiMeglio (FR) Lucy Evans (UK) Extreme Barcelona, Spain

Rider of the year

The title Rider of the Year (also known as ROTY) is awarded annually by the online scooter media outlet Trendkill Collective.[9] The award is given to the scooter rider voted the best or most impactful that year based on things such as the video footage produced, performance in contests/street jams and overall presence and impression. It is the members of the freestyle scooter community themselves that vote for their favorite rider based on a list of scooter riders that is hand picked by the staff at Trendkill at the end of every year. The tradition started in 2019 and is the only award of its kind in the freestyle scootering community. So far all the winners of the ROTY award have been from the United States.

Year Rider of the Year
2019 Reece Doezema (US)
2020 Austin Coates (US)
2021 Devin Szydlowski (US)

References

  1. ^ "Travel innovator: Wim Ouboter, inventor of the Micro scooter". the Guardian. 2002-03-31. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  2. ^ "All About Micro". Micro Kickboard. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  3. ^ "The History of SCOOTERING | From the NEK Down!". United Scooter Association. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  4. ^ Helgeland, Brian (2022-06-28). "Stunt Scooter in the UK [Guide]". Fitness Advisor. Retrieved 2022-07-01.
  5. ^ Zoned Out Podcast Ep. 7 - Andrew Broussard Full Interview, retrieved 2022-04-30
  6. ^ a b "INDUSTRY INSIGHT | KEVIN DEMAY – Trendkill Collective". Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  7. ^ https://worldscooterchampionships.com/
  8. ^ ISA. "World Scooter Champions". ISF - International Scooter Federation. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  9. ^ "Trendkill Collective". Retrieved 2022-04-30.

See also