Faculty Publications

Publication Date



Journalism Studies | Mass Communication


The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the values and norms that constitute legitimacy, or authenticity, in the skateboarding world. Both authors spent a considerable amount of time with the skateboarding world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Lisa Weidman worked at a skateboarding magazine for several years, and Becky Beal did an extensive ethnographic study of skateboarders. Using our experiences and research, we describe the characteristics that skateboarders and the industry use to identify an authentic skateboarder. The first section, on the skaters' perspective, is based primarily on Beal's interactions with skateboarders; the second section, on the industry's perspective, is based on Weidman's experiences and interpretations of advertisements placed in the skateboarding magazines by companies selling skateboards and related products and services.

Document Type

Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.

Original Citation

Becky Beal & Lisa Weidman
Authenticity in the skateboarding world.
In To the Extreme: Alternative Sports Inside and Out, edited by Robert E. Rinehart & Synthia Sydnor
2003, pages 337-352, State University of New York Press: Albany



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