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Skating into the Unknown: Scoping the Physical, Technical, and Tactical Demands of Competitive Skateboarding.

Sports Medicine 2024 May 15
BACKGROUND: The inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics suggests that athletes and coaches are seeking ways to enhance their chances of succeeding on the world stage. Understanding what constitutes performance, and what physical, neuromuscular, and biomechanical capacities underlie it, is likely critical to success.

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to overview the current literature and identify knowledge gaps related to competitive skateboarding performance and associated physical, technical, and tactical demands of Olympic skateboarding disciplines.

METHODS: A systematic scoping review was performed considering the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (Extension for Scoping Reviews) guidelines. Data sources were MEDLINE (Ovid), Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed. We included all peer-reviewed literature after 1970 describing the physiological, neuromuscular, biomechanical, and/or tactical aspects of skateboarding.

RESULTS: Nineteen original articles explored the physiological (n = 9), biomechanical (n = 8), and technical (n = 10) demands of skateboarding. No research explored the tactical demands of competition. Moreover, although competitive males (n = 2 studies) and females (n = 1 study) were recruited as participants, no research directly related skateboarding demands to performance success in competitive environments.

CONCLUSIONS: Ultimately, what constitutes and distinguishes competitive skateboarding is unexplored. There is some evidence indicating aspects of the sport require flexibility and elevated and fast force output of the lower limbs, which may be valuable when attempting to maximise ollie height. Nonetheless, a lack of ecological validity, such as using static ollie tests as opposed to rolling, restricted our ability to provide practical recommendations, and inconsistency of terminology complicated delineating discipline-specific outcomes. Future researchers should first look to objectively identify what skaters do in competition before assessing what qualities enable their performance.

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