Freestyle scootering

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Freestyle scootering (also known as freestyle scootering, scootering, scooter riding, or simply riding) is an extreme sport which involves using scooters (also known as kick scooters) to perform freestyle tricks, in a manner similar to a mix of Surfing and Skateboarding.1 ==Origins== in the 1990’s, Gino Tsai with the Micro Mobility Systems and the JD Corporation manufactured the first scooter. It was first distributed by The Sharper Image in 1999 and became popular in 2000. Razor USA was then founded in California, they quickly began to distribute Razor scooters as their own products, and the company took off quickly producing a lot of stylish and higher quality products. The first sponsored team was created in the same year and released their first video titled "Razor Evolution." the scooter revolution began to get popular but then there was a noticeable decline in popularity of scootering in late 2001. Luckily a few stuck with it and it slowly began to grow again with a different image. One first major scooter competitions, SD1, was held in San Diego in 2006 and continues to one of the biggest scooter related events and competitions to date. After 2006 the most notable change was the physical condition of the scooter. TSI Scooters was known to be the first company to produce the, "One Piece Deck." This meant that the folding mechanism was replaced with a solid metal headtube which is usually welded directly to the deck of the scooter. From then till' now scooter companies continue to innovate with new techniques to make scooter parts lighter, stronger and better suited for the rider. The level at which professional scooter riders ride at is also constantly being raised in both park and street riding, right now a (what one could call), "Maturation of Scootering" is taking place with more innovative parts and riding as well a bigger and stronger community to back it up.

More about The History of Scootering

History as Told by TSI Scooters

History as Told by The Scooter Resource

Terrain

Park

Kick scooters, due to their construction, can use most structures, or anystucture that bikes or skateboards use,including rails, boxes and even vertical ramps that one would usually find in a skate park. Many riders enjoy riding 'flyout' to lean new tricks. They then take these tricks to different obstacles throughout the skateprak such as quarters, flyboxes, spines, rail, stairsets, ledges, hubbas, aframes, banks and eurogaps. Some scooterers are notable for having more of a park style.Some of these people would include Ryan Williams, Max Peters, Dan Holm, Brandon Smith,Jeremy Mallot,Vince Kurdna, KC Corning and Luke Burland. None of these people are strict "park" riders but their footage shows that they seem to enjoy this style of riding more than street or any other terrain. Some park riders enjoy more of a relaxed, "flowy" style, based on a combination of BMX and their own style. Many Some more advanced tricks usually done is a park setting include briflips, briwhips, flips, and flairs. Anyone who scooters doesnt strictly ride street or park but some riders find park riding more fun than street styled riding.

Example of "Park" riding on a Scooter

Street

Inner city riders, use structures such as stairs, ledges, hubbas, handrails, speedbumps, and gaps. Some street riders tend to get technical with tricks while others focus on going big down stair sets and handrails. Some of the most notable professionals who ride street currently are Matt McKeen, Jordan Jasa, Dylan Kasson, Erik Feenstra, Robert Mcmoran, Collin Snoek, Josh Young, Tom Kvilhaug, Jon Archer, Greg Cohen, Logan Fuller, Chema Cardenas, Issac Miller, Zig Short amongst many others. Again people who scooter usually consider themself a "street" or "park" rider but some people have a preference as to which one they find more fun. Street riding is a great platform to ride as it gives the riders interesting obstavcles to preform tricks on such as gaps, grinds, combinations and lines that they would not normally do in a vert styled skatepark. When street riding, most scooter riders focus on cleanliness of tricks, or how easy it looks for a rider to do them. Street scootering also focuses on a rider's style or original way of doing tricks or looking while riding a scooter. From late 2013 to present there has a been a notable push for more people to ride street much like skateboarding in the 90's. People still love riding skateparks for fun with their friends but many scooterers ride street when they want to film a serious video part or just have fun. In the end it doesn't matter whether someone rides "street or "park" whats important is that they have fun doing it.

Example of "Street" Scooter Riding.

Flatland

The flatland genre of freestyle scooter riding takes place on flat surfaces such as parking lots, driveways, or tennis/basketball courts. Flatland riders prefer to link smaller tricks up in "combos", or combinations, such as barspins, tailwhips, manuals, hang fives, fakies, scooter fakies, sliders, and many more. The best example of a flat land rider is Phoenix Pro Rider, Jon Reyes.

Example of "Flatland" Scooter Riding.

Dirt

Dirt Scootering is becomoing increasingly popular. Many companys are coming out with a scooter equiped for use on dirt jumps with tires and intertubes much like BMXing.

Example of "Dirt" Scooter Riding.

Media

Scooter Blogs

Inside Scooters

LIT!

Trendkill

Scooter Resource

Fidelity Mag

Impact Scooter News

Print Magazines

Scoot Mag

Dialed Magazine

French Toast

Scoot Nation

Brands

Some of the most well known brands that manufacture scooter parts are: AO, Razor, Lucky, Root industries, Tilt, Proto, Urban Artt, Addict, French ID, Ethic, RAD, Dissidence, District, Envy, Grit, Phoenix, District, Blunt, Fasen, and Crisp.

Freestyle Scooter Parts

Depiction of a fully assembled Freestyle Scooter

Decks

Decks of freestyle scooters have come a long way since scooters first rode razor 'A' style decks. Nowadays, Freestyle scooter decks are usually one piece. Most scooter companies today make decks the first of which was TSI with their flowmaster deck in 2009. Other companies that developed decks afterwards are: Blunt, Envy, Fasen, Grit, Crisp, Phoenix, District, Proto, Flavour, Lucky, and Madd Gear. Madd Gear is marketed towards children,However, Madd Gear Pro(commonly referred to as MGP), produced by the same company is marketed towards adults and more experienced riders.

Bars

Handlebars are usually made out of 4130 chromoly or 6061 aluminum. The original folding Razor Bars have been out of use for years now and are replaced with welded and often gusseted bars for extra strength. There are several different designs for bars including standard RAD "OG" or "T" Bars and many other variations with different styles and angles. Bars can be custom cut to the preference of the rider and are generally between 18" and 30" Tall and 14" to 30" Wide.

Fork

Scooter Forks have come along way since the original razor forks which often bent from impact. Andrew Broussard, the owner of Proto Scooters and Freestyle Depot, following RADs footsteps in the DIY approach to aftermarket scooter parts, created the Proto Senior Fork in the mid-2000s. Nowadays, many companies make forks, each with their own advantages and innovations. Most forks are threadless, meaning that a compression system is used to hold the scooter bars to the fork (discussed below), however, threaded forks are still available. The downside to these are that they cause the rider's scooter to become wobbly and not as strong as if a threadless system was used.

Wheels

Early Scooter Wheels were composed with a plastic center and a urethane outside. However, these often broke, causing the development of metal-core wheels that are generally used by today's riders. Newer metal-core wheels are composed of a machined aluminum core and a durable urethane outside. Notable companies who produce metal-core wheels are Proto, Tilt, Scooter-Hut and River Wheel Co. These companies are known for having some of the fastest wheels meaning they have the best formula to make high-rebound or faster Urethane for the wheel.

Brake

There are tons of brakes available for the freestyle scooter rider with flex fenders being the most popular. Older style pivot brakes are ones that are composed of the brake itself, a bolt the runs horizontally through the bottom of it, and a spring to keep it from rattling. Nevertheless, these often rattle, which caused the invention of the flex-fender type brake system which is essentially just a flat or curved piece of metal that when depressed rubs down on the wheel to slow the rider down.

Pegs

There are a few brands who specialize in making pegs out of both alloy and chromoly. Notable examples include Ethic, District, Tilt and 81 Customs.

Headset

Threaded headset

Headsets on freestyle scooters have no difference to those on BMX bikes. Those scooters take a 1 1/8" sized headset. A threaded headset is used for a threaded fork only. Their main use is for those usually running threaded forks. Threadless headsets are used with a compression system on threadless forks such as SCS (Standard compression system), HIC (Hidden internal compression system, which requires oversized bars, IHC (Integrated Headset Compression or ICS (Inverted compression system). The compression used on threaded forks is a locknut, that can be taken off a stock fork. Threadless headsets are used to accommodate threadless forks, which were created because threads compromise the strength of the fork tube.

Compression

SCS
Standard Compression System (SCS)
- scs clamp, compression bolt, starnut, headset cap, shim (use with thin bar)

The SCS resembles an oversized clamp but internally works much like a bicycle stem. There are two slots to fit the bars and fork, the smaller of which is located on the bottom and is for the fork. A starnut is installed into the forks and the SCS is placed over the fork tube. The compression bolt is screwed into the headset cap and then into the starnut. The cap is caught on the lip that is located internally in the SCS. The bars are placed into the top slot and bolts externally located on the SCS are tightened to act as a clamp.

Main manufacturers: Proto, Tilt, Phoenix, Apex, Lucky
ICS
Inverted Compression System (ICS)
- compression bolt, starnut, headset cap

A Starnut is installed into the bars. A compression bolt is screwed into a headset cap and is placed into the fork tube from below. It is then screwed into the starnut located in the bars. The headset cap is larger than the inner diameter of the fork tube and so catches and compresses.

Main manufacturers : District, French ID
HIC
Hidden Internal Compression system (HIC)
- compression bolt, headset cap, starnut, compression shim

A starnut is installed into the fork tube. a compression shim is placed over/around the fork tube and the compression bolt is screwed into the top of the fork tube through the headset cap and into the starnut. The shim is the compressor, as the headset cap is pushing down on the shim, the shim intern pushes down on the headset. Using HIC requires oversized bars and a bigger clamp.

Main manufacturers : Grit, French ID, Madd Gear, Razor, 81 Customs, Lucky, Tilt, Fuzion
Thread Lock Compression (TLC)

A HIC-like compression system/fork made by Phoenix Pro Scooters, which involves the fork and compression shim to screw on together.

Integrated Headset Compression (IHC)

A HIC-like compression system/fork, developed by Envy/Blunt Scooters, in which the fork column is narrow so that standard sized bars fit on the compression shim.

Decline?

Many people think that scooters could be phased out much like blading. They think that it could just be a fad and kids will be over it in a few years. While no one really knows what is going to happen to scootering in the future, many people think that a decline in popularity is unforeseeable. Blading had a decline in popularity because people (mainly skateboarders) began making fun or roller blading calling roller bladders names like "fruit booters" amongst many other forms of derision both physical and mental. This caused people to stop inlining which contributed to the decline of the industry. People (mainly skateboarders and BMXers) have had contempt for people who ride scooters since the sport began, regardless, the sport has been growing since. The other possible problem is companies could go bankrupt due to a lack of support from the riders. This is fairly unforeseeable too because, unlike rollerblading in the 90's, the scooter industry has been experience slow but continuous growth unlike blading that suddenly blew up in the publics eyes when it was broadcast during the X-Games. The scooter industry has a stable group of rider owned companies along with companies run by people who have respect for the sport but also know how to properly run a business. Hopefully this proves that a decline in scootering is unlikely.

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