Skateboard Science

Science! Skateboarding! Steve!

Exploratorium After Dark
Skateboard Science

Thursday, April 7, 2011

6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bars open at 6:00 p.m.
Please read this important parking update.

Sometime during the last century, surfers looked for something to do while waves were flat. Attaching wheels to boxes and boards, the surfers—and their new pastime—took off. First known as “sidewalk surfing,” skateboarding has since evolved into a cultural phenomenon shaping art, music, architecture, and pop culture, transforming urban streets and cityscapes across the globe.

Tonight, we invite you to explore both the physics and cultural exploits of this urban art. Watch professional skateboarders demo the ramps inside the museum while we break down the physics behind their tricks. Drawn from the Real, Anti Hero, Spitfire, and Thunder skateboarding teams, the DLX team includes Dennis Busenitz, Tony Trujillo, Elissa Steamer, Jessie Van Roechoudt, Brian Anderson, Frank Gerwer, and Peter Ramondetta.

Find out about the history and culture of this urban art withSLAP magazine’s editor-in-chief Mark Whiteley. Bring a T-shirt and screen print your own design with San Franpsycho, explore skateboarding-related films and exhibits, and more. And check out our cool Exploratorium-designed, science-themed, limited-edition boards, which you can buy at our Store and online beginning the day of the event.


  • Skateboarding: A Cultural Evolution Shaping SF’s Urban Landscape with SLAP magazine’s editor-in-chief Mark Whiteley
  • Skateboard physics with renowned skateboard designer and producer Paul Schmitt, Exploratorium senior scientist Paul Doherty, and the DLX Skateboard Team
  • Screen printing with San Franpsycho
  • Skateboard CinemaClaremont (2008, 10 min.), featuring skaters Noah Sakamoto and Patrick Rizzo filming each other by handing a camera back and forth while zooming downhill.Skater Dater (1965, 18 min., 16mm), is a cult classic that features “a group of 1965 barefooted skateboarders with their single-striped windbreakers hanging 10 on their clay-wheeled pinner boards.”Stuntwood: The Birth, Life, and Death of a Skateboard(2006, 40 min), is a fast-paced documentary directed by Jeff Roe that traces the life of a skateboard, from maple forest to urban streets.
  • Bone dissection: Find out how skateboarding can be both harmful and beneficial to bones and joints
  • Skateboard-related exhibits: Marble Accelerator, Ollie Practice, Skateboard Strength, and more

In addition, on Saturday and Sunday, April 9 & 10, we’ll present a related event : Family Skateboard Science Weekend, where families are invited to join the pros for open skate, beginner skate, and other skateboarding activities.


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