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The Physics of Skateboarding

  1. Oct 1, 2006 #1
    Ok so there is this guy name Rodney Mullen who invented tons and tons of skateboarding tricks and he is most known for inventing the kickflip which then lead to several other tricks.

    So I have heard people say that he was able to invent these tricks and several other tricks because of his knowledge of physics and math. So how is this possible? What were some of the properties of physics that he applied to be able to invent these tricks?

    Here is some of his footage:

    This is some of his most technical stuff: [MEDIA=youtube]DkYW6Jyw0vE[/MEDIA]

    This is some older footage (bad music): [MEDIA=youtube]vs5Oe7unAwA[/MEDIA]

    And this is his newest footage its good but not as good: [MEDIA=youtube]pPTtdPn-VSY[/MEDIA]

    Oh and Rodney Mullen went to college for about 4 years and tuck Bio Medical Engineering and had a 3.96 average.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2006 #2
    Theres nothing really very advanced about it. Namely force, work, and energy...All things you learn about in High School.
  4. Oct 2, 2006 #3
    Understanding these tricks from a scientific perspective would require understanding principles of friction, gravity, motion, acceleration. Concepts such as conservation of momentum and center of gravity also have importance. It might be useful to be able to apply these concepts to cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates systems.
  5. Oct 2, 2006 #4


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    I'm not sure how many tricks are really that new.

    In the 1960's kids were jumping up curbs with their boards, the original ollie.

    The main difference is all the jumps combos and grinding moves, this would have broke the old skateboards.
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