2023 The Art of the Skateboard
- Skateboarding was added as an Olympic Sport in 2020
- Skateboarding originated from people trying to mimic surfing on land
- Celebrates the unique styles of skateboarders
Category of Stamp: Commemorative
Value: First-Class Mail rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue: March 24, 2023
First Day City: Phoenix, AZ
Quantity Issued (if known): 18,000,000
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method/Format: Offset printing, panes of 20 self-adhesive stamps.
Reason the stamp was issued: With skateboarding being added to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, it attracts more people than ever before. The Postal Service celebrates skateboarding’s history of excitement, diversity, and self-expression with these new First-Class Forever Stamps.
About the stamp design: Designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, featuring artwork from artists Crystal Worl from Alaska, William James Taylor Junior from Virginia, Arizona Native DiOrr Greenwood, and muralist MasPaz (Federico Frum) from the Washington D.C. area.
Special design details: The four designs were created by skateboarders-turned-artists, each highlighting the artist’s background and unique style. Worl’s deck has a blue and indigo salmon design expressing her Tlingit/Athabascan heritage. Greenwood’s design represents her Navajo culture, a turquoise-inlaid skateboard that displays eagle feathers and the colors of the rising or setting sun. Washington, DC based muralist MasPaz, Spanish for “more peace,” created a design featuring the mystical jaguar of the amazon in his unique bold lined style. And, a striking red and orange graphic abstraction by self-taught Norfolk, VA artist Taylor energizes the final skateboard.
First Day City: The first day ceremony was held in Phoenix, Arizona at Desert West Skate Park. The ceremony kicked off PHXAM, an amateur skateboarding competition which attracts global participation.
About the Art of the Skateboard: Skateboarding has always been associated with eye-catching graphics, breathtaking movements, and individual style. The Art of the Skateboard series aims to capture the thrill that skaters experience. Each stamp depicts a person holding a skateboard deck in front of their head, obscuring their facial features. The skateboards feature artwork from 1 of 4 artists from around the country, each with vibrant colors and shapes that capture the diversity and excitement of skateboarding.
History the stamp represents: Skateboarding originated in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was born out of a desire to mimic the sensation of surfing on land. Surfing was gaining popularity in California at the time, but when the waves were flat, surfers looked for alternative ways to ride and have fun.
The early roots of skateboarding can be traced back to homemade scooters made by attaching roller skate wheels to a plank of wood or a box. These contraptions, known as "sidewalk surfers," allowed individuals to simulate the feeling of riding a wave on the pavement. The popularity of sidewalk surfing grew, and in the 1960s, skateboarding as we know it today began to take shape.
In the 1970s, skateboarding experienced a major surge in popularity, evolving into a recognized sport. Skateparks started to emerge, providing dedicated spaces for skateboarders to ride and showcase their skills. The introduction of polyurethane wheels revolutionized skateboarding by providing better grip and a smoother ride.
However, despite its growing popularity, skateboarding faced some challenges in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Safety concerns and a lack of proper regulation led to the closure of many skateparks, and the sport experienced a decline in participation.
Skateboarding made a comeback in the 1980s with the introduction of vertical skateboarding and the rise of professional skateboarders like Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta, and Rodney Mullen. Their innovative tricks and performances revitalized the sport and inspired a new generation of skateboarders.
Since then, skateboarding has continued to evolve and grow, becoming a global phenomenon. It has become deeply ingrained in youth culture, influencing fashion, music, and art. The sport has gained recognition and acceptance, leading to the inclusion of skateboarding in major competitions such as the X Games and the Olympic Games, where it made its debut in 2021.
Today, skateboarding is practiced by millions of people worldwide, with a diverse community that spans across all age groups and backgrounds. It remains a vibrant and influential sport, constantly pushing boundaries and inspiring creativity both on and off the board.