The Summer X-Games returned to California this week for its 28th season. Unlike the Olympics, which debuted a skate category in 2020, the X-Games reportedly doesn’t test its athletes for cannabis. Truly meant to be since Cannabis, skating and the X-Games go together like Tony Hawk and Pro Skater.
How did the two cultures come together? Skateboarding started as an outgrowth of roller skating in the 1950s, so the early years looked more like a cheesy TV sitcom, but the Zephyr skate team helped change that image. In the ’70s, the Z-Boys innovated the original street skate style on Venice Beach sidewalks and in drained swimming pools during the infamous 1976-77 drought. Legendary photographer Glen E. Friedman captured the outlaw ethos of the Z-Boys, often seen with joints dangling from their mouths, helping immortalize the look and style of a new skate culture that included cannabis.
Friedman’s work also captured other outlaw cultures like punk rock and hip-hop, which often overlapped with skating and cannabis as well. Many punk bands openly embraced cannabis (Green Day) and skating (Pennywise), while Aussie trio Dune Rats embraced them both by setting up a skate ramp in a cannabis field. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the simultaneous rise of skate, cannabis, punk and hip-hop helped lift all four cultures into the mainstream in the 1990s. During this pivotal decade, counterculture skate mag Big Brother held the Bong Olympics, a skater made the cover of High Times and Chad Muska introduced the bestselling éS Muska skate shoes with a secret stash pocket “because Chad was a heavy weed smoker at the time” (per brand strategist Don Brown).
Even as the cultures moved from outlaw to mainstream, cannabis and skating retained their connection, but the synergy grew beyond a shared free-thinking independent spirit. The modern connection now includes a focus on health, wellness and performance, and this starts with an awareness that cannabinoids may help with skate-related issues like pain, inflammation, anxiety and even focus. As the Olympic Committee noted in this 2011 study, “Athletes under the influence of cannabis indicate that their thoughts flow more easily and their decision making and creativity is enhanced; others claim that cannabis improves their concentration or reduces pain…. Skateboarders Bob Burnquist and Jen O’Brien admitted that cannabis helps them relieve the pressure associated with their sport.”
Other skaters concur. Former world champ Tas Pappas noted, “Some guys skate really well on weed, and if they have to stop smoking for one competition, it might really affect their performance,” while Z-Boys legend Tony Alva once said, “A huge segment of the skateboarding population [uses] marijuana as an herb to better their lives and get in tune with their environment both physically and mentally.”
Whether you want to watch the X-Games, skate in competitions or simply have fun sliding down handrails, KANHA has the gummies for you. Here are a few examples:
- CBD:THC combos like Pink Lemonade (1:1) and Peach (4:1) offer added relief for those who skate hard all summer
- Sativa Classics like Pineapple and Ruby Grapefruit might do the trick for those who skate better with cannabinoids
- A Tony Hawk 900 that went terribly wrong might call for Harmony Restore with a 2:1 combo of CBG and THC
Whatever your preference, we’ve got you covered. From skating and surfing to yoga and hiking, KANHA is here to help elevate the experiences you love.