By Jason Clingerman
Marines skateboarding into combat… sounds like something out of a Back to the Future sequel, right?
Well, as a matter of fact, the U.S. military experimented with using skateboards in combat situations. In the March 1999 exercises known as Urban Warrior ’99, the military experimented with the potential use of skateboards to detect trip wires and sniper fire. While I can’t imagine the logistics of such uses, it sounds pretty gnarly. I stumbled across this little gem while reading about the history of skateboard designs.
This prompted me to search our holdings, and I found this photograph of a Marine posing with his “urban combat skateboard,” which really just looks like a regular skateboard painted green. Still pretty cool. I wonder if skateboard combat boots would have followed.
Any researchers stumbled across mentions of military use of skateboards in the records? I would love to know more. Sadly, I assume the skateboard was not adapted into standard military hardware…