For those who identify with skateboarding, we know it is more than just cruising around. It is part of our identity. We know that skateboarding is a lifestyle. Skating is one of our first loves and it shall continue to be. Just where does skateboarding come from? The history of skateboarding can be traced as far as the 1950s.
Let us take a look at the skateboarding timeline, shall we?
The 1950s Skateboarding
The first skateboard that was ever made traces its roots to California and Hawaii. It was a shorter version of a surfboard and had metal wheels with no bearings attached to it. In1959, the Roller Derby released the first official skateboard with some technical improvement as compared to the board on wheels. As a result, this board had the ability to do tricks and also execute better maneuvering abilities.
During this decade, the skateboards where purely manufactured by toy companies.
The skateboard becomes more famous in the United States and especially the states on the east and west coast. It was also during this decade that the skateboard changed its status to a sports equipment from a toy equipment.
In 1963, skating reaches its peak and more companies including Patterson Forbes make boards that are well developed especially for the trucks. The same year, the skateboard brands started holding skateboarding competitions. The first ever skateboard competition was held in Hermosa Beach in California.
In 1964, the first ever skateboard magazine was published. It was called “The Quarterly Skateboarder”. This magazine was only published four times before it stopped publication.
As from 1965, the popularity of the sport seemed to die. Most of the skateboarding manufacturing companies were closing down and the majority of the people who were making the boards especially the wheels which were made of clay and mental gave people less control over the board and very dangerous as well.
As remaining part of this decade, people who remained true to the sport continued to make their own equipment and searching for ways to improve the board.
This was the defining decade for skateboarding. In 1972, Frank Nasworthy made the first ever urethane wheels giving the skateboard a major comeback. This led him to start the company, Cadillac Wheel. These wheels gave the skateboard the grip and durable wheel that allowed for better control and higher speed compared to its predecessors.
In 1975, the most evolutionary event happened towards boosting the sport as we see it today. The first ever slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival in Del Mar, California. During this competition, Zephyr team, commonly known as the Z-Boys, blew the contest away with aggressive, edgier innovative boarding style and this pushed the skateboard into the public eye.
In 1976, the sport reached Germany, courtesy of the American soldiers who brought it to Germany. The first skateboard championship in Germany was held in 1978.
In 1978, the greatest maneuver was also invested by Alan Gelfand, “The Ollie”. This is the greatest trick ever invented and completely changed the world of skateboarding. This led to the introduction of street skateboarding.
Towards the end of this decade, skateboarding hit another snag due to the rising insurance cost due to the dangerous nature of the sport. This created less interest in the sport and as a result, lots of the skateboard parks were closed down.
Those true to the sport continued keeping it real.
The 1980s Skateboarding
During this decade, a freestyle skater, Rodney Mullen adapted the Ollie to flatland and other variations involving flipping and spinning the board while with an Ollie.
As from 1981, “Thrasher Magazine” and in 1983 “Transworld Skateboarding Magazine” continued to support the uprising of the skateboard. This coupled with smaller ones and skate shops increased the popularity of the sport as well.
Due to the rising popularity, Stacey Peralta and George Powell created the first ever skateboarding videos- Bones Brigade Video Show-that taught the skated new, never seen before tricks as well as making skaters feel like they are part of a community.
Towards the end of the decade, again, the popularity hit a dive, but those true to the sport continued to practice.
This decade, the popularity of the sport continued along with punk culture.
The first-ever World Cup skateboard is founded in 1994 and it oversees the biggest skateboarding competitions as well as to regulate points from one event to another.
In 1995, the first-ever X Games are held giving the attention skateboarding deserved and these games help bring in money. This generated more interest that helped propel skateboard into popularity and also pushing skaters to newer levels of creativity.
First Winter Games were held in 1997, and skateboarding was classified as ‘Extreme Sport” which many skaters disagree.
The 2000s to Present
At the beginning of this century, video games such as Tony Hawk Pro Skater became an instant hit and it changed the gaming industry and gave more exposure to skateboarding.
With more money being brought in, more skate parks, better skateboards, and more skateboarding companies have kept innovation at an all-time high.
In 2004, the International Skateboarding Federation is formed and is in charge of the talks with International Olympics Committee about adding the game to Olympics.
The Dew Tour in 2005 gave rival to X Games and other local contests and international ones as well gained popularity. The same year, The Lords of Dogtown movie comes out telling the story of the Zephyr Team
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