Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is no definitive origin or inventor of the skateboard. One proposed origin is that skateboards arose in the 1930s and 1940s, when children would participate in soapbox races, using soap-boxes attached to wooden planks on rollerskate wheels. When the soap-box became detached from the plank, children would ride these primitive "skateboards". However, there are arguments that this origin is not accurate, and that it has simply been taken from the film Back to the Future. Another suggests that the skateboard was created directly from the adaptation of a single roller skate taken apart and nailed to a 2x4, without the soapbox at all. Surfers would skate when the waves were flat and began skating to recreate surfing on land, some surfers began to do tricks on the land such as Bert slides and Power slides. Another theory about the origin of skateboards claims that third and fourth grade children in the Los Angeles South Bay Area developed skateboards in the spring of 1952 or 1953, after having received roller skates as the "Christmas gift of choice." The young children who developed skate boards in 1952 and/or 1953 did not do this quite so much as an outright immitation of surfing, but rather, simply because the skates they had received for Christmas eventually fell apart under hard use, and they found that they could continue and enhance the skating experience by nailing skate halves to 3-to-4 foot long boards, and then by learning to balance themselves on the boards while rolling down hills.

In 1972, the first Urethane wheels came into production which made these tricks possible. Some of the most well known early skaters, the "Z-boys" named after the Zepher surf shop, used a more fluid motion than most skaters at the time and styled themselves after a famous surfer.[citation needed] The skaters brought back the trend from its slump in 1975 during the Del Mar competition where they wowed audiences with their close to ground maneuvers and fluid movements. The main types of skating during this time were slalom, long jump, free style, and downhill racing.[citation needed] Later during the drought of California the Z-boys and other skaters started to skate empty pools thus creating vert skating. One of the group's members, Laurie Picken, would perform the world's first Aerial in a swimming pool.

Retail skateboards were first marketed in 1958 by Bill and Mark Richard of Dana Point, California. They attached roller skate wheels from the Chicago Roller Skate Company to a plank of wood and sold them in their Val Surf Shops.As skateboarding became more popular, Larry Stevenson created the "kick tail" on a skateboard which led to the design of the trick board.[citation needed] The sport of skating was considered to be an outcast sport because of its strong ties to the punk and rebel movement during the 90s.[citation needed] It wasn't until the 2000s X Games that skateboarding made a new name for itself as an official sport.

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