“Home Quizzes & Games History & Society Science & Tech Biographies Animals & Nature Geography & Travel Arts & Culture Money Videos skateboarding Table of Contents skateboarding Table of Contents Introduction References & Edit History Related Topics Images For Students skateboarding summary Quizzes Sports Quiz American Sports Nicknames Related Questions What is ice hockey? Where is ice hockey most popular? Is ice hockey an Olympic sport? Where did ice hockey originate? How does basketball exercise your body? Read Next 10 Unusual Sports How Fast Is the World’s Fastest Human? 10 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time Olympics: Equestrian Is It Really Dangerous to Swim After Eating? Discover 9 of the World’s Deadliest Spiders Timeline of the American Revolution 5 Unbelievable Facts About Christopher Columbus How Did Alexander the Great Really Die? History of Technology Timeline 11 Banned Books Through Time 11 Egyptian Gods and Goddesses Arts & Culture skateboarding recreation and sport Actions Cite verifiedCite While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Select Citation Style MLA APA Chicago Manual of Style Copy Citation Share Share Share to social media Facebook Twitter URL https://www.britannica.com/sports/skateboarding Give Feedback External Websites Feedback Corrections? Updates? Omissions? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Feedback Type Select a type (Required) Factual Correction Spelling/Grammar Correction Link Correction Additional Information Other Your Feedback Submit Feedback Thank you for your feedback Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. External Websites Olympics – Skateboarding LiveAbout – A Brief History of Skateboarding Britannica Websites Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. skateboarding – Children’s Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11) skateboarding – Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up) Print Cite verifiedCite While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Select Citation Style MLA APA Chicago Manual of Style Copy Citation Share Share Share to social media Facebook Twitter URL https://www.britannica.com/sports/skateboarding Feedback External Websites Feedback Corrections? Updates? Omissions? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Feedback Type Select a type (Required) Factual Correction Spelling/Grammar Correction Link Correction Additional Information Other Your Feedback Submit Feedback Thank you for your feedback Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. External Websites Olympics – Skateboarding LiveAbout – A Brief History of Skateboarding Britannica Websites Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. skateboarding – Children’s Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11) skateboarding – Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up) Also known as: sidewalk surfing Written by Tony Hawk Pioneering professional skateboarder, an iconic figure in popular culture. A wide variety of products and commercial enterprises—including media, clothing lines, skateboarding accessories, even rollercoasters—carry… Tony Hawk Fact-checked by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica’s editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree. They write new content and verify and edit content received from contributors. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Last Updated: Sep 27, 2023
• Article History Table of Contents skateboarding See all media Category: Arts & Culture Key People: Tony Hawk …(Show more) Related Topics: Olympic Games skating grind kickturn ollie …(Show more) See all related content → Recent News Sep. 27, 2023, 7:16 AM ET (AP) 13-year-old Chinese skateboarder wins gold at the Asian Games and now eyes the Paris Olympics skateboarding, form of recreation and sport, popular among youths, in which a person rides standing balanced on a small board mounted on wheels. Considered one of the so-called extreme sports, skateboarding as a professional sport boasts a range of competitions, including vertical and street-style events. Vertical skating (also called “vert”) features aerial acrobatics performed in half-pipes that were originally built to emulate empty swimming pools. Street style features tricks performed in a real or simulated urban environment with stairs, rails, ledges, and other obstacles. Skateboarding has developed as a youth subculture that emphasizes creativity and individuality. It is an alternative to mainstream team sports, which are more formally organized and largely controlled by adults.
(Read Britannica’s biography of Tony Hawk.) Britannica Quiz American Sports Nicknames The first commercial skateboards appeared in 1959, but crude homemade versions of skateboards, often consisting of nothing more than old roller-skate wheels attached to a board, were first built after the turn of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, skateboard manufacturers such as Makaha and Hobie attempted to capitalize on the rising popularity of surfing by promoting skateboarding, then known as “sidewalk surfing,” as an alternative diversion when no rideable waves were available. In 1963 Makaha formed the first professional skateboard team, and that same year the first skateboard competition was held in Hermosa, California. It included events in freestyle and downhill slalom skateboarding. The initial popularity of skateboarding waned over the next couple of years because of the limitations of the skateboard’s maneuverability and because of warnings from safety professionals that the activity was dangerous.
Skateboards were revived in the mid-1970s after the development of the faster and more-maneuverable polyurethane wheel and the introduction of the kicktail, the raised back end of the board that makes kickturns possible. The craze spread worldwide, and skateboard magazines helped promote both the sport and young innovative riders such as Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta. The first skate park was built in Florida in 1976, and many others began to appear throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, all providing a variety of slopes and banked surfaces for sudden turns and stunts. It was at this time that riders started skating in empty pools and exploring the “vertical” potential of the sport. The empty pools soon gave way to half-pipes, U-shaped riding surfaces used to perform aerial stunts. Though protective gear such as helmets and knee pads was commonplace, safety concerns and escalating insurance premiums for skate parks played a major role in the sport’s second fall from widespread popularity.
skateboardingIn the 1980s skateboarding enjoyed an underground following. Skateboarders built their own ramps and half-pipes and began skating the urban environments, creating what became known as street style. Increased board size and improved truck constructions helped the new style thrive. It was during this time that a distinctive youth subculture began to develop around the sport. Punk rock and baggy clothes became closely associated with young skaters. The daring and individualistic nature of street and vert skateboarding was spread through straight-to-video documentary films that found a large youth audience. The videos made stars of vert skaters Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero and street skaters Natas Kaupas and Mark Gonzalez, among many others. But it was the advent of large competitions, such as the X Games, an alternative sports festival sponsored by the cable television network ESPN and first held in 1995, that gave the sport mainstream exposure and a certain commercial legitimacy. Skateboarding has established itself as a professional sport while still maintaining its independence from traditional team sports. Snowboarding and in-line roller-skating have been heavily influenced by skateboarding techniques and culture.
Most skateboards are about 32 inches (81 cm) long and 9 inches (23 cm) wide. A skateboard comprises three major parts: the deck (the board upon which the rider stands), the trucks (the construction that attaches the wheels to the deck), and the wheels. Originally, decks were made of wood, but later they were also made of aluminum, fibreglass, and plastic. The rear part of the deck is bent upward to form the kicktail, as is the front (“nose”) on modern designs. The truck includes an axle, a hangar (which houses the axle), and a cushion that both absorbs shocks and provides flexibility for steering. The wheels are made of tough polyurethane plastic. Are you a student? Get Britannica Premium for only $24.95 – a 67% discount! Subscribe Now There are variations of the skateboard, most notably the longboard, which can run from 38 to 60 inches (96.5 to 152.5 cm) in length. The sport of street luge began with the use of longboards, ridden in a prone position down a steep hill. The street luge vehicles are still essentially skateboards but are up to 8.5 feet (2.6 metres) long and have supports for the head and feet. They can reach speeds of 80 miles (130 km) per hour. Other modifications to the skateboard include sails for wind-aided riding and blades for skating on ice.
Much of the excitement of skateboarding rests in the riders’ creativity. Skaters compete to invent new tricks or new combinations of tricks. Three of the most fundamental skateboarding moves are the kickturn, the ollie, and the grind. A kickturn is accomplished when the rider pushes down on the kicktail, lifting the front wheels off the ground and spinning on the rear wheels. The hands-free aerial known as the ollie is one of the most important tricks in contemporary skateboarding. It was invented in 1978 by Alan (“Ollie”) Gelfand, who discovered that slamming his foot down on the kicktail and simultaneously sliding his front foot forward caused the board and himself to jump into the air together. A grind involves riding with the trucks against the edge or top of an object. World Cup Skateboarding, founded in 1994, oversees the biggest street and vert skateboarding competitions, including events in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States and throughout Europe and Asia. Tony Hawk
“Surfing GamesSurf BooksSurf MoviesSurf TrainingBoard Size ChartShark MapSurf ShopSunrise and Sunset Times SurferToday on Facebook SurferToday on Instagram SurferToday on Twitter SurferToday on Pinterest SurferToday on YouTube SurferToday on RSS Feeds SurfingSkateboardingBodyboardingKiteboardingWindsurfingSkimboardingEnvironment The timeline of skateboarding history Skateboarding The history of skateboarding dates back to the 17th century when roller skates were created as a summer alternative to ice skating.
However, the world’s first skateboard would only see the light of day somewhere between the early 1900s and the late 1950s, depending on what a skateboard is for historians and skating fans. The four-wheel board that we know today had its ups and downs. After the first boom (1959-1965), the outdoor activity initiated by California surfers nearly disappeared and went underground (1965-1972). With the advent of urethane wheels, empty swimming pools, skateparks, and the ollie (1973-1980), skateboarding spreads to all corners of the globe. Once established as a sport with its own culture, skaters move away from the sidewalk into the air and gain their own magazines, idols, and multi-million brands (1981-1991). The consolidation era (1992-1999) transforms skateboarding into a mainstream sport with millions of fans, spectator-friendly television events, and VHS videos. With the turn of the millennium, the internet and online video platforms make skateboarding greater and more popular than ever. Sidewalk surfing is now an Olympic sport. Take a look at the most important dates in the history of skateboarding. Early 1600s: Residents of the Netherlands develop a primitive form of roller skate crafted by attaching wooden spools to a platform. The goal was to try to find a summer dry-land alternative to winter ice skating; 1760: Belgian inventor Jean-Joseph Merlin creates a pair of roller skates with iron wheels and nearly kills himself crashing into a mirror as he demonstrated them at a costume ball; 1818: A group of roller skaters mimics ice skating during the “”Der Maler oder die Wintervergn Ugungen,”” a ballet held in Berlin, Germany; 1819: Monsieur Petitbled patents a design that uses two-to-four rollers made of copper, ivory, or wood attached to a wooden soleplate, then fitted to a skater’s boot; 1823: Inline skating pioneer Robert John Tyers patents the “”Rolito,”” a roller skate with five wheels in a single row and smaller wheels on each end to allow for turning and maneuvering; 1828: Jean Garcin patents an inline skate with three wheels named “”Cingar””; 1857: The first public roller rinks open in London, England; 1863: James Leonard Plimpton, a New York City furniture manufacturer, patents a skate with two wheels in the front and two wheels in the back; 1930s: Scooter Skate, a scooter–skateboard, hits the market featuring a handle, and metal deck, and three steel rollerskate-style wheels; 1935: John L. Wintz creates a Lucite skate wheel and the world’s first rubber wheel; 1936: Wintz founds the Sure-Grip Skate Company; 1936: The Roller Derby Skate Corporation is founded with a factory in Litchfield, Illinois; 1945: The Skeeter Skate sees the light of day. The four-wheeled aluminum skate comes with a removable handle, pedal car-style wheels, and a groundbreaking steering axle system, also known as trucks, which allow riders to turn for the first time; 1953: The Roller Derby Skate Corporation opens its first office and assembly plant in California; 1956: Los Angeles surfer, Tim Tuthill, claims that skateboarding started in front of his house in Hermosa Beach when he and his friends built the first bun boards; 1957: Roller Derby introduces Street King, the world’s first sized, booted roller skate for outdoor use. The model remains the best-selling roller skate of all time, with over 65 million pairs sold worldwide; 1958: Albert C. Boyden, also known as the “”Humco Surfer,”” patents one of the earliest recognizable skateboards; 1959: The word “”skateboard”” appears for the first time in the Los Angeles Times’ “”The Week in Review.”” The article noted that “”Students comprising the Pasadena Youth Council board of officers appealed to City Directors Tuesday, requesting that skateboards be outlawed to cut down the growing list of accidents caused by the free-wheeling toys, usually made by affixing skate wheels to short lengths of 2x4s. More than half a dozen teenagers have been injured in the past month while riding them””; 1959: The Roller Derby Skate Corporation launches the world’s first mass-produced skateboard; 1962: Val Surf, a Hollywood-based surf shop, sells the first self-produced skateboards; 1962: Patterson Forbes produces the first complete boards with more developed trucks; 1963: Larry Stevenson Makaha Skateboards, a skateboarding company run from his garage in Venice Beach; 1963: Stevenson, publisher of the Surf Guide Magazine, releases the first advertisement for skateboards in his publication; 1963: The founder of Makaha Skateboards organizes one of the earliest skateboard exhibitions of all time at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California; 1963: Jim Fitzpatrick becomes the first member of the Makaha Skateboards exhibition team; 1964: Herbie Fletcher rides his skateboard in Pasadena swimming pools; 1964: Skee Skate runs an ad in the first issue of The Quarterly Skateboarder. It could have been the first-ever commercial skateboard; 1964: Jan and Dean release the song “”Sidewalk Surfin'””; 1964: On June 12, The New York Times reports: “”Skateboarding is not a crime!”” The Burbank Traffic and Transportation Committee recommended to the city council that the “”little whizboards”” were no more dangerous than bicycles or wagons and should be allowed anywhere in the city limits, except the central business district; 1965: In August, The Quarterly Skateboarder was renamed Skateboarder Magazine. The title released four issues before closing and was later revived in the early 1970s; 1965: The American Skateboard Championships get underway at La Palma Stadium in Anaheim, California, from May 22-23. The event had 280 competitors from all corners of the world and was broadcast on ABC’s Wide World of Sports; 1965: Life Magazine features Patti McGee, the first-ever female national skateboarding champion, on the cover of the publication, on May 14; 1965: Surf City, the world’s first skateboard park, opens in Tucson, Arizona; 1965: California Medical Association labels skateboarding a “”hazardous recreational activity””; 1966: Surfer’s World opens in the summer of 1966 in Anaheim, California; 1966: Film director Noel Black wins a Golden Palm for Best Short Film and the Technical Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for how they rigged a camera to follow the skaters at street level; 1966: Vans opens its first shoe factory in Anaheim, California; 1971: Larry Stevenson, founder of Makaha Skateboards, patents the kicktail; 1972: Frank Nasworthy founds the Cadillac Wheels Company and introduces polyurethane wheel technology to skateboards; 1975: The Zephyr Boys impress the crowd with a spectacular skateboarding performance held during a slalom and freestyle contest in Del Mar, California; 1975: Tom Sims wins the Hang Ten World Skateboard Championships at the Los Angeles Arena; 1975: Russ Howell publishes his book “”Skateboard: Techniques, Safety, Maintenance””; 1976: Florida builds the first outdoor skatepark of the 1970s; 1976: Jack Smith, Jeff French, and Mike Filben cross the United States on a skateboard. Smith used a Roller Sports Proline skateboard equipped with RSI trucks and RSI Stoker wheels with precision bearings. The journey began in Lebanon, Oregon, and concluded 32 days later in Williamsburg, Virginia; 1976: Germany’s Munich gets the country’s first skateboard center; 1977: Skateboard Industry News is published for the first time in Los Angeles; 1977: Tom Stewart builds The Rampage, the world’s first halfpipe, in Encinitas, California; 1978: Alan Gelfand invents the ollie, the most important maneuver in modern skateboarding and the trick that revolutionized the sport and gave birth to street skateboarding; 1978: With over one million readers, Skateboarder Magazine switches from bi-monthly to monthly; 1978: According to Skateboard Industry News, the United States reaches 200 skateparks; 1979: The United States is now home to 400 skateparks; 1980: Skateboarder Magazine closes once again; 1981: Thrasher Magazine is founded with a street skateboarding motto, “”Skate And Destroy””; 1982: Tony Hawk wins his first skateboard contest at the Del Mar Skate Ranch; 1983: Tommy Guerrero wins the first street-style skateboard contest at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco; 1983: Transworld Skateboarding Magazine is published for the first time with the motto “”Skate and Create””; 1983: Joe Lopes runs the first Ramp Jam, on a private ramp in his backyard, in San Leandro; 1984: The first “”The Bones Brigade Video Show”” is released on VHS. The Bones Brigade team featured Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta, Mike McGill, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, and more; 1986: Mark Gonzales skates handrails for the first time; 1987: The “”Thrashin'”” is released; 1989: The first episode of “”The Simpsons”” airs on Fox. The series’ title sequence shows Bart ollieing down the steps of his school and sidewalk surfing all the way home; 1992: Tony Hawk founds Birdhouse Skateboards and Blitz Distribution; 1995: The X Games run for the first time during the summer in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island; 1998: Tony Hawk starts his clothing line, “”Hawk.”” Two years later, he sells it to Quiksilver; 1999: On June 27, Tony Hawk lands the world’s first 900 during the X Games, held at San Francisco’s Pier 30; 1999: On September 29, Neversoft and Activision release “”Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater,”” a console video game for PlayStation. The title was later ported to Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, and N-Gage; 2000: On August 11, Richard Carrasco completes 142 continuous 360s in Santa Ana, California; 2002: Srikala Kerel Roach and Bryan Chin suggest the creation of a skateboarding holiday called All-Star City Skate Jam; 2004: The International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) announces that June 21 becomes the Go Skateboarding Day; 2004: Danny Way lands the world’s longest skateboard ramp jump. On August 8, the American threw himself into a 79-foot (24 meters) leap on a mega ramp, during the X Games, in Los Angeles, California; 2007: Rob Dyrdek performs the longest boardslide in skateboarding history – 100 feet and 5.75 inches (30.62 meters) on MTV’s The Rob & Big Show in Los Angeles, California; 2008: Zach Kral pulls off 1,546 consecutive kickflips on a skateboard at 4 Seasons Skate Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2008: Kiwi rider, Rob Thomson, completes the longest skateboarding of all time. He rode his board for 7,555 miles (12,159 kilometers) from Leysin, Switzerland (June 24, 2007) to Shanghai, China (September 28, 2008); 2009: The Skateboarding Hall of Fame announces its first group of inductees: Bruce Logan, Tony Hawk, Tony Alva, and Danny Way. The nominees are picked by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC); 2009: Rob Dyrdek and Joe Ciaglia shape the world’s largest skateboard. The giant board measured 36 feet and 7 inches long (11.14 meters), 8 feet and 8 inches wide (2.63 meters), and 3 feet and 7.5 inches high (1.10 meters). The board is 12.5 times the size of a standard skateboard; 2010: Rob Dyrdek designs and develops the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) to boost and grow the sport’s popularity worldwide. The first season featured three stages in Arizona, California, and Nevada; 2011: Aldrin Garcia throws the highest ollie in skateboarding history. The American rider was able to elevate himself 45 inches (114.3 centimeters) up in the air at the Maloof High Ollie Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada; 2012: Twelve-year-old Tom Schaar lands the first-ever 1080 on a mega ramp built at Woodward West; 2015: Danny Way performs the highest air on a quarterpipe. The American skateboarder threw himself 25 feet and 6 inches (7.77 meters) in the air in Alpine, California; 2016: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces that skateboarding will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020. The event will feature a street skateboarding and a park skateboarding competition at the Ariake Urban Sports Park; 2017: A total of 1,108 skaters break the Guinness World Record for the largest skateboard parade ever in Metro Manila, Manila, Philippines; 2018: Nicholas Drachman lands 302 consecutive ollies in Providence, Rhode Island; 2019: Mitchie Brusco becomes the first skateboarder to land a 1260 rotation at the X Games, held in Minneapolis; 2020: Brazilian skateboarder Gui Khury lands the first-ever 1080 on a vert ramp; 2021: Yuto Horigome and Momiji Nishiya (street skateboarding), Keegan Palmer and Sakura Yosozumi (park skateboarding) win the sport’s first-ever Olympic gold medals at Tokyo 2020; Have we missed a key date? Send us an email. Share this article Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Reddit RELATED ARTICLES The list of Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductees What is a popsicle skateboard? The story of NHS, Inc Paul Schmitt: the professor and scientist of skateboarding The day Vita-Pakt Juice Co. got into skateboarding Top Stories | Skateboarding The first-ever inflatable and portable skate ramp When we think of skateboarding ramps, we visualize wooden and concrete structures, often permanent and cumbersome, sitting in the same location for years and decades. The most influential skate photographers of all time In the vibrant heart of the mid-20th century, amid a whirlwind of social and cultural revolutions, a nascent phenomenon surged through the crumbled concrete of America’s urban landscapes – skateboarding. How to ollie higher on a skateboard Skateboarding is a thrilling symphony of grit, precision, and air. At its heart lies the ollie, a fundamental maneuver that’s both starting point and a stepping stone. How fast can a skateboard go? If you’re a skateboarder, you’ll know that speed matters. But how fast can a skateboard actually go? And what makes the difference?”
“Jump to content From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Action sport on skateboards
“”Skateboarder”” redirects here. For the magazine, see Skateboarder (magazine). SkateboardingSkater in front of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (2019)Highest governing bodyWorld SkateCharacteristicsMixed-sexYes, separate competitionsPresenceCountry or regionWorldwideOlympicDebuted in 2021
Skateboarding is an action sport that involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, an entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation.[1][2] Originating in the United States, skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue, with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world.[3] In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding would be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, for both male and female teams.[4] Since the 1970s, skateparks have been constructed specifically for use by skateboarders, freestyle BMXers, aggressive skaters, and more recently, scooters.[5] However, skateboarding has become controversial in areas in which the activity, although legal, has damaged curbs, stoneworks, steps, benches, plazas, and parks.[1][6] History
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars.[7][8][9] The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today.[1] Skateboarding, as it exists today, was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s,[10] when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. This was called “”sidewalk surfing”” – a new wave of surfing on the sidewalk as the sport of surfing became highly popular. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles, California surf shop, meant to be used by surfers in their downtime. The shop owner, Bill Richard, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company[11] to produce sets of skate wheels, which they attached to square wooden boards. Accordingly, skateboarding was originally denoted “”sidewalk surfing”” and early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot.[7][1][12] By the 1960s a small number of surfing manufacturers in Southern California such as Jack’s, Kips’, Hobie, Bing’s and Makaha started building skateboards that resembled small surfboards, and assembled teams to promote their products. One of the earliest Skateboard exhibitions was sponsored by Makaha’s founder, Larry Stevenson, in 1963 and held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California.[13][14][15] Some of these same teams of skateboarders were also featured on a television show called Surf’s Up in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards, that helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do.[16] As the popularity of skateboarding began expanding, the first skateboarding magazine, The Quarterly Skateboarder was published in 1964.[1] John Severson, who published the magazine, wrote in his first editorial: Today’s skateboarders are founders in this sport—they’re pioneers—they are the first. There is no history in Skateboarding—its being made now—by you. The sport is being molded and we believe that doing the right thing now will lead to a bright future for the sport. Already, there are storm clouds on the horizon with opponents of the sport talking about ban and restriction.[17] The magazine only lasted four issues, but resumed publication as Skateboarder in 1975.[17][18][19] The first broadcast of an actual skateboarding competition was the 1965 National Skateboarding Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California and aired on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.[20][21] Because skateboarding was a new sport during this time, there were only two original disciplines during competitions: flatland freestyle and slalom downhill racing.[7] Animated cartoons of the time occasionally featured skateboard gags. Two Road Runner cartoons made in 1965, Shot and Bothered and Out and Out Rout, feature Wile E. Coyote riding a skateboard.[22][23] One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine[1][24] in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What’s My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time.[25][26][27] Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, and Jim Fitzpatrick. The growth of the sport during this period can also be seen in sales figures for Makaha, which quoted $4 million worth of board sales between 1963 and 1965.[28] By 1966 a variety of sources began to claim that skateboarding was dangerous, resulting in shops being reluctant to sell them, and parents being reluctant to buy them. In 1966 sales had dropped significantly[28] and Skateboarder Magazine had stopped publication. The popularity of skateboarding dropped and remained low until the early 1970s.[8][29][30] 1970s
In the early 1970s, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling his company Cadillac Wheels.[8] Prior to this new material, skateboards wheels were metal or “”clay”” wheels.[1] The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that from the wheel’s release in 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again, causing companies to invest more in product development. Nasworthy commissioned artist Jim Evans to do a series of paintings promoting Cadillac Wheels, they were featured as ads and posters in the resurrected Skateboarder Magazine, and proved immensely popular in promoting the new style of skateboarding. In the early 1970s skateparks had not been invented yet, so skateboarders would flock and skateboard in such urban places as the Escondido reservoir in San Diego, California.[1] Skateboarding magazine would publish the location and skateboarders made up nicknames for each location such as the Tea Bowl, the Fruit Bowl, Bellagio, the Rabbit Hole, Bird Bath, the Egg Bowl, Upland Pool and the Sewer Slide. Some of the development concepts in the terrain of skateparks were actually taken from the Escondido reservoir.[31][32][33] Many companies started to manufacture trucks (axles) specially designed for skateboarding, reached in 1976 by Tracker Trucks. As the equipment became more maneuverable, the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches (250 mm) and over, thus giving the skateboarder even more control.[1] A banana board is a skinny, flexible skateboard made of polypropylene with ribs on the underside for structural support. These were very popular during the mid-1970s and were available in a myriad of colors, bright yellow probably being the most memorable, hence the name. In 1975 skateboarding had risen back in popularity enough to have one of the largest skateboarding competitions since the 1960s, the Del Mar National Championships, which is said to have had up to 500 competitors. The competition lasted two days and was sponsored by Bahne Skateboards and Cadillac Wheels. While the main event was won by freestyle spinning skate legend Russ Howell,[34][35] a local skate team from Santa Monica, California, the Zephyr team, ushered in a new era of surfer style skateboarding during the competition that would have a lasting impact on skateboarding’s history. With a team of 12, including skating legends such as Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Peggy Oki and Stacy Peralta, they brought a new progressive style of skateboarding to the event, based on the style of Hawaiian surfers Larry Bertlemann, Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Mark Liddell.[36] Craig Stecyk, a photo journalist for Skateboarder Magazine, wrote about and photographed the team, along with Glen E. Friedman, and shortly afterwards ran a series on the team called the Dogtown articles, which eventually immortalized the Zephyr skateboard team. The team became known as the Z-Boys and would go on to become one of the most influential teams in skateboarding’s history.[31][37][38] Soon, skateboarding contests for cash and prizes, using a professional tier system, began to be held throughout California, such as the California Free Former World Professional Skateboard Championships, which featured freestyle and slalom competitions.[39] A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called “”The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run””, with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph (80 km/h) on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.[40][41] In March 1976, Skateboard City skatepark in Port Orange, Florida and Carlsbad Skatepark in San Diego County, California would be the first two large size US skateparks to be opened to the public, just a week apart.[1] They were the first of some 200 skateparks that would be built through 1982. This was due in part to articles that were running in the investment journals at the time, stating that skateparks were a good investment.[7][31][42] Notable skateboarders from the 1970s also include Ty Page, Tom Inouye, Laura Thornhill, Ellen O’Neal, Kim Cespedes, Bob Biniak, Jana Payne, Waldo Autry, Robin Logan, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Ellen Berryman, Shogo Kubo, Desiree Von Essen, Henry Hester, Robin Alaway, Paul Hackett, Michelle Matta, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Edie Robertson, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims[citation needed]. Manufacturers started to experiment with more exotic composites and metals, like fiberglass and aluminum, but the common skateboards were made of maple plywood.[1] The skateboarders took advantage of the improved handling of their skateboards and started inventing new tricks. Skateboarders, most notably Ty Page, Bruce Logan, Bobby Piercy, Kevin Reed, and the Z-Boys started to skate the vertical walls of swimming pools that were left empty in the 1976 California drought. This started the “”vert”” trend in skateboarding. With increased control, vert skaters could skate faster and perform more dangerous tricks, such as slash grinds and frontside/backside airs. This caused liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skatepark owners, and the development (first by Norcon, then more successfully by Rector) of improved knee pads that had a hard sliding cap and strong strapping proved to be too-little-too-late. During this era, the “”freestyle”” movement in skateboarding began to splinter off and develop into a much more specialized discipline, characterized by the development of a wide assortment of flat-ground tricks. As a result of the “”vert”” skating movement, skate parks had to contend with high liability costs that led to many park closures. In response, vert skaters started making their own ramps, while freestyle skaters continued to evolve their flatland style. Thus, by the beginning of the 1980s, skateboarding had once again declined in popularity.[29] 1980s
This period was fueled by skateboard companies that were run by skateboarders. The focus was initially on vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the no-hands aerial (later known as the ollie) by Alan Gelfand in Florida in 1976,[43] and the almost parallel development of the grabbed aerial by George Orton and Tony Alva in California, made it possible for skaters to perform airs on vertical ramps. While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, a majority of people who skateboarded during this period did not ride vert ramps. As most people could not afford to build vert ramps, or did not have access to nearby ramps, street skating increased in popularity. Freestyle skating remained healthy throughout this period, with pioneers such as Rodney Mullen inventing many of the basic tricks that would become the foundation of modern street skating, such as the “”Impossible”” and the “”kickflip””.[1] The influence that freestyle exerted upon street skating became apparent during the mid-1980s; however, street skating was still performed on wide vert boards with short noses, slide rails, and large soft wheels. In response to the tensions created by this confluence of skateboarding “”genres””, a rapid evolution occurred in the late 1980s to accommodate the street skater. Since few skateparks were available to skaters at this time, street skating pushed skaters to seek out shopping centers and public and private property as their “”spot”” to skate. (Public opposition, in which businesses, governments, and property owners have banned skateboarding on properties under their jurisdiction or ownership, would progressively intensify over the following decades.) [1][44][45] By 1992, only a small fraction of skateboarders continuing to take part in a highly technical version of street skating, combined with the decline of vert skating, produced a sport that lacked the mainstream appeal to attract new skaters. During this period, numerous skateboarders—as well as companies in the industry—paid tribute to the scenes of Marty McFly skateboarding in the film Back to the Future for its influence in this regard. Examples can be seen in promotional material, in interviews in which professional skateboarders cite the film as an initiation into the action sport, and in the public’s recognition of the film’s influence.[46][47] Tony Hawk has stated that “there are plenty of legendary pros that I know of that started skating because they saw that [film].” [48] 1990s
Skateboarding during the 1990s became dominated by street skateboarding.[1] Most boards are about 7+1⁄4 to 8 inches (180 to 200 mm) wide and 30 to 32 inches (760 to 810 mm) long. The wheels are made of an extremely hard polyurethane, with hardness (durometer) approximately 99A. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards are lighter, and the wheels’ inertia is overcome quicker, thus making tricks more manageable. Board styles have changed dramatically since the 1970s but have remained mostly alike since the mid-1990s. The contemporary shape of the skateboard is derived from the freestyle boards of the 1980s with a largely symmetrical shape and relatively narrow width. This form had become standard by the mid-1990s.[49] 2000s
Skateboarder in Manhattan, New York (2008)
By 2001 skateboarding had gained so much popularity that more American people under the age of 18 rode skateboards (10.6 million) than played baseball (8.2 million), although traditional organized team sports still dominated youth programs overall.[50] Skateboarding and skateparks began to be viewed and used in a variety of new ways to complement academic lessons in schools, including new non-traditional physical education skateboarding programs, like Skatepass[1][51] and Skateistan,[52] to encourage youth to have better attendance, self-discipline and confidence.[53][54][55] This was also based on the healthy physical opportunities skateboarding was understood to bring participants for muscle & bone strengthening and balance, as well as the positive impacts it can have on youth in teaching them mutual respect, social networking, artistic expression and an appreciation of the environment.[1][56][57][58][59] In 2003 Go Skateboarding Day was founded in southern California by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC)[60] to promote skateboarding throughout the world. It is celebrated annually on June 21 “”to define skateboarding as the rebellious, creative celebration of independence it continues to be.””[61][62][63][64][65]
According to market research firm American Sports Data the number of skateboarders worldwide increased by more than 60 percent between 1999 and 2002—from 7.8 million to 12.5 million.[66] Many cities also began implementing recreation plans and statutes during this time period, as part of their vision for local parks and communities to make public lands more available, in particular, for skateboarding, inviting skateboarders to come in off of the city streets and into organized skateboarding activity areas.[1] By 2006 there were over 2,400 skateparks worldwide and the design of skateparks themselves had made a transition, as skaters turned designers.[50][67][68][69][70] Many new places to skateboard designed specifically for street skaters, such as the Buszy in Milton Keynes, UK, and the Safe Spot Skate Spot program, first initiated by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek throughout many cities, allowed for the creation of smaller alternative safe skate plazas to be built at a lower cost.[1][71] One of the largest locations ever built to skateboard in the world, SMP Skatepark in China, at 12,000 square meters in size, was built complete with a 5,000-seat stadium.[1][72] In 2009 Skatelab opened the Skateboarding Hall of Fame & Skateboard Museum. Nominees are chosen by the IASC.[73][74] 2010s–present
Downhill skateboarding (video) (2012)
Efforts have been taken to improve recognition of the cultural heritage as well as the positive effects of encouraging skateboarding within designated spaces. In 2015, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., hosted an event at which skateboarders accompanied by music did tricks on a ramp constructed for a festival of American culture.[75] The event was the climax of a ten-day project that transformed a federal institution formerly off-limits to the skateboarding community into a platform for that community to show its relevance through shared cultural action in a cultural common space. By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank[76] initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty year old spot in London, the Southbank Undercroft, a popular skate park, due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding.[1] The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space.[77] The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.[78] Recently, barefoot skating has been experiencing a revival. Many skaters ride barefoot, particularly in summer and in warmer countries, such as South Africa, Australia, Spain and South America. The plastic penny board is intended to be ridden barefoot, as is the surfboard-inspired hamboard. Electric skateboards became popular during the 2010s, as did self-balancing unicycles in a board format. The sport of skateboarding made its Olympics debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with both men’s and women’s events. Competitions took place during July and August 2021 in two disciplines: street and park (see Skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics).[79] Skateboarder in Grants Pass, Oregon (2010) Skateboarder at Skateistan in Kabul, Afghanistan (2011) A skateboarder in mid flight performing a trick in Australia (2012) The Iso-Vilunen Skatepark in Kaukajärvi, Tampere, Finland (2015) Nicholas Deconie frontside five-0 at Millennium Skate Park in Brooklyn, New York (2019) Skaters await their turn during the best trick contest at the Coleman Playground Skatepark in Manhattan, New York (2019). Brazil’s Luiz Francisco competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics final at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo on August 5, 2021 A skateboarder at Venice Beach (2022) Trick skating
Main article: Skateboarding trick
A skater performing a flip trick
With the evolution of skateparks and ramp skating, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks had consisted mainly of two-dimensional freestyle maneuveres like riding on only two wheels (“”wheelie”” or “”manual””), spinning only on the back wheels (a “”pivot””), high jumping over a bar and landing on the board again, also known as a “”hippie jump””, long jumping from one board to another, (often over small barrels or fearless teenagers), or slalom. Another popular trick was the Bertlemann slide, named after Larry Bertelemann’s surfing maneuveres. In 1976, skateboarding was transformed by the invention of the ollie by Alan “”Ollie”” Gelfand.[1] It remained largely a unique Florida trick until the summer of 1978, when Gelfand made his first visit to California. Gelfand and his revolutionary maneuvers caught the attention of the West Coast skaters and the media where it began to spread worldwide. The ollie was adapted to flat ground by Rodney Mullen in 1982. Mullen also invented the “”Magic Flip,”” which was later renamed the kickflip, as well as many other tricks including, the 360 Kickflip, which is a 360 pop shove-it and a kickflip in the same motion. The flat ground ollie allowed skateboarders to perform tricks in mid-air without any more equipment than the skateboard itself, it has formed the basis of many street skating tricks. A recent development in the world of trick skating is the 1080, which was first ever landed by Tom Schaar in 2012.[80][81] Culture
See also: Skate punk, Punk fashion, Category:Skateboarding videos, and Skate video
Tony Hawk speaking about the importance of skateboarding in people’s lives at the California Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2019 (video)
Skateboarding was popularized by the 1986 skateboarding cult classic Thrashin’. Directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin, it features appearances from many famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. Thrashin’ also had a direct impact on Lords of Dogtown, as Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Lords of Dogtown, was hired by Winters to work on Thrashin’ as a production designer where she met, worked with and befriended many famous skaters including the real Alva, Hawk, Hosoi and Caballero.[1] Skateboarding was, at first, tied to the culture of surfing. As skateboarding spread across the United States to places unfamiliar with surfing or surfer culture, it developed an image of its own. For example, the classic film short Video Days (1991) portrayed skateboarders as “”reckless rebels””.[1] California duo Jan and Dean recorded the song “”Sidewalk Surfin'”” in 1964, which is the Beach Boys song “”Catch a Wave”” with new lyrics associated with skateboarding instead of surfing. Skate parks
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport’s punk image. Group spirit supposedly influences the members of this community. In presentations of this sort, showcasing of criminal tendencies is absent, and no attempt is made to tie extreme sports to any kind of illegal activity. Female based skateboarding groups also exist, such as Brujas which is based in New York City. Many women use their participation in skate crews to perform an alternative form of femininity.[1][82] These female skate crews offer a safe haven for women and girls in cities, where they can skate and bond without male expectations or competition. Video
The increasing availability of technology is apparent within the skateboarding community. Many skateboarders record and edit videos of themselves and friends skateboarding. However, part of this culture is to not merely replicate but to innovate; emphasis is placed on finding new places and landing new tricks. Video games
Skateboarding video games have also become very popular in skateboarding culture.[83][circular reference] Some of the most popular are the Tony Hawk series and Skate series for various consoles (including hand-held) and personal computer.[84][85] Skate shoe
Further information: Skate shoe
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn’s skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.[1][9] Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries.[30] This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy “”720″”, manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and ’80s as skateboarding became more widespread.[9][86][87][88][89][90] While the skate shoes design afforded better connection and traction with the deck, skaterboarders themselves could often be identified when wearing the shoes, with Tony Hawk once saying, “”If you were wearing Vans shoes in 86, you were a skateboarder””.[31] Because of its connection with skateboarding, Vans financed the legendary skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys and was the first sneaker company to endorse a professional skateboarder Stacy Peralta. Vans has a long history of being a major sponsor of many of skateboarding’s competitions and events throughout skateboarding’s history as well, including the Vans Warped Tour and the Vans Triple Crown Series.[1][9][91][92][93][94][95] As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries. Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public skateparks, such as the etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, California.[93][94][96][97] Skateboard deck
Further information: Skateboard deck
Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn.[98][99] This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid-seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the “”Dogtown Cross””.[100][101][102] Prior to the mid-seventies many early skateboards were originally based upon the concept of “Sidewalk Surfing” and were tied to the surf culture, skateboards were surfboard like in appearance with little to no graphics located under the bottom of the skateboard-deck.[1] Some of the early manufactured skateboards such as “”Roller Derby””, the “”Duraflex Surfer”” and the “”Banana board”” are characteristic. Some skateboards during that time were manufactured with company logo’s or stickers across the top of the deck of the skateboard, as griptape was not initially used for construction. But as skateboarding progressed and evolved, and as artists began to design and add influence to the artwork of skateboards, designs and themes began to change.[103] There were several artistic skateboarding pioneers that had an influence on the culture of skateboarding during the 1980s, that transformed skateboard-deck art like Jim Phillips, whose edgy comic-book style “”Screaming Hand””, not only became the main logo for Santa Cruz Skateboards, but eventually transcended into tattoos of the same image for thousands of people and vinyl collectible figurines over the years.[104][105][106] Artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson is said to have used his artwork of skeletons and skulls, for Powell Peralta, during the same time that the music genres of punk rock and new wave music were beginning to mesh with the culture of skateboarding.[9][107][108] Some other notable skateboard artists that made contributions to the culture of skateboarding also include Andy Jenkins, Todd Bratrud, Neil Blender, Marc McKee, Tod Swank, Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas and Jim Evans.[109][110] Over the years skateboard-deck art has continued to influence and expand the culture of skateboarding, as many people began collecting skateboards based on their artistic value and nostalgia. Productions of limited editions with particular designs and types of collectible prints that can be hung on the wall, have been created by such famous artists as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.[1] Most professional skateboarders today have their own signature skateboard decks, with their favorite artistic designs printed on them using computer graphics.[111][112] High value and collectible skateboards
In January 2019, Sotheby’s in New York auctioned[113] the full set of the 248 skateboard deck designs ever sold by Supreme, collected by Ryan Fuller. The full set sold for $800,000 to 17 year old Carson Guo from Vancouver[114] who plans to exhibit them in a local gallery. New York based SHUT Skateboards had a goldplated skateboard for sale at $15,000 in 2014, then the most expensive skateboard in the world.[115] In 2019, artist Adrian Wilson created the SUPREME Mundi, a cross between an artist palette and a skateboard as a commentary on the record bids at auction of the Supreme decks and the restored Salvatore Mundi which was sold by a New York art gallery for $20,000[116] Safety
Skateboards, along with other small-wheeled transportation such as in-line skates and scooters, suffer a safety problem: riders may easily be thrown from small cracks and outcroppings in pavement, especially where the cracks run across the direction of travel. Hitting such an irregularity is the major cause of falls and injuries.[117] The risk may be reduced at higher travel speeds. Severe injuries are relatively rare.[118] Commonly, a skateboarder who falls suffers from scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sprains.[118] Among injuries reported to a hospital, about half involve broken bones, usually the long bones in the leg or arm.[117] One third of skateboarders with reported injuries are very new to the sport, having started skating within one week of the injury.[117] Although less common, involving 3.5–9 percent of reported injuries, traumatic head injuries and death are possible severe outcomes.[117] Skating as a form of transportation exposes the skateboarder to the dangers of other traffic. Skateboarders on the street may be hit by other vehicles or may fall into vehicular traffic. Skateboarders also occasionally pose a risk to other pedestrians and traffic. If the skateboarder falls, the skateboard may roll or fly into another person. A skateboarder who collides with a person who is walking or biking may injure or, rarely, kill that person.[119] Many jurisdictions require skateboarders to wear bicycle helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries and death. Other protective gear, such as wrist guards, also reduce injury. Some medical researchers have proposed restricting skateboarding to designated, specially designed areas, to reduce the number and severity of injuries, and to eliminate injuries caused by motor vehicles or to other pedestrians.[117] The use, ownership and sale of skateboards were forbidden in Norway from 1978 to 1989 because of the high number of injuries caused by boards. The ban led skateboarders to construct ramps in the forest and other secluded areas to avoid the police. There was, however, one legal skatepark in the country in Frogner Park in Oslo.[120][121][122] Other uses and styles
For styles of skateboarding, see Skateboarding styles.
The use of skateboards solely as a form of transportation is often associated with the longboard.[123] Depending on local laws, using skateboards as a form of transportation outside residential areas may or may not be legal.[124] Backers cite portability, exercise, and environmental friendliness as some of the benefits of skateboarding as an alternative to automobiles. Military
Soldier carrying a skateboard during a military exercise in Oakland, California (March 1999)
The United States Marine Corps tested the usefulness of commercial off-the-shelf skateboards during urban combat military exercises in the late 1990s in a program called Urban Warrior ’99. Their special purpose was “”for maneuvering inside buildings in order to detect tripwires and sniper fire””.[125][126] Trampboarding
Trampboarding is a variant of skateboarding that uses a board without the trucks and the wheels on a trampoline. Using the bounce of the trampoline gives height to perform tricks, whereas in skateboarding one needs to make the height by performing an ollie. Trampboarding is seen on YouTube in numerous videos.[127] Swing boarding
Swing boarding is the activity where a skateboard deck is suspended from a pivot point above the rider which allows the rider to swing about that pivot point. The board swings in an arc which is a similar movement to riding a half pipe. The incorporation of a harness and frame allows the rider to perform turns and spins all while flying through the air. Controversy
Skateboarding damages urban terrain features such as curbs, benches, and ledges when skateboarders perform “”grinds”” and other tricks on these surfaces.[128] Private industry has responded to this problem by using skate deterrent devices, such as the Skatestopper, in efforts to prevent further damage and to reduce skateboarding on these surfaces.[128] The enactment of ordinances and the posting of signs stating “”Skateboarding is not allowed”” have also become common methods to discourage skateboarding in public areas in many cities, to protect pedestrians and property.[1][129] In the area of street skating, tickets and arrest from police for trespassing and vandalism are not uncommon.[129] Skateboarding has become an important problem in Freedom Plaza, a National Park within the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.[6][130] The Plaza has become a popular location for skateboarding, although the activity is illegal and has resulted in police actions.[6][131] The Plaza contains copies of portions of Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the nation’s capital city that have been inscribed in the park’s raised marble surface.[130] A 2016 National Park Service management plan for the Historic Site states that skateboarding has damaged stonework, sculptures, walls, benches, steps, and other surfaces in some areas of the Plaza.[6] The management plan further states that skateboarding presents a persistent law enforcement and management challenge, as popular websites advertise the Plaza’s attractiveness for the activity.[6] The plan notes that vandals have removed “”No Skateboarding”” signs and recommends the replacement of those signs.[6] A professional skateboarder promoted on Facebook the use of governmental sites for the prohibited activity during the 2013 federal government shutdown in the United States.[132] See also
Anti-skate devices
List of professional skateboarders
List of skateboarding companies
Skateboarding sponsorship
Skateboarding trick
The Skateboard Hero
Carveboarding (or Surfskating)
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“Skip to Content© Fred Mortagne/Red Bull Content PoolSkateboardingHistory of skateboarding: Notable events that took placeFind out and learn more about how skateboarding got to where it is today.By Zane Foley9 min readPublished on 09/02/2020 · 5:10 PM UTCSaveSaveA Brief History of SkateboardingTake an intimate look at some of the notable events that took place in the history of skateboarding. Hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, skateboarding’s history is naturally esoteric with several topics up for debate.An Age Old Question: What is Skateboarding?From the 1950s to present day 2020, skateboarding has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry impacting millions of lives across the world as an artform and a sport. In its history, skateboarding has inaugurated its own museums, awarded its own hall of fame and curated a self-documented history cementing a special place in the heart of freedom culture.The launch ramp of 1950’s California lit the torch of skateboarding to be handed off to each new generation over the coming eras. In these decades, skateboarding transcended through ups and downs of economic prosperity and mainstream popularity as different faces and figures shined in the spotlight or dominated the back alleys of urban performance.Between the youth of the world and those aging skateboarders who’ve watched it grow and change, the question of “”What is skateboarding?”” has undergone a metamorphosis with each passing of the baton. While we do our best to answer this question again here, we take our first push into a larger world. A world defined by the ultimate expression of freedom, movement, and an intimate look at the history of skateboarding.Skateboarding
© Denis Klero/Red Bull Content Pool
All Downhill From HereThe origin of the skateboard is as ambiguous as the origin of our Universe. There are multiple reports from self-proclaimed skate-historians of who, what and where the first skateboards appeared. It is largely agreed upon that skateboards originated in the United States, first as crates of wood with roller derby skates attached to the underfoot. The earliest models had handlebars attached, like modern scooters but eventually the boxes were replaced by wooden planks and the handlebars scrapped for an experience more akin to surfing. These scooter-boxes were seen as far back as the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s when wooden pallets with clay wheels were popularized on the downhill slopes of Southern California.Before commercial skateboards began appearing in 1959, the only way you could skate was by making your own board. These home-made skateboards would seed the DIY mentality ingrained in skateboarding today. In a raw and beautiful way, skateboarding began not from an industry but from the intense desire for one’s own self expression. To understand this simple yet profound truth is our first glimpse into “”what is skateboarding”” and ultimately, what it means to be a skateboarder.Skateboarding’s First SlamsIt’s difficult to imagine ourselves in the 1950s or 1970s DogTown eras–the birthplace of skateboarding. It would be even more difficult to imagine how much skateboarding would change since its conception. In the early 1960s, skateboard companies like Hobie and Makaha began advertising skating as “sidewalk surfing,” or an alternative to surfing when the waves were flat. By 1963, Makaha formed the first professional skateboarding team competing in the first ever skateboard competition later that year in Hermosa, California. While the remnants of early 1960s downhill skateboarding competitions take the form of death defying 2020 San Francisco hill-bombs, the freestyle competition formats and most tricks performed at the Hermosa competition are now but a distant memory to contemporary skateboarding.Even with its novelty in American sports, skateboarding popularity ultimately crashed by 1965. People were more likely to go to a roller derby competition than a skateboarding competition. Skateboarding in the media began advertising skating as a dangerous activity, while the clay wheels and handstands grew as tiresome as watching a hula-hooper for hours on end. To understand how skateboarding nearly perished is to understand ultimately why its earliest forms are no longer seen. But more importantly, comparing where skateboarding is today from these times, we see one of the greatest transformations of a sport and performance art in the 20th to 21st century.Related
11 best skate films to watch now on Red Bull TV3 min readRead StoryReinventing the (Skateboard) WheelNot figuratively–but literally. The skateboard wheel was reinvented by Frank Nasworthy, who introduced the urethane wheel to skateboarding in 1973. The new wheel, replacing the clunky clay wheels of the 1950 and 1960s, gripped the asphalt and pool walls like cleats to the grass. With the invention of the kick-tail alongside it, (a raised back end of the skateboard), a new definition of a professional skateboard was born. Skateboarding magazines sold at the local surf shop now had a horse to promote as a new craze of skateboarding began to expand world wide. Just three years after the new skateboard wheel, the first skatepark sprouted in Florida in 1976. Before the end of the decade, skateparks began to appear throughout North and South America, and soon after in the countries of Europe and Asia. Skateboarding’s 1970s rise to mainstream culture was best popularized by the 2005 film, “Lords of DogTown.” In 1975, as seen in the film, the Zephyr skateboarding team spearheaded by Tony Alva, showed the world skateboarding’s potential at the Ocean Festival in Del Mar, California. This moment in skateboarding history stands a cornerstone to its history and how skateboarding competitions would change in the coming decades.However, skateboarding would ultimately suffer another near-fatal crash at the approach of the 1980s. As dubious corporations from outside skateboarding began to infiltrate skateboarding competitions with trojan horse contracts and over-saturation of contests, skateboarding’s popularity fizzled out to a hermetic group of freedom seekers who prevailed in the empty backyard pools of America. Skateparks were no longer being constructed as sky-rocketing insurance costs latched onto the injury prone aspect of skating. And so, no longer accepted by SoCal parents or corporations seeking the next great fad, skating became the calling card of anti-establishment culture and the growing punk scene of the 1980s.From 0 to 900What Zephyr Skateboards did that year in Del Mar for the world of skateboarding wouldn’t be seen again until Tony Hawk landed his 900 in the 1999 X-Games. On June 27th, 1999, Tony Hawk dropped in at the Summer X-Games vert ramp for the 11th time to land the most recognizable trick in skateboarding history. At the time, no skateboarder could fathom just how much Tony Hawk’s two and a-half rotations would catapult skating into a new orbit of popularity. But by the time Tony Hawk had officially brought professional skateboarding to the mainstream spotlight again, skateboarding had already undergone an immense transformation throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Most skateboarders and non-skaters alike will attest to the significance of Tony Hawk’s 900. But most non-skaters have no idea how important the 1980s and 1990s really were for skateboarding. In that time, street skateboarding was crafted by society’s outcasts. The blueprints for professional street skating were drawn and everything we have come to know about skateboarding media claimed their niches in the skate world.Related
Landing a 900 at 48? Tony Hawk Can Still Fly2 min readRead StoryWith the help of a new skateboard designed for aerial maneuvers, Rodney Mullen had invented several flip tricks by the 1980s, after Curt Lindgren invented the kickflip in 1978. The first street-only skateboarders Natas Kaupas and Mark ‘the Gonz’ Gonzales raised the bar once again by boardsliding the first handrails. Skateboarding evolved from the backyards of ramp builders into the parking lots of grocery stores riddled with red curbs. With the mainstream media turning a blind eye to skateboarding, skateboarders were given the chance to document their own culture through their own lens. This allowed skateboarders to wield the powers of producing their own media culture, combating the exact reasons why skateboarding had endured two major crashes in popularity in the late 1960s and early 1980s. With skateboarders fully in control of the factors of production of skate culture, the golden-era of street skateboarding blossomed in the years 1993-2006. We saw in these years the rise of Shorty’s and Chad Muska, videos like “”Mouse”” and “”Yeah Right!”” by Girl Skateboards, prominent international skate-teams like FLIP Skateboards, the celebrated LOVE Park era and the THPS video games franchise, as skateparks became synonymous with public park planning.The Trick Heard Around the WorldAs skateboarding evolved in a post-Tony Hawk era, skateboarding’s interaction with society changed. Skateboarding deepened its roots in street skateboarding, as the definition of being a professional skateboarder shifted from competition skating to video parts while mainstream skate culture saw itself in novel forms of entertainment. The Tony Hawk Pro Skater video games franchise ensured Tony Hawk and “”the ollie”” were a household name. Bam Margera would go on to parody a pro-skateboarder career with a reality television show, “Viva-La-Bam.” As companies entered the fold, skateboarding gained more recognition and skating’s elite began making palpable salaries.Today, Street League and the X-Games draw the largest crowds in years. With more eyes comes more scrutiny, as today a juvenile distaste and adolescence is still associated with skateboarding in dominant forms of media. That being said, the off-shoots of skateboarding have also grown tremendously to tip the scales back into the hands of skateboarders. In the past five to ten years, female skateboarders are the sport’s largest growing demographic, with skateboarding now the largest female sport in Afghanistan. Skateparks are now found on every major continent of the World with countless clips filmed and posted to social media everyday. Skateboarding endures as one of the world’s most inclusive and accessible expressions of freedom.Skateboarding remains in a constant state of evolution. With each skateboarder not only defining their own relationship with their skateboard but what skateboarding means to them. With each contribution to skating it continues to be molded by those who need it most. Sometimes this means combating outside forces, sometimes this means inviting them in. Either way, the history of skateboarding is still being written and ultimately, thanks to the skateboarders who came before us, skating will forever be defined by those who truly love skateboarding, and no one else.SaveSaveShareSkateboarding”
“Menu Search Close Menu Skate News The Future Popularity of Skateboarding and Why We Love Skateboarding August 18, 202111 Mins read6.8k Views Zane Foley shares Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn WhatsApp Gmail Since its conception, skateboarding’s popularity has gone through ups and downs. In fact, skateboarding and the skate industry have nearly collapsed twice in the late 1960s and early 1980s, begging the question – what is the future of skateboarding popularity?
In this article, we’re asking the tough questions AND getting the answers.
Has skateboarding’s popularity increased or decreased since the skateboard was invented?What factors cause skateboarding’s decline and increase in popularity?Is skateboarding’s popularity dying?Why we love skateboarding!GOSKATE will answer all these questions and go over the factors that are affecting the past, present, and future popularity of our favorite action sport. Popularity since the skateboard was invented The popularity of skateboarding has meant more than just if people are riding a skateboard more this year than last. For the industry and the entire extreme sport, it’s popularity has meant life or death.
In fact, skateboarding has been on the brink of dying several times. That being said, today we see several encouraging statistics suggesting skateboarding is in a healthy place.
While cities like New York, Los Angeles, and even Tokyo might know Tony Hawk or played his video games or seen the X-Games on ESPN, skateboarding still had to grow as a sport before the average person knew what a half pipe was.
This is the major difference between skateboards and BMX or scooters and other action sports. But even so, most people can name a pro skater in Tony Hawk. So it must be pretty popular right? Well, let’s take a look.
1960sThe 1960s in many ways was more like today. Women like Patti McGee were landing the cover of Time Magazine as a female pro skater and skate contests were sprouting in small towns in every nook and cranny of the USA.
However, skateboarding was still finding its bearings in competition. Downhill and freestyle – two contest formats that are all but extinct today – were the most common, while most competition skaters were barely teenagers. As the DogTown era was beginning to form, street skateboarding wasn’t yet a staple of skateboarding in terms of affecting popularity.
Today, skateboarding is getting older. In 2006, 71% of skaters were 12-17, whereas today, only 45% make up that age range.
1970sSkating has also undergone a lot of changes since the 1960s and 1970s freestyle competitions, where skaters like Rodney Mullen mimicked surfers on flat ground with the first skateboards.
By the 70s, Frank Nasworthy had invented the ollie, the DogTown era had exploded and the first public skateparks were sprouting in states like Florida and California. While today, it is estimated that over 500 skateparks are currently built in the USA, it would be decades before brands like Nike or surf shops swapped their longboard surfboards for skateboards.
Even after new tricks were being invented by Rodney Mullen and Frank Nasworthy left and right, skateboarding nearly was dying in the late 1960s and again in the early 1980s. The 1970s did however see skating become a part of 70s culture in southern california. But almost more of a fashion statement than a sport.
1980sSkateboarders took matters into their own hands, as the 1980s brought counter-culture back from the dead to resurrect skating with it.
The invention of the fish tail board allowed skaters to ollie higher, catch more air on ramps, and maneuver better grinds and flip tricks. Street skateboarding exploded alongside the new board shapes, as “what was possible” was redefined by the new skateboard shapes.
Skaters like Mark Gonzales and Natas Kuapas spearheaded street skating to new heights, grinding the first hand rails and forgoing vert skating altogether. Skaters like Tommy Guerrero became the first ‘street only’ skaters in San Francisco and what it means to be a skater was no longer attached to 70s SoCal culture.
Mike Vallely’s barnyard board shape in 1989, the first popsicle stick shape ever created, further catapulted the possibilities on a skateboard. More and more skateboarders were street skating and more kids saw their friends unwrapping boards for Christmas. Skate magazines like Thrasher Magazine provided the media needed to educate the new generation of skaters and skateboarding’s culture grew deeper and deeper roots.
1990sThe 1990s are considered skateboarding’s golden age, but that’s not because skateboarding was more popular. In fact, it’s generally understood the popularity decline of the 1980s turned the mainstream eye away from skateboarding and thus, skateboarders were left to their own devices to develop the sport without outside influence.
This is precisely what turned skateboarding from a driveway or ramp sport into a full-fledged culture; with its own art form and way of life. Photographers, videographers, and company owners, were all full-fledged skaters, producing some of the most celebrated skate videos and magazines to this day.
All these factors are what lead to the Golden Age of skateboarding, the 1990s and early 2000s. The era is known as the best era for skateboarding ever, with many of today’s Olympic Skateboarders highlighting this era as what inspired them to pursue going Pro. Factors affecting skateboarding’s popularity A lot has changed in the sport of skateboarding since Tony Hawk landed the first 900 at the X-Games in 1999. But even more has changed since skateboarding was conceived in the 1950s.
And with that change certain factors have always affected skateboarding’s mainstream popularity. While these factors might not be as prevalent in terms of skateboarding’s future – let’s take a look at what has affected skateboarding’s popularity up until now. Skateboarding Isn’t Very Profitable When more people start skating, naturally more brands start investing in skateboarding. This is exactly what fixed the mainstream eye on competition skating in the late 1960s, as CEOs of corporations started asking the question: How can we make money off the latest skateboarding craze?
When outsiders of skate culture start to infiltrate skateboarding, creating brands, contests, and even media outlets, it generally works against the anti-establishment culture of skating, and thus sends its popularity in a downward spiral.
It’s also a misconception that skateboarding is a profitable industry to begin with. It is a well known fact that a skate shop owner in today’s age can sell $475,000 worth of goods and net only $30,000 in profit. Essentially, a skate shop owner or company founder can only expect to make about 5% profit each sale.
However, this has also been the reason why the price of a skateboard has generally remained the same over a 50 year span. From 2009-2019 for example, the cost of a skateboard deck with a graphic has remained from $50-$60, with full complete skateboards ranging from $100-$250.
While skateboard prices have largely remained the same, making it hard for core skate brands to be profitable, 77% of skateboarders prefer to shop local with specialty brands and shops, rather than the bigger outlets or non core skate brands.
In fact, since as recent as 2018, less than 4% of skateboard sales are made in Sporting Good stores annually. The State of Competition Skateboarding Take the 1960s: competition skateboarding was a boring mix of flat ground and freestyle contests that were more akin to watching a hula-hooper for hours on end. After street skateboarders like Rodney Mullen started to invent tricks like the kickflip and grinds and grabs, there was a resurgence in skateboarding.
However, then came the outsider brands once again, promoting wacky contests on T.V., prompting the mainstream media to profit skating to the masses in an unauthentic way. Rodney Mullen went on a huge US tour, crowning skateboarding as king over the sightly attractions of BMX or other action sports.
But even so, something is always missing chrome outside branded skate contests. The over-branded skate tours and whacky contests make skateboarding unappealing to real skaters. This might account for why the stats of ‘core skaters’ has dipped (someone who skates on average once a week) while the stats of ‘causal skaters’ has spiked.
However, the real question becomes whether skateboarding now being an Olympic Sport and more people watching the X-Games, will this lead to further decline in core skaters and a larger spike in casual skaters? Thus, impacting it’s popularity once again?
What we have seen since skateboarding’s Olympic debut, skating has touched more lives and inspired more young people than ever before. Skating has also enjoyed mainstream coverage from the world’s largest outlets, elevating skateboarding from a subculture to a legitimate sport. Fluctuating Skate Market With an undying love for skateboarding, skate companies, whether they’re a skate shop, skate shoe, or producing a skate video for their own company like Stacy Peralta, have been around as long as skateboarders have loved skateboarding.
But the skateboarding market has changed over the decades.
Skateboarding started making appearances on television with the X-Games giving skateboarders celebrity status. Television shows like Viva La Bam with Bam Margera, Life of Ryan with Ryan Sheckler, and of course, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, put more pro skaters into the public eye.
While there will always be ups and downs in the skateboarding industry, the past 5 years have been a solid up with no end really in sight. Fueled by the pandemic and skateboarding’s Olympic debut, researchers have suggested the skateboard market will be worth $2.4 billion by 2025 (according to Statista).
Essentially it all breaks down like this:
The global skateboard market size in 2019, was estimated at $1.96 Billion and was expected to reach the $2.00 Billion mark in 2020. Due to the pandemic, skateboarding actually exceeded that number but with things evening out (or maybe not thanks to the Olympics) the compound annual growth rate of 3.1% from 2019 to 2025 would reach $2.38 Billion by 2025. Is skateboarding’s popularity declining? In order to understand if skateboarding’s popularity is declining, we need to outline the factors we need to consider:
Is skateboarding more accessible?Is there a well-mentored next generation of skateboarders?What new things are good for the sport? Is skateboarding more accessible? A few years ago, people were saying skateboarding was dying… But not anymore! Skateboarding is in fact, experiencing a renaissance since its inclusion into The Olympics. More than any other action sport or extreme sport, there are more skateboarders, more skateparks, and more skaters enjoying street skating and competition skating for the first time.
This is especially true for women and members of the LGTBQ+ community. Skateboarding has been proven to be one of the most accessible sports since its conception, but today, skateboarding is more accessible than ever.
Street skaters can be found in empty swimming pools across the world, hoping to achieve their dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder. There are more skater girls than ever before and the pandemic opened up skateboarding to a lot of new people. The Olympic Debut of skateboarding will also undoubtedly open the door for more people to the wonderful world of skateboarding . Is Skateboarding More Dangerous? We get this question a lot from parents. Is skateboarding more dangerous? The truth of the matter is, skateboarding is dangerous. But with the right equipment and skate instructor, you can dramatically decrease the danger. Because while in skateboarding it’s not a question of if you will fall, it’s when; it’s also clear the benefits outweigh the cons.
Some quick stats on skateboarding injuries according to skateboardsaftey.org
Nearly 3 out of 4 injuries are to the extremities with 19% being broken wrists, 11% to the ankles and 16% to the face. 20% of injuries happen to the head and a higher proportion happen to skaters under the age of 10. So please, please, consider having a skate instructor to dramatically decrease these statistics. As the majority of these statistics happen not to the average learning how to skate, skater.
Here are some tips to stay extra safe when learning how to skateboard:
Always wear the proper safety equipment, that includes knee and elbow pads, a helmet and wrist guards.Learn to skate in a driveway or empty parking lot – don’t go to a crowded skatepark day one or a busy street.Center your core balance lower to the ground. When in doubt, to decrease how ‘hard’ you fall – crouch while riding. Especially if you get speed wobbles.Take it at your own pace! While they are skate instructors helping to coach you on how to skate, there is no one more in control of your skateboarding journey than you.Make it about having fun, not competition. While skating is indeed a sport, competition is the enemy of happiness. Don’t worry about how fast your friend is getting good at skating. Your time will come as long as you’re having fun.Some days you need to rest. Some days you’ll step on a skateboard and feel like a rock star, landing every trick with style and grace. Other days, not so much. You have to realize you’re not going to have a good skate day every single day. More Skater Girls In the last 5 years or so, more women have been skateboarding than ever before. As of 2018, it is projected that 23.9 percent of skaters were girl skaters, with 16.6% of all core skaters being female. While this might not seem like a large percentage, ten years ago the percentage would be closer to 10% and 13%.
This is largely due to the increased representation in women’s skateboarding, including the women who’ve pushed the sport to new heights.
Some of the gnarliest female skaters out there are: Leticia Bufoni, Sky Brown, Vanessa Torres, Maria Del Santos, Alexis Sablone, and the biggest phenom of them all – Rayssa Leal. Pandemic Skating The pandemic brought a host of negative aspects to our lives, for most of us, our driveway became our world. Naturally, a lot of people picked up skateboarding for the first time. Skate Shops sold out of product and couldn’t restock the shelves with overseas shipments coming to a halt.
Skateboarding around the world became a mainstream activity for nursing one’s mental health while promoting a physical activity. Everyone from everyday people to some of the biggest celebrities were picking up a skateboard for the first time.
This also led to more parent’s shifting their preconceived ideas about skateboarding being a ‘dangerous’ sport. As it was proven during the pandemic to be one of the safest sports out there. Olympic Skateboarding While it took a long and sometimes polarizing road to get to The Olympic games, skateboarding is now an official Olympic Sport. This means more people than ever will turn on their televisions and see skateboarding at the highest level. This includes young kids, adults and their parents.
“The Olympic Games need skateboarding more than we need them,” says legend Tony Hawk.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to skate in The Olympics,” says Nyjah Huston, a team USA frontrunner. “Whether people like it or not, skateboarding is bound to grow into bigger things like this sooner or later.”
“Skateboarding being in the Olympics was bound to happen,” says pro skater Miles Silvas. “More and more people are starting to skate and it’s non-stop growing as a sport.”
However, it’s not being accepted by everyone, even legend Tony Alva who said: “I’m not a big supporter of the idea. It’s probably best that I don’t comment on The Olympics.”
We invite you to read our full Skateboarding Olympics 2020 Full Review here. Is there a well-mentored next generation of skateboarders? The best way of answering this question used to be by taking a look at skateboard parks. Now, with so many more people skating and parks filled with roller skate riders, vert skating, inline skating and longboarding, there’s only one way to be sure.
Hiring a one on one skate instructor with GOSKATE ensures your child or loved one is mentored by the best of the very best. As the most knowledgeable, friendly, trained and vetted skateboard instructors in the world, GOSKATE has been doing our part to make sure the next generation of skateboards are well-mentored.
We pride ourselves on one day training an Olympic Skateboarder. We hope it’s your child or loved one.
Skateboarding is actually maturing: as of 2018, only 41.1% of skateboarders were teenagers. 10 years ago, they represented more than half at 55%. However, this is also due to more young people becoming skaters before their teens, hoping to become the next Nyjah Huston or Sky Brown. Why We Love Skateboarding! At GOSKATE, we wanted to end this article on a positive note. Because while we see the popularity of skateboarding increasing even with the factors that affect its popularity being in a state of flux, there is still the largest prevailing factor left to be discussed when it comes to the future of skateboarding – Love.
So long as skateboarders love skateboarding, no force outside of our passion will determine its future. We as a community and an industry are held together by our love for skateboarding and will continue to foster that passion regardless of if skateboarding is mainstream or not.
This is precisely what makes skateboarding so unique and why we created GOSKATE: to spread the love of skateboarding.
We have a lot of friends in the community, who contribute a lot, egRuben Veefrom RippedLaces
Whether skateboarding is a unique subculture or a mainstream Olympic sport, those people who love skateboarding will continue to GOSKATE no matter what people think.
Not only is skateboarding one of the healthiest activities for physical and mental health, it promotes community, friendships, self awareness and creativity on infinite levels. Even with the ups and the downs of the industry at large, skaters are forever going to be empowered and inspired to keep skating with their friends. That’s what makes us love skateboarding and skateboarders more than anything! Want To Learn More About Skateboarding? Contact us to help foster you or your loved one’s new found passion for skateboarding with our GOSKATE classes! Get The Latest Skateboard News As always, we invite you to stay connected with GOSKATE by following us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest skateboard news and tricktips. Improve Your Skating If you sign up for our skate lessons, our instructors will be there with open arms to catch you if you fall.
Help you or your loved one gain self confidence and maintain an active healthy lifestyle by contacting GOSKATE. Future Popularity of SkateboardingWe Love Skateboarding Previous post How Much Do Skateboard Lessons Cost? Next post How To Ollie & Ollie Higher in 5 Easy Steps [With Video Tutorials] shares Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest LinkedIn Gmail Zane Foley Zane Foley has been writing professionally since 2014, since obtaining his BA in Philosophy from the California State University, Fullerton. Zane is an avid skateboarder and Los Angeles native. Follow him on Instagram for links to his other published works. @zaneyorkfly Related Articles Olympic Skateboarding – Schedule, Teams, Athletes, Favorites and More [Paris Olympics 2024] Zane FoleyJuly 28, 2023 Skateboarding in New York City – Skateparks, Schools, and Much More Zane FoleyJuly 12, 2023 Skateboarding Games for iOS, Android and Consoles Mimi LandströmJune 15, 2023 Skateboarding in New York City – Skateparks, Schools, and Much MoreJuly 12, 2023How To Skateboard for the First TimeMarch 2, 2022San Diego Skate Parks, Shops and Skateboard SchoolsMay 3, 2023 Categories How To – Tricks11How to Skateboard40Skate News50 Today Stories Skateboarding in New York City – Skateparks, Schools, and Much More
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Post How Has Skateboarding Changed Over The Years? Posted by Evolve Skateboards on January 27, 2021 Share this article: Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Copy URL Roughly 11 million people enjoy skateboarding regularly, including core skaters, casual riders and even a new form of skating: the electric powered skateboard user. But it hasn’t always been that way. The skate industry has come a long way over the last decades, from practically nonexistent to battery-powered skateboards cruising along the streets and as an Olympic sport. Here’s a look at the evolution of skateboarding, the history and trajectory of this popular pastime. Over the past 70 years, skateboarding went through a kind of evolution 1950s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
In the 1950s, back when motorized longboards were not even conceivable, a few kids in the United States took the skates off their roller skates and attached them to a long and thick board. It was a way to enjoy the feeling of riding a wave when the swell was small. Since surfing was becoming popular, people wanted a way to “sidewalk surf” or “asphalt surf”, and thus, the skateboard was born and quickly spread throughout the United States. 1960s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
Skate in the 1960s was wholly connected to and influenced by the surf. Because of it, surf companies started manufacturing and selling high-quality skateboards with clay wheels and trucks throughout California. Fashion caught on, and the first skate to be mass-produced was Roller Derby. Initially called sidewalk surfing or asphalt surf, as it was seeing as an extension of the beach on the asphalt when the surf was flat, it has become very popular among teenagers. They had created an identity with its maneuvers and thus gained its definitive name in 1963: Skateboard. After that, it was at this moment the vertical skateboard was born. During the great drought in California, the pools were emptied, and the surfers/skaters discovered that it was possible to have fun skating on walls, which resembled the transitions of the surf waves. Quick facts: The first Skate Championship took place in Hermosa Beach, Southern California, in 1963.
The first skateboard magazine in the world was The Quarterly Skateboarder, launched in 1964 in the United States. 1970s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
In the early years of skateboarding, the boards were extremely loud, bumpy and, hard to carve. The 1970s was a critical decade for equipment and components evolution. The invention of urethane wheels changed the industry. Before that, the wheels were made of iron and bakelite, a type of hard plastic, both very slippery and insecure, making maneuvers difficult. Another milestone in the evolution of skating was the invention of the kicktail to improve balance and maneuvers. Due to the growing number of skaters, several specific skateboarding places have emerged, the so-called skate parks. By the end of the decade, there were more than 400 skateparks in the United States. With more space to practice, skaters were getting more audacious. The first air – Frontside Air- by Jeff Tatum in 1977;
The first ollie – Frontside Ollie – by Allan Gelfand in 1978. The date is considered to be the birth of street skateboarding;
The first loop- full 360-degree rotation – by Duane Peters in 1979 However, due to the countless accidents in the skate parks and the high paid values ​​of indemnities and insurance, many places closed. The demand decreased drastically, which caused a collapse in the skate industry, closing many companies, and losing sponsorship of almost all professional skaters. At the end of this decade, skate created its own identity, linking itself more with the counter-culture born at the time, making it a rebel sport. 1980s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
Skateboarding in the 1980s was characterized by an explosion of wooden ramps made by skateboarders themselves in streets, squares, and backyards due to the current crisis. Skaters could be seen grinding on skateparks’ rails during the evenings and running their very own skate companies during the day. It was the do-it-yourself culture and the technology development in the period that made skate equipment evolve a lot in a short time. Skate movies and specialized magazines become more popular than ever during the 1980s. In 1984, Stacy Peralta and George Powell released the first VHS video of a skate team called The Bones Brigade Video Show, revolutionizing the market, featuring Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen and others. In 1985, skate became the backdrop for the film Back to the future, in 1986 for Thrashin, and in 1989 for Gleaming the cube. 1900s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
The 1990s brought skateboarding into the mainstream as ESPN started broadcasting the X Games, which began to clean up the image of skateboarding as a rebel sport. It was the first step to put skateboarding in the “mainstream” and once again popularize it. At the end of 1999, the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released, which would make it the best selling and most popular in the world, later ported to Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color and Dreamcast. 2000s – how has skateboarding changed over the years
The 2000s is the decade where skateboard events become popular on mainstream TV. There were shows or major skate competitions across the United States such as X-Games, Dew Tour, Gravity Games, Tony Hawk Gigantesc Tour, and the Maloof Money Cup with a live broadcast by the main TV networks the world and millionaire awards. In 2002, Danny Way invented the Mega Rampa during a ‘pay per view’ TV show in the United States, taking Vertical Skate to levels never seen before. This decade skaters were hungry to break records: In 2007, Rob Dyrdek performed the longest boardslide – 100 feet and 5.75 inches;
In 2008, Zach Kral pulled off 1,546 consecutive kickflips on a skateboard;
In 2009, Rob Dyrdek and Joe Ciaglia shaped the world’s largest skateboard; Professional skateboards made frequent world tours passing through all continents and participating in brand advertising outside the skate universe: Bob Burnquist for Toyota, for example. Skate is once again the subject of films and documentaries such as Z-boys and Dogtown, Who Cares: The Duane Peters Story, Lords of Dogtown etc. In 2004, the Internation Skateboarding Federation (ISF) was founded, and the Go Skateboarding Day was created. ederation (ISF) was founded, and the Go Skateboarding Day was created. 2010s & beyond – how has skateboarding changed over the years
Skate is solidified and popularized as never before, widely publicized on TV whether by broadcasting championships or by advertisements from many companies outside the market, better accepted by society, having its demands met by the government through the construction of skate parks and the creation of its own public policy. With the concerns about climate change and other environmental issues, the skateboard is part of the e-mobility trend. People are using an electric skateboard for commuting as a way to avoid using cars and public transport. As a modality, this decade was an important one for athletes worldwide with many skateboarding competitions. In 2010, professional street skater Rob Dyrdek created the Street League Skateboarding, an international invitation-only competition with millionaire awards and live broadcasts on TV and the internet. A few years later, in 2016, the modality left the extreme sports bubble to become an Olimpic Sport. Future of electric skateboard
Electric skateboard is just what this high-tech world needed. The ability to skate electric could bring in an entirely new demographic to the skate industry. Skateboarding is typically for teenagers to get out of the house for a few hours, but electric powered skateboards can be used by any young professional who wants a fun (and energy-efficient) way to travel to and from work. Currently, there are so many styles to choose from: off-road electric skateboards, street skateboards, bamboo skateboards and carbon skateboards. At Evolve, we have currently 3 series: Evolve Hadean Series, Evolve GTR Series and the Evolve Stoke. There is no telling what exactly is to come of the skateboarding industry. But there will always be plenty of people who love riding through life on four wheels and a nice board, whether it’s motorized or not. In the video below, Jeff Anning, the owner and founder of Evolve Skateboards talks about the current state of personal electric mobility, advancements in technology, competitions and the future of Skateting. Check it out ???????????? FAQ Evolution of Skateboards
How have skateboards evolved in terms of design and technology
Skateboards have undergone significant evolution in design and technology, with advancements such as lighter and more durable materials, improved concave shapes for better control, and innovations like electric skateboards introducing new possibilities for transportation and riding. What are the key advancements that have shaped the evolution of skateboards?
Key advancements in the evolution of skateboards include the development of specialized skateboard trucks, the introduction of polyurethane wheels for better grip and smoothness, and the incorporation of advanced bearing systems, all contributing to enhanced performance and maneuverability. How has the evolution of skateboards influenced the sport and the riding experience?
The evolution of skateboards has had a profound impact on the sport and riding experience, enabling riders to push the boundaries of tricks and styles, enhancing speed and stability, and offering diverse options tailored to different terrains and disciplines, ultimately shaping the dynamic and creative culture of skateboarding. Related Blog Posts The Bond of Father-Son Activities: Building Memories That Last How to Get Better at Surfing: Mastering the Waves with Pro Tips Snowboarding and Skateboarding: Unveiling the Shared Thrills of Board Sports Riding the Endless Wave: The Benefits and FAQs of Board Sports New to Electric Skateboards? Here’s 7 Electric Skateboard Tips for Beginners Prev Next”
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Skateboarding Since the 1960s, skateboarding has rolled in and out of the public’s consciousness. It’s a sport associated with youth that combines agility, speed, and sheer guts.
It’s not a sport for everyone, and that’s just the way skaters like it. At its core, skateboarding is very much an individual sport that can be enjoyed with a group. It’s a sport that is continually reinventing itself. Like a hyperactive seven-year-old, skateboarding will not be pinned down. And like that hyperactive child, skateboarding can be both exhilarating and maddening. On any given weekend, vast numbers of people cheer on skaters performing unbelievable aerials at skateboarding exhibitions. Then, come Monday morning, these same people can be heard cursing street skaters for jumping over railings. Skateboarders come from all walks of life. Rich or poor, West Coast, Midwest or East Coast, American, Brazilian, or Australian, no matter who or where they are, skateboarders are bound by common threads. Some of these threads include an energy and passion for something most of the mainstream ignores. Despite being accorded only a small amount of attention, skateboarding has made a tremendous impact on society worldwide. From music to the internet to fashion, skateboarders define what is cutting edge. They are always ready to change the status quo and take things in a new direction. Whether it’s Tony Alva’s breakthrough advertising in the 1970s or Stacy Peralta’s and Craig Stecyk’s video work in the 1980s, skateboard culture exerts a considerable influence. The only problem is it takes the rest of the world a few years to catch up, and by that time, skaters are already working on the next big thing. Unlike most sports, skateboarding has suffered some very strenuous peaks and valleys in popularity. There have been many reasons for this rise and fall pattern. In the 1960s, the first skateboard boom was big, but manufacturers couldn’t keep up with demand, let alone improve the product. As a result, skateboarders were faced with poor technology (that is, clay wheels) and safety concerns. In the 1970s, the introduction of urethane wheels elevated the sport again. Still, by the end of the decade, skatepark liability problems and the proliferation of BMX biking and roller skating caused another crash. The sport receded as it had done in the late 1960s, but a hardcore contingent kept the faith. Backyard ramps took the place of official skateparks (most of which had been bulldozed), and skate videos kept the fires burning. By the mid-1980s, vertical skating and street skating pushed the sport to dazzling heights. Then, again, as the decade closed, the skate industry faced a worldwide recession and was caught with a surplus of products. Coupled with this problem was the extremely negative tone that the industry had adopted. It was like an unruly teenager with the urge to destroy the past in order to create a new future. By the turn of the 1990s, the skate industry was its own worst enemy. A shake-up was needed. But while other skate busts had been brutal, this time, the attrition was not so horrendous. Snowboarding’s popularity helped many manufacturers and skate shops weather the blows. Finally, by the mid-1990s, skateboarding was on another roll, thanks to events like the X Games and a change in demographics. The baby boomers’ kids are now a significant force and will continue to push skateboarding to new levels of popularity. In keeping with this ebb and flow of history, this article has been divided into sections according to the successive waves of popularity skateboarding has experienced. We start in the 1950s, when kids made their own skateboards, and go right up to the present day when skateboarding has become a big industry and a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Interspersed are the reminiscences of skateboarders – famous and not – from all over the world. Prehistory | ∞ – 1959
Kids have always had an affinity for their own set of wheels. The bicycle is the prime example, but bikes were out of reach financially for many families for a long time. The alternatives were wagons, scooters, and roller skates. When these store-bought vehicles didn’t do the trick, young people resorted to creating their own conveyances. Some built go-karts or soapbox carts; others made what would end up being the early form of the skateboard. This first type of skateboard, which dates back to the early 1900s, was actually more like a scooter. It featured roller skate wheels attached to a two-by-four. Often the board had a milk crate nailed to it with handles sticking out for control. Over the next five decades, kids changed the look of these contraptions, taking off the crate and cruising on just the two-by-fours with steel wheels. Tens of thousands of rollerskates were dismantled and joyfully hammered onto planks of wood. After World War II, North America experienced a booming economy and an expanding population. The baby boomers quickly made their presence felt in the marketplace. The 1950s would see toy manufacturers stumbling over themselves to come up with the next fad, to capture the imaginations and piggy banks of kids everywhere. The appearance of television would help them along. Yo-yos, hula hoops, and the like would rise and fall in favor of the playground. It was only a matter of time before someone picked up on the potential lying in those roller skate wheels attached to hunks of wood. The first commercial skateboards hit the marketplace in 1959. The dawn of the commercial skateboard industry brought new and exciting technological advances, like clay wheels that made the ride smoother and new tricks possible. But it also signaled an end to a time when kids gleefully and messily and ingeniously devised their own playthings. A few old school riders out here remember skateboarding in the 1960s. Avid new generation teenage skateboarders, who do ollies and aerials with their boards, believe the sport came into existence in California. However, some remember skateboarding on Oahu, Hawaii, the day President Kennedy was killed; the radio was on reporting it while they attached a board to a pair of roller skate wheels. Yes, it was kind of crude, but they rolled down the hills at high speeds with the wheels nailed onto a small plank and made the best of what they had. There were no fancy graphic decks with high-dollar wheels and trucks then; the island kids knew how to make a skateboard before the California dudes. Some learned how to make a skateboard from youngsters who could also make woven baskets from palm fronds. The ingenuity of children back in those days was marvelous. Nowadays, it’s “”Mom, I need $140 for a new skateboard, my deck is all chipped up, and the wheels and trucks are shot.”” The First Wave | 1959-1965
The late 1950s saw growing commercial interest in the skateboard concept, and by 1959 the first Roller Derby Skateboard had appeared on store shelves. The introduction of commercially-produced skateboards coincided with the era of the surfer, and people began to tie riding the waves with cruising on a board on land. By the time the 1960s rolled around, skateboarding had gained a sizable following among the surf crowd. But when Larry Stevenson, publisher of Surf Guide, began to promote skateboarding, things really started to take off. Larry’s company, Makaha, designed the first professional skateboards in 1963, and a team was formed to promote the product. Traveling skateboard teams sponsored by skateboard makers would become a staple of skateboard marketing and play a significant role in bringing skateboarding to the world. Makaha also sponsored the first skateboard contest, held in Hermosa, California, in 1963. Formal skateboard competitions raised the standards of skateboard performance and gave it its sports status. More skateboard manufacturers appeared on the scene. By 1965, international contests, movies (“”Skaterdater””), a magazine (The Quarterly Skateboarder), and cross-country trips by teams of skateboarders had elevated the sport to enormous heights of popularity. Over 50 million boards were sold within three years. Then, suddenly, skateboarding died in the fall of 1965. The first skateboarding crash was due to inferior product, too much inventory, and a public upset by reckless riding. The manufacturers were so busy making boards that little had been done in the way of research and development. Beyond replacing the squeaky steel roller skate wheels with smoother-riding clay wheels and refining the trucks (the devices that hold the wheels), there were few technological advances. Some companies did develop better-quality wheels, but clay wheels were the cheapest to manufacture. However, clay wheels did not grip the road well, and skaters everywhere were having some nasty falls. Cities started to ban skateboards in response to health and safety concerns, and after a few fatal accidents, skateboarding was officially drummed out of existence. Manufacturers lost huge amounts of money due to canceled orders for the Christmas season, and skateboarding virtually disappeared from public view. But a few genuinely dedicated skaters would keep the sport alive on life support. The Second Wave | 1973-1980
The late 1960s seem to have been a less innocent time than the early years of that decade. Legal problems and a lack of innovation in skateboard design were the main factors in the downturn in the popularity of skateboarding that occurred in that period. But it was also a time of great political and social strife worldwide, and carefree activities like sidewalk surfing were eclipsed in the public’s imagination by protests, assassinations, and increasingly controversial war. Skateboarding didn’t disappear entirely, but it certainly entered a dormant phase until a technological breakthrough would bring it back to the forefront. In 1970, a surfer by the name of Frank Nasworthy began developing a skateboard wheel made from urethane. The resulting ride was magnificent compared to clay wheels, and by 1973 Nasworthy’s Cadillac Wheels had launched skateboarding’s second wave. Truck manufacturers like Independent, Bennett, and Tracker began making trucks specifically designed for skateboarding. Board manufacturers sprang up overnight, and suddenly the industry was awash with new products and new ideas. In 1975, Road Rider came out with the first precision-bearing wheel, ending years of loose ball bearings that had a habit of spilling out. Millions of enthusiasts practiced slalom, downhill, and freestyle skateboarding. SkateBoarder magazine was resurrected and was soon joined by other publications hoping to cash in on skateboarding’s comeback. Bruce Logan, Russ Howell, Stacy Peralta, Tom Sims, and Gregg Weaver were featured heavily in these magazines. The sport was on a roll once again. The first modern outdoor skateboard park was built in Florida in 1976 and was soon followed by hundreds of other parks all over North America. With all the new possibilities the skateparks offered, skateboarding moved from horizontal to vertical, and slalom and freestyle skateboarding gradually became less popular. The width of skateboards also changed from six to seven inches to over nine inches. This increase in size ensured better stability on vertical surfaces. Top riders of the second wave included Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Tom “”Wally”” Inouye. Wes Humpston marketed the first successful line of boards with graphics under the Dogtown label. Soon, dozens of board manufacturers were putting graphics under their boards. Pool skating was hugely popular, and as a result of better technology, skaters were able to perform aerials and go well beyond the coping. In the late 1970s, Alan Gelfand invented the ollie or no-hands aerial and moved skateboarding to the next level. The roots of street style developed when skaters started to take vertical moves to flatland. Then, skateboarding culture began to mesh with punk and new wave music. Images of skulls began to appear on skateboards, thanks to the creative genius of Vernon Courtland Johnson at Powell Corporation. But skating’s old nemesis, safety concerns, arose once more. Insurance became so that many park owners closed their doors, and the bulldozers were brought in. By the end of 1980, skateboarding had another death, and once again, many were faced with tremendous losses. As BMX biking became popular and SkateBoarder magazine turned into Action Now, many skaters deserted the sport. Skateboarding moved underground once more. But even as the skateparks disappeared, a hardcore contingent built their backyard halfpipes and ramps and continued to develop the sport. The Third Wave | 1983-1991
More legal wrangling and competition from other youth pursuits like BMX biking led to a second fallow period for skateboarding in the early 1980s. Although skate contests were held, the turnout was small, and the prize money was even smaller. But, as in the past, a core of dedicated skaters kept the sport alive. In 1981, Thrasher magazine began publication in an effort to provide hardcore skaters with information on the skateboard scene. By 1983, skate manufacturers were beginning to see the sport on the upswing, and Transworld Skateboarding magazine entered the skate scene. Vert riding took off in 1984, followed closely by street-style skating. Launch ramps became popular. Powell Peralta created “”The Bones Brigade Video Show,”” which helped propel skateboarding to new levels of popularity. Numerous vertical champions emerged, including Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain, Neil Blender, and Tony Hawk. On the streets, Mark Gonzales, Natas Kaupas, and Tommy Guerrero created new ollie variations. Freestyle skateboarding was also a part of the scene, and Rodney Mullen dominated all contests. Board royalties and contest winnings escalated, and some professional skaters pulled down earnings of $10,000 a month. The National Skateboard Association, headed by Frank Hawk, held numerous contests across North America and eventually throughout the world. Dozens of new manufacturers sprung up, but in the mid to late 1980s, three handled most of the skate market – Powell Peralta, Vision/Sims, and Santa Cruz. Skateboard shoes from Airwalk, Vans, and Vision became hugely popular, along with skate fashion, even among non-skaters. Toward the end of the decade, the focus shifted to street skating, and vert riding became less popular. Several pro skaters decided to leave the larger manufacturers and start their own skateboard companies. One of the first to do this was Steve Rocco, who started up World Industries. New school skateboarding was born. Its focus was on ollies and technical tricks, and it took on a whole new attitude. By 1991, a worldwide recession hit, and the skate industry was deeply affected. As in the past, many manufacturers faced significant financial losses. The industry turned extremely negative and began the process of reinventing itself. The Fourth Wave | 1993-
The economic recession put a damper on all industries in the early 1990s. Skateboarding also had to contend with a new nemesis – rollerblading. As in the past, a hardcore contingent remained with the sport, but this time the attrition was not as great as in the past. The growth of cable television, satellite TV, and the internet would lead to greater worldwide awareness of skateboarding. The “”baby boomlet”” – the offspring of the baby boomers – were hitting their rebellious teens. This fact, combined with their significant spending power, led to skateboarding’s fourth and possibly permanent wave. Those kids who took up skating in the 1970s now have kids of their own, to whom they want to pass on the fun and liberation of skateboarding. And many of those young moms and dads are digging out their old boards and hitting the pavement once more themselves. By the mid-1990s, skateboarding reemerged again, and the fourth wave had begun. In 1995, skateboarding gained a great deal of exposure at the ESPN 2 Extreme Games. Skateboard shoe manufacturers like Etnies and Vans began selling huge quantities of products and were joined by other soft goods manufacturers eager to cash in on skateboarding’s popularity once again. At the end of the 1990s, skateboarding’s focus remained street style, and the industry was filled with numerous manufacturers and marketers. In many cases, pro riders develop their products and manage their own companies. Longboarding, a once forgotten art featuring large boards, has begun to make a comeback, and downhill skateboarding has entered a whole new dimension thanks to street luge. Public skateboard parks began to be built once again in California, thanks to legislation changes. The hard work of Jim Fitzpatrick and the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) has ensured that other states will follow, and more parks are scheduled for construction over the following years. Over the past decades, skateboarding has had its peaks and valleys in popularity. Poor product, safety issues, and economic recessions have all contributed to the valleys. However, skateboard technology has vastly improved since clay wheels. Regarding injuries, the sport remains much safer than football, rollerblading, or hockey (when you look at the percentage of participants injured). Despite safety concerns or economic recessions, the sport endures because it is fun. Words by Michael Brooke | Author of “”The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding”” Share this article Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Reddit RELATED ARTICLES The list of Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductees What is a popsicle skateboard? The story of NHS, Inc Paul Schmitt: the professor and scientist of skateboarding The day Vita-Pakt Juice Co. got into skateboarding Top Stories | Skateboarding The first-ever inflatable and portable skate ramp When we think of skateboarding ramps, we visualize wooden and concrete structures, often permanent and cumbersome, sitting in the same location for years and decades. The most influential skate photographers of all time In the vibrant heart of the mid-20th century, amid a whirlwind of social and cultural revolutions, a nascent phenomenon surged through the crumbled concrete of America’s urban landscapes – skateboarding. How to ollie higher on a skateboard Skateboarding is a thrilling symphony of grit, precision, and air. At its heart lies the ollie, a fundamental maneuver that’s both starting point and a stepping stone. How fast can a skateboard go? If you’re a skateboarder, you’ll know that speed matters. But how fast can a skateboard actually go? And what makes the difference?”

“x SportsSporting EventsShoppingGamesActivitiesSkateboarding5 Most Common Skateboarding InjuriesAbout Skateboarding – An OverviewBest Skateboarding Shoe BrandsHistory Of SkateboardingHow Does Scoring Work In Skateboarding?Learn To SkateboardList of Skateboarding FactsList of Skateboarding SkillsSkateboarding 101Skateboarding BasicsSkateboarding Equipment ListSkateboarding Terms ListTop 10 Skateboarding BrandsTop 5 Skateboarding BooksTop 5 Skateboarding MoviesTop 5 Skateboarding Video GamesTop 6 Best Men’s Skateboarders of All TimeTop 6 Best Skateboard Apparel BrandsTop 6 Best Skateboard BrandsTop 6 Best Women’s Skateboarders of All TimeWhat Are The Rules of Skateboarding?What is Skateboarding?What is Vert Skateboarding?SkateboardersSkateboarding BiographiesSkateboarding TricksHome>Sports>SkateboardingPreviousNextHistory Of SkateboardingSkateboarding is an extremely popular board sport worldwide, and is an Olympic sport as of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. It was developed relatively recently, with the first versions of a skateboard having debuted in the 1950s. Read on to learn more about skateboarding and its short but rich history. Table of Contents Skateboarding HistoryWhich Country Started Skateboarding?Who Invented Skateboarding?When was Skateboarding Established?When did Skateboarding Become Popular?Skateboarding TimelineKey FactsFAQSkateboarding HistorySkateboarding is a relatively young sport when compared to other sports such as football or basketball, but its history still runs deep. Competitive skateboarding was first founded in 1963 when the first-ever competition was held in Hermosa Beach. It became so popular that over 50 million boards were sold in that same year. In 1966, skateboarding’s fresh surge in popularity dropped because people were concerned about their children’s safety. Few competitors wore helmets, and the wheels were made out of clay or metal, so they skidded easily. However, in 1972, Frank Nasworthy, a young surfer at the time, created wheels that allowed for better grip, a model that skaters currently use to this day. This new model of skating allowed people to safely skate in more areas, such as swimming pools, which they began doing in 1976 to preserve water during a series of droughts that were hitting California. This period was when the aerial was first born. Santa Monica skater, Tony Alva, discovered that you could ride up the side of the pool and do a 180-degree flip in the air while coming back down in the opposite direction. In 1978, Alan Gelfand created the ollie: a trick where he jumped with his board in a way that made it look like it was attached to his feet. This revolutionized the way people skated and became the foundation for most complicated flip tricks seen in contemporary skateboarding. In the 1980s, new board shapes were also developed, so skaters could overcome different obstacles and customize their rides. Almost two decades later, in 1995, the X-Games were founded. This began the era of televised skateboarding and widely popularized the sport beyond the east coast. Street skateboarding also became very popular as the sport became a subject of pop culture and entered the mainstream. The 21st century brought the most growth to the skateboarding industry. In 2010, Street League Skateboarding was founded and street skaters suddenly had a universal format in which to compete against other skaters across the nation. There are now over 20 million skateboarders worldwide, and that number continues to grow. Which Country Started Skateboarding?Skateboarding was invented in the United States, specifically by Southern California surfers who wanted to surf on flat land. Popular sporting events that have skateboarding competitions, such as the X-Games and Street League Skating, were also founded in the United States. The first X-Games were held in Rhode Island in 1995. In 2010, Street League Skateboarding was founded by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, who wanted to grow the street skateboarding community. Who Invented Skateboarding?Bill Richards invented the modern skateboard in 1958 when he attached rollerblading wheels to a wooden board. This was called the Roller Derby Skateboard, and it went on sale in 1959. These were extremely thick boards with narrow trucks and clay wheels. These boards were not nearly as safe as contemporary skateboards because they lacked quality grip. Larry Stevenson is another skateboard inventor who innovated the industry. He invented the kicktail in 1969, which allowed skaters to have more control and perform tricks. His company, Makaha, was one of the first companies to use clay wheels instead of metal wheels. This allowed people to maneuver better on their board. In the late 1970s, Alan Gelfand invented the ollie. This allows skateboarders to jump while on the board and is a fundamental aspect of almost any modern skateboarding trick you learn. These inventors and innovators each helped shape and shift skateboarding to what it is today.
When was Skateboarding Established?The first-ever skateboarding competition was created in 1963 by Makaha, Larry Stevenson’s skateboarding company. About 100 competitors came out to Hermosa Beach, California, and Makaha was the first to sponsor a team. Competitions consisted of skaters participating in the freestyle or downhill events. In the downhill event, skaters had to weave in and around cones on a steep hill, and the person with the fastest time was the winner. Thanks largely to the popularity of this competition, attendees later formed the first skateboarding magazine, The Quarterly Skateboarder.
In that same year, Makaha also made the first professional skateboard and named it after Phil Edwards, a legendary surfer. Since skateboarding began as an extension of surfers, most of the first great skateboarders were also master surfers. Two years later, the first National Skateboard Championship aired on ABC. People in these early competitions rode very thin boards with primitive wheels, so it was extremely hard to maneuver. In 1969, Larry Stevenson corrected this by inventing the kicktail skateboard so that skaters could shift and maneuver better.
When did Skateboarding Become Popular?Skateboarding first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s when surfers wanted to surf when the waves were not so great. As a result, “sidewalk surfing” emerged with the invention of skateboards. Eventually, it grew so much in popularity that skateboard companies such as Makaha were formed, and by 1963, over 50 million skateboards had been sold.
Skateboarding experienced multiple downturns in popularity throughout its history, usually due to it being widely considered a dangerous sport with high risks of injury. However, the sport never died out and adapted during these downturns. Skateboarding experienced massive growth with the introduction of the X-Games in 1995 and along with the rise of international skateboarding superstars like Tony Hawk. Skateboarding Timeline1950: Surfers in Southern California have the idea of “surfing on land,” and build homemade early versions of the skateboard1958: Bill Richards invents the first skateboard to be sold1963: Over 50 million skateboards had been sold1969: Larry Stevenson invents the kicktail1972: Frank Nasworthy revives skateboarding by inventing the urethane skateboard wheel, which allowed for more grip and safer skateboarding1976: Tony Alva and the Zephyr Competition Team invent the aerial1978: Alan “Ollie” Gelfand invents the “ollie”1995: The first X-Games are held in Rhode Island2010: Rob Dyrdek founds Street League Skateboarding2021: Skateboarding makes its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games Key FactsAt first, skateboarding was referred to as “sidewalk surfing”The first skateboard was made out of wood and old rollerblading wheels. Skateboarding was founded in CaliforniaSkateboarding is most popular in the United States and SpainLarry Stevenson held the first-ever skateboarding competition in Hermosa Beach, CaliforniaFAQWhen was skateboarding invented?Skateboarding was originally practiced by Southern California surfers in the 1950s looking to “surf on land” when the waves were mild. They would attach roller skate wheels to the bottom of wooden boards, and pioneered early versions of what would become the modern skateboard. Bill Richards built the first skateboard to be sold in 1958 and is credited as the inventor of the skateboard. The skateboard has continued to evolve over time, but still share the same basic features outlined by Richards.
Who created skateboarding?Skateboarding was first invented by surfers looking for a way to surf when wave conditions were flat. For this reason, the first form of skateboarding was actually known as “sidewalk surfing” and the majority of the first great skateboarders were also competitive surfers as well. Before Bill Richards invented the first skateboard, these athletes used planks of wood with roller skates glued to the bottom.
Who made the first skateboard?Though surfers were already skating on wood with roller skates attached, the first official skateboard sold was made by Bill Richards in 1958. This was called the Roller Derby Skateboard. Five years later, Larry Stevenson created Makhana, the first official skateboarding company, and began making skateboards that were safer and easier to maneuver.
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“Skip to Content© Piero CapanniniSkateboarding15 interesting skateboarding facts How many skateparks are in the U.S.?By Esther Hershkovits 6 min readPublished on 08/12/2022 · 5:13 PM UTCSaveSaveSummary115 Interesting Skateboarding Facts Skateboarding was started in the 1950s by surfers who wanted the sensation of riding waves on dry land. Since then, it’s evolved from a casual pastime to a challenging feat of athleticism. In 2020, skateboarding finally earned the recognition it deserves as an Olympic sport.So how did it get there? Below we take a closer look at 15 interesting skateboarding facts.0115 Interesting Skateboarding Facts Skateboards evolved from wooden crates © Kat Nijmeddin Related
History of skateboarding: Notable events that took place9 min readRead StoryWhile the exact origins of the skateboard are unknown, the earliest versions of the board were roller skate wheels glued to wooden crates to ride downhills. At first, they used the whole box so that you could hold onto the top as a handlebar. Eventually, it evolved to just the rudimentary beginnings of the wooden plank and wheels combination we know today.Skateboarding was initially called “”sidewalk surfing”” Surfers realized that they could use their makeshift boards to practice their moves when there weren’t any waves. They would find concrete banks that mimicked the shape of a wave. This is why skateboarding was originally called sidewalk surfing and carving. In fact, doing big surf-style turns was the primary type of trick performed in the ’60s.Skateboarding was initially barefoot Because of skateboarding’s link to surfing, it was initially practiced barefoot, like surfing. One of the first ways to make the skateboard jump (now called an “”ollie””) was to wrap your toes around the board’s edge for grip.Skateboarding has 85 million participants worldwide Skateboarding is really a U.S. sport, but skateboard culture is exploding worldwide. More than half of all U.S. skaters live in California, and more than 75% are under 18. With these numbers, it is the 6th most popular sport globally.The wheels revolutionized the sport Related
How to clean skateboard wheels in 6 easy steps9 min readRead StoryDetail of a skateboard, skateboard wheels
© Fine Lines / Red Bull Content Pool
The original skateboards used clay wheels, which were very heavy and not durable. They were not suited for the types of high-performance tricks we’re accustomed to seeing today. Eventually, they evolved to steel, but it wasn’t until the invention of polyurethane in the 1970s that the wheels we know today were developed. Polyurethane wheels are lighter, more durable, and give more traction at high speeds.The first skate park was built in 1965 Zion Wright © Anthony Acosta
In 1965, the first skatepark was built in Tucson, Arizona. Named “”Surf City,”” it had a bowl set-up just like a modern park. Then, in 1976 skateparks started to open up all over. California opened one in 1976 in Carlsbad, and there was another the same year in Australia. The oldest privately owned skatepark is in Jacksonville, Florida, Kona Skatepark opened in 1977 and is still running today.The ollie was invented by Alan “”Ollie”” Gelfand Alan “Ollie” Gelfand was the first to do a no-handed air in 1978, by slightly lifting the nose of the skateboard. He was an early pro skateboarder from Florida who moved to California to pursue his career. While training at the Skateboard USA park in Hollywood, he developed a new way to air without using his hands to keep the board attached to his feet. The skateboard media publicized it and called it the “ollie.” Pretty soon after, it caught on among vertical and street skaters and transformed the sport.Rodney Mullen invented most flip and spin tricks Rodney Mullen
© Micheal Darter / Red Bull Content Pool
Rodney Mullen is known as the godfather of skateboarding because he was one of the first “”flatground”” skateboarders. He was just an average kid from Florida who became obsessed with skateboarding. He saw what Alan Gelfand had done in a bowl and applied that to land the first-ever flat ground ollie. Flat ground is the foundation of “”street style”” skateboarding, which is done around the city rather than in a skatepark. Rodney Mullen invented most of the basic variations of current flat ground tricks, such as the pop shuvit, kickflip, heelflip, and tre flip. He practiced his tricks outside of the skatepark.Empty swimming pools inspired modern skate park design Related
Postcards from the edge – Red Bull Bowl Rippers 2023!6 min readRead StoryCJ Collins at Burnside Skatepark
© James Matthews / Red Bull Content Pool
When a massive drought hit Southern California in the early 1970s, homeowners drained their pools to conserve water. Skateboarders soon figured out that skating in the bowl-shaped part of a pool was a lot like surfing big waves, and more fun than skating on any hill or embankment. They went in search of bigger and better pools to practice “carving waves,” and the first skate parks were designed to mimic those empty swimming pools.The X Games started with a focus on skateboarding The X Games, started in 1995, is an extreme sports competition created to capture the attention of a generation disinterested in traditional sports. Skateboarding was a significant feature of the original X Games. It successfully attracted the attention of passionate action sports enthusiasts and is now one of the world’s biggest sports competitions.In 1999 Tony Hawk landed the 900 Tony Hawk, 900 at 48
© [unknown]
Tony Hawk is widely regarded as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of skateboarding. He’s not only been a dominant force for years, but he has also advanced the sport in competitive realms. He was the first skater to ever land a 900, which is 2 and a half complete rotations. This was widely believed to be physically impossible on a skateboard. It opened the door for big-spin tricks we see on skateboards today. He can still land one at 48!The biggest stair set ever ollied was a 25 stair Related
Curtain Call: Aaron “Jaws” Homoki1 min readRead StoryIn street skateboarding, one of the biggest records was set by Aaron “”Jaws”” Homoki. He ollied a set of 25 stairs. This stair set is nicknamed “The Lyon” and was first attempted by Ali Boulala in 2003. To better understand just how impressive this is, it’s over 14 feet high and 23 feet long. In this interview with Red Bull, Jaws talks about how he became the guy who does mind-blowingly big ollies.Skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry The global skateboarding market is now valued at over $2 billion. The rise of competitive skateboarding around the world, the addition of the sport to the Olympics, the pandemic, and social media like SkateTok have helped grow the sport to record levels.There are over 3,100 skateparks in the U.S. Isiah Hilt ollies at Venice Beach Skatepark
© David Clancy
Although skateboarding is expanding globally, most skateboarders are still in the U.S., where the sport was created. As a result, many municipalities have built skateboards in their communities. There are now over 3,100 parks in the U.S. alone.Related
Zion Wright: “”Style Is Everything””4 min readRead StorySkateboarding was introduced to the Olympics in 2020 The Olympics are a significant milestone in any sport. However, there is still much debate over whether or not skateboarding is a sport or more akin to an art form. So when it was announced that skateboarding would be added to the Olympics, the reactions were mixed. On one hand, it finally validated skateboarders’ athleticism and dedication to their craft. On the other hand, skaters were concerned that it would ruin the unique counter-cultural qualities of the sport. Read more about some of our favorite Olympic skateboarders like Leticia Bufoni, Jagger Eaton, and Zion Wright.SaveSaveShareSkateboardingskateboardingSkateboardingWant more of this?SkateboardingWelcome to the Skateboarding Hub, home to the very best in global skate trips, interviews, events …”
Activities Sports & Athletics A Brief History of Skateboarding From an Obscure California Activity to the Mainstream Print Carol Yepes/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Skateboarding Basics Tutorials Famous Skaters Baseball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By
Steve Cave Updated on 09/30/18 Skateboarding first showed up in California in the 1950s, when surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets. No one really knows who made the first board—it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at the same time. Several people have claimed to have invented the skateboard first, but nothing can be proved, and skateboarding remains a strange spontaneous creation. The First Skateboarders These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom. As you might imagine, a lot of people got hurt in skateboarding’s early years. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies started producing decks of pressed layers of wood—similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun after surfing. Skateboarding Gets Popular In 1963, skateboarding was at a peak of popularity, and companies like Jack’s, Hobie and Makaha started holding skateboarding competitions. At this time, skateboarding was mostly either downhill slalom or freestyle. Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer were well-known skateboarders at this time, but what they did looked almost completely different from what skateboarding looks like today. Their style of skateboarding, called “”freestyle,”” is more like dancing ballet or ice skating with a skateboard. Crash Then, in 1965, skateboarding’s popularity suddenly crashed. Most people assumed that skateboarding was a fad that had died out, like the hula hoop. Skateboard companies folded, and people who wanted to skate had to make their own skateboards again from scratch. But people still skated, even though parts were hard to find and boards were homemade. Skaters were using clay wheels for their boards, which was extremely dangerous and hard to control. But then in 1972, Frank Nasworthy invented urethane skateboard wheels, which are similar to what most skaters use today. His company was called Cadillac Wheels, and the invention sparked new interest in skateboarding among surfers and other young people. Skateboarding Evolution In the spring of 1975, skateboarding took an evolutionary boost toward the sport that we see today. In Del Mar, California, a slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival. That day, the Zephyr team showed the world what skateboarding could be. They rode their boards like no one had in the public eye, low and smooth, and skateboarding was taken from being a hobby to something serious and exciting The Zephyr team had many members, but the most famous are Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta. But that was only the first big jump in the evolution of skateboarding.The Zephyr team and all the skaters who wanted to be like them made skateboarding’s image even edgier and added a strong anti-establishment sentiment that still remains in skateboarding today. In 1978, only a few years into the popularity of this new style of low-to-the-ground skateboarding, Alan Gelfand (nicknamed “”Ollie””) invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump. His style was to slam his back foot down on the tail of his board and jump, thereby popping himself and the board into the air. The ollie was born, a trick that completely revolutionized skateboarding—most tricks today are based in performing an ollie. The trick still bears his name, and Gelfand was inducted into the skateboard hall of fame in 2002. Second Crash As the ’70s closed, skateboarding faced its second crash in popularity. Public skate parks had been built, but with skateboarding being such a dangerous activity, insurance rates got out of control. This, combined with fewer people coming to skateparks, forced many to close. But skaters kept skating. Through the ’80s skateboarders started to built their own ramps at home and to skate whatever else they could find. Skateboarding began to be more of an underground movement, with skaters continuing to ride, but they made the whole world into their skatepark. During the ’80s, smaller skateboard companies owned by skateboarders started cropping up. This enabled each company to be creative and do whatever it wanted, and new styles and shapes of boards were tried. By the early ’90s, skateboarding had moved nearly entirely to a street sport. It’s popularity waxed and waned, and during an upswing in the ’90s it came with a more raw, edgy and dangerous attitude. This coincides with the rise of more angry punk music and a general mood of discontent. The image of the poor, angry skater punk came to the surface loud and proud. Interestingly, this only helped to fuel skateboarding’s popularity. Extreme Games In 1995, ESPN held its first Extreme Games in Rhode Island. These first X Games were a huge success and helped pull skateboarding closer to the mainstream and closer to being accepted by the general population. In 1997 the first Winter X Games were held, and “”Extreme Sports”” were classified. Into the Mainstream Since 2000, attention in the media and products like skateboarding video games, children’s skateboards and commercialization have all pulled skateboarding more and more into the mainstream. With more money being put into skateboarding, there are more skateparks, better skateboards and more skateboarding companies to keep innovating and inventing new things. One benefit of skateboarding is that it is a very individual activity. There is no right or wrong way to skate. Skateboarding still hasn’t stopped evolving, and skaters are coming up with new tricks all the time. Boards are also continuing to evolve as companies try to make them lighter and stronger or improve their performance. Skateboarding has always been about personal discovery and pushing yourself to the limit, but where will skateboarding go from here? Wherever skaters continue to take it. The Z-Boys: The Skateboarding Pioneers of Dogtown The Top 10 Skateboard Movies The Beginner’s Guide to Skateboarding Who Invented Skateboards? Top 10 Skateboard iPhone Apps This History of X Games Basic Skateboarding Tricks How to Ollie on a Skateboard Why Is Skateboarding so Popular Worldwide? Why You Need to Wear a Skateboard Helmet Choosing a Skateboard for Your Kids Freestyle Slalom Skates Off-Road and All-Terrain Skating Flowboard Complete Review (32″”, 36″”, 42″”) Are Cheap Skateboards Okay to Buy and Ride? 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“Menu Search Close Menu Skate News History of Skateboarding: 8 Fascinating Facts — 2021 Edition July 9, 20216 Mins read9.8k Views Andre Aquino shares Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn WhatsApp Gmail If you want to get into skateboarding, you’ll want to know where it’s headed. Skateboarding lessons are fun, but no one wants a declining (or illegal!) hobby (more on that later).
To understand skateboarding’s future, we need to look at its past.
Skateboarding has a rich history. Here, GOSKATE wants to honor all the ups and downs. Here let’s highlight some of the key events and people that made skateboarding what it is today.
After reading, you’ll come away with more knowledge about things like:
How skateboarding started.The names of a few skateboarding trail-blazers and their contributions.Some common skateboarding tricks, like the famous ollie.Now, let’s dive in and see how wild this sport’s history was. Because it is a sport, in my humble opinion. Decades of debate regarding this may finally be coming to a close, as you will see by the end of this article. 1. Skateboarding began with California surfers and surf shops. Surfing was especially popular back in the 1950’s, particularly in California. But the waves weren’t always great, and surfers wanted to stay busy even when the tides were low.
Originally imagined as a way for surfers to keep their skills sharp even on land, the first manufactured skateboards were made by a Los Angeles surf shop. The shop’s owner, Bill Richard, attached sets of skate wheels directly to wooden boards.
That’s right, skateboarding came from surfing.
The popularity of these early skateboards exploded. The way that surfers used them closely resembled actual surfing. Many didn’t even wear shoes, like with actual surfing.
It’s no surprise that early skateboarding was called “sidewalk surfing”, huh? Early skateboarders didn’t need skateboarding lessons. They already knew how to skate from their time as surfers. 2. How polyurethane kicked off a new era of skateboard tricks. Old Skateboard with Clay Wheels Skateboard wheels evolved from clay and metal to synthetic materials.
Though skateboarding was wildly popular in the 50’s and 60’s, it had a serious problem: metal and clay wheels broke easily, endangering the mostly-barefoot original skateboarders.
Thankfully, the development of polyurethane for the wheels allowed better maneuverability and speed. This new material was also much more durable and greatly reduced accidents caused by broken wheels.
The inclusion of the kicktail, the raised back part of the board, then allowed a new generation of skateboarders to develop entirely new techniques.
The surging popularity of the new and improved skateboards encouraged young people all over the country to push their tricks to the limit.
Today, skaters continue to skate on polyurethane wheels. 3. The origins of the ollie, the key to all skateboarding tricks. A young Alan “Ollie” Gelfand demonstrating an early form of the famous ollie. The trick we know today started off as no-handed aerials done at the edges of skating bowls and pools. Of all the tricks created since the sport was born, it was the ollie that really revolutionized skateboarding.
Alan “Ollie” Gelfand invented the ollie in 1978 when he practiced no-handed aerials in bowls and pools in Hollywood’s skate park, Skateboard USA. Scott Goodman, another Hollywood skateboarder, witnessed Gelfand’s aerial maneuvers and gave him his nickname.
Gelfand loved skateboarding and took every opportunity to show it.
We can list only a few of his greatest contributions below:
Helped found the Bones Brigade skateboarding team. Many famous skateboarders would join throughout the years, including the legendary Tony Hawk.Helped transform vert, freestyle, and street skateboarding using his signature technique.Built a near-perfect skating bowl called Olliewood in Hollywood, California.Now there’s a man who loves skateboarding! Gelfand was also a master of many other skateboarding tricks. With enough practice, you can be one, too. Check out GOSKATE’s article for five easy tricks, besides the ollie, you can start working on today. 4. Patti McGee —The first female pro and the fastest woman to ever use a skateboard. Patti McGee’s signed copy of her LIFE magazine, held at the Smithsonian Museum. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian. There are lots of iconic skateboarders, not least of which is Patti McGee. This rowdy young lady was the first ever woman in professional skateboarding.
Patti was also the fastest woman ever to use a skateboard professionally. In the 1964 Dick Clark’s World Teen Fair held in California, she reached a whopping speed of 47 miles per hour. Yes, teen’s fair. She was only 19 at the time!
Patti was a speed freak. She didn’t just go fast on the board, but through life, too.
Following her success, Patti quickly went to work for the surf and sailing entrepreneur Hobart Alter. She traveled the country and showed off the Hobie skateboard. Patti’s fame would earn her time on national television on both The Johnny Carson Show and What’s My Line?
She was also featured in the 1965 edition of the Lifemagazine. She was the first woman on the cover of Skateboarder Magazine, and in 2010 she was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Patti is an icon in skateboarding and paved the way for women all over the world. 5. The skate park purge of the 1980’s almost killed vert skateboarding. The 1980’s saw a fall in popularity for skateboarding. The huge popularity of the sport started to wane, partly because of all the injuries common to skateboarding.
This caused many skate parks to close and made vert skateboarding a rare sight.
Thankfully, skateboarders took the sport elsewhere. Street skateboarding, the sport’s original form, came back in style. Equipped with technological advancements, the new generation of skateboarders took the world by storm.
In short, the 1980’s was a time of transformation and innovation for skateboarding. So, where did they go skating if not in parks? Everywhere! Up to and including:
CurbsStairs (the more steps, the more thrills)HandrailsParking lotsAll these new environments would then birth many new genres and styles of skateboarding, such as the aptly named park skateboarding and freestyle skateboarding.
This became Street Skateboarding, as we know it today – An Olympic Event! 6. “A Public Menace” — Norway’s 11-Year Crackdown on Skateboarding. The ollie became famous in 1978. It was in that same year that skateboarding made its way across the ocean to Norway.
But along with the excitement came news of the injuries skateboarders suffered. The Norwegian government took action. The sale, use, and even advertisement of skateboards became illegal.
Skateboarding, and those who practiced it, was declared a public menace.
The Norwegian authorities implemented stiff penalties and laws against skateboarding.
Naturally, this didn’t actually stop skateboarders. People smuggled in boards from Germany. Ramps were built inside forests, out of sight of the police.
For nine painful years, Norwegians had to skateboard in secret.
It wasn’t until 1989 that the sport was finally decriminalized. Almost overnight, thousands of skateboarders across the country took to the streets in celebration. Imagine the celebrations! 7. Skateboards were considered for use as a tactical device in the United States military. In 1990’s, the US Military considered the combat applications of skateboards. Seriously. Lance Cpl. Chad Codwell of Baltimore, Maryland, with Charlie Company 1st Battalion 5th Marines. Skateboarding lessons and classes taught the usage of experimental combat skateboards. These were used for moving inside buildings in order to detect tripwires and sniper fire in direct support of Urban Warrior ’99. When people think of the American military, most would imagine a highly advanced fighting force supported by the largest arsenal of weapons in the world.
Few would believe that the World’s most powerful military once considered using skateboards for combat scenarios.
But that was exactly what happened in the 1990’s.
The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory developed the combat skateboard to help American troops move around in urban environments.
These boards were used in the Urban Warrior 99 program to safely detect tripwires and other traps inside buildings. They were also used to draw sniper fire!
While the initiative had mixed results, the marines were able to design new protective equipment more suited to urban combat zones thanks to their experimentation with the humble skateboard. The trial was eventually abandoned. 8. Skateboarding finally becomes an Olympic sport. Skateboarding gains international recognition in the Olympics.
As you can see, skateboarding has had its fair share of ups and downs over the decades. Now, it is bigger and better than ever before.
It even has a whole day dedicated to it. Check out all you need to know about Go Skateboarding day here.
But the true highlight of skateboarding’s triumph is in its inclusion in the Olympics. After so many decades, it’s about time! The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will push through this year, and skateboarding will make its debut. After all the challenges of the pandemic, the Tokyo 2021 Olympics are finally scheduled to take place. Skateboarding will make its debut in the largest sporting competition in the world.
GOSKATE is thrilled and will be watching eagerly when the Olympics finally come around. Make sure to check out everything you need to know about Olympic skateboarding in our dedicated article. A Bright Future for SkateboardingNow that you’ve learned more about the history of skateboarding, you’re all set to appreciate the even better days soon to come.
Skateboarding won’t be the same after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and we at GOSKATE can’t wait to see how things develop.
Get The Latest Skateboard NewsAs always, we invite you to stay connected with GOSKATE by following us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest skateboard news and tricktips.
Ready To Skateboard Like a Pro?Feel free to contact us so we can help you foster you or your loved one’s skateboarding enthusiasm with our comprehensive GOSKATE classes!
We can’t wait to help you out. Our instructors will always be there to hold your and provide you skateboarding lessons that will make you feel like a pro. skateboarding factsskateboarding history Previous post Free Skateboard Size Calculator Next post Is Camp Woodward Worth The Cost? shares Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest LinkedIn Gmail Andre Aquino Andre Aquino has always been interested in writing. Ever since obtaining his BFA in Creative Writing in 2018, he has passionately sought out new topics to learn about and share with others. He is also passionate about skateboarding in his free time. Follow him on Twitter to check out his most recent work.”” Related Articles Olympic Skateboarding – Schedule, Teams, Athletes, Favorites and More [Paris Olympics 2024] Zane FoleyJuly 28, 2023 Skateboarding in New York City – Skateparks, Schools, and Much More Zane FoleyJuly 12, 2023 Skateboarding Games for iOS, Android and Consoles Mimi LandströmJune 15, 2023 San Diego Skate Parks, Shops and Skateboard SchoolsMay 3, 2023How To Travel With Your SkateboardJune 9, 2023How to Skateboard with ConfidenceJanuary 15, 2022 Categories How To – Tricks11How to Skateboard40Skate News50 Today Stories Skateboarding in New York City – Skateparks, Schools, and Much More
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Intro Skateboarding is more than just cruising around. Skateboarding is a lifestyle. Skateboarding is love. Over the past 60 years Skateboarding went through a kind of evolution. The main points of the story we clarified for you in our skateboarding history: Content The 1950s The 1960s The 1970s The 1980s From the 1990s The 1950s The 1950s By the early 1950s, surfing can be traced as the source of skateboarding. Some surfers had the idea to transfer the feeling of riding waves onto the streets to defy times of days with a gentle swell. Not without any reason these dudes were called “asphalt surfers”. At two spots in the world a kind of a skateboard was developed at the first time in the early 1950s: California and Hawaii. They used shorter surfboards and wheels made out of metal without some bearings. In the late 1950s, skateboarding had a first peak. During the post-war period, the U.S. economy boomed and this also affected the toy industry. During that time, the toy industry became aware of the board with wheels. In 1959, Roller Derby released the first official skateboard with some new technical developments. Thereby, the handling characteristics have been improved. For this reason, skateboarders were able to develop new tricks and maneuvers. The 1960s The 1960s Between the years 1959 and 1965, skateboarding became more and more popular in the United States. Particularly affected were the states on the east and west coasts. Due to the industrial development, the skateboard’s status changed from toy to sports equipment. In 1962, the surf shop “Val-Surf” in Hollywood sold the first self-produced skateboards. These boards featured a typical surfboard shape and roller skate trucks and were sold as complete boards. In the same year, the company Patterson Forbes developed the first industrially produced complete boards with more developed trucks. In 1963, the publisher of the “Surf Guide Magazine” Larry Stevenson released the first advertisement for skateboards in his magazine. Also the clothing industry specialized more and more on skateboarding. One of the most famous skateboarding shoe brand named Vans was established in 1966. From this day on, Vans supported skateboarders from all over the world. Especially shoe companies like Vans, Etnies, Converse and DC Shoes developed and manufactured skateboarding related footwear and streetwear. Another landmark event in 1963 was the first skate contest in Hermosa Beach, California. Skateboarding was not just cruising anymore. Skateboarders showed their skills in different disciplines like slalom or freestyle and companies started to assemble a team to sponsor the riders. As the popularity of skateboarding began to expand, the first skateboarding magazine “The Quarterly Skateboarder” was published in 1964. A next big step was the further development of the shape of the boards. Larry Stevenson invented the “kicktail“, and with it came a lot more possibilities to ride a skateboard. The 1970s The 1970s The only consistent thing is change and so it came to a point where everything changed for skateboarding. Frank Nasworthy’s invention of urethane wheels in 1972 made it possible for skateboarding to come back. Nasworthy started the company Cadillac Wheels and with the new material it was possible to ride smoother, faster and more comfortable. A variety of disciplines such as freestyle, downhill and slalom experienced a real high point. New magazines like the “Skateboarder Magazine” from 1975 were published and new events were launched. In 1976, the first artificially created skate park was inaugurated and new parks emerged with new elements such as vertical ramps and kickers. In the mid-1970s, skateboarding reached Germany. The American soldiers brought the trend with them and by 1976 Munich became the first German skateboard center. In Munich Neuperlach, the first skate park was built, first skateboard magazines followed and in 1978 the first German skateboard championships were held in Munich. All the different riders with their individual styles enhanced lots of new tricks. Therefore, skateboarding hardware was developed further and further: Shapes changed, boards became wider, got more concave and they featured nose and tail. Then in 1978, Alan Gelfand invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump: The “Ollie”, which counts as the greatest trick ever invented and completely revolutionized skateboarding. That was the birth of street skateboarding! The 1980s The 1980s Rodney Mullen was one of the first riders who transferred the Ollie for different maneuvers onto the streets and spread a new style of skateboarding. Next to other fun sport activities like BMX or inline skating, street skateboarding developed more and more and became very popular. In 1981, the “Thrasher Magazine” was founded and since then, this magazine stands for street skateboarding, the core scene, punk rock and the lifestyle slogan “Skate And Destroy”. In 1983, another well-known magazine was founded, namely the “Transworld Skateboarding Magazine”. Next to these magazines, a few smaller ones were founded and more skate shops opened. Because of this, the popularity of skateboarding continued to grow. A global dissemination of new tricks and unseen skate maneuvers allowed the first skate videos on VHS. Videography has become increasingly important to the scene. Titus Dittmann was instrumental in the development of skateboarding in Germany. He imported skate-related products from the US and organized contests and various skateboarding events. The “Münster Monster Mastership” became one of the biggest international skateboarding competitions in the 1980s. For that reason, skateboarding became more and more famous in Germany. From the mid-1980s on, it was possible to earn good money as a professional skateboarder and the skateboard industry boomed in the US. In the late 1980s, companies like Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz and Vision dominated the international market of the scene. The fashion was mainly determined by shoes. Shoes by Vans, Converse or Vision became flagships for the skateboarding scene. Skateboarding was now absolutely established the US and in Germany and vert skateboarding was replaced by street skateboarding. The number of skateboarders increased significantly and professional skateboarders became more and more famous just like baseball or football stars. From the 1990s From the 1990s to now In the early 1990s, skateboarding went through a further depth phase due to the increase in various trend sports. So skateboarding went back to its roots. But because of the digitalization, skateboarding maintained its presence in public. From the mid-1990s, the modern skateboarding experienced a next high phase, which continues until today. Mega events like the “X-Games” were launched and televised. Due to numerous magazines, all the events, videos and last but not least the internet, skateboarding became common worldwide. Because of brands like Chocolate, Girl Skateboards or Flip Skateboards, the skateboarding hardware was developed more and more and skateboarders could buy high-quality skateboards in every bigger city. More indicators are the big and worldwide known events of “Street League”. “Street League Skateboarding” is a contest series for international pro skaters. Here, you only see the best street skateboarder you can think of like Nyjah Huston, Eric Koston, Paul Rodriguez, Andrew Reynolds, Ryan Sheckler or Torey Pudwill. Due to the cash prizes of 200.000 US Dollars or more for the winner and 10.000 visitors at the “Street League” stops, skateboarding has become a professional sport. In Germany, street skating is the most popular discipline at contests just like in the USA. The European and German skate scene is independent, has its own industry, pros and a national contest series. This is an evidence of how big the role of skateboarding is in our society. Skateboarding has become a job for a lot of people. Because of the increasing networking inside the skate scene, skateboarding will grow and bring more innovations in the future. But for the most of us, skateboarding is and will be a hobby and an attitude to life. The only thing we have left to say is: Thank you skateboarding! Go skate! Check out the skateboard hardgoods! Do you dig the 80s? Check out the oldskool & shaped decks! Need help choosing your deck? Check out our skateboard-configurator! SOCIAL MEDIA All About… skatedeluxe Wiki skatedeluxe Trick Tips Everything about Skate Shoes Skate Shoe Technologies
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The Long History Of Skateboarding Explained Evening Standard/Getty Images By Frank F./July 15, 2021 7:42 pm EST Many of the most prominent modern sports are rooted in rules and tradition. They have painted lines and boundaries, referees, rules that can be broken. But skateboarding is another matter entirely, built on breaking rules and making new ones, on taking risks and rolling outside the lines. It’s more about community than competition. And many say it isn’t a sport at all. Skateboarding is highly adaptable to individual needs, mindsets, and skill levels. To some, it’s an extreme sport; to others, it’s simply another method of transportation. But more than anything, skateboarding has become a way of life. What began as an underground activity took to the streets and became a cultural phenomenon with growing mainstream appeal (for better or worse). It has infiltrated various forms of art, including video games, film, fashion, and music. The evolution of skateboarding has followed a nonlinear path and gone through periods of decline, but the sport (or hobby, or lifestyle) has ultimately zigzagged uphill. Skateboarding has its roots in roller-skating, surfing, and scootering Shutterstock In California and Hawaii in the early 1950s, surfers began attaching wheels to short surfboards and riding them through the palm tree-lined streets. According to Skate Deluxe, these innovative surfer dudes were deemed “asphalt surfers.” Some see so-called asphalt surfing as the genesis of skateboarding. Others trace skateboarding back a few more decades, to the similarly D.I.Y. kick scooters. According to Ben Marcus’ “The Skateboard: The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly: An Illustrated History,” kick scooters were often made out of pieces of wood or metal with wheels attached. Riders controlled the contraption via their back foot, while keeping their front foot onboard. The first known scooter patent dates back to 1921. Going back even further, scooters evolved from roller skates, which date back to the late 18th century. By the late 20st century, skateboarding innovations such as polyurethane wheels (more on that later) were in turn influencing and enhancing the world of roller skating, per The New Yorker. Skateboards began as postwar toys Keystone/Getty Images During World War II, fun in America required a certain amount of resourcefulness. According to the Museum of Play, one manifestation of this was in children making scooters out of milk crates and fruit boxes with roller-skate wheels attached. Some kids would remove the front boxes, which served as makeshift handlebars for grip, and end up just skating with the bottom boxes-on-wheels. (Marty McFly’s wooden skateboard in 1985’s “Back to the Future” was a similar contraption.) Once the war ended, shiny new toys appeared back on the market. In 1953, a company called Roller Derby opened its factory in La Miranda, California. In 1957, the company launched the first booted, outdoor “Street King” roller skates, per Ben Marcus’ “The Skateboard: The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly: An Illustrated History.” Street King skates became the best-selling roller skates of all time. In 1959, Roller Derby released the world’s first mass-produced skateboard, which were first sold in nationwide roller derby links before making it into the Sears mail-order catalog. 1960s developments added to the athleticism of skateboarding Keystone/Getty Images In the 1960s, skateboards shifted from simple toys to versatile sporting equipment. In 1965, Life magazine described skateboarding as “the most exhilarating and dangerous joyriding device this side of the hot rod,” adding, “A two-foot piece of wood or plastic mounted on wheels, it yields to the skillful user the excitements of skiing or surfing. To the unskilled it gives the effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs. It is also a menace to limb and even to life.” Various factors contributed to this shift. According to Skate Deluxe, the first skateboarding contest was held in Hermosa Beach, California, in 1963. Skaters began to experiment with new styles of riding, which was made even more possible by Larry Stevens’ invention of the “kicktail,” or the upturned ends of a skateboard. Companies began sponsoring skateboarders like any other athletes. The first skateboarding-focused magazine, “The Quarterly Skateboarder,” was published in 1964. Another pivotal event was the establishment of the Vans shoe company, as noted by SI. On May 16, 1966, the company began selling rubber-soled shoes in Anaheim, California. By the early 1970s, Vans were widely considered to be the ultimate skateboarding shoe. The invention of urethane wheels in 1972 changed skateboarding Shutterstock In 1972, Frank Nasworthy invented polyurethane wheels and changed skateboarding forever. Produced by his company Cadillac Wheels, the urethane was highly durable and made turning on a skateboard much smoother than with the clay and steel wheels that came before, per Museum of Play. According to Sh*tMag, Nasworthy grew inspired to try alternative wheel materials after observing kids trying to skate in empty pools. He noted the smoothness of polyurethane and invested $700 he made while working in a restaurant into the Cadillac Wheels Company. At the time, skateboarding was experiencing its first major lull. Many thought it had been a passing fad. So Nasworthy used surf-focused avenues to showcase his wares, selling the new wheels in surf shops and advertising in surf magazines. By 1975, Nasworthy was selling 300,000 sets of polyurethane wheels each year. Another significant 1970s development, likely aided by polyurethane wheels, was the rise of the “ollie.” According to Skate Deluxe, Alan Gelfand came up with the maneuver, which is essentially a hands-free leap into the air on a skateboard, in 1978. The trick gave rise to the street skating that would dominate the decades to come. Zephyr skateboarders took skateboarding to the next level as a subculture Shutterstock In 1972, the same year Frank Nasworthy invented urethane wheels, another pivotal element of skateboarding history was born: The Zephyr Surf Team. According to The Culture Trip, the team arose out of a local surf shop that year, and its members were known for surfing through the industrial scraps that littered the area. On the west side of Los Angeles stood a decaying pier called Pacific Ocean Park, locally known as POP Pier. When the rebellious Zephyr surfer kids weren’t catching waves, they were skateboarding through the area’s surrounding streets. The group’s members included Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Jim Muir, and a pioneering woman named Peggy Oki. In the early 1970s, a drought hit southern California, drying up swimming pools for miles. The Zephyr group began skateboarding in the empty pools, ultimately creating the “vert style” of skateboarding, which was later adopted by skateboarders like Tony Hawk. The Zephyr group, which became known as the Z-Boys, amplified street skating as a counterculture phenomenon. “Our only crime was being original and we are Possessed To Skate after all these years,” reads Dogtown Skateboards’ about page. The Zephyr story was shared on the big screen by the 2001 documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and the 2005 drama movie “Lords of Dogtown.” Safety concerns have plagued skateboarding Shutterstock By the 1970s, skateparks had become commonplace across the United States. The parks of the time were vast landscapes of concrete. According to Live About, the insurance policies on skateparks were astronomical due to the risk factors involved and the fact that most parks were privately owned. As a result, safety gear was enforced on skatepark premises. Prior to the ’70s, skaters had no choice but to use protective gear that was intended for other sports, such as basketball and hockey, per Transworld. But the spread of skateparks brought about skateboarding-specific gear. In 1977, Mike Rector invented the Rector pad, a plastic-capped safety pad that allowed skaters to knee-slide without any gory aftermath. “Knee-sliding had a huge impact on the industry and was the reason skaters wore pads,” Rector said. “Instead of wearing pads in case you fell, skaters were wearing pads so they were able to fall to their knees and slide out unhurt.” By the end of the decade, liability issues and intense insurance policies caused many skateparks to close, bringing skateboarding to the streets. Safety gear was less necessary when it came to street skating, so many skateboarders put their kneepads aside. Today, the potential for skateboarding injuries remains high, but popular magazines and videos usually show skateboarders sans safety gear. Major skateboarding magazines began in the 1980s Shutterstock With the rise of street skating by the 1980s, skateboarding transcended the realms of games and sports and entered the realms of culture and a lifestyle. In January 1981, a group of skateboarders in San Francisco, California, created Thrasher magazine. The magazine is now, according to its website, the longest-running and best-selling skateboarding magazine of all time. At the beginning of summer of 1983, came Volume 1, No. 1 of Transworld Skateboarding Magazine. While Thrasher was a counterculture publication with a penchant for sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, Transworld was a more kid-friendly take on the skate ‘zine. “They were pretty harsh, sex and drugs and using four-letter words and all that and in the early ’80s, the sport started growing and [Thrasher] wasn’t the best magazine for young kids,” co-founder Larry Balma told the Union-Tribune in 2003 (via Smithsonian). In contrast to Thrasher’s “skate and destroy,” Transworld’s motto was “skate and create.” The 1995 Extreme Games amplified skateboarding as a sport Jamie Squire/Getty Images In 1995, ESPN executives launched The Extreme Games. The games were designed to cater to the emerging batch of athletes and sports fans who were edgy daredevils rather than football bros. According to the official X Games website, the first event was held in Newport, Rhode Island in the summer of ’95. It showcased BMX, bungee jumping, skateboarding, and beyond. According to Time, the event reportedly cost $10 million and drew 200,000 spectators. The Extreme Games — which later became known as The X Games — grew exponentially from there. After the first year of Extreme Games, a USA Today columnist dubbed the sporting event the “Look Ma, No Hands Olympics,” adding, “Apparently — and it’s possible I’m misinterpreting a cultural trend here — if you strap your best friend to the hood of a ’72 Ford Falcon, drive it over a cliff, juggle three babies and a chainsaw on the way down and land safely while performing a handstand, they’ll tape it, show it and call it a new sport” (via Time). Still, this new — if a little unorthodox — ESPN event made skateboarding more visible and commercial. It brought money and mainstream cred into skateboarding and helped make way for the sport as a profession. Today, skateboarding influences the movie world… Shutterstock In the early days of pop skateboarding, Stacy Peralta, an original member of the Zephyr Skate Crew, shot films of “vert” skate competitions on professional video equipment. According to Premium Beat, Peralta’s videos were released on VHS tapes with the title “The Bones Brigade Video Show.” But skateboarding film as we now know it came along later, with the invention of the handheld camcorder. With their first video, 1988’s “Shackle Me Not,” a skate collective called H-Street pioneered the modern skate video aesthetic: lo-fi and D.I.Y. elements, fisheye lenses, clips of skaters showing their personalities between tricks. Before long, skate filmography was leaking into Hollywood. Skate films were already out there, including the Oscar-nominated 1965 short film “Skaterdater.” The iconic skateboarding scene in 1985’s “Back to the Future” inspired a generation of skaters, including Patrick O’Dell, who later created the Viceland skateboarding documentary series “Epicly Later’d,” per The Ringer. But things took off further in the post-skate-video world of the 1990s. Spike Jonze, who is now known for directing movies like “Being John Malkovich” and “Her,” got his start in the skateboarding world. Perhaps the most impactful skateboarding movie — which isn’t really about skateboarding at all — is Larry Clark’s “Kids.” The 1995 cult classic featured a cast of real-life skate kids and was written by the then-teenaged-skateboarder Harmony Korine. And it reflected back at the skate world the grungy, handmade aesthetic originally cultivated by skate videographers. … the music world … Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images In the summer of 1964, rock duo Jan and Dean performed the song “Sidewalk Surfin'” on Dick Clark’s TV show “American Bandstand.” According to the Museum of Play, the performance helped further amplify skateboarding in mainstream American culture. The song was written by Brian Wilson, founder of the ultimate surf band the Beach Boys, and featured lyrics like, “Grab your board and go sidewalk surfin’ with me/Don’t be afraid to try the newest sport around” (via Genius). The next few decades saw the rise of punk bands who released albums laden with teen angst and anti-authority messaging — a natural pairing with skate culture. Following the foundations laid down by bands like Bad Religion, skate culture became significantly intertwined with punk rock as the 1990s became the 2000s. Blink-182 achieved astronomical success with their late-90s and early-00s skate punk records, and Avril Lavigne released the on-the-nose single “Sk8er Boi” in 2002. Starting in 1995, the skate shoe brand Vans sponsored a music festival that became known as The Vans Warped Tour and focused on punk rock. Today, the skate torch is carried by genre-spanning musicians from Mac DeMarco to Tyler, The Creator. …and even the world of high fashion Jp Yim/Getty Images In 2016, Dior Homme showcased its Fall/Winter collection on a runway surrounded by skateboarding ramps and half-pipes. Six months later, Vogue published a series of articles and editorials as part of its “Skate Week,” which drew cringes and mockery from the skateboarding world, as noted by Complex. The seeping of skateboarding into the mainstream fashion world began five years earlier, with the 2011 collaboration between streetwear brand Supreme and skate magazine Thrasher, according to Andrew Luecke, co-author of the book “COOL: Style, Sound, and Subversion.” According to skateboarding magazine Jenkem, Supreme was “the fashion world’s gateway drug into skateboarding.” The brand began as a small skate shop on the Lower East Side and is now a phenomenon that was worth close to $40 million by 2017, per Esquire. Shortly after the collaboration debuted, celebrities like Rihanna and Justin Bieber were wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Thrasher’s flaming logo. Vogue deemed Thrasher t-shirts “every cool model’s off-duty staple.” The issue, according to Jenkem, is that it’s high-fashion designers and fast-fashion corporations who are profiting from the trendiness of skateboarding, rather than actual skate brands. “Skaters…they’ve historically been outcasts,” skate-fashion businessman Brendon Babenzien told Esquire. “One day you’re an outcast and the next day everybody wants to wear the clothes you’re into and lay claim to it? You’re going to be a little annoyed by that.” In 2021, Team USA assembled its first-ever Olympic skateboarding team Ronald Martinez/Getty Images On June 21, 2021, Go Skateboarding Day, USA Skateboarding announced that an official US skateboarding team would compete in the delayed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, per Forbes. It’s the first year skateboarding will have been included as an Olympic sport. The 12-person team included three men and three women in each of the two categories, park skating and street skating. Still, the historic announcement drew some criticism from the skateboarding community — including those who are on the Olympic team themselves. “There is this, like, sportification of skateboarding happening, but skateboarding itself is not a sport,” women’s street skater Alexis Sablone said on HBO’s “Real Sports” in June 2021. “The best part of skateboarding is about style and counterculture and we don’t play by the rules. It’s like, ‘I’m going to make this up and do it my own way.’ That’s what I love about skateboarding.” Even Tony Hawk, who was announced as a Tokyo Summer Games correspondent in July 2021, said he was ambivalent during a March 2021 interview with Yahoo Finance. “You know, I have a bit of a mixed feeling, obviously, about the Olympics because I feel like we were never looking for their validation,” he said. “And if anything, they need our cool factor for their summer games to bring in a younger viewership … But at the same time, I see the benefits of it. And I’m excited that these places where people have been discouraged from skating will now be embraced for it.” Recommended
“Skip to Content Time for something different. I needed to brush up on my skateboarding knowledge and decided to research some skateboarding statistics and facts. In general, the skateboarding industry has a positive outlook and is starting to grow again after years of decline. Popsicles are the most popular skateboards and longboarding is the fastest grower. I’m sure that you know of a few facts yourself, so let’s test your knowledge! Contents
1. The First Skateboard Ever2. The First Skateboard Wheels3. The First Ollie4. Surfers Didn’t Invent Skateboarding5. The most Expensive Skateboard6. Skateboarding is Not That Dangerous7. The Most Popular Type of Skateboard8. First Skateboarding Video Documentary9. The Price of a Skateboard Deck Hasn’t Increased in 30 Years10. Size of the U.S. Skateboard Market11. Richest Skateboarders in the World12. The Town with the Most Skateboard Parks Per Resident13. The Strongest Skateboard in the World14. The Largest Skatepark in the World15. The Biggest Spin16. Highest Air on a Skateboard Ever17. Highest Ollie18. Common Skateboard Injuries19. Skateboarding Is Getting More Popular20. 23.9% of all Skaters are Female21. Fastest Skateboarder Speed Record22. Skateboarding > Longboarding23. Pro Skaters and Earnings24. Skateboarding is a $1,94 Billion Market25. First Skateboard Magazine26. Graphics Sell27. Skateboards Were Used by the U.S. Army 28. Number of Skateboarders in the U.S.29. Average Spending per Child30. Zumiez is the Biggest Skate Store31. First Skateboard Brand32. Skaters Used to Ride Barefoot33. Over 3500 Skateparks Worldwide34. 85 million Skateboarders Worldwide35. The Skate Park Project Has Built over 652 Skate Parks36. Elissa Steamer Was the First Female Pro Skater37. Local Skateboard Shops Are Going out of Business38. Most Popular Skateboard Video Game39. First Skatepark Ever40. First Halfpipe41. Only 40% of Skateboarders wear protective gear42. Longest Official Grind43. Most Stairs Ollied44. First Skateboard Shoe45. The Pioneer of Skateboarderding46. First Fish-eye Lens47. Tas Pappas > Tony hawk48. Largest Monetary Prize49. North America is the Largest Skateboard Supplier50. Skateparks Boost Local Economies51. Skaters are Getting Older52. A New Golden Age53. Longboarding is Growing Fast54. Number of Skateboarder In the UK55. Skateboarding Popularity on TikTok56. The First Skateboarders Were Called Sidewalk Surfers57. Where does skateboarding style come from?58. Vans Sold Single Skate Shoes59. 60% of skateboarders are under 1560. Most Popular Grip tape61. Skateboarding is sixth most popular sport in the world62. Street Skateboarding Accounts for 63%63. 800,000 skateboarders go to the doctor Each year64. 8 Million People own a skateboard in the US65. The First Skateboard Graphics66. Rodney Mullen invented the kickflip66. teenagers account for 44.1% of Skateboarding Related Revenue67. Skateboarding Popularity the US68. Bowl Skateboarding Was Introduced Due To A Great Drought69. In 2021 skateboarding Became an Olympic Sport70. There’s no complete list of Skateboard Tricks71. The Longest OllieThat’s it!
1. The First Skateboard Ever Though officially skateboards first appeared in the 1940s, people report seeing skateboards even earlier. It’s hard to say when the first skateboard appeared exactly and it’s likely that a number of people came up with the idea around the same time. There are skateboard-like devices going back as far as the early 1920s. One of the first was a 3 wheeled metal device to practice skiing. They came in pairs with a set of poles and an adjustable heel cup. Later in the 1930s, the ‘Scooter Skate’ was introduced. This metal rocket ship-shaped board could be used with or without a handle, had 3 metal wheels but no ability to steer. In the 30s, 40s, and 50s ‘sidewalk surfers’ started bombing the hills with inferior equipment. In the ’30s and ’40s, kids used handmade crate scooters using a milk crate or wooden fruit box with metal roller skate wheels attached. After a while kids removed the crates and the first skateboard was born. Roller Derby Skate Company was the first to mass-produce skateboards in 1959, which could be considered the first official mass-produced skateboard. 2. The First Skateboard Wheels Skateboard wheels have gone a lot of changes since the early 1900s. Kids used to take roller skate wheels and attached them to a wooden plank. Early skateboard wheels were made of steel which didn’t exactly offer a comfortable ride without any traction. It wasn’t until the 70’s when Frank Nasworthy in 1972 introduced the first polyurethane skateboard wheels. 3. The First Ollie The first skateboard trick is attributed to Alan Gelfand and he called this trick an ollie. He was able to get his board into the air in a bowl without touching it. People thought it was trickery when they opened their skateboard magazine. Rodney Mullen adapted it to the street around the same time and amazed people with his flatland ollie. This eventually led to the rise of street skateboarding. 4. Surfers Didn’t Invent Skateboarding Despite popular belief, surfers didn’t invent skateboarding. In fact, surfers only started exploring skateboarding in the ’60s but did help to improve boards rapidly and made it popular. You can say they took it to the next level and contributed to the build of the first skateparks and skateboarding culture. As mentioned in the first fact, skateboarding evolved (according to the Museum of Play) from kids riding milk crates with wheels attached in the ’30s and ’40s. 5. The most Expensive Skateboard The most expensive skateboard is the Louis Vuitton X Supreme skateboard priced at $59.000. Jeffree Star bough one for his boyfriend. They didn’t just break the record, they deck snapped after a few tricks. The second most expensive skateboard, the Supreme Mundi, was sold on eBay for a staggering amount of 20 thousand U.S. dollars. It’s not made of gold and diamonds and doesn’t even look like a skateboard, it’s a bunch of wheels and trucks slapped on an artist’s palette. The Supreme Mundi was created by the British artist Adrian Wilson as a response to the hype culture in the art world. Inspired by the 450 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi and the entire Supreme collection which went for 800K. 6. Skateboarding is Not That Dangerous Skateboarding isn’t that dangerous, you’re way more likely to injure yourself riding a bike or playing basketball. According to Injury fact, over 98,000 skateboarders in the US ended up in the ER in 2017. The number of basketball injuries was over 435,000. To put this in perspective, there are 26 million basketball players and 6 million skateboarders in the US as of this writing. If we do the math this would mean about 1.6% of skaters end up in the ER and 2.07% of people participating in basketball. 7. The Most Popular Type of Skateboard Rejoice! In 2018 50,7% of all skateboard revenue came from popsicle skateboards, making it the most popular type of skateboard. That’s good news because I plan on writing much more about skateboarding. 8. First Skateboarding Video Documentary The very first documentary named ‘The Devil’s Toy’ focused on skateboarding, which can be seen as an artistic film as well. It’s skillfully crafted and sometimes a little unusual. The video style, excellent soundscapes, and its commentary on the ’60s disdain for skateboarding make it a truly unique and artistic piece. Year: 1966 Director: Claude Jutra Duration: 15 minutes 9. The Price of a Skateboard Deck Hasn’t Increased in 30 Years If you think skateboarding is expensive, think again. I remember when skateboard decks cost a small fortune, especially living in Europe. When skateboarding became more mainstream, deck prices dropped and became more affordable. Prices haven’t increased in over 3 decades, there is lots of competition and skate shops are struggling. Update 2021: Recently prices did change a bit. The growing demand and limited supply slightly increase the average price of skateboard decks. 10. Size of the U.S. Skateboard Market Skateboard market value in the United States from 2015 to 2025, by product type (in million U.S. dollars) props to Grand View Research and Statista. YearStreetCruiserLongboardOthers2015268.8111.6104.838.72016273.1110.2105.634.42017270.8112.5105.6392018270.8114.8107.9392019275.4114.8112.536.72020277.7121.6114.8392021286.9119.3117.141.32022296.1126.2117.143.62023303128.5123.943.62024312.1135.4128.545.92025323.6142.3135.448.2 Skateboarding exploded in 2020! 11. Richest Skateboarders in the World The richest skateboarder in the world is Tony Hawk with a net worth estimated between 100 and 120 million dollars. 12. The Town with the Most Skateboard Parks Per Resident Laredo (Texas) has the most skate parks in the world per resident. Data from 2019 shows that there are 268,976 residents in Laredo and 11 skateparks. This means there are 4.1 skate parks per 100.000 residents! Sacramento, CA is second with 3.2 skateparks per 100,000 residents. New York has 26 skateparks and Los Angeles 28. Both are huge cities where LA has over 4 million residents and NY over 8.6 million. 13. The Strongest Skateboard in the World There’s one deck you just can’t wreck. The Lithe Slate 3 is the strongest deck and even the Powell Flight decks are no match. Expensive decks though, but pretty cool. Make sure to check out Lithe Skateboards! 14. The Largest Skatepark in the World China’s skateboarding scene is not as big yet but since 2015 they have two of the biggest skateparks in the world. The GMP Skatepark in Guangzhou is 16,900 square meters (182,000 square feet) of skateboard fun. It’s part of a larger sports complex located next to 10 universities. 15. The Biggest Spin We all know who officially landed the first 900 but it gets even crazier. In 2019, Mitchie Brusco became the first to land a 1260 at a big air contest by X games. Pretty sick if you asked me but he doesn’t look that impressed himself. 16. Highest Air on a Skateboard Ever I remember Danny Way dropping in from a helicopter a long time ago and everybody was talking about it. It’s no surprise he owns the record of the highest air which he pulled off in 2015. Way managed to air 7.772m or 25.49ft! 17. Highest Ollie Aldrin Garcia holds the official record for the highest ollie ever. Garcia ollied 114.3 cm or 3,9ft on 15 February 2011 at the Maloof High Ollie Challenge (Las Vegas, Nevada). The challenge was to ollie over a bar on flat ground without making contact. Even though Jake Hayes & Xavier Alford beat the highest ollie record on February 22, 2018 by ollieng 45,5 inches (115,57 centimeters) but it’s not an official record when looking at Guinness World Records. 18. Common Skateboard Injuries Even though skateboarding isn’t as dangerous as people think, injuries happen. Most of the time injuries involve the wrist, ankle, or face. Fortunately, severe injuries aren’t that common but head traumas (3.1%) are usually the most severe. Most of the injuries are preventable by wearing proper protective gear but not everyone is a fan. Injuries to the legs, neck, arms, and trunk vary from cuts and bruises to sprains, strains, and broken bones. Wrist fractures are quite common, especially when you get older. Other common injuries on the list are a broken nose or jawbone. Please don’t land on your face. 19. Skateboarding Is Getting More Popular Skateboarding died many times but it just won’t stay dead. Skate shops are closing, sales dropped, and many skateboard brands went belly up over the last decade. There are fewer participants in contests over the years and the Google trends data looks pretty depressing when looking at the search popularity. You see a huge drop from 2004 and it keeps going. Fortunately, there is an upward trend and market predictions show a growth of 2.1% for the next 5 years. Skateboarding never really died, even though it isn’t as popular as in the early 2000s, during the pandemic it made a huge comeback. According to market research skateboarding is going to grow in the next five years. A small increase of 2.1% in global revenue for the next five years. The Olympics further boosted popularity and skateboarding is thriving. 20. 23.9% of all Skaters are Female When you ride around your local skate park doing your thing you don’t see many females, at least not where I’m from. According to research from Grandviewresearch, 23.9% of all skateboarders are female however this also includes longboards and cruisers. I for one welcome our female skateboarder overlords and there are some great female skateboarders out there currently! 21. Fastest Skateboarder Speed Record The fastest person on a ‘skateboard’ is Kyle Wester. On August 29th, 2016, Kyle Wester smashed the world record at Rist Canyon, outside of Fort Collins. His top speed was measured at 89.41 mph (that’s 143.89 kmph in science units). That’s enough to get fined for going over the speed limit of most freeways in the US. Of course, he didn’t ride a popsicle skateboard, just imagine the speed wobble. You probably melt your wheels and bearings first and you wouldn’t even be close. 22. Skateboarding > Longboarding According to Google trends, skateboarding is more popular than longboarding, though longboarding is more popular among females. However, longboard sales are growing faster than regular skateboards. One of the reasons for this is college students who buy longboards and cruisers for commuting. Many skateboarders (about 40%) also ride longboards, it’s a completely different way of riding. Remember the hate for extreme skating (or inline skating) back in the early 2000s? Probably not. If you need to hate something, hate scooter kids instead ;). 23. Pro Skaters and Earnings This is a tough one to find out. Salaries vary a lot and it really depends on the type of sponsors and how well you are known. Take it with a grain of salt because I have not been able to confirm the numbers. Most pro skaters don’t make much and the average rate is $1,000 to $10,000 per month, that’s quite a gap. 10k is when you compete in the top and there are only a few that actually earn that much. However, if you can get sponsorship from a big shoe brand you’re settled. Shoe brands are the highest payers. Board sponsors pay between $1,500 and $2,500 a month. wheel companies around $2000 and up and truck companies no more than $250. A full set of sponsors will earn you about 5,000 a month and up, but some get 5k alone from a single sponsor depending on your status and networking skills. There’s also a big difference between pro skaters and amateur pros (ams). Sure $3000 to $5000 sounds great for just doing some stuff on a skateboard, but the toll it takes on your body forces many to retire early. Some get jobs in the industry but most just fade away from the spotlights. If you manage to get multiple sponsors it can be lucrative but only a select few actually get rich. If you plan to become a pro skater, make sure you at least got some plans or ideas what to do once your prime days are over (yeah, whatever dad). 24. Skateboarding is a $1,94 Billion Market In 2018 the global skateboard market size was valued at USD 1,94, this includes regular skateboards, longboards, and cruisers. It’s good to see that demand for skateboards is rising where I live kids even get skateboard lessons in some schools. Another factor that weighs in is the inclination in fitness and the increase in outdoor activities. That’s great news and hopefully, this trend keeps going for a while. 25. First Skateboard Magazine Once skateboarding became more popular the first magazine appeared. “The Quarterly Skateboarder” was the first magazine dedicated to skateboarding and the first issue appeared in 1964. The magazine died in 1965 and only ran four issues as skateboarding got banned citywide due to poor quality materials (like clay and steel wheels). Once Frank Nasworthy started Cadillac Wheels which produced the new polyurethane wheels, skateboards became faster, smoother and more comfortable. With the introduction of this new wheel material, skateboarding became viable again. Surfer Magazine resurrected the magazine as “Skateboarder” in the early ’70s. 26. Graphics Sell I love that feeling of getting a new board with an awesome graphic, it just makes you want to skate. Turns out, graphics play a huge part in sales. Attractive graphics help to increase the interest in riding a skateboard. Skateboard companies follow marketing tactics and use various slogans and keywords that are popular in the market. Rick and Morty decks, for example, are a huge hit. It’s not only marketing, but graphics also help to pay pro skaters and organize contests. Buying a blank won’t really contribute to helping the industry evolve. If you’re ever planning on buying a gift for a skateboarder, make sure it looks appealing. 27. Skateboards Were Used by the U.S. Army In the early ’90s, the U.S. military tested skateboards in urban settings. Skateboards were used to maneuver inside buildings in a program called “Urban Warrior ‘99”. The combat skateboard wasn’t a success and standard knee pads and other protective gear proved to be unsuitable for the marines. 28. Number of Skateboarders in the U.S. In 2017, there were about 6.44 million participants in Skateboarding in the US, 1.4 million are aged between 18 and 24. 29. Average Spending per Child A family spends about 693 U.S. dollars annually per child in one sport. Skateboarding is a lot cheaper, families spent an estimated 390 U.S. dollars each year and 109 consists of buying equipment. Of course, the more often you skate the more expensive skateboarding becomes, quality decks and shoes aren’t exactly cheap and they wear quickly. The cost of skateboarding basically goes up depending on the skills of the skateboarder. 30. Zumiez is the Biggest Skate Store Zumiez is certainly the most hated skate shop among skateboarders but also the biggest. Zumiez operated 707 stores worldwide in 2018 and in 2019 operated 91 stores in California alone. Some older data shows that the average net sales in 2012 were about 1.4 million U.S. dollars. According to the latest SEC filings, Zumiez made $994.7 million in annual revenue in 2018. 31. First Skateboard Brand SoCal Surf Shop was the first skateboard brand producing their own skateboards and trucks. They partnered with Chicago Roller Skate Company for wheels. The longest existing skateboard brand is Santa Cruz. Founded by NHS in 1973. Based on California, it still one of the most popular and best skateboard brands at this time. 32. Skaters Used to Ride Barefoot Skaters used to ride barefoot and it kind of makes sense. In the 60s surfers took over skateboarding to practice when there were no waves. Most surfers surf barefooted so it’s logical to assume they rode their skateboards the same way. Often wax was used to get some grip but spray adhesive was also not uncommon. Many longboarders still ride barefoot, mainly in summer and in warmer countries. The plastic penny board ‘for example’ is meant to ride barefooted. 33. Over 3500 Skateparks Worldwide It’s hard to get the real data here but there is an estimate of over 3500 skateparks worldwide and over 500 in the US alone. 34. 85 million Skateboarders Worldwide Skateboarding is actually one of the more popular ‘sports’ in the US. In 2016 there were about 6.4 million skateboarders in the US and 85 million worldwide. The vast majority is under the age of 18 according to Statista.com This number is probably going to get bigger over the next five years as the industry will continue to grow. 35. The Skate Park Project Has Built over 652 Skate Parks You can’t deny the impact Tony Hawk had (and has) on skateboarding. His foundation The Skate Park Project has built over 652 skateparks and the number is growing. Thanks Tony! 36. Elissa Steamer Was the First Female Pro Skater Speaking about badass. Elissa Steamer can be added to that list. She was the first official female pro skater. Girls are doing great these days and I can’t wait to see how they perform on the upcoming Olympics. Let’s not forget to pay some respect to the old pro skaters like Peggy Oki, Patti McGhee, and Carabeth Burnside. I’m sure I forgot a whole bunch. 37. Local Skateboard Shops Are Going out of Business It’s depressing, despite the ‘support your local skate shop’ mantra, local shops are in bad shape. At this moment sporting good stores only make up for 3.1% of skateboard sales. I wonder how many of these ‘sporting good stores’ are actual skate shops. One rather shocking fact I found was that a store that sells $475,000 in goods, only earns $30,000 in profit. A webshop can make $100,000 per year or more in profit with comparable sales. Let that sink in. 38. Most Popular Skateboard Video Game I didn’t look up any stats about this and going to be completely biased here. The best skateboard video game by far was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, period. Fight me! I wasted a lot of hours on that game (and other substances) and I haven’t been able to get that song out of my head since 2000/2001. ♫ So here I am, doing everything I can ♫… Might want to check out the remastered version, tons of fun! 39. First Skatepark Ever The first skateparks for skateboarding appeared in the early ’60s. They consisted of cement obstacles like empty pools, half pipes, and full pipes. Surf City was the first park that opened in 1965 (Tucson, Arizona). Patti McGee attended the opening on September 3, 1965. 40. First Halfpipe The first halfpipe was built by Tom Stewart in Encinitas, North San Diego County. Tom named it The Rampage but he can’t take all the credit for it. His brother Mike was an architect and designed the blueprints. The idea was based on a 7.3-meter-diameter (24 ft) water pipes Tom used to skate and he was looking for a similar experience in a more convenient place. After being contacted by the media, Tom founded Rampage Inc. and sold the blueprints to various people. If you’re in for nostalgia, check out this slide show at Calstreets.com. These photos were taken by Warren Bolster who was mentioned earlier. 41. Only 40% of Skateboarders wear protective gear Helmets aren’t cool and wearing pads is weak, unfortunately this mindset isn’t uncommon. Only 40% of skateboarders wear some form of protective gear. In my local park it’s closer to 10% but fortunately nobody minds if you wear a helmet or pads. Shoutout to Andy Anderson for wearing a helmet, even on flat. 42. Longest Official Grind For now, Jagger Eaton holds the record for the longest 50-50 grind. Eaton did a 50-50 on a handrail and got to 62.1792 meters/204 feet in October 2016 in Los Angeles. Luis De Los Reyes (aka Moose) broke the record (unofficially) and made it to 292-foot on a curb. 43. Most Stairs Ollied The record for the most stairs ever ollied is held by Aaron “Jaws” Homoki. Homoki landed a 25 stairs jump in Lyon, France. It wasn’t his first attempt and he got badly injured before. At his first attempt, his MCL was completely torn which takes about 6 to 8 months to heal (yikes). 44. First Skateboard Shoe Even though Vans is huge nowadays, they weren’t the first to make a skateboard shoe. They did however invented the threaded grippy sole pattern. The first skate shoe was called “Randy 720”, with a material called “Randyprene.” The first skate shoe was invented by the Randolph Rubber Company in 1965 and looked quite similar to the classic Vans skate. The company didn’t last long and in 1966 a former employee called Paul Van Doren and his brother Jim started a company called Vans dedicated to skateboarding shoes. 45. The Pioneer of Skateboarderding This legend was born on 2 September 1957 in the Dogtown area of California. Tony Alva is one of the pioneers of skateboarding and is basically known for the guy who started it all. He started skateboarding to practice surfing and was part of the Z-boys skate crew. Once recognized as the best skateboarder in the world and he still shreds bowls to this day. 46. First Fish-eye Lens Warren Bolster was one of the first to use fish-eye lenses for skateboard photography. Bolster dedicated his life to skateboarding and surfing photography and revived “Skateboarding Magazine” when urethane wheels were introduced by Frank Nasworthy. Bolster was always close to the action and suffered many injuries because of this. He had to go through many surgeries and suffered from chronic pain. He ended his life in 2006 at the age of 59. If you can, check out his book “The Legacy of Warren Bolster: Master of Skateboard Photography”. Sadly I have to keep this short but Warren deserves more than being a statistic. Look up his Wikipedia page if you want to learn more about his life. 47. Tas Pappas > Tony hawk I recently watched this documentary on Netflix called “All That Mayhem”. It’s an interesting documentary about the Pappas brothers who came over from Australia and crushed the competition. Tas Pappas defeated Tony Hawk multiple times and was at one point considered the best in the world. His brother Ben had a lot of addictions and the way he went out was pretty shocking. Go check out that documentary but be aware that is pretty one-sided. 48. Largest Monetary Prize Street League Skateboarding is where the most money is made. The largest (total) prize in the history of skateboarding was 1.6 million U.S. dollars back in 2011 according to Wikipedia. 49. North America is the Largest Skateboard Supplier North America has a market share of 28% and is still the largest supplier of skateboards, second is China. Europe (28%) is the second-largest consumption place. The leaders of the industry are Element Skateboards, Plan B, Boiling Point, SK8 Factory, Skate One, Krown Skateboards, Absolute Board, and Alien Workshop. The worldwide skateboard market at a CAGR of roughly 2.1% over the next five years and will reach 170 million US Dollars in 2024, other research is more optimistic and predicts annual growth of 3% for the next five years. 50. Skateparks Boost Local Economies There are no official numbers or specific studies but skateparks seem to have a positive economic impact on local businesses and the surrounding area. Families from outlying communities bring over their kids and may go shopping or grab something to eat. Skateparks attracts many people to local businesses who wouldn’t be there otherwise. They also tend to have a positive impact on communities and utilize unused space. 51. Skaters are Getting Older Skateboarders used to be younger. Back in 2006, about 71% were between the age of 12 and 17. These days they only represent 45% of the total participants. Remember you’re never too old to skate! 52. A New Golden Age Ever since the pandemic hit, skateboarding exploded. Though the trend calmed down a bit, skateboarding is still very popular. The recent Olympic introduction made skateboarding even more popular. 53. Longboarding is Growing Fast While some don’t consider longboarding skateboarding, it’s still a 2×4 with wheels attached. Longboarding is the fastest-growing discipline. Longboarding is expected to annually grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3.8% from 2019 to 2025, according to Grand View Research. 54. Number of Skateboarder In the UK While the Pandemic boosted skateboarding considerably in the UK, it’s not as popular as in the US. . According to Statista the UK had roughly 104K monthly skateboarders in 2020. Pre pandemic extimations were about 54k montly skateboarders, almost doubling to 104k in 2021. (Statista, 2022) 55. Skateboarding Popularity on TikTok Skateboarding is popular on Instagram but Tiktok is also a great way to share your skateboarding clips. In 2021 there was an estimated 11 billion searches for the term ‘skateboarding’.(Our Sporting Life, 2021) 56. The First Skateboarders Were Called Sidewalk Surfers Skateboarding originates partly from surfers who needed an alternative when waves were lacking. They called it “sidewalk surfing” instead of skateboarding and looked for concrete waves (like empty pools) to ride wherever they could. To this day bowl and pool skating is still very popular. 57. Where does skateboarding style come from? A lot of people enjoy skateboarding because it looks cool. The trendy streetwear style associated with skateboarding is a mix of New York hip-hop culture and the California surf scene. 58. Vans Sold Single Skate Shoes Skate shoes tend to wear, particularly the shoe that’s in front of your skateboard. In the early days Vans used to sell single shoes which saved you a considerable amount of money. Unfortunately those days are gone. Your only option is to find someone who has the other foot in front, the same size, and the same shoe. Good luck, especially you goofy riders out there. 59. 60% of skateboarders are under 15 Older skaters are not exceptional but they have to deal with a lot of young kids. 60% of skateboarders are under the age of 15. (ROSPA, 2022) 60. Most Popular Grip tape Based on the recent ActionWatch data, Mob is the top-selling brand in the US skateboarding industry. Additionally, Shake Junt’s sales have surpassed those of Jessup, which is an interesting development as mid-tier brands try to compete with the leading two brands. —- 61. Skateboarding is sixth most popular sport in the world Skateboarding has become a popular sport over the years and is more mainstream than ever. More than half of all American skaters are located in California, making it one of the most popular places for skateboarding in the world. 62. Street Skateboarding Accounts for 63% That basically says it all, street skateboarding remains the most popular style and has been for decades. While vert is not dead, it is clearly not as popular as it used to be back in the days. 63. 800,000 skateboarders go to the doctor Each year About 800,000 skateboarders in the US visit the doctor each year due to skateboarding-related injuries. It seems like a huge number but compared to other sports, the numbers aren’t that shocking. 64. 8 Million People own a skateboard in the US Approximately 18 million people in the US own skateboards, but this is just an estimate. Many skateboards break while attempting daring tricks. Moreover, a considerable number of these skateboards remain unused for long periods. 65. The First Skateboard Graphics Like mentioned before, graphics are important to get stoked and for the industry to sponsor events. The first graphics applied on a skateboard was done by Jim Muir and Wes Humpton (Dowtown). 66. Rodney Mullen invented the kickflip Rodney Mullen invented many tricks, including the kickflip which is one of the most known tricks in skateboarding. Mullen invented most flat ground tricks laying the groundwork for what skateboarding is today. 66. teenagers account for 44.1% of Skateboarding Related Revenue Skaters are often broke but it’s not like skateboarding is a cheap hobby. Even broke, in 2019 teenagers accounted for 44.1% of all revenue. 67. Skateboarding Popularity the US According to a recent survey by Grand View Research , skateboarding is very popular in America. The survey revealed that it ranks as the third most popular sport, with basketball and football being more popular in the top two positions. 68. Bowl Skateboarding Was Introduced Due To A Great Drought Many skate parks feature bowls that skaters can ride and perform tricks in. This tradition began in the early 1970s in Southern California during a severe drought when many swimming pools were emptied. Skaters would sneak into backyards and skate in these drained pools. 69. In 2021 skateboarding Became an Olympic Sport Some say you can’t rate skateboarding and hate the fact that skateboarding became an Olypmic Sport. Others welcome the extra attention and say it’s great for the sport/art or whatever you think skateboarding is. Skateboarding made it’s debut in 2021 in Tokyo with both street and park sections, which was originally planned for 2020. 70. There’s no complete list of Skateboard Tricks There are countless skateboard tricks, making it impossible to name or count them all, as new ones are continuously being invented. Many tricks have tons of variations making in impossible (pun intended) to list them all. 71. The Longest Ollie The longest unassisted ollie on flat ground was achieved by Jordan Hoffart, covering an incredible distance of 16 feet and 6 inches (1 meter and 98 centimeters). That’s it! For now. Hope you learned something! I did my best to check all the sources and contacted several researchers and reliable websites to get the most accurate data possible. If you’re not in a hurry, check out my post about the best skateboard videos of all time or save it for a rainy day. Here are the most important sources I used: https://www.statista.com/ https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/ https://www.museumofplay.org/ https://www.marketwatch.com/ https://www.grandviewresearch.com/ https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/ Brooke M. The concrete wave: the history of skateboarding. Toronto: Warwick Publications; 1999. Ruben VeeI’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board. SkateboardersHQ is an independent blog run by real skaters, snowboarders, and surfers. We don’t accept paid product promotions or sponsored content. Insta @skateboardershq

“Skip to Content It is pretty strange when you think about it. How more than 80 million people love spending time riding a piece of wood with 4 wheels attached to it. Yet, there was a time where there weren’t this many skaters around. Since its creation, skateboard popularity went through many ups and downs. So how exactly, and why has skateboarding become so popular? First of all, it had to be said, skateboarding looks cool. It is also fairly cheap to pick up. Especially when you compare it with other extreme sports like BMX, Dirt biking, or Snowboarding. The recent popularity of skateboarding has to do with the pandemic. Skateboarding was already on the rise and spiked during the lockdown, the 2021 Olympics gave it another boost. Since then, skateboarding is back to normal and possibly in a slow decline. Old skaters suddenly got back into the sport and kids dropped their scooters. We truly are experiencing a boom, and suppliers can’t handle the demand. It’s a great time to be skating (2020), never have I personally experienced such recognition of the sport. Skateboarding is in ads, movies, app, games, it’s everywhere. And most importantly, it’s cool again! Contents
The Change in MentalitiesWhy Is Skateboarding Making a Comeback?More Girls and Older Skaters than Ever BeforeHow Social Media Revolutionized SkateboardingSkateboarding in a Global PandemicWhy Is Skateboarding So Popular?How Has Skateboarding Affected Popular Culture?Is Skateboarding Declining?The Evolution of SkateboardingConclusion
The Change in Mentalities In the mind of most people, skateboarding always represented some kind of rebellious act. Until very recently, skaters were mostly viewed as outcasts or some kind of anarchists. Punks destroying public property while drinking beers and smoking cigarettes. However, in the last 5 to 10 years, the general population seems to have become more accepting of skateboarders. Cities started to build skateparks to occupy the youth. Some even dedicated spots to skaters. For instance, the famous street plaza “Hotel de Ville” in Lyon, France, has been renovated for skaters and passersby to cohabitate. Besides, Skateboarding will be an Olympic Sport in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Meaning it might gain even more recognition and esteem by the overall population. Your grandad might watch it and become a skate-head himself. Who knows? This also translated the other way around. Originally, the core of skateboarding never wanted to be accepted by the masses. They weren’t so fond of the new kids who came from Youtube, only swearing by Revive and Braille Skateboarding. As time went on, the mentality shifted as the core skate media understood they weren’t the front-page of skateboarding anymore. As a result, in 2020, the community is arguably the more welcoming and open it has ever been. Why Is Skateboarding Making a Comeback? Skateboarding entered yet another golden age in the past 5 years. Its industry is flourishing like never before. According to researchers, the skateboard market will be worth 2.4 billion $ by 2025 according to Statista but those estimates were made before the recent boom. The recent surge was definitely fueled by the global pandemic, suddenly everyone wanted to start or get back into skateboarding. More Girls and Older Skaters than Ever Before With skateboarding being more socially accepted, we’ve observed a shift in the audience. As of 2018, only 44,1% of skaters were teenagers. While they represented 55% of the skaters 10 years ago. Nowadays, we see a lot more adults going back into skating. Thought anecdotal, I definitely see more older skaters in my local park. Some never stopped while others picked up skateboarding again. The same thing happens with girls. Although they don’t even represent 10% of skaters, substantially more girls get into skating these days. There are now many professional girl skaters who make a living through sponsors and contests, which even 10 years ago was unheard of. How Social Media Revolutionized Skateboarding Beforehand, the main skate scene was very located. Outside of California, and a few other big cities like New-York, Barcelona, London, or Paris, it was almost impossible to make it a career. Social Media brought eyes to skaters who would never have been seen by the world otherwise. For this reason, you don’t have to be in California anymore to gain traction and make a living out of it. The beauty of the internet, isn’t it? When video sharing platforms like Instagram and Youtube got popular, skateboarding started evolving exponentially. Mainly because of the vast quantity of content instantly watchable. Whereas 20 years ago, you would have to wait months, maybe years, between two video releases. And then again, you would have to buy the VHS. Even better, the internet gave a wider audience to skateboarding. Now, people who aren’t particularly interested might see some viral skate clips scrolling down their Facebook feed. Most of the time, a skateboard fail compilation, but still, it’s progress. Skateboarding also became more accessible with a ton of online resources to learn from. You can now watch a video and have direct tips to fasten the learning curve of your kickflip. Skateboarding in a Global Pandemic In the current social and economic context, we might presume that the popularity of skateboarding dropped, as did many other activities. Surprisingly, we’ve seen quite the opposite go down. People spend most of their free time at home now. What’s best when you want to mix up physical activity and fun – while staying safe – than to pick up skateboarding. In reality, it might be one of the safest activities you can do. Unlike many individual sports, you don’t need to be anywhere nor with anyone to skate. As long as you have a decent enough flat ground spot nearby, you can start skating by yourself right now! In 2020, skateboarding is on the verge of becoming mainstream. Although, the industry is nowhere close to the other major sports. Why Is Skateboarding So Popular? Skateboarding and fashion always took inspiration from one another. Nowadays, it’s pretty common to see non-skaters wearing Vans shoes, Elements sweater, or DC hats. Even better, two brands saw their popularity go through the roof in recent years – almost becoming staples of the Fashion industry. – Thrasher Magazine: considered the number 1 core media outlet in skateboarding, Thrasher saw its popularity go up when millions of people started wearing their t-shirts and hoodies outside of skaters. Kind of ironic when you know the mentality the owners have towards the mainstream culture. – Supreme: in less than 10 years, the famous NYC streetwear brand went from being an underground skate shop to a 1 billion $ worth company. worn by superstars, celebrities, influencers, and models. How Has Skateboarding Affected Popular Culture? Skateboarding had a huge impact on mainstream mediums over the last 20 years. It is a big source of inspiration for Television. MTV Shows is the perfect example. Their most successful shows all involved skateboard stars. Jackass had Bam Margera, Rob & Big was created by Dirdek himself, the Life Of Ryan stared a young Sheckler. Despite the movies and shows, skateboarding success in the mainstream has to come from Video Games. The Tony Hawk franchise by itself is worth 1.4 billion $ and sold hundreds of millions of copies. If we add to this, the EA Skate franchise, as well as Skater XL and Session, we can safely say skateboarding became a staple in video games. Skateboarding also made its way into Music. Celebrities who skate started to display their belonging to the community. Rappers such as Lil Wayne, Hopsin, Tyler the Creator, or Logic started rapping about being skaters. Even posting some of their skate clips. The same thing goes in the Cinema industry. Movie Stars like Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, and Matthew McConaughey, claimed skateboarding as a part of their identity. It also goes the other way around – with pro skateboarders who became celebrities. Tony Hawk, Rob Dyrdek, Bam Margera, or Ryan Sheckler might be the firsts that came into mind. Nevertheless, the most representative example has to be Jason Lee who went from pro skater to a movie star, who notably played in the TV Show “My Name is Earl”. Is Skateboarding Declining? I guess you figured out by now that it’s exactly the opposite. Although skateboarding had its ups and downs throughout skateboarding history, its popularity seemed to have spiked in the last 5 years, and even more in 2020. My local skatepark for example was full of scooter kids the past 3 years and on rare occasions you would run into a skateboarder. My local park is now thriving with both young and older skateboarders. Update: Skateboarding is back to normal. Compared to 2020 and 2021, there is a steep decline according to Google Trends. The Evolution of Skateboarding Since 1950 and the invention of the first board by Californian surfers, the discipline never stopped expanding. In the beginning, only a few people had access to skateboards. They were mainly used to roll around and curve. Until around 1970, when skateboards started to get commercialized. Skaters started riding empty backyard pools and vert ramps. From then on, a few infrastructures dedicated to the practice started appearing: skateparks. They became a meeting point for riders and allowed the organization of the first skate contest. The 1980s marked a pivotal shift in skating due to the sudden drop in skateboard sales. It’s simple, skateboarding wasn’t cool anymore. Until its own savior, Rodney Mullen arrives and changes the game. The former freestyle skater straight-up invented by himself the whole fundamentals of what street skateboarding is all about today. Therefore, Mullen drew the way for what skating will become. Since the 2000s, skateboarding popularity has exploded. We see competitions like X-Games streamed on live TV, video games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater played by everyone. During this decade, hundreds of skateboard brands appeared, and larger companies like Nike and Adidas even started branching into skateboarding. The 2010s along with the appearance of social media were a complete game-changer. With YouTube and Instagram, skaters from all over the world can display their skills and make a living out of it. Conclusion Ultimately, the popularity of skateboarding is hard to grasp because its identity itself never ceases to transform. From the era of giant skate shoes and baggy jeans to the era of thin shoes and slim pants, trends pass and go. But what stays is what skateboarding will always be about: love and fun! So are you ready to get back into skateboarding or want to start? If so, visit my list of best skateboards which we tested and approved. Sources: https://www.statista.com/statistics/935225/skateboard-market-value-worldwide/ https://highxtar.com/how-skateboarding-became-a-high-fashion-obsession/?lang=en#:~:text=The%20fact%20that%20the%20world,still%20a%20style%20reference%20today https://blogs.svvsd.org/coalridgechronicle/2014/12/18/the-evolution-of-skateboarding/#:~:text=Skateboarding%20has%20evolved%20tremendously%20since,This%20was%20a%20great%20invention Ruben VeeI’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board. SkateboardersHQ is an independent blog run by real skaters, snowboarders, and surfers. We don’t accept paid product promotions or sponsored content. Insta @skateboardershq

“Skip to content Contrary to what many believe, skateboarding is not losing popularity. It’s actually gaining it. In the past few years, there has been a resurgence in the sport. Skateboarding is also becoming more mainstream, with celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne often being spotted riding around on their boards.
Despite the fact that it is often seen as a rebellious activity, skateboarding can be a great way to stay fit and active. It’s also a very social sport, with many skate parks becoming hotspots for young people to hang out and meet new friends.
Contents hide1
Is Skateboarding Losing Popularity?2
Where is Skateboarding Most Popular?3
Skateboarding Popularity Statistics
Skateboarding Age Group Statistics:3.2
Skateboarding Gender Stats:4
How Many Skateboarders Are There?5
Previous Declines in Skateboarding Popularity5.1
Skateboard Brands That Died Off (RIP)7
Online Skateboarding Searches Have Gone Way Down8
ConclusionIs Skateboarding Losing Popularity?Although the popularity of skateboarding hit an all-time low in 2012, recent trends show somewhat of a resurgence. The pandemic sheltered a lot of people and gave them a lot of time. With this, many people decided to take up new hobbies.
The skateboarding market was lucky to be one of the many markets that flourished. The global skateboard market rose to USD 2.3 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to rise to USD 3 billion by 2028. However, some people are still skeptical about the future of skateboarding. The fact that it’s an activity that is often associated with rebelliousness and counterculture doesn’t help its case.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics also had a hand in bringing more popularity to the sport. When skateboarding was announced as an official sport, many people were surprised. The Olympics are typically known for more traditional sports. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) saw skateboarding as a way to appeal to a younger audience.
Where is Skateboarding Most Popular?The United States is the most popular country for skateboarding. Just over 10% of all skateboarders in the world are from the USA.
Some other countries that are popular for skateboarding include:
AustraliaBrazilCanadaChinaEgyptFinlandFranceIrelandItalyJapanMexicoPhilippinesSpainSwedenWhile some countries don’t have many skateboarders, it’s possible to find skaters in any country. Skateboarding builds a community and is an excellent source of exercise. Many cities see the value in having young people skateboard because it keeps them active.
Skateboarding Popularity StatisticsNumber of skateboarding participants from 2010 to 2021 in the USASkateboarding is becoming more popularFrom 2020 to 2021, the number of worldwide skateboarders grew by 18% (from ~70 million to 85 million)Although not as many youths are beginning to skateboard, older people are beginning to skateboard moreThe skateboard market grew from approximately $1.9 billion in 2018 to $2 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to get to $2.38 billion by 2025Skateboarding Age Group Statistics:Ages 6 to 17 account for nearly 10% of all skateboarders. However, the number of youthful skateboarders is declining. Back in 2006, the skateboard age group 6 to 17 years old used to account for 19.3% of all skateboarders.
However, there are many professional skateboarders who make a living from the sport. These athletes often start skating at a young age and dedicate their lives to perfecting their craft. Neal Unger is the oldest professional skateboarder, born in 1957.
Number of youth skateboarding participants from 2006 to 2020 in the USASkateboarding Gender Stats:75% of skateboarders are male25% of skateboarders are femaleHow Many Skateboarders Are There?Did you know that 85 million people around the world participate in skateboarding? While this is traditionally considered to be an American sport, its popularity is exploding globally. In fact, more than half of all U.S. skaters live in California and more than 75% are under 18 years old. This makes it the 6th most popular sport worldwide!
Previous Declines in Skateboarding PopularitySkateboarding is somewhat of a cyclical sport when you think about it. It’s not nearly as popular in the winter but then comes back in full force in the summer. It’s hard to go out on a nice day without seeing a few people with skateboards.
The market is cyclical too. Every decade or so skateboarding loses traction and popularity and then starts making a comeback.
1960Skateboarding lost some of its steam in the 1960s because of the overproduction of low-quality goods. Instead of worrying about the quality of their skateboards, companies only cared about mass-producing them. Unfortunately, this led to many people being injured from poorly made boards and a bad taste in their mouths.
1970Although the 70s were seen as a golden era for skateboarding, there was one thing in particular that caused the sport to go into its own recession. As the sport exploded, everyone wanted to build skateparks to capitalize on the market. Many skatepark owners were forced to close their businesses as the end of the decade neared due to skyrocketing insurance rates. Demo teams came in and destroyed the parks, taking away from the growth of the sport.
1990The recession in the early 90s sparked another decline in skateboarding popularity. The worldwide recession caused many skateboard companies to shut their doors forever and even more skateparks closed down. Read more about the skateboard history timeline.
Skateboard Brands That Died Off (RIP)Sheep ShoesTV SkateboardsTermite SkateboardsSixteen SkateboardsHawk ShoesAdio Footwear88 FootwearNSS (Nice Skate Shoes)Ipath ShoesNadia FootwearEpik FootwearKastel FootwearSavierDeklineDuffsSimpleKoolsFourstar ClothingTSA ClothingKrew ApparelCounter CultureEzekielNovemberMatixInnesDub BrandDroors AthleticsRandoms HardwareKreper TrucksMonster TrucksMercury TrucksZ-Roller TrucksPhantom TrucksHubba WheelsAutobahn Wheel CompanyGold WheelsBootleg Skateboard Co.Milk Skateboard GoodsAestheticsRasa LibreIlleniumMad CircleMenaceCity StarsPopwar3DSmallroomExpedition OneInvisible SkateboardsZorlacThe FirmArcadePlanet EarthMaple SkateboardsHollywoodHell RoseATM ClickConsolidatedSelfish SkateboardsNumbersMisfitsGNSBulldog SkatesVariflexWalkerUncle Wiggley SkateboardsEmergencyCircle ACasterBrand-XBBCPowerflexHobieMakahaOnline Skateboarding Searches Have Gone Way DownWorldwide skateboarding search in Google Trends from 2004 to PresentAs seen in the image above, searches on Google have been way down since 2004. The top countries that look up skateboarding include New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Although search traffic is down, the sport is still growing.
ConclusionIt’s interesting to see the cyclical nature of skateboarding and the ebbs and flows of its popularity. What’s even more amazing is that, despite some declines in interest, the sport continues to grow. This could be due to the many technological advances that have been made in skateboarding over the years – from better boards to innovative tricks that are constantly being invented. Whatever the reason, it looks like skateboarding isn’t going away anytime soon! Similar PostsSkateboarding is a great exercise and a great way to have fun. On average, skateboarding burns 300 to 420 calories per hour. However, the more rigorous your ride, the more calories you’ll burn. Some skaters burn up to 1000 calories or more in a single session. Skateboarding is a great way to lose weight if…
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