History Of Skateboarding

Satisfactory Essays
Skateboarding has rich history of innovation and is full of intriguing stories. Many of these stories are documented in this book in great detail. However, this essay will provide you with an overview of the last nine decades.

The first type of skateboards were actually more like scooters. These contraptions, which date back to the early 1900's featured roller skate wheels attached to a two by four. Often the wood had a milk crate nailed to it with handles sticking out for control. Over the next five decades kids changed the look of the scooter and took off the crate and started cruising on two by fours with steel wheels. Tens of thousands of rollerskates were dismantled and joyfully hammered on to planks of wood.

In the 1950's modifications were made to the trucks (the device that hold the wheels) and kids started to maneuver more easily. Towards the late 1950's, surfing became increasingly popular and people began to tie surfing together with cruising on a board. By 1959, the first Roller Derby Skateboard was for sale. Clay wheels entered the picture and sidewalk surfing began to take root.

By the time the 1960's roll around, skateboarding had gained an impressive following amongst the surf crowd. However, when Larry Stevenson, publisher of Surf Guide begins to promote skateboarding, things started to take off. Larry's company, Makaha designed the first professional boards in 1963 and a team was formed to promote the product.

The first skateboard contest was held at the Pier Avenue Junior School in Hermosa, California in 1963. In 1964, surf legend Hobie Alter teamed up with the Vita Pakt juice company to create Hobie Skateboards. While most skaters took to the street or sidewalk, some brave souls decide to ride empty swimming pools. By 1965, international contests, movies (Skater Dater), a magazine (The Quarterly Skateboarder) and cross country trips by teams of skateboarders elevated the sport to enormous heights. Over fifty million boards were sold within a three year period and then all of a sudden skateboarding died in the fall of 1965.

The first crash of skateboarding came about due to inferior product, too much inventory and a public upset by reckless riding. The manufacturers were so busy making product that little was done in the way of research and development. Although some companies developed better quality wheels, clay wheels were the cheapest to manufacturer. However, clay wheels did not grip the road well and skaters fell everywhere.
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