Skateboarding has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1950s. From a niche pastime to a globally popular phenomenon, skateboarding has seen an incredible evolution over the years. As we take a look at the history of skateboarding, it’s remarkable to see how skaters have pushed the boundaries of what is possible on a board and created an entirely new culture around their sport.
In the 1950s, surfing was all the rage in California. With little waves to ride on, surfers began finding creative ways to use their boards and began “sidewalk surfing” on sidewalks and other flat surfaces. This then evolved into “skateboarding” where riders would stand on boards with roller skate wheels attached and navigate their way around streets and neighborhoods.
The first commercial skateboard was created in 1959 by Larry Stevenson who invented the “Skateboarder Magazine” which was published from 1958-1965. His magazine helped spread the word about skateboarding as it grew in popularity among youth across America during this period. This had a positive impact on increasing participation of those interested in riding these boards as more people got involved with skating and pushing each other to become more creative with their tricks.
In 1965, Larry Stevenson founded Makaha International Skateboard Corporation which sold some of the first mass-produced skateboards designed specifically for skating rather than just being modified roller skates as was common earlier. It wasn’t until 1972 that plastic wheels were introduced which made skating smoother and allowed for better control while riding rails or ramps due to less friction between wheel and surface material creating stability when performing tricks such as ollies or kickflips. This revolutionized skateboarding leading up to today where modern street skating techniques are so different from what we used to see back then.
Between 1975-1980, vert (vertical) ramp skating gained popularity mainly due to pioneers such as Tony Hawk who pushed athletes out of their comfort zones by trying out new tricks such as aerial maneuvers like McTwists or 900s from higher ramps that were not possible before due to lack of safety measures back then like foam pits at ramps for softer landings after big air stunts were attempted during competitions or shows . The introduction of urethane wheels also improved overall grip giving skaters more confidence when trying out bigger stunts like 540s or 720s off vert walls which eventually led us into what many consider today’s modern era of street skating with its high level technicality seen in videos filmed all over world showcasing skaters doing handrails down staircases or flipping down double sets while wearing protective gear that has become part of this culture today like helmets , knee pads etc…so they can stay safe while pushing limits further than ever before through their passion for skateboarding .
ESPN and X-Games
Another major milestone occurred when ESPN launched X Games extreme sports events in 1995 where they featured several disciplines within action sports including Skateboard Vert & Street categories allowing viewers worldwide witness some of best skaters compete against each other at highest levels . During this time also saw introduction professional tours such Warped Tour & Street League Skateboarding (SLS) that showcased talents from all over world competing competitively for cash prizes along side concerts & trick exhibitions by top riders helping spread awareness about sport & inspiring younger generations get involved .
Today, there are dozens upon dozens professional contests held annually around globe ranging amateurs qualifiers through Olympics level competitions attracting thousands spectators showcasing fantastic displays skill talent everytime they hit course ! New technology innovations have also been recently introduced such electric powered longboards capable reaching speeds 40 mph allowing riders go even farther faster , plus hardware tech advancements like 3D printed decks giving strength durability previously unknown paving way even crazier stunts future !
All these milestones throughout history prove one thing – Skateboarding is here stay ! Despite few setbacks faced along way , nothing could stop progress made industry has seen till date thanks dedicated individuals who never gave up keeping spirit alive inspiring others join them journey ! So if you’re looking get started , don’t hesitate pick up board start shredding !