History Of Skateboarding

What is the history of skateboarding? What are its origins? Where did skateboarding come from? Who invented it? Here is the history of skateboarding.

Skateboarding History

Which Country Started Skateboarding?

Skateboarding was invented in the United States, Southern California, to be more specific. Popular sporting events that have skateboarding competitions such as the X-Games and Street League Skating were also founded in the United States.

In 1995, the first X-Games were held in Rhode Island.

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 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.

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 any trick you learn. These inventors and innovators helped shape 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. In 1963, they also made the first professional skateboard and named it after Phil Edwards, a legendary surfer.

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.

People in this competition rode very thin boards, so it was extremely hard to maneuver. That is when Larry Stevenson invented the kicktail skateboard so skaters can maneuver better. Then in 1965, the first National Skateboard Championship aired on ABC.

Skateboarding 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 were sold.

Timeline

Skateboarding is a relatively young sport when compared to other sports such as football or basketball, but its history still runs deep. 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.

Although it was emerging in popularity, in 1966, just 3 years after the first skateboarding competition, sales began to drop because people were concerned about their children's safety. Nobody really wore any helmets, and the wheels were made out of clay and metal, so they skidded easily. However, in 1972, Frank Nasworthy, a young surfer at the time, created the wheels skaters currently use to this day, which allows for better grip. This allowed people to skate in more areas such as swimming pools, which they began doing in 1976 in order to preserve water because of the drought that was hitting California. This was when the aerial was 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.

Then in 1978, Alan Gelfand created the ollie: a trick where he jumped with his board. This revolutionized the way people skated because it is the foundation of most of the complicated flip tricks people see today. In the 1980s, new board shapes were developed, so skaters can overcome different obstacles.

The X-Games were then founded in 1995, and it began the era of televising skateboarding. Street skateboarding also became very popular at this time.

The 2000s have brought the most about growth to the skateboarding industry. In 2010, Street League Skateboarding was founded, and it grew the popularity of street skating. There are over 20 million skateboarders worldwide, and that number continues to grow.

Key Facts

  • At first, skateboarding was referred to as sidewalk surfing
  • The first skateboard was made out of wood and old rollerblading wheels.
  • Skateboarding is most popular in Portugal
  • Skateboarding was founded in California
  • The United States is the 8th most popular country to play skateboarding
  • Larry Stevenson revolutionized the skateboarding industry when he held the first-ever skateboarding competition in Hermosa Beach, California