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Skateboarding and the birth of the skateboard have been around since the 1920’s: where it all began. Skateboarding was slow to begin; but, when it did, it spread like wild flowers. Throughout the time span of 1920’s to 2012 the skateboarding industry and has made comebacks. Each time the industry came back, it became more extreme. Now it’s time for the new generation to come in.
The first known skateboard was in the 1920’s. Between the 1920’s and 1930’s created was a three wheeled metal device. By the 1940’s, the first four wheeled aluminum skateboard were made. In the 1950’s skaters were putting the wheels and trucks onto a plank of wood: homemade. In the 1960’s was the introduction of the first manufactured skateboard. Southern California’s surf shop; Val Surf, began making its own complete skateboards: the first known retail shop to sell skateboards. Kids began referring to skating as “sidewalk surfing.” The sidewalk surfing influenced everything from maneuvers and style to fashion and attitude. The era really kicked off. Skateboarding becomes wide spread and very popular: companies struggle to keep up with the demand. Skateboarding magazines were popping up such as: Surf magazine and SKATEBOARDER magazine. During the 60’s the first known organized contest, sponsored by Makaha, was held in Hermosa, California. The first pro model skateboard ever produced (Makaha) was the fibreflex: first laminated board created for skaters. During this time Anaheim, California had the first skateboard shoe factory and the first known Skate Park. There was also a craze in Montreal, Quebec. Even though skateboarding was very popular all over, many people did not like it and was trying to ban it.
When the 1970’s hit, skateboarding had exploded. The first urethane wheels were made exclusively for skateboarding: Cadillac Wheels, by Frank Nasworthy. Two years later, Road Rider skateboard wheels came out with their first skateboarding wheels that used precision bearings; and that was the end of the Cadillac Wheels. The first skateboard trucks we made specifically for skateboarding: Bennett Trucks, by Ron Bennett. Many more skateboard hardware was created: Gull Wing Trucks, Stoker Trucks (for downhill skating), and Tunnel Products. The first safety gear was designed, special for skateboarders. There were also a few skateboard companies that rose: Sims Skateboards and Dogtown Skates. Skateboard teams began to form: Zephyr Skateboard Team – Santa Monica, California, and Associations associated with skateboarding began to form as well: U.S. Skateboard Association (USSA), and World Skateboard Association (WSA). The formation of teams and associations had the idea it would bring skaters together, and they were right. During the 1980’s a few more skateboarding magazines had developed: Thrasher and Trans-World Skateboarding. Even the industry of clothing for skateboarders had emerged: Vision Street Wear. Skateboard tricks had become highly technical and more difficult making it harder for the beginner to do.
At the beginning of 1990; the complete skateboard industry was deeply affected by a world-wide recession. Skaters had rediscovered their roots in street skating and the companies began to re-evaluate the industry. By mid-90’s, skateboarding had re-emerged. This sport began to gain a great deal of exposure at the “Extreme Games” and now known as the X-Games. The old school skaters re-surfaced and skateboarding remains a street-orientated style. 2000 had a lot of impact of media coverage. It has moved for an underground sport to a more mainstream spectator sport. By the year 2004, there has been more than 2000 skate parks built. 2010 had World Speed Records for downhill boarding clocked at speeds up to almost 81 mph compared to the speed of 6.6 mph in the 1920’s. 2011 in Southern California, were skateboarding was born, had banned downhill boarding because of this, it put skateboarding in jeopardy in that area. This sport has not made it into the Olympics as of yet, maybe it will make it in 2016.
The new generations of skateboarders are coming in and times are changing. Skateboarding is still a very strong sport and will only continue to rise. History has shown the ups and downs. Every-time it comes back it is stronger. So, let’s welcome the new generation to this awesome sport. Cheers!
write by Aubrey