History of Skateboarding
Skateboarding goes beyond cruising around on a skate. The sport is a lifestyle. Skateboarding has gone through a revolution over the last 60 years. With the tremendous growth the sport has witnessed from the 1950s to today; skateboarding remains a sport and an art form. Although it’s considered an extreme sport because of its nature, skateboarding, popular amongst youths, is a professional sport boasting ranges of competitions, such as street-style and vertical events.
Vertical skating, popularly called verts, includes aerial acrobatics executed on half-pipes, originally built like an empty swimming pool. Under street-style skateboarding, the skater performs tricks on a real urban area with rails, stairs, ledges, and similar obstacles.
Over the years, skateboarding has evolved into a youth subculture coupled with the skaters’ baggy clothes and punk music.
The first homemade versions of skateboard have existed since the 20th century. It was merely a board with attached roller-skate wheels. However, in 1959, the first commercial skateboards were manufactured. With the rise of surfing in the early 1960s, Makaha and Hobie, two skateboard manufacturers, tried promoting the sport known then as sidewalk surfing to those looking for alternative diversion when there are no rideable waves. Makaha created the first professional skateboarding team in 1963, and the first skateboard competition was held in Hermosa, California. The event included downhill slalom and freestyle skateboarding. However, the sport’s popularity waned over the following years due to the skateboard’s maneuverability limitation and safety professional’s warnings on how dangerous the sport is.
Nevertheless, skateboards were revived during the mid-1970s due to the manufacturing of a more-maneuverable and faster polyurethane wheel. Also, kicktails, which is the board’s raised back that makes them turn was introduced. The sports became widespread, and skateboard magazines helped promote the sports by focusing on its innovative young riders like Stacey Peralta and Tony Alva.
Florida was home to the first skate park built in 1976. This development gave rise to several others in the United States, Asia, and Europe, with different kinds of banked surfaces and slopes for sudden stunts and turns. At this time, skaters started exploring verts and skating in empty pools. Empty pools gave way to U-shaped, half pipes riding surfaces for performing aerial stunts. Though skaters wore protective gear like kneepads and helmets, safety concerns have remained till date.
Presently, skateboarding has grown to worldwide recognition while serving as an avenue for