The evolution of skateboarding

These days, skateboarding is gaining more and more popular worldwide. But, not many people know the history of this interesting sport. It originates in the 1950s in California, USA and is created by surfers who wanted to try surfing on the ground. There is no exact information about the very first skateboard since a lot of people claimed that they made the first one but could not prove it.

The evolution of skateboarding

The wooden boxes or boards equipped roller skate wheels located under the deck are the initial form of skateboard that the first skateboarders used in the past. Since the board was not completely built, there was a long report on the number of skateboarders getting injured this time.

Gradually, the boxes were improved and replaced by the planks, and the decks of multiple layers as we have today. At this time, skateboarding was considered a leisure activity like surfing only. Check featured article: How To Stop A Skateboard – 4 Ways You Should Know.

Skateboarding became more and more popular

The time recorded the high peak of popularity of this sport is in 1963. At that time, companies such as Jack's, Hobie and Makaha decided to hold some skateboarding competitions. The common styles were downhill slalom and freestyle, and they were not similar to the tricks we see today.

Freestyle skateboarding was something like skating on board with ballet or ice skating maneuvers. Some well-known skateboarders at that time were Woody Woodward, Torger Johnson, and Danny Berer. 

The drop

However, the popularity of skateboarding was suddenly down in 1965. A lot of people thought that this sport was out-of-date and would be forgotten soon, like the case of the hula hoop. The manufacture of skateboarding was canceled, it became difficult to get a skateboard, or you even had to make one by yourself.

Even though skateboards were not available and it was not easy to find materials, people were still interested in skating. Some people even had to make use of clay to make wheels, and you may know that this material is not suitable and clay-made wheels are hard to control and may lead to unpredictable accidents. Because of this reason, in 1972, skateboard wheels made of urethane was first invented by Frank Nasworthy.

This is the precursor of our current wheels. This breakthrough of Franks and Cadillac Wheels company once again raised the interest of skateboarding among people, both surfers, and the others.

The evolution of skateboarding

The spring of 1975 remarked an unforgettable revolution of skateboarding. At the Ocean Festival in California, a contest of slalom and freestyle skateboarding was officially held. And at this event, skateboarding was shown in an impressively way by a team named Zephyr.

The boards were used to perform such amazing maneuvers, from low to high, and skateboarding was upgraded from a hobby to something more serious. Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams are the three outstanding members of this team.

But that impressive performance was only the initial boom of this sport. The image of skateboarding was expected toward being more explosive, plus the anti-social vibe which still exists until today.

After a few years of the first evolution, in 1978, a new skateboarding maneuver was invented by Alan Gelfand, who was also called Ollie. This event led to the second revolution of this sport in how the tricks were done. Then the nickname of Gelfand - Ollie - was used to name for the maneuver, and the inventor entered the skateboard hall of fame in 2002. Ollie now is not strange with any of us these days, and we can see the image of Ollie in almost tricks.

The second downturn

At the end of the 1970s, skateboarding faced up with the second downturn when its popularity was decreased dramatically. People built a number of skateparks, but not many of them were used since people still had thought that skateboarding was a dangerous activity, people cannot Break Skateboarding Fear and insurance companies didn't agree to pay for the risk. This caused the closure of these parks.

People who loved skateboarding kept skating. However, instead of going to skatepark, some of them built their own ramps at home and made use of anything they had to ride the board. Gradually, skateboarding started to become an underground activity with a community of skaters.

The 1980s remarked the appearance of some skateboard companies established by skateboarders. The companies were freely creative in their manufacturing activities, experienced plenty of new shapes as well as styles of boards.

At the beginning of the 1990s, skateboarding was nearly a street sport. Its popularity came along with a more dangerous and negative attitude, and the explosion of punk music which was the favorite of poor and discontent skateboarders.

The first Extreme Games

The first Extreme Games - a skateboarding competition - was held by ESPN in 1995 in Rhode Island. The unexpected success of this X Games played an important part in bringing the sport to the mainstream and leading to the acceptance of society. 

Into the Mainstream

From the 2000s, skateboarding is becoming mainstream, a lot of skateboarding-related products such as video games, skateboards, and parts,... are introduced in order to meet the higher demand of the society.

The budget invested in the sport is higher and higher over time, people see the dramatic increase in the number of skateparks, skateboarding companies and the improvement in the quality of skateboards. You now even can build your own complete skateboard.


Skateboarding is an individual sport, no one can evaluate you skate right or wrong. These days, skateboarding keeps being innovated, and skaters are coming up with a list of new tricks and techniques. We believe that, in the future, it will be more recognized and will be loved worldwide.

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