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The Fascinating History of Skateboarding

Kundan Pandey

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Skating is an enjoyable activity that offers scope for challenges and tricky movements. Just like learning skateboarding is interesting, understanding its history is also enriching in its own ways. Keep reading to know more.
Skateboarding has become a recognized sport in today's time and there have been discussions to include it in the Olympics! It has evolved through various phases since its inception in the late 1960s.
The International Association of Skateboard Companies, an authority that looks after the growth and development of skateboarding, has been discussing the possibility of making skateboarding an Olympic sports.


The history of skateboarding can be traced back to the 1950s and 60s, when it evolved as a fun activity for the teens and youngsters in California. There is not much data and information about who invented this interesting activity.

Who Invented Skateboarding?

Well, no one knows exactly who came up with the idea of skateboarding. There have been many people who have claimed to have invented this fascinating and creative activity however, it is just a mirage and no one is sure about the inventor of this sports.
Skateboarding is believed to have sprung from the idea of the California surfers, who went on to try this sports on the pavements. Earlier, wooden skateboards were attached with roller skate wheels and was for the purpose of having fun. No one had imagined that it will be a popular fun filled activity and a sports for the surfers in the coming sixty years!

Growth of Skateboarding

As the popularity of the skateboarding grew, the initial wooden boxes were soon replaced by layers of wooden planks. In the beginning of 1960s, the popularity of wooden planks grew and companies started making well-organized skateboards. Slalom or freestyle were some of the popular skateboarding tricks practiced during those times.
The most popular skateboarding players of the late 1960s were Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer. The skating styles of these players was more simple and not very adventurous. These players demonstrated their skateboarding skills for games like ice skating or in the ballet dancing.
The year 1965 saw a decrease in popularity of the skateboards and it was assumed that people have stopped skating in parts of the US. However, there were places in US were still people skated and so a possible resurgence of this fun filled activity was expected.

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In the year 1972, a company called Cadillac Wheels founded by Frank Nasworthy, introduced the ployurethane technology to the world of skating wheels and triggered a new wave of interest among the surfers and teens.

Later Years (1980s - 2000s)

The era of 1980s was marked by the increased popularity of skateboarding. A whole new family of avid skaters groups were formed and skateboarding was started to be practiced as a popular sports. Helpful to boost the growth of this sports. In 1975, the world witnessed the first public display of this sports when a contest was held in Del Mar, California.
The legendary Zephyr team that consisted of the bests like Tony Alva and Jay Adams showed the world how challenging and disciplined the art of skating can be. In the further years, skateboarding was revolutionized by the invention of Ollie trick by Alan Gelfand, that changed the ways skating was practiced.

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This trick is professionally practiced by all skaters and Alan Gelfand was included in the skateboard hall of fame for his wonderful contribution in the year 2002.
Some of the biggest names ever in the history of skateboarding include Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Stacy Peralta, and Kevin Staab etc. As skating became popular, there were video shoots of these famous players practicing these games and this led to the increased popularity of this game.
Later, when the Sports channel ESPN in 1995 broadcast the events of skateboarding, this field gained a lot of recognition. In the early 2000s, due to a lot of media attention and use of skateboards in movies, advertisements and college games, skateboarding is now a known name all over the world.
With the possibility of including skateboarding in Olympics, there have been various questions among the skating fans that inclusion of skateboarding in Olympics will impose restrictions on this individual activity, that is free of rules and regulations.

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All it needs is practice at an individual level! Discussions are going on and hopefully skateboarding will be included in Olympics to reach the world fraternity!

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