Throughout the history of skateboarding, we can see its popularity has risen and fallen. In the UK, it has never been as big as in the US or other countries, but it has remained popular almost 50 years after it was launched.
The skateboard was invented in 1958 by Bill Richard when he attached rollerblade wheels to a wooden board. He developed his skateboards by working with the Chicago Roller Skate Company. There was an item called the Roller Derby Skateboard that was on sale in 1959. They had very thick boards with clay wheels and very narrow trucks.
Inventor Larry Stevenson also contributed to the industry’s innovation. Stevenson designed the skateboard we know today. During the 1950s, many surfers started building skateboards out of wood and wheels (more on this later). Larry began building his own after seeing a surfboard. He grew his business to become one of the first major skateboarding companies because of its popularity.
Since the Larry Stevenson skateboard is an older style of a skateboard, it looks more retro today – vintage, as you may call it.
He introduced clay wheels to Makaha, which was one of the first companies to do so. People were able to maneuver more easily on their boards. Later, the ollie was invented by Alan Gelfand in the late 1970s. The inventions and innovations of both these guys helped skateboarding become what it is today.
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Larry Stevenson and Skateboarding
Surfing and swimming were Larry Stevenson’s favorite pastimes. He worked as a lifeguard at a California beach. Friends would skate when the waves were bad instead of surfing when the surf was bad. Surfing was so much fun for these guys, they wanted to do it on land too. Therefore, they began building their own surfboards by using wood planks and roller skates.
Larry Stevenson noted that many surfers made their own and enjoyed riding them on land. This caught his attention, and he gradually became interested in improving what other surfers had invented. In his free time, when he wasn’t surfing at the beach or being a lifeguard, he made skateboards.
The wooden plank was shaped into a surfboard, and wheels were attached to the bottom. In addition to his friends, other surfers were interested in buying his creation. In no time, Larry Stevenson was selling skateboards around the town and it became incredibly popular.
As skateboard demand became too high, Larry established his own company. The company began making and selling skateboards to many people. A monthly sales volume of 2,000 skateboards was reached.
Larry designed a new skateboard that looks more like commonly seen boards today. After trying out new tricks on his skateboard, he figured out that he could make them curved. Nowadays, some of the most popular tricks can be performed with the kicktail. In addition, he was able to sell a lot more skateboards after inventing that design.
Rodney Mullen and Skateboarding
Rodney Mullen is considered by many historians, skaters and athletes to be the sport’s most influential skater. In addition to the heelflip and ollie kickflip, the Florida native introduced the 360 flip, the flat-ground ollie, and the impossible.
When he was only 14 years old, he won his first world championship and was dubbed the “godfather of modern street skateboarding”. Over time, he became interested in street skating from freestyle and developed more than just skateboarding skills. He won several skateboarding competitions around this time.
The entrepreneur created his own brands and companies, displayed his ingenuity, and became an accomplished speaker.
When Did Skateboarding Become Popular
In the United States, skateboarding became increasingly popular between 1959 and 1965. East and west coast states were especially affected. It was also around the same time when the first skateboarding magazine was introduced.
During the early 2000s, skateboarding became a professional sport, and several skateboard companies were founded. Eventually, shows such as Rob and Big, starring professional skateboarders Rob Dyrdek, became popular. DC Shoes, Etnies, Supra, Hurley, and Quicksilver, brands once heavily associated with skateboarding, eventually did not adapt to current trends. After some time, Nike and Adidas took over the skateboarding industry, forcing the once mainstay brands to find new markets, such as surfing and water sports.
In 2010, the Street league skateboarding was founded, which further helped skateboarding industry grow.
However, the industry started experiencing decline after that because well, reality. Many people were inspired to purchase skateboards and test their skills because of the sport’s internet presence, but then progress slowed down. Many people have realized by this point how difficult and time-consuming the sport is. Moreover, skateboarders are now able to earn income through a variety of other activities not related to skateboarding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where did skateboarding originate?
During the 1950s, skateboarding began in California when surfers wanted an alternative to surfing while the waves were flat (they called it “sidewalk surfing”). First skateboards were merely wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels attached.
Who invented the Ollie?
Skateboarding’s ollie was invented by Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand in the late 1970s, and it is the basis for many more complicated tricks. Ollies are jumps that skaters can use to jump over obstacles and onto curbs.
Who invented skateboarding tricks?
It was Alan Gelfand who invented skateboarding in 1973. Immediately, it was called the “Ollie,” and everyone was trying to copy it. The next year, Tony Hawk made his X Games debut and wowed the world.
Is skateboarding illegal?
It is not a crime to skateboard. The right to own, ride, and share a skateboard belongs to every individual. There are places where you can skate and places where you cannot. Don’t skate where it’s forbidden. It’s important to avoid getting into trouble with law enforcement, security, and property owners.
This brings us to the end of our article on the history of skateboarding.
We hope that the information mentioned above proved to be helpful and answered all your skateboard-related questions. If you have more relevant information that you think will benefit the readers of this article, feel free to share it in the comment section below!