A History Of The Skater Boy - Skateboarding Today

Published: 17th September 2008
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Skateboarding is an extremely unique activity. Some see it as a leisure activity to pass the time, others use it to find their way from point A to point B, and some very talented individuals even hold the highest honor of calling it their job.



This 'sport', if you will, is one that has been shaped and changed by thousands of skateboarders throughout its years of existence. This relatively modern and urban sport has roots back into the late 1940s, when surfers in California sought an exciting and similar activity on days when the surf wasn't up to par. At this point in history, the term 'skateboarding' was not yet in place. Rather the phrase 'sidewalk surfing' best described the activity at hand.



A collection of similar shapes and styles brought the oblong and tipped end design of the modern skateboard to life. Early boards were simply wooden boxes and boards with roller skate wheels attached to the underside. As time went on, companies began producing these custom 'planks' and skateboarding began to grow into a corporate event, with the first boards being produced in Los Angeles, California.



As the 1960s approached, the popularity of skateboarding spawned the production of Skateboarder Magazine, a national publication. Although skateboarding hit its peak in 1965 with the broadcast of the international championships on national television, the popularity of the recently invented recreational activity saw a lull in sales and national recognition.



During the 1970s, invention and innovation saved the sport of skateboarding. The invention of the polyurethane wheel improved traction and performance. In fact, it improved it so rapidly that the wheel's release in 1974 sent the popularity of skateboarding through the roof. Equipment became more maneuverable and user-friendly as the decks widened and thinner boards created savvy look to the plank on wheels.



With innovation and increasingly maneuverable boards, came the invention of the ever-popular tricks and stunts that modern skateboarders perform on a regular basis. To learn some of these basic tricks, you can now go to the internet, such as the website VideoJug.com, and view all their Skateboarding films.



As the years went on, boarders began moving faster and creating more aggressive tricks that brought along the seriousness of injury we see throughout the sport today. For that reason, liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skate park owners has also led to the improved safety equipment and padding that we all see professional riders use today with the support of their sponsors and related companies.



The sport of skateboarding has truly been one of the most popular and turbulent activities of our time. It appeals to members of both sexes, as well as to a relatively wide age demographic. Events such as the X Games have created a commercial side to the sport, with professional athletes representing their respective companies and creating an extremely vast style of clothing and life. This progressive lifestyle has sent the profits of small-town companies through the roof and accelerated their status to that of current Fortune 500 companies. Skateboarding has acted as both an economic stimulus and after school activity- something every inventor dreams of, and only a select few have accomplished.


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