Literally, when it comes to history, the development of skateboarding is quite a long one, it might be a story you are very familiar with. The truth is that the appearance and growth of this interesting sport have their own history which many people have never heard about before.
Skateboard History Timeline
In the beginning, it was really just like a toy that children used to play with on their scooters or roller skates. So one day in the early ’60s, a person who is known as Larry Stevenson accidentally found out that when he put some rollerskate wheels on a board and just like that, skateboarding would be born soon after.
1920’s – Is That Really A Skateboard?
In the 1920s, people started to see more and more people using skateboards on the streets but it was not considered a sport or even a mode of transportation yet. It was just something for children to do for fun. The first skateboard-like object was actually a piece of wood with 4 roller skate wheels attached to it. This object was called the “Rollerboard” and it was invented by two brothers, Jack, and Bob Taylor.
1930’s – The Skooter Skate board
Around the 1930s, new developments in the design of skateboards started to emerge. The first one was called “The Skooter.” This skateboard looked like a typical wooden board with two skates attached underneath it. However, this design did not last long and it eventually became outdated by 1940.
1940’s – The Skeeter Skatevar
The 1940s saw a new invention in the design of skateboards, this time it was called “Skeeter Skatevar.” This skateboard had an aluminum chassis that was designed to act as its wheel frame. It also included one-directional wheels so the rider could only move forward on their board.
1950’s – The First Mass-Produced Skateboard Hits The Market
In the 1950s, we saw many different new designs for skateboards being introduced. However, only one really stood out and became a huge hit with the public, this was called the “Powell Golden Dragon.” This skateboard had two large wheels on the front that were designed to help provide stability during turns and speed control.
The first homemade skateboards appeared, usually made from wooden planks and roller skate wheels. Early skateboards were simply boards with roller skate wheels attached, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that handlebars and other improvements were added. In 1958, Roller Derby launched the first commercial skateboard, which featured clay wheels. In the 1960s, skateboarding exploded in popularity, thanks in part to the invention of the first mass-produced skateboard, the “Banana Board.” This new generation of skateboards featured improved maneuverability and durability and soon became the standard for the sport. In the 1970s, skateboarding culture began to develop, with iconic figures like Tony Hawk helping to popularize the sport.
1960’s – The Rise of Skateboarding Culture
The 1960s was the decade that skateboarding started to become a cultural phenomenon. Skateboarding resumes to gain popularity, with skaters riding homemade boards and performing raw tricks. This was in large part due to the popularity of surf culture at the time. Many people who were interested in surfing also became interested in skateboarding as a way to practice their skills when the waves were not good. This led to the development of new tricks and skating styles.
The 1960s – Skateboarding Loses Popularity
The 1960s year was a tough decade for skateboarding. The popularity of the sport started to decline due to a number of factors. These included the rise of other sports, such as BMX and motocross, as well as the increased popularity of video games. This led to many skateparks being closed down and a decrease in the availability of skateboarding equipment. The first skateboard competition, which is known as the National Skateboarding Championships, was held in California. In 1965, The first skateboard magazine, “The Quarterly Skateboarder,” was issued.
The 1970s – Skateboarding Makes A Comeback
With the emergence of new skateboarding stars, such as Tony Hawk, skateboarding started to make a comeback in the 1970s. This was also helped by the development of new skatepark designs that were more suited to the needs of skateboarders. New companies were also founded that produced high-quality skateboarding equipment and gear.
In 1972, The Zephyr Skate Team, also known as the Z-Boys, revolutionized skateboarding with their bold style and creative tricks in the empty swimming pools of drought-stricken California.
The 1980s – Skateboarding Continues To Evolve
Yes, the 1980s was the dawn of a new era for skateboarding. This is because it was during this decade that skateboarding started to be seen as a legitimate sport. This led to the formation of professional skateboarding organizations, such as the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF). This also resulted in skateboarding being featured in the Olympics for the first time in 1988.
The 1980s – The Shift Towards Street Skating
In the 1980s, we also saw a shift in the popularity of skateboarding from parks to streets. This was due to the fact that street skating was seen as more dangerous and extreme. This led to the development of new skateboarding tricks and styles. Skateboarding experiences a renewal with the start of new tricks like the ollie.
The 1990s – The Popularity of Skateboarding Explodes
The 1990s was definitely a golden era for skateboarding. This was due to the popularity of street skating, which became heavily linked with hip-hop culture at the time. Skateboard companies also continued to produce high-quality products and gear, making it easier and cheaper for people to get into skateboarding. Street skating gained popularity, with skaters concentrating on tricks achieved on urban blocks like stairs and railings.
The 2000s – Skateboarding In The New Millenium
The new millennium brought big changes to skateboarding. The rise of the internet made it possible for skaters to connect with each other and share their passion for the sport like never before. Skateboarding resumes to grow in popularity, with events like the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) competition series achieving importance. At the same time, the popularity of skateboarding as a mainstream activity began to decline.
Many skateparks closed down and skateboarders were increasingly seen as a nuisance by the general public. This led to a decline in the number of people taking up skateboarding and those who continued to skate often did so in secret, away from the judgemental eyes of society.
2000’s – Evolution of the Skatepark
In the 2000s, there was a significant shift in the way skateparks were designed and built. Prior to this time, most skateparks were created using traditional concrete materials, which presented several challenges for skaters. These included poor surface quality, a lack of variety in terrain and obstacles, and restricted access because many parks were located in remote or unsafe areas.
In response, many skaters and skatepark designers started experimenting with new materials, including wood, steel, and plastic. These materials allowed for a wider range of terrain and obstacles to be included in skateparks, making them more interesting and fun to use. They also helped make parks more accessible by allowing them to be built in more densely populated areas.
As the 2000s progressed, skateparks continued to evolve and become even more diverse and innovative. Today, there are many new designs and features for skaters to enjoy, as well as a growing community of professionals who are dedicated to pushing the evolution of the sport forward.
The 2023 and the Future of Skateboarding
The future of skateboarding is looking very bright. The sport has continued to grow in popularity, especially among younger generations, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down anytime soon. This is great news for the industry, as it means that there will be continued demand for skateboards, skating products, and skateparks in the years to come.
There are a few factors that are driving this growth. First, skateboarding is no longer seen as a rebellious or countercultural activity; it is now widely considered to be a mainstream hobby. This has led to increased support from local governments and businesses, which are investing in skateparks and other facilities. Second, the media has played a key role in connecting skateboarders with mainstream audiences. This has inspired more people to try the sport, and it has also helped skateboarders to build a sense of community among skaters.
Which one came first, is it a Scooter or Skateboard?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as both scooters and skateboards have been around for many years. Some people believe that scooters came first, while others argue that the origins of skateboarding are more clear-cut. Regardless, it seems clear that both activities will continue to be popular in the years to come, as they offer a fun and challenging way to get around.
It’s interesting to note that the skateboard predates the scooter. Skateboarding originated in the 1940s and gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s as a mode of transportation and leisure activity. They were initially made of wooden boxes with roller-skate wheels attached to the bottom.
Scooters, on the other hand, have a longer history dating back to the early 19th century. However, the modern kick scooter, which is similar to what we see today, didn’t become popular until the late 20th century. It was the release of the Razor scooter in 2000 that played a significant role in making scooters a popular recreational and transportation device for both kids and adults.
Skateboarding has evolved from a simple play to a global cultural phenomenon with various communities of skateboarders and fans. The sport is frequently changing and new tricks, technologies, and styles are appearing regularly.