« Back to Glossary Index

– **History of Skateboarding:**
– Skateboarding likely originated in the late 1940s or early 1950s in California with the first skateboards being wooden boxes with roller skate wheels.
– Early skateboards were manufactured by a surf shop in Los Angeles, and skateboarding exhibitions started in the 1960s.
– Skateboarding magazines like ‘The Quarterly Skateboarder’ emerged in the 1960s, showcasing the early development of the sport.

– **Evolution of Skateboarding in the 1970s:**
– Frank Nasworthy introduced polyurethane skateboard wheels in the early 1970s, leading to increased popularity due to improved wheel traction.
– Specialized trucks for skateboarding were developed, and banana boards made of polypropylene gained popularity.
– Skateparks were not yet invented, so skateboarders used urban locations to practice their skills.

– **Skateboarding Competitions and Culture:**
– The 1965 National Skateboarding Championships was the first televised skateboarding competition, and the Del Mar National Championships in 1975 marked a resurgence in skateboarding popularity.
– The Zephyr team from Santa Monica introduced a new surfer-style era of skateboarding, and competitions in the 1970s featured disciplines like flatland freestyle and slalom downhill racing.
– Skateboarding culture was influenced by surfers in California, with skaters emulating surfing style and maneuvers, and key figures like Patti McGee and Larry Stevenson playing roles in promoting the sport.

– **Impact of Skateboarding and Controversies:**
– Skateboarding has become a multi-faceted activity, generating an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue and being included in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
– Skateparks have been constructed to cater to skateboarders and other action sports enthusiasts, but controversies arose in areas where skateboarding caused damage to public infrastructure.
– The sport has evolved to include art, entertainment, and transportation aspects, showcasing its broad impact on various sectors.

– **Skateboarding Technology and Innovation:**
– Manufacturers experimented with materials like fiberglass and aluminum for skateboards, while maple plywood remained a common choice.
– Skateboarders like Ty Page and the Z-Boys started skating empty swimming pools, leading to the emergence of vert skating with faster speeds and dangerous tricks.
– Liability concerns due to vert skating led to increased insurance costs for skatepark owners, influencing the development of skateboarding technology and safety measures.

– **Influence on Skatepark Industry and Trends:**
– Articles in investment journals in the 1970s promoted skateparks as good investments, leading to the construction of around 200 skateparks in the US by 1982.
– High liability costs, especially related to vert skating, resulted in many park closures, and freestyle skating evolved into a more specialized discipline.
– Skateboarding trends in the 1980s saw a focus on vert ramp skating, the rise of street skating due to limited access to vert ramps, and the introduction of foundational tricks by pioneers like Rodney Mullen.

Skateboarding (Wikipedia)

Skateboarding is an action sport that involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, an entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation. Originating in the United States, skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue, with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding would be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, for both male and female teams.

Skater in front of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (2019)
Highest governing bodyWorld Skate
Mixed-sexYes, separate competitions
Country or regionWorldwide
OlympicSince 2020

Since the 1970s, skateparks have been constructed specifically for use by skateboarders, freestyle BMXers, aggressive skaters, and more recently, scooters. However, skateboarding has become controversial in areas in which the activity, although legal, has damaged curbs, stoneworks, steps, benches, plazas, and parks.

« Back to Glossary Index