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Skateboarding History, Culture, and Some Fun Facts

If you are cruising around the streets on your skateboard, have you ever thought about where this fantastic sport came from? I mean, we all know that Skateboarding is rad, but do we really know its history?

skateboarding

First Skateboards Born

Skateboarding first started in the 1950s, when surfers in California wanted to find a way to mimic the feeling of surfing when the waves were flat. They started attaching roller skate wheels to wooden boards, and voila – the first Skateboards were born!

The exact date when the first skateboards were made is not clear, but it is believed that the first Skateboards were made by attaching roller skate wheels to wooden planks. These early Skateboards were crude and basic and were used primarily as a means of transportation.

The first commercially produced Skateboards started appearing in the early 1960s when companies like “Chicago Roller Skate Company” and “Roll-A-Rink” began mass-producing Skateboards. These early Skateboards were still basic in design, but they were an improvement over the homemade Skateboards of the 1950s.

Time When Skateboarding Become Popular

Skateboarding first became popular in the 1960s. The sport began to take off as the first skateparks started popping up, and companies began mass-producing Skateboards. This is also when the first Skateboarding competitions were held, and legends like Mike McGill and Tony Hawk began to make a name for themselves.

During the 1970s, Skateboarding gained more mainstream acceptance as the first Skateboarding magazines were published and Freestyle Skateboarding, where Skaters would perform tricks and stunts on flat ground, became popular.

The 1980s was the decade when Skateboarding truly became a professional sport, with the rise of “Vert” Skateboarding, where Skaters focused on performing tricks on half-pipes and other large ramps. This is when Skateboarding superstars like Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi began to dominate competitions and attract sponsorships.

The 1990s saw the rise of Street Skateboarding, where Skaters focused on performing tricks on urban obstacles like stairs, rails, and ledges. This decade also saw the inclusion of Skateboarding in video games and movies, further increasing its popularity among mainstream audiences.

Skateboarding has continued to grow in popularity in the 21st century, with the inclusion of Skateboarding in the X-Games since 1995. It became an Olympic sport for the first time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced in 2016 that Skateboarding, along with sport climbing and surfing, would be included in the 2020 Olympic Games as a way to appeal to younger audiences and to reflect the popularity of urban sports.

Skateboarding was included in the Olympics as a demonstration sport in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, allowing the International Skateboarding Federation to showcase the sport to the Olympic Committee and to the world.

It’s worth mentioning that the Olympics format for Skateboarding is focused on the street style of the discipline, as opposed to the park style that you see in the X-Games, for example. It will be interesting to see how the sport develops and how the different styles of skateboarding will be recognized in the future.

Skateboarding Culture

First off, it’s important to understand that Skateboarding culture is not just about the act of riding a Skateboard. It’s about the lifestyle and attitudes that come with it. Skateboarders have their own way of looking at the world and their own set of values.

One of the core values of Skateboarding culture is individuality. Skateboarders are often seen as outsiders, and they embrace that. They’re not interested in fitting in or following the crowd – they want to be themselves. And that sense of individuality is reflected in the way Skateboarders dress, the music they listen to, and the art they create.

Another important aspect of Skateboarding culture is creativity. Skateboarders are always pushing the limits of what’s possible on a Skateboard, and that requires a lot of creativity. Skateboarders are constantly coming up with new tricks, new spots to ride, and new ways to express themselves.

Skateboarding culture also has a strong sense of community. Skateboarders often form tight-knit groups, and they look out for each other. They also have a strong sense of respect for the history of the sport, and they often pay homage to the Skateboarders who came before them.

But Skateboarding culture isn’t just about the positives. There are also negative aspects that come with it, like the constant battle against authorities who want to shut down Skateparks and spots, the struggle for recognition and respect as a legitimate sport, and the pressure to constantly push the limits of what is possible.

Fun Facts About Skateboarding

  1. The first Skateboards were made in the 1950s by attaching roller skate wheels to wooden planks.
  2. The first Skatepark was opened in 1965 in California, called “Skatercross”.
  3. The first Skateboarding competition was held in 1964, in Hermosa Beach, California.
  4. Skateboarding is the fastest-growing action sport in the world, with an estimated 18 million people participating globally.
  5. The first Skateboarding video game, “Skate or Die!”, was released in 1988.
  6. The first Skateboarding video, “The Bones Brigade Video Show”, was released in 1984.
  7. Tony Hawk was the first Skateboarder to land a 900-degree spin, a 2.5-revolution aerial spin, which he accomplished in 1999.
  8. Skateboarding was banned in many cities during the 1970s and 1980s because it was seen as a nuisance and a danger to the public.
  9. Skateboarding has been featured in the X-Games since 1995.
  10. Skateboarding will debut as a sport in the Olympics for the first time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  11. Skateboarding culture has been influencing fashion, music, and art.
  12. The term “Skate or die” was popularized by the video game of the same name, it has become a motto of the skateboarding culture.
  13. Many famous actors, musicians, and artists started as Skateboarders, among them, Ryan Sheckler, Jason Lee, and Tony Hawk.
  14. The highest air ever done on a Skateboard is 11 feet and 6 inches, done by Danny Way at the X Games in 2004.
  15. Skateboarding is not just a sport, it’s a way of life and culture, with its own set of values, music, fashion, and lifestyle.

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