Skateboarding is one of the most exciting, fun and enjoyable recreational activities today. Aside from these, some people even consider it a method of transportation, a form of art and even an occupation. Today, even young individuals involved in the game earn millions through sponsorships. Based on the reports released by American Sports Data in 2002, the number of skateboarders from all parts of the world is approximately 18.5 million. Aside from these things, it is nice to look back at the history of this widely popular activity including who invented skateboarding.
The Invention of Skateboarding
Who invented skateboarding? This recreational activity started sometime in between the latter years of the 1940s and the early parts of the 1950s. Surfers from California decided to invent something fun, challenging and exciting to do especially when the waves were not that good. The early forms of skateboard were made from boards and wooden boxes. Underneath, they attached roller skate wheels. From boxes, early skateboarders tried to use planks. Thereafter, they manufacturers started to create pressed layers of wood, which were very similar to the decks of modern-day skateboards.
Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details
One of the pioneer skateboard manufacturers was the surfing company named Makaha. It produced skateboards that looked like small surfboards. Together with these new products, it went on to promote such great products. These important developments led to the founding of the “Skateboarder Magazine” in the United States. In 1965, the international championships were shown on national TV. From 1963 to 1965, Makaha reportedly earned a whopping $10 million from board sales alone. However, sales experienced a huge drop in 1966, which coincided with the halt in the publication of “Skateboarder Magazine.”
In the early parts of the 1970s, Frank Nasworthy developed polyurethane skateboard wheels. Released sometime in 1972, these wheels offered superior performance and better traction compared to the earlier forms of the skateboard. The 1980s were focused on vert ramp skateboarding. Skaters started to perform on vertical ramps, where they executed moves like the grabbed aerial developed by Tony Alva and George Orton. Likewise, they were able to do the no-hands aerial, which was developed by Alan Gelfrand in 1976 and later became known as the Ollie.
In the 1990s, the focus shifted to street skateboarding. The average size of skateboards during this time was 30 to 32 inches long and 7¼ to 8 inches wide. Tricks were easier to perform, thanks to major advancements like lighter boards and smaller wheels. In 2004, skateboarding companies instituted the Go Skateboarding Day, which is held annually every 21st day of June. This event helped promote the game even more.