Who Invented Skateboarding?

Have you ever tried riding a skateboard? You would agree that becoming a good skater may need a lot of hard work and practice. You may see plenty of people performing cool stunts with their skateboards and we then begin to question who invented skateboarding.

The existence of skateboards does not really mean that someone, in particular, has invented them. Skateboards are one of those phantasms that are just likely to have expanded. It is believed that the concept became known in the 1950s. Firstly labeled as sidewalk surfers, skateboards were a sensation having the surf community on the west coast.

No one has ever established a concrete answer on who invented the skateboard – it goes to show that numerous people in the genius mind came up with the same ideas simultaneously. A number of people have declared to have created the very first skateboard, however, nothing has been proven yet. And skateboarding stays an extraordinary impulsive invention.

Even though it is not clear who invented the skateboards, some fascinating facts pertaining to their characteristics may be nailed down to certain people.

Theories of Skateboarding

Surfing was an approach of living – surfers do not mind spending so much time in the ocean. Soon, these surfers opted a method to do surfing in the land. That is when they began attaching wheels beneath the wooden boards.

There are two common theories to justify the inception of skateboarding. The first theory states that skateboarding was created when certain people took off the push bar of scooters retaining just the undercarriage. Hence, skateboards were brought to life.

The next theory, if you will find it believable, says that skateboards were brought to life when numbers of youngsters, on learning that the winds were amicable for sailing on a specific day, connected wheels to wooden boxes; thus skateboards were created.

It is hard to say which of these two theories is nearer to the truth. It can be that both versions are real to a certain extent. But the moment it was invented, skateboarding rapidly turned the fad of its day among the youths.

The first skateboards were somehow versions of boards that are adapted to be used in the ground. A big enhancement happened when Frank Nasworthy, created urethane wheels.

Boards nowadays are currently 8″ in width and 30″-32″ in length. These kinds of boards are also lighter, aside from being more durable.

Evolution of Skateboard

The original skateboards were built from boards, wooden boxes, or planks while attaching in the bottom the roller skate wheels. Their edges were rough as you can foresee with a new creation. However, they were able to clear the way for modern skateboards.

In the 1950s, the original skateboards were viewing Southern California skate stores which were created by connecting a pair of metal roller skate wheels beneath the wooden plank. In the 1960s, there were no remarkable enhancements done on the skateboard since the shape of the board is still basically the same however clay wheels were built during this period.

However, the recognition for skateboarding began to expand quickly as a lot of non-skaters started to enjoy skating. Skateboarding began to grow from streets and freestyle skateboarding also began to occur. Nevertheless, there were a lot of improvements done in the 1970s.

During the early period of the 1970s, Frank Nasworthy began to create another kind of skateboard wheel that was built from polyurethane and he labeled his company as Cadillac Wheels. Prior to this, skateboard wheels were built from clay or metal however this new creation brought skateboarding to a new level.

Since clay or metal did not have the best of traction, implying it did not lose to the ground the best. This has influenced skateboarding to execute stunts a lot easier.

Traction is an essential component for the skateboarders since it impacts skateboarding much simpler as the skateboard adheres to the surface and hence more doable to execute different stunts which turns skateboarding attractive to the wide crowd.

It was indeed a remarkable step in the history of skateboarding. The sensation of contributing a fresh stunt and learning a new stunt was so fulfilling that skateboard soared in recognition as people coming from different ages began to explore in skateboarding.

Nonetheless, the polyurethane wheels were not the sole thing brought to skateboards in the 1970s. The standard width of skateboards was heightened by 2 inches. The kicktail feature was also exposed to convert flipping a lot easier to execute. This has been a huge enhancement over the past skateboards.

In the 1980s, discovered new skateboard companies which were operated by skateboarders. This was a huge thing because skateboarders placed way more intensity on enhancing skateboarding over profits or utilizing the shares of the company. They placed more intensity on creativity and style and hence skateboarding grown into an even more customized style of remarks.

In the 1990s, skateboarding was greatly impacted by the style of street skateboarding. A lot of boards were built around 180mm to 200mm wide and they were roughly around 760mm to 810mm long. Their wheels were altered as they were built from greatly firm polyurethane and the sizes of the wheel were basically little in order for the boards to become much lighter.

The shape was taken from the freestyle boards way back 1980’s with a hugely well-proportioned shape and approximately narrow width. This was the basic form of the 1990s. In the 2000s, skateboarding earned new heights.

In 2001, plenty of people below 18 years old rode skateboards. Then the International Association of Skateboard Companies initiated the Go Skateboarding in 2003. It is yearly celebrated to characterize skateboarding as the fractious and artistic celebration of independence as it still held on June 21st. Currently, barefoot skateboarding has encountered somehow of a restoration.

First Skateboarders

Skateboarding is one of the most thrilling, enjoyable, and fun recreational sports nowadays. Aside from this fact, many people also do skateboarding as a means of their transportation, a kind of artistry and an occupation too. Nowadays, even the youngsters engaged in the game are earning millions by way of sponsorships.

The first skateboarders began with wooden boards or boxes with roller skate wheels patted in the bottom part. As to how you may imagine, many people got injured in doing skateboarding in the early years.

Boxes became planks, and finally, companies began introducing decks with pressed layered woods – comparable to the skateboard decks of the current age. Currently, skateboarding was considered as an interesting hobby to do for enjoyment other than surfing.

The original skateboards were built from roller skates that were installed to a board. It is true that they were not smooth and certainly not the safest one for skateboarding but they managed to clean the way for today’s skateboarders with their sacrifices and injuries.

It would be safe to say that they delivered us the light so we can see a clearer vision. Nowadays, skateboard continues to become better and additional variants are being constructed. Today, skateboards are expanding to be more powerful and lighter weight. Hence, regardless of who really invented the skateboard, perhaps we should just be thankful that it was brought into reality and it was invented by someone who has a brilliant mind.

First Commercially Sold Skateboards

We have learned that skateboards were first brought to the market and were sold commercially way back 1958 by Bill and Mark Richards. This kind of skateboards was relatively basic and was built by adapting roller skate wheels to the pieces of wood – there is few that can be altered about this fundamental structure.

Not extraordinarily, this happened in California, the place of surfers. Despite the fact that this does not lead to an answer of who invented skateboarding, they could be the first retailers of skateboards.

The idea that skateboards were created in high demand by the surf community, ideal for use when waves are lax and they had no things to do, is emulated in the shape which the boards are built. They are shaped like a surfboard, specifically some of the little plastic ones which were so famous during the 1960s and 1970s.

Check Out: EliteSkater.com reviews on the best skateboards!

Creation of Kicktails

Another fact that we are familiar with is the person who created the skateboard kicktails. Richard Stevenson invented kicktails and patented it in 1969. This was an enhancement to the common styles of the boards to support the execution of stunts through raising the front end. Eventually, this has made an important part of the contemporary skateboard.

Another component for design which was patented was a lot more current. In the year 1993, the issuance of the patent was made for the platform steerable skateboard. This is credited to Thomas Welsh. Just to reiterate it, this is not to tell who invented the skateboard, but certainly, someone who has participated in the instrumental transformation of skateboards.

The common design of the skateboard does not direct to one specific, conclusive inventor. Originally, they were just a board of 4 x 2 dimension attached on a roller skate.

Discovering who Invented Skateboarding

Who is the original brain of skateboarding? This kind of recreation activity began sometime in the latter part of the 1940s and the early period of the 1950s.

One pioneering manufacturer of a skateboard was Makaha, a surfing company. It introduced skateboards that appear similar to small surfboards. Along with these fresh products, it continued to bolster such impressive products. These significant improvements directed to the initiation of “Skateboarder Magazine” in the US.

During the early period of the 1970s, Frank Nasworthy created polyurethane skateboard wheels. Introduced in the year 1972, these kinds of wheels provided excellent performance and ideal traction different from the earlier types of skateboards. The 1980s were concentrated on vertical ramp skateboarding.

Skaters began to execute on vertical ramps, where they were able to perform moves and tricks such as the grabbed aerial which was invented by George Orton and Tony Alva. Similarly, they were assisted to perform no-hands aerial, which was invented by Alan Gelfrand during 1976 and eventually became recognized as the Ollie.

In the 1990s, the concentration switched to street skateboarding. During that time, the common size of skateboards was 30″-32″ in length and 7 ¼” – 8″ in width. Stunts were done simpler, credit to the major accomplishments such as smaller wheels and lighter boards. Then in 2004, companies in a skateboarding came up with Go Skateboarding Day, which is yearly done every June 21st.

There is no proof yet as to who invented skateboarding. Numbers of people had seemed to work on a similar idea. Although it was never known who should be given the credit, their cumulative efforts have brought as the inspiration of the modern skateboards.

Difficult Times of Skateboarding

Skateboarding also experienced rough moments. A lot of people have seen the risk and danger of this sport. Certain cities and parks restricted the activity of skateboarding. Norway, in particular, restricted skateboarding between 1978 and 1989. Yet, enthusiastic skateboarders have managed to retain this sport.

Nowadays, skateboarding keeps on growing. It is also comparatively safe. Lesser skateboarding accidents and injuries occurred compared to basketball and baseball. In fact, the International Olympics Committee is suggesting skateboarding an Olympic sport this coming 2020. There is no doubt that skateboarding has reached far from its early ages of sidewalk surfing.

Summary

Skateboarding is a kind of action sport that includes riding and executing stunts with the use of skateboards. It is a competitive activity, a kind of art, a job in the entertainment industry, and of course a method for transportation.

Way back years ago, when skateboard was first brought to people in the 1950’s, no one could have ever thought that it could reach this far. This has been a great journey for skateboards.

Over the past years, skateboarding has undergone a lot of swings and phases in fame. The styles in the riding have been modified a lot of times, and are still expanding.

Skateboarding remains to expand and will grow with time since nothing can ever be perfect and free from errors. Skateboarding can always be something that can be enhanced. Thus, we can foresee better skateboards in the upcoming years.

Sources:

  1. Skateboards and Invention – si.edu
  2. KickTail – Wikipedia
  3.  The Skateboarding Problem – publicskateparkguide

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