A Look Back at How Skateboarding Got Its Start

Motor skateboard

Skateboarding is a popular thing to do. At least w11 million people say they like to take out their skateboard on a regular basis. Most of the people who enjoy the sport live in the United States, which boasts half of all skateboarders. The world of skateboarding has come a long way since it was started in California. Today’s skateboarders have more option, such as power skateboards, that early skaters did not have. If you have a skateboard with electric motor, you might be interested in how the past time got its start.

Like many popular trends in the United States, skateboarding got its start in California. Surfers were looking for a way to keep surfing when they were on dry land. While a few people have claimed credit for coming up with the first skateboard, it is generally assumed that more than one person saw fit to put wheels on a board and start riding on the streets. This happened in the late 1950s.

Those first skateboards were a far cry from the power skateboards that can be bought today. Early models were basically roller skate wheels put onto wooden boards or boxes. A number of people hurt themselves trying to ride the early skateboards and soon the boards themselves began to be changed. People traded in their wooden boxes and boards for wooden planks.

All of these homemade skateboards got some companies interested and the commercially produced boards were made, not from planks but from particle board. Still the main audience for the boards were surfers who wanted something to do when they were not in the water riding the waves.

Most of the skateboarding at the time was either done as a downhill slalom sport, similar to skiing, or freestyle. Freestyle skateboarding has been compared to ballet dancing or eve figure skating. It would be a totally different thing to use a powered skateboard to try that kind of skateboarding. Three star skateboarders were Danner Berer, Woody Woodward and Torger Johnson.

In 1963, the main companies who were making the skateboards were Hobie, Makaha and Jack’s. Because of the popularity of the new sport, they started organizing competitions. Two years later, it looked like skateboarding was a fad that was over. Companies stopped making the boards and people had to go back to the handmade versions if they wanted to try the sport. This was not the best time for skateboarding as the wheels that were most often used were made from clay. This made the boards hard to steer and many people injured themselves trying to skate on their homemade boards.

In 1972, the skateboarding world was rocked by the invention of the urethane wheel. Frank Nasworthy introduced them to the world with his company, Cadillac Wheels. This got more people interested in the sport if skateboarding again. Like in the 1950s, the people who were most interested in skateboarding were surfers and younger people.

A few years later, the sport was changed again. A skateboarding contest featuring both slalom and freestyle skateboarding was held in Del Mar, California at their Ocean Festival. Skateboarders from Zephyr showed the world what they could do on a skateboard. The group featured Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Stacy Peraita. Their style of skateboarding was new, fresh and had an edge that past skateboarding did not have. The newer kind of skateboarding attracted people who liked the anti-establishment and rebel feel of the revised sport. This is what skateboarding looks like today.

In 1997, Louie Finkle of Seal Beach, California invented the modern power skateboard. The original motorized longboard was powered with gasoline but it was noisy and was banned in the state of California. The modern power skateboards have rechargeable batteries. The first kinds of power skateboards were only meant to be ridden on roads but they have been expanded to go just about everywhere skateboarders want to go. Today, you can buy power skateboards for riding on the street but also off road motorized skateboard are available for the more adventurous skateboarders.

Whether you are looking for a skateboard to get around town or rebel against the establishment, there are a lot of traditional and power skateboards to choose from.

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