When Were Skateboards Invented?
Skateboarding (and the art of skateboarding) first appeared in California during the late 1940s or early 1950s. Surfers came up with the idea of placing wheels on the back of makeshift boards in an effort to mimic the effects of surfing without the need of water. It is unclear who the first person was to make this alteration, but the invention has been claimed by several people. So far, no one has given significant proof to back up the claim.
These first skateboarders began with wooden boxes or sheets with roller skate wheels fastened to the base. This was extremely dangerous and many of the original skateboarders were badly injured during its earliest years. Eventually, companies started to take wooden planks and mass produce them for skateboarders.
Rise In Popularity
During the early 1960s, skateboarding was very popular and saw the emergence of brands that were solely dedicated to producing skateboards. At the time, many people viewed them as talent pieces that are often used in the same fashion as ice skates. Dance moves and graceful acts that were known as Free Form were the most common techniques.
Relapse And Recovery
Going into the 1970s was a rough time for skateboarding. Many began to view it as a dangerous activity that was only in fad for a temporary period of time. Skateboard sales dwindled and many of the earliest manufacturing companies closed their doors and went out of business. Historians classify this period of early skateboarding as the first phase of decreasing popularity.
Skateboarding sales were low throughout much of the 1970s but did manage to bring about the first skateparks and rudimentary (but important) tricks that would later morph into their own names, such as the ollie. Immediately following the recession of the mid ‘70s, skateboarding parks would soon shut down almost as fast as they were erected. Skateboard use in the 1980s took more of an underground approach to the sport, with the activity being seen as a form of rebelliousness and a counterculture pastime. Its use soon grew among mainstream teenagers and young adults again, with corporate sponsors taking notice during the 1990s. From this point forward, skateboard sales skyrocketed and the sport transformed into a league of its own, with celebrity riders, veterans, and skateboard-related merchandise currently being known throughout the world.