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  • Peter Straka

The History of Skateboarding

A few years ago, I started skateboarding. My dad took me to Shoreditch, where I got my first skateboard. One of my first lessons was in Bay 66. I like it, as you are outside, you can train your skills and you are joined by many others. At one point I got interested in the history of skateboarding. I learned that it dates back to the 1950. It is more than just a sport, it has captivated generations with its thrilling and rebellious spirit, but it went a long way to become a global phenomenon.

In the late 1950 surfers in California sought ways to simulate the feeling of riding waves when the surf was flat, leading to the creation of the first skateboards. These early boards consisted of wooden planks and repurposed roller skate wheels. The term "sidewalk surfing" emerged to describe this new pastime.

In the 1970s companies like Sector 9 and Makaha began producing purpose-built skateboards, making the sport more accessible. This was a big turning point in the history of skateboarding. This era saw the emergence of the iconic kicktail, which allowed skaters to perform tricks and maneuvers.

As skateboards became available to a wider range of people, its popularity continued to grow in the late 1970s and early 1980s, also thanks to the rise of skate parks. These purpose-built facilities provided skaters with a controlled environment to improve their skills and perform tricks safely. Skateboarding also gained more popularity with the release of skateboarding films and magazines.

The 1980s marked the heyday of skateboarding with the emergence of legendary skateboarding teams like the "Bones Brigade," led by skateboard icons such as Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta. This era saw the rapid development of skateboarding tricks, from the ollie to the kickflip, which became cornerstones of modern skateboarding.

Skateboarding became less popular in the 1990s when skate parks closed, and the sport lost some of its mainstream appeal. However, it experienced a resurgence in the 2000s, thanks to video games, popular skateboarding competitions, and the ever-growing skateboarding community.

Today, skateboarding is more diverse and widespread than ever. The sport's inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics is a testament to its global reach. Skateboarding culture has influenced fashion, music, and art, making it a powerful force in contemporary youth culture.

The history of skateboarding shows its resilience and enduring appeal. From its humble beginnings on California streets to its worldwide recognition, skateboarding has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that continues to inspire and empower individuals to push boundaries, challenge norms, and embrace their creativity.

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