Timeline View Of Skateboarding

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Even though at first glance, it may seem that skateboarding is a relatively recent sport, its roots spread way back to the beginning of the century. True, the early beginning of the boards comprised of standard wheels connected to a 2×4 board and in order to stabilize and steer kids would often utilize milk crates featuring handles, but isn’t that how all great things start out? But the true beginning of the sport was in fact simultaneously determined by the growing popularity of surfing in the ’50s, because skating was viewed as its land-based counterpart.

The initial model of board was produced by Roller Derby back in 1959 and from that point on it seemed that the sport had nowhere to go but up. In just one year, the number of enthusiasts grew immensely and with the aid of famous publishers of the times such as Larry Stevenson – who also developed the primary professional-grade skateboard model in ’63 – the hype really took off. The most noticeable event for this period of skateboarding occurred during the same year, when the first actual contest was organized in California, Hermosa.

While skateboarding was gathering millions and millions of enthusiasts around the globe and the board manufacturing industry was thriving, things took a turn for the worst. For several years now skateboard developers paid very little attention to safety features and a skater injured himself during a famous competition, as a result of poor quality construction materials of the board and his total disregard for danger.

On a side note, the boards at their time utilized clay wheels which were of inferior quality – low road grip – but inexpensive for the manufacturers. Skateboarding was almost forgotten over the next 8 years, in spite of Larry Stevenson’s efforts to recapture the attention of the public.

The 2nd booming of the sport also came from California, with the invention of the polyurethane wheels and mass production was up and running by the 1973. Florida saw the first park designed especially for skateboarding enthusiasts 3 years later, in 1976. Until the ’90s, the dominating players in the once again flourishing skateboard manufacturing industry were Power Peralta, Santa Cruz and Vision Sims.

However, the global economic recession that occurred in ’91 almost drove these companies to extinction, as they all suffered major profit losses. While skateboarding seemed doomed once more, the exposure provided by the ESPN 2 games in conjunction with a slow recovery of the business world have managed to keep it afloat up to the present date.

 


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