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Skateboarding Timeline

Here is a timeline of historic skateboarding events.

Published: 8/10/2015

Note! This article is a work in progress. Feel free to leave your comments below if you have any input.

Origins

Skateboarding started in California in the 1940s-1950s, when kids realised they didnt need the handles to ride their home made scooters, or just screwed or nailed roller skater trucks and wheels to a piece of wood.




1950s

In the beginning there was a strong connection with surfing. Many of the skaters were also surfers, and this influenced maneuvers and style.


1957: The Bun Board made by Alf Jensen in Hermosa Beach is the first commercially available skateboard.





1960s - The First Wave

The period saw the introduction of; the first skatepark, the first manufactured skateboards, the first pro-model skateboard deck, improvement to the trucks, and clay wheels. Skateboard design developed from the original plank-shape, to more closely resembled surfboards in both look and material.

Skateboard teams, sponsored contests and tours.

Due to poor quality equipment leading to numerous accidents, many American cities banned skateboarding, and by the end of 1965 skateboarding had died.


1962: The Val Surf Shop is the first known skateshop.

1963: Makaha Skateboards is started by Larry Stevenson.

1963: The first known sponsored skateboard contest is held in Santa Monica. (read more)

1964: Hobie Skateboards is started and the Hobie Super Surfer Team is formed.

1964: The Hobie Super Surfer team goes on the first organised skate tour.

1964: G&S Skateboards Invented the FibreFlex, generally considered to be the first laminated skateboard deck.

1964: The Quarterly Skateboarder is the first skateboard magazine published.

1964: The first American Skateboard Championships are held.


1964: Surfs Up is the first television show to feature skateboarding.

1965: Surf City in Tucson, Arizona is the worlds first known skatepark.

1965: The American Skateboard Championships are televised for the first time.





1970s - The Second Wave

The introduction of the urethane wheel is credited with sparking the second wave of skateboarding. Companies also started producing trucks specially designed for skateboarding. The decks got wider, from 7-8 inches to 9-10 inches, and new features like concaves, kick tails and rails were introduced. Manufacturers also started to experiment with more exotic composites and metals, like fiberglass and aluminium, but the common skateboards were still made of maple plywood.

The United States experienced a skatepark boom, and by the late seventies there were close to 200 skateparks.

Empty pools started the vert trend, and new vert tricks included slash grinds, frontside and backside ollies, and frontside airs and backside airs. Freestyle freestyle evolved into a more specialised disipline characterized by the development of a wide assortment of flat-ground tricks.

With better equipment and increased control skaters could go faster and perform more dangerous tricks, and in spite of the development of improved knee pads that had a hard sliding cap and strong strapping, liability concerns and increased insurance costs led to many skatepark closures in the United States. As a result skateboarders started building vert ramps in their back yards.


1969: Larry Stevenson patents the kicktail design. (approved 1971)

1972: Frank Nasworthy introduces the urethane wheel to skateboarding. (read more)

1975: The Rampage is the first know halfpipe built.

1976: Skaters started to skate swimming pools left empty in the California drought.

1977: Stacy Peralta was the first skater to receive endorsement checks from a skate shoe company.

1978: Alan Gelfand is credited with inventing the ollie.

1978: Norway bans the use, ownership and sale of skateboards due to fear of injuries.





1980s - Third Wave

By the beginning of the 1980s, skateboarding had once again declined in popularity, but by the mid eighties popularity rosee again. The rise in popularity was probably due to skateboarding magazines and videos, and skateboarding beging featured in Hollywood Movies.

While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, most people did not have access to ramps, and street skating increased in popularity.



1985: Back to the Future is released.

1986: Thrashin is released.

1987: The etnies Natas is the first pro model skateboard shoe released.

1989: Norway lifts ban on skateboarding.









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