Skateboarding history

Skateboarding history

Skateboarding can be safely called a cool sport, perfect for a great time in the city. Thanks to the simplicity and accessibility of skateboarding since its inception, it has become a popular sport all over the world.

Throughout the history of skateboarding, it has had its ups and downs, and today it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Thanks to the wide distribution of videos, games and wide brand support, the best skateboarders are known all over the world.

Skateboarding is one of the most popular sports today. However, few people know the history of its origin and what influenced its popularity.

Skateboarding history

The history of skateboarding dates back to the late thirties of the last century. The founders were Californian surfers, deprived of the opportunity  to surf   without waves. Initially,  the skateboard   did not look the way modern people are used to seeing it. Initially, these were simple boxes and boards to which surfers attached wheels. Later they were replaced by boards, which were made by pressing wood. These boards already resembled the modern version.

Already in the early sixties of the last century, surfboard manufacturers began to be interested in a new sport, and they began to produce skateboards. During this period, the well-known Skateboarder Magazine directly influenced the growing popularity of this sport, and in 1965 the first championships were held. However, the rise in popularity lasted only a year, and was followed by a four-year lull. Skateboarding is beginning to regain its popularity, against the background of which a variety of skateboard companies have developed, which are popular in the modern world.

The history of skateboarding in the seventies of the last century took a new turn with the advent of polyurethane wheels, created by Frank Nasworthy. This innovation made it possible to increase the level of grip and lightness of the sports equipment, which caused a surge in the popularity of this sport. On this wave of popularity, many companies are launching the production of suspensions for such boards, and the type of skate itself changes significantly, due to which a greater level of control of the athlete is achieved.

The 1970s is a period of experimentation for manufacturers who are trying to use fiberglass, aluminum and maple plywood as deck materials. Skateboarding itself is also actively developing due to athletes who are actively inventing new types of tricks. At this time, the vert style was born in California. It appeared thanks to athletes skating in pools empty due to drought.

Such a direction in skateboarding as freestyle also developed. However, due to the vert style, skate parks have struggled with a high level of responsibility. The result of this struggle was a large number of their closings, which forced the athletes to build their own ramps. But ultimately, by the beginning of the eighties of the last century, the popularity of this sport again experienced a decline.

Further, the history of skateboarding receives a new leap in popularity due to the emergence of street style. The fact is that many new tricks that appeared gave skaters the opportunity to perform tricks on vertical ramps, however, most of the athletes could not do this due to the lack of access to these facilities.

In the mid-eighties, although the influence of freestyle on street was becoming more noticeable, skateboards were still only comfortable for riding in the vert style. However, the development of this sport went by leaps and bounds, which sometimes caused conflicts. The fact is that due to the lack of a sufficient number of ski parks, athletes began to perform their stunts in shopping centers. This caused a negative reaction from the community and several lawsuits, followed by a ban on skating in public places.

Skateboards acquired their appearance, familiar to a modern person, in the nineties of the last century. Of course, the size of the boards still varies depending on the style the athlete prefers.

Today this sport is already recognized all over the world. Moreover, now it is included in the Olympic sports. The decision was made in 2016 by the International Olympic Committee, and now they are included in the program of the Summer Olympic Games. The first skateboarding competition as part of the Olympics was held in Tokyo in 2020.

Types of tricks

Since the advent of skateboarding, athletes have invented a huge variety of tricks, each with an individual level of difficulty:

  1. Ollie. At the moment, Ollie refers to the basic tricks of modern skateboarding. The essence of this trick is to lift the board without using your hands. At the level of intuition, it is not possible to perform this trick, which causes some difficulties in the process of mastering it. However, if you train in sufficient quantity, then you can understand the technique of its execution;
  2. Nolly. In essence, this is practically the same as Ollie. The only difference is the click with which the trick is performed;
  3. Flips. In translation, the word Flip means a coup. Thus, it is very similar to the classic Ollie, but at the same time the skate needs to be made to rotate, which can occur both in one and in several planes. Among other things, today it is possible to compose various combinations of rotations;
  4. Grab. Comes from the English word to capture. The essence of the trick is that during the jump, the athlete grasps the board with his hands;
  5. Grind and Slide. These tricks are quite similar to each other, which is why they are combined into one category. The essence of the tricks is that the athlete has a goal to slide on some object. The difference lies only in the part of the skate on which the slide will be carried out. So, when performing Grinds, they slide on the suspension, and when performing slides, they slide on the board itself;
  6. Manual. This trick resembles riding a motorcycle with a candle, that is, an athlete balances on just one wheel axle of a sports equipment during the ride;
  7. Lip, stoll and stand. This group of tricks consists in keeping the balance of the skater, being on the very edge of an object. It can be ramps, curbs, rails, one leg or on own hands or one hand.


Tricks appeared much later, various riding styles were born first. Athletes now have a total of five styles:

  • Flatground. In origin, the name comes from a combination of two English words meaning level and ground. When riding in this style, the athlete performs absolutely all tricks on a flat surface that does not have any obstacles. Today, among the famous skaters who skate in this style are PJ Ladd, Sewa Kroetkov, Johny Giger and others;
  • Straight. This is one of the very first skateboarding styles, the essence of which is to perform tricks on the street. This style provides for the presence of obstacles, and anything can act as obstacles. Ladders, handrails, cornices and much more that may be encountered on the way are quite suitable. Adherents of this style are Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole, Luan Oliveira, Andrew Reynolds and others;
  • Freestyle. This direction of skateboarding gained particular popularity in the period from the seventies to the eighties of the last century. The essence of the style is to perform various tricks on the plane. Today Rodney Mullen, Daewon Song and others ride in this style;
  • Vert. The word vert also comes from English and is an abbreviation for vertical. Athletes who adhere to this style perform their tricks on the ramps. The modern skateboard has its own bright representatives of the vert style, among which are Tony Hawk, Danny Way, Bob Burnquist and others;
  • The park. Fans of this style perform their tricks only in parks specially equipped for this, that is, on ramps. In this case, a skate park can include an imitation of a variety of natural obstacles that are used in street style. These include imitation of stairs, railings and other things.

Reasons for its popularity today

Skateboarding is one of the most common means of self-expression and self-realization today. However, this is not the main reason for such a high level of popularity. The fact is that skateboarding is a very effective and rewarding sport. So, if you compare skateboarding and cardio training, the first will be an order of magnitude more effective. Just half an hour of skateboarding in a relaxed rhythm burns about three hundred calories. Naturally, if you perform some tricks at the same time, then the number of calories burned increases. If the same time is spent on jogging, then the body will use about thirty percent fewer calories. And for high-quality and efficient skiing, these thirty minutes will be very short. As a rule, skateboarders skate to almost complete exhaustion.

Skateboarding can help develop coordination. This quality is especially appreciated by urban residents, since they have very little free time to spend on the move. Among other things, this sport helps to prevent the appearance of flat feet, which, due to the weakening of the muscles of the feet with age, can appear in absolutely every person. Skateboarding, on the other hand, helps to strengthen the muscles of the feet from all sides.

The ability to keep the situation under complete control is very important for a modern person. This sport is able to provide significant assistance in mastering this process. And given the fact that for many skateboarders, boarding is also a subject for achievement, this sport can have a significant impact on improving their own self-esteem. Which plays a big role in the psychological health of every person.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has skateboarding evolved from its origins to become a globally recognized sport, and what were the key turning points in its history?
Skateboarding evolved from a pastime to a global sport through innovations in board design, the rise of skate parks, and its inclusion in popular culture. Key turning points include the development of urethane wheels, the rise of street skating, and its inclusion in the Olympic Games, marking its acceptance as a mainstream sport.

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