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Frank Nasworthy: The History Behind Skateboard Wheels


By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.


Frank Nasworthy paved the way for the second great boom of skateboarding in the 1970s. He introduced the polyurethane wheel to skateboarding in 1972 with Cadillac Wheels. Probably you don’t know about him, but he is more important to skateboarding than you may think.


Clay and Steel Wheels are Oldated

Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)

In the 60s it looked like skateboarding had reached it’s peak and that there wasn’t more freestyle to be done, mostly beacuse everything skaters could create with the standard clay and steel wheels were already created. Nasworthy moved to mid California in 1971 to surf but realized that the kids of the zone were trying to practice skateboarding in the empty pools. Nasworthy got an idea and he started to think how soft polyurethane wheels would be ideal for skateboards, so he asked his father to send him 10 sets of suitable wheels. He put them on the skateboard and started riding, quickly noticing that the plyurethane allowed a smoother and quicker roll.






Polyurethane Finds a Way

Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)

Frank saw the potential this type fo wheels had for skateboarding, so he invested the $700 he earned working at a restaurant and created the Cadillac Wheels Company. Creative Urethan was the enterprise that created the wheels from Nasworthy instructions. Then, in 1972, Nasworthy moved the Company to California.

Skateboarding was in its early years, so Frank started to sell the wheels directly to skaters at surf shops located along the California shore and started to put publicity in surf magazines. The news of a brand new type of wheels for skateboarding spread, helping skateboarding to awake again. In 1975 the manufacturers incorpórate the Polyurethane and Frank began to sell 300.000 sets of wheels per year.

His success didn’t last very long because some more precise rolling systems started to appear. Nevertheless, Frank will always be remembered as the guy that allowed skateboarding to evolve. As well as how he literally reinvented the wheel, and you should thank him, because you can skate the way you uskate right now because of Frank.

Remember that we have our own wheels!!




Read also: How to Choose Skateboard Wheels

Read also: How a Skateboard is Made


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