By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Skateboarding had its bed born in the late ’50s and early ’60s as a means for Californias surfers to enjoy the time while they weren’t able to ride the waves due to bad weather conditions, this is one of the milestones of skateboarding since back in the day before actual boards were invented the surfers used to grab plain square boards and put roller skate wheels on it! some sick DIY SHIT® if you ask me!
A few years after, the boards were starting to be shaped more like a surfboard and companies started producing the now called penny boards and wooden cruisers used mostly for cruising the streets of California and diving into empty concrete pools, shortly after as the boards evolved, freestyle skating was born.
Freestyle in the 60’s
As more and more people got boards and not just the surfer crews, dudes and dudettes started experimenting with the possibilities the boards had to offer; most of the first tricks pulled off on the boards were inspired in dance and gymnastic moves making the experience of riding the board more skilled and visually enjoyable. The practice of freestyle skateboarding at this point was mostly performed in flat-ground tricks.
70’s and 80’s Freestyle Skateboarding Evolution
In the following decades, the sport evolved as a discipline since it got more and more technical and street events and competitions started to emerge all over sunny CA, the tricks got trickier and the performances more elaborated as routines and music were added to the mix making of these events a sensation among California’s counterculture youth.
Some of the most influential names of this time and as some people refer to as the grandfathers of the freestyle skateboarding style are Russ Howell, Joe Humeres and Rodney Mullen. These guys were some of the first ones to invent and perform the first ollies and ollie based flip tricks which took the performances and overall skating to the next level being the base of what we know now as street skateboarding.
Contemporary Freestyle Skateboarding
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
In current years, the popularity of freestyle skateboarding has decreased in the eyes of the media coverage but it’s far from disappearing. The World Round-Up Freestyle Championships are held every year in Canada and they have been for 8 years now giving the lovers of this particular discipline a space to enjoy this amazing and aesthetically pleasant display of skateboarding style, some other events and championships have been held in China and Europe.
In 2019 as the World Round-Up Freestyle Championships took place, one of the biggest surprises for the crowd was Isamu Yamamoto from Japan, who has been leading the freestyle skateboarding scene at age 14 doing tricks no one had ever seen or done before obtaining the 1st place in this competition!
We recommend you go to the World Round-Up Youtube channel and check out the sick SHIT® this kid is doing. Among others such as Yuzuki Kawasaki, Mike Osterman, Jacob Whitt, and Guenter Mokulys, being the top 5 in last year’s competition.
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