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Skateboarding History Timeline Highlights

By Andres Pachon

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


You can trace the first seeds of skateboarding back 60 years in time. These sprouts bloomed as more people looked and got hooked onto the rapidly growing community that started in California with the surfers. As in most theories and hypothesis on the origins and evolution of living things and species, skateboarding crawled from the sea and into the streets when some unknown surfers thought their boards could use some wheels to catch the concrete of the city instead of waves. Since that moment there has been no return, for the evolution has become a worldwide revolution that keeps on vibrating the ground beneath its decks. Up until today skateboarding history is in the making.


1950’s – 1960’s

Legend has it that some unknown surfer in California made the first skateboard. It is said the he or she wanted to continue riding with the board even on days without waves on the ocean. This led to the appearance of a new type of surfboard with wheels that other surfers started using as they moved across the streets’ furniture. The debut was in Los Angeles, where the original skaters where first seen and identified.

Many of these since then know skateboards were reproduced in shops or crafted personally by the people who began starting the community of skateboarding. The phenomenon accelerated.


1970’s – 1980’s

Photo: Tina Stephenson (Unsplash)

As the 60’s ended, many surf magazines started giving space to the skateboarding sensation, which gave fuel to a rapid growth of both people and salesmen interest for it. Magazines were spawning dramatically, and each year new types of deck models, wheels and gears were promoted to and by the growing community. By the early 70’s it was seen as a extreme sport, and some of the very first sponsored events by skaters and trademarks took place at this time as skateboarding parks were consecutively founded.






By this point the first pro skaters were chosen in tournaments or by their abilities at using ramps or sorting obstacles. By the 80’s the use of photographs, videotapes and montage was highly credited to record any publishing and promotional skateboarding activity.


1990’s – 2000’s

Photo: Unknown (Unsplash)

The skateboarding culture is at its highest peak, both on the commercial level and on the personal and community lifestyle. Music, hardware, a tech-lingo, idols, a set of basic and advance tricks started to consolidate in a singularity that skateboarding represented: it was for most skaters a matter of lifestyle and a sense of culture inside a community, not just a sport or a global fashionable tendency. Various sort of alignments appeared on the scene, along with various styles that even though contrast skaters from one another enriched the possibilities for every individual to express their unique style.

The idols became important and were selected for sponsorship in order to get in the market big time, which led to many discussions by skaters trying to define by their own means and skills how to address the community. TV had a huge impact on it and part of skateboarding pop culture finally was a movement that could be seen anywhere on the globe.


2000’sTo This Day

Skateboarding is a global community without boundaries nowadays, it has its cultural and artistic expressions and interpretations, it’s a way of life and a style, but most importantly is a means to understanding and identifying yourself through a board. Even if its greatest highlight to this date is its recognition as an Olympic Sport, it will never just be any other sport; it is and remains a permanent revolution in a never ending spinning wheel.



Read also: Skateboarding Is Not a Crime: Rebel Culture and Revolution

Read also: The Most Important Skate Crews In History



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