By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
As you might know by now, skateboarding was born in California, some of the first people to ride a board with wheels on the ground were surfers! Which created this as a means to have fun when the waves weren’t any good, so you might ask yourself how people that loved riding in the sea ended up creating one of the most demanding sports performed in the streets?!
They didn’t, HAHA! Well, nobody invented anything! The discipline just evolved to many different ones that changed depending on the generation and the environment where the sport was being performed, we bet that there is a huge difference between skating in sunny California than skating in cold NYC right?
Street skateboarders left the ramps, the empty pools and skateparks to achieve a most ambitious goal, to make the entire world their skateboarding playground!
Photo: Hector Bermudez (Unsplash)
They Tried To Stop Skateboarding
In the late 80s, skateboarding had started to become popular all over America and after the craze of bowl and freestyle skateboarding, people started taking their skills to the streets, in the search for taller heights, longer rails, more speed and excitement!
One of the best examples is Philly’s “LOVE” Park which in the 80s was one of the go-to places for street skateboarders! it became so popular to skate that a few years after skateboarding became completely ILLEGAL in Boston to skate anywhere that was not a “regulated by the state skatepark”. The same thing has happened in many other cities and even countries but skating is an act of rebellion and against all odds, that old lady, security guards and even police, skaters keep on riding the streets and will continue to do so until the end of times!
Skateboarding got big to the eye of mainstream media as events like the VANS warped tour, that supported and evolved around skateboarding culture became popular.
Skateshops and skateboard brands became a niche since only those who practiced the sport knew about them and all of the gear was designed for the practice of the sport.
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VHS Skateboarding Culture
Videotapes became one of the most important means of the evolution and growth of this particular discipline, skateboarding crews in different cities agreed that taping tricks in a park was not very fun and it was holding back the skills and tricks some skaters wanted to pull off. They decided to go out and find the spots by themselves.
High school rails, plazas, business offices entrances and even government buildings all over the world became the scenario for street skateboarding videotapes that made of regular spots that were not designed practice the sport to become ICONIC and recognized among skaters from all over the world that even set goals for themselves to jump certain stairs or slide a certain handrail.
Skateboarders who skate street observe architecture and look for indicators as to where skate-able obstacles may be found. This process occurs as part of a natural pursuit within a Metropolis to find new and interesting places and obstacles to skate.
Street Skateboarding “Must Have” Items
You will not be able to street skate unless you have the right gear to do so! for example, you won’t be able to grind a ledge with a cruiser or a longboard bro! Here are the specifications of a modern professional skateboard suitable for street skateboarding and practice:
A single set of 4 wheels, 52mm wide and 99A in durometer
A pair of low in height 7.6" wide trucks
A 7.75" wide professional grade 7 ply Canadian maple deck
8 nuts and bolts
A sheet of Griptape
There is no specific standard that should be followed when constructing a skateboard from parts you should just "feel right" on it once assembled after a few rides.
You MUST travel with a block of wax to rub onto masonry to prepare it before a trick is attempted. The wax helps reduce the friction between the surfaces of the two materials when tricks that involve grinding or sliding otherwise, the obstacle might not be grindable and you could get really hurt.
A Good Pair of Shoes
This is one of the big ones, shoes are designed for this specific purpose and some even have the PRO specifications which includes additional features that will give you more grip to your board, less impact when you fall high tricks and overall better performance, I mean, have you tried to get a kickflip in military boots or high heels? HAHA! Yeah that’s going too far but trust us, it is really difficult to skate in shoes that are not designed to skate since they are designed to last!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes, skateboarding belongs not only in the parks and events but also in the streets! Skaters all over the world will continue to break the law (for a good cause) and will continue to fight for the entire world to #FreeTheSkateboards!!!
Read also: How To Develop Your Own Skateboarding Style
Read also: Freestyle Skateboarding Style And Origins