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Top 10 Historical Skateboarding Landmarks

By Andres Pachon

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

 

Skateboarding has marked our lives in many different ways, not only the sport itself but also the guys that were able to make this happen! From the roots to current events, we will be checking out the most important ones, lets get this started!

 

10. The “Sidewalk Surfers” are born (1940s early 1950s)

This is what started the whole thing, of course, there is no way an exact date can be pinpointed, but by the early ’50s, California surfers decided to come up with anew way of enjoyment while the waves were down and they were not able to surf! Hand made DIY boards were born to create a worldwide movement that was not going to be stopped anytime soon.

By the early ’60s manufactures started to realize how big this was going to become and the first skateboards started to be produced and marketed as “children toys”

 

9. The invention of the polyurethane wheel (1970’s)

Frank Nasworthy and his company, Cadillac Wheels introduced in the marked the first propper wheels designed for skateboards! Before that, the wheels were made out of metal or were taken from rollerskates which made it almost impossible to perform tricks, this caused a whole new generation of skaters and skateboarding style to be born.

 

 

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8. Del Mar National Championships (1975)

Altho many contests had been held before, (most by small local groups) they were not considered real contests, but more of a display of ability and fun. Del Mar was the first one that gathered over 500 competitors and many more spectators from all over the US, this is probably the event that caused for skateboarding to be spread on a national level and leave its birthplace of California cash prizes started to come up which caused the popularity of the discipline to grow exponentially and also have competitors invent new and exciting ways to impress the crowds, this led to new styles and tricks being born!

 

7. The Birth of the First Skateparks (1976)

Skaters all over California hade already come up with spots to skate on and develop new skills, but it wasn’t until March of this year that the first skateparks opened their doors, new DIY technologies started to be developed to create areas suitable for skateboarding wich gave skaters more freedom and space to perform and gain airtime. By this time, skateboarding was no longer considered a child’s game.

 

6. The Birth of VERT (1980’s)

This is considered the Golden era of the skateboarding industry, more and more independent companies started to come up, among those, DIY ramp builders who transformed the discipline and took it further from the ground and closer to the stars!

George Orton and Tony Alva started to develop aerial grab tricks on the ramps and the others followed, simultaneously, street skateboarding was being born.

 

 

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5. Rodney Mullen’s First kickflip (1983)

It is difficult to say who invented what, Rodney himself sometimes did not take credit for the “invention” of tricks that was given to him, but he certainly took the tricks to a whole new level! he could be considered the godfather of modern street skateboarding.

Skateparks became less popular with the birth of ramps, and not everyone could afford to build one so the skaters started to take on the streets, office buildings, schools, and mostly private properties became their playground. This is probably the beginning of the negative social perception there was on skaters and when the problems with the law and the rebellion towards them and the social standards had begun!

 

4. Burnside Skatepark Is Born (1990)

Bret Taylor, Chuck Willis, Osage Buffalo, Kent Dahlgren, Jay Grahm, and Mark "Red" Scott decided to put up a concrete wallride under the bridge located in Portland, it was the beginning of a series of modifications made by local skaters that still stand to this date and have become one of the most famous landmarks of skateboarding at a worldwide level!

This was the first DIY concrete park ever built by skaters, for skaters! An amazing display of the DIY roots in every skater’s blood passed from previous generations.

 

3. The Standard Skateboard is Born (Mid 90’s)

This IS the breaking point in skateboarding history, the reason why? tables turned and street skating became the king, skaters were no longer skaters, they were a family, a dress code, a lingo, attitude and view towards life had been developing ever since the early ’50s and was here to stay.

The standard measures of the board were set. The wheels were made of the new mixture of extremely hard polyurethane which made it easier to perform flat-ground tricks and stability from high drops. Wheels became smaller, while the board became lighter, something that was necessary to the development of the street skateboarding abilities. Altho vert skateboarding was at its mainstream media coverage peak, kids were going further away from this and they were riding the streets! Boards have remained almost the same ever since.

 

 

Aksel Sørum Professional Skateboarder from Norway

 

 

2. The New Millenium (Go Skate Day)

The 2000s were very important for skateboarding in several ways, the birth of the internet and skateboarding videogames craze, Mr. Tony Hawk developed THPS which got a whole generation of kids to gain interest in skateboarding.
Skateboarding is no longer a “sport” its a lifestyle, its a worldwide movement, a family! By 2003, the first Go Skate day is held, thousands of skateboarders all over the world gathered from then on every year to celebrate skateboarding and everything that has given us!

 

1. Skateboarding In The Olympics (2020)

Now, keep in mind that altho a lot of people are not satisfied with the happening, this is something that could GREATLY impact skateboarding as we know it! Some say negatively, some say positively, one this is for sure, we are all looking forward to seeing how this SHIT® goes down! This is probably one of the most important happenings in recent years related to skateboarding whether we like it or not!

Many skaters are coming out to say that this is “mad” and it will “take the life” out of skateboarding as we know and love it, but some feel that it will take the movement even further! Benefiting those around the world who don’t have the same luck as we do and also, once in for all, remove the stigma that some people still have regarding skateboarding!

There you have it my dudes and dudettes! We are pretty sure we missed a bunch of important skateboarding moments, but we wanted to focus on those who really shaped it into what it is now, what is your top 10? We would love to check it out!

 

Read also: Top 10 Skateboarding Tricks Ever Pulled

Read also: Top 5 Skateboarding Brands

 

 

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