Video:History of Skateboardingwith Omar Saad
Skateboarding is a wildly popular sport these days, but that's a relatively recent development. For context, here's a short history of skateboarding.See Transcript
Transcript:History of SkateboardingHi, I'm Omar Saad, here for About.com, and today we're going to take a look at the history of skateboarding as detailed on About.com's skateboarding site. For decades now, skateboarding has been everything from a means of transit, to an underground sport, to even a culture for some. Here's a look at its origins and evolution.
Origins of SkateboardingNo one is exactly sure when the first skateboard was invented or by whom, but the first skateboard-like contraptions are thought to have appeared sometime in the 1950's in Southern California beach communities. Constructed from scrap wood and roller-skate wheels, these first boards were made by surfers who wanted to extend the thrill of surfing to land. There was a brief surge in popularity in the early 1960's, but then the fad seemed to go away, at least for the mainstream crowd. One of the major breakthroughs that paved the way for a resurgence in popularity, was the invention of the urethane skateboard wheel, by Frank Nasworthy. These wheels were much safer than the clay wheels being used at the time, and gave skaters much greater control over their board.
The Zephyr TeamWhile much of popular culture had forgotten about skateboarding, the diehards kept it going and by the mid-1970's, the Zephyr skate team, formed in Venice, California, appeared on the scene. The team featured such future skateboarding legends as Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams. After the Zephyr team won the 1975 Ocean Festival skateboarding event in Del Mar, California, skateboarding began to take off once again. The Zephyr team, most notably Tony Alva, also laid the foundations for vert skating by making use of drought drained in-ground pools in the LA area, when pushing the limits of skateboarding.
Golden Era in SkateboardingIt was at this point as well that skate parks began to appear on the scene, and once again the sport was gaining in popularity. The mid-1980's would usher in what may have been the golden era of skateboarding. In 1984, original Zephyr team member Stacy Peralta, along with George Powell, created the first skateboarding video. The concept took off and the 1980's spawned some of skating's biggest stars. By the mid- to late-1980's stars like Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi dominated half pipes as vert skating reigned supreme.
Current Point in Skateboarding HistoryBy the end of the 80's, the vert era was dying and skateboarding in general was going back to more of an underground scene. This began the era of street skating. Videos once again pushed new faces forward who, in turn, pushed the limits of skating, using the landscapes of everyday life as their course. By the mid- to late-90's, with the emergence of the X-Games, vert skating's popularity rose once again, permanently placing it alongside street skating as a valid expression of the sport. The games pushed skateboarding and its culture harder than ever into the mainstream.
Skateboarding has come a long way since those early days in Southern California, producing worldwide celebrities and millions of fans over the years. Far from an obscure underground movement, today, kids and adults the world over skate for both fun and sport. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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