5 Cool Facts About the History (and Future) of Skateboarding
Maybe you’ve been skateboarding every day for the last ten years, or maybe you’re just thinking about buying your first board. Either way, chances are you don’t know much about the history of the sport itself. While skateboarding is a relatively modern innovation, it has evolved rapidly in the last few decades. In this article, you can find out a little more about where skateboarding has come from and hear predictions about where it might be going.
1. Skateboarding evolved out of the sport of surfing.
One takes place on the ocean and the other takes place on concrete, but both skateboarding and surfing arose from the same culture. It is believed that skateboarding was invented by surfers who were frustrated by the unpredictability of the ocean. They were looking for a way to get a daily dose of adrenaline, even when waves wouldn’t cooperate. The sports have since evolved in two separate directions, but even today, you can still find shops catering to both surfers and skaters.
2. The original skateboards were made with metal or clay wheels.
Though skateboarding is believed to have been invented shortly after World War II, it didn’t become truly popular until the 70s. Part of that is because the original skateboards simply weren’t of very high quality. They were often homemade, and were sometimes little more than planks with roller skate wheels attached. The wheels were made of metal and clay, which wore out easily.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the skate community switched to using wheels made of plastic. These were an instant hit. They were difficult to break, dent, or damage. As an added bonus, they were more affordable than previous materials. With this, the popularity of skateboarding truly exploded.
3. Skateboarding is more popular than baseball.
Baseball is America’s pastime, while skateboarding is little more than an underground hobby. Right? Not quite. As of 2001, more kids under the age of 18 were skateboarders than baseball players. Since then, skateboarding has gone fully mainstream in a way that skaters of the 1950s could hardly have imagined. If trends continue, a skateboard will eventually be an everyday household object, just like a baseball glove is today.
4. Skateboarding is about to make its Olympic debut.
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will feature a first, as skateboarders from around the world will compete for gold and glory. There will be two different disciplines: Skateboard Street and Skateboard Park. Tune in to watch your country compete!
5. Electric skateboards are beginning to dominate.
Skateboards were once made of cardboard and nailed on wheels. Now, they are often high-tech and sophisticated pieces of engineering. In recent years, electric skateboards have been taking up an ever greater share of the skate market. Their lightness and maneuverability makes them an excellent choice for speed lovers everywhere. Though traditional boards are still around, electric may be the future of the sport.