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  1. 1. Hutchison 1Katy HutchisonMs. BennettBritish Literature9 September 2011 The History of Skateboarding In the 1950s, California surfers wanted to take surfing to another level. Instead of surfingin the ocean, they wanted to move it to the pavement. Skateboarding was born. In the 1950s, the first skateboard was made. Although it is known that surfers made thefirst skateboard, one specific person cannot be named in the creation of the board. Severalpeople have claimed to make the first skateboard but they can never be proved as the officialcreator. The first skateboard was made out of a wooden box with roller skate wheels attached tothe bottom. Although this method of craftsmanship was not very affective, it made the sportpopular (Cave). Skateboarding was a semi-common thing in the late fifties and early sixties,however, in the early 1961s, the sport hit a downward spiral. Skateboarding was a failure. Manymajor skateboarding companies shut down. It was a fad that had died out. People that hadskated had to start making their boards from scratch (Cave). In 1963, skateboarding was taking off. Its popularity began to climb again. TorgerJohnson, Woody Woodward, and Danny Berer were three of the first well-known skaters. Theyskated a lot differently than what you think of when you see skateboarding today. They used atechnique called “freestyle”. It looked like ballet or ice skating almost. It was definitelydifferent than modern day skateboarding. In 1965, Vans shoe company was created in Anaheim,California. These shoes became the most popular skating shoe (Skateboarding HistoryTimeline). In 1972, Frank Nasworthy invented urethane skateboard wheels, which are very
  2. 2. Hutchison 1similar to the wheels that are used today. Also, skateboarding has created many events that havechanges many people in America. The X Games is the biggest extreme sports competitionaround. The best of the best are involved in this competition. The X Games first happened in1993 and is still continued every year since then. a.When you think of a skateboard, you traditionally think of the deck, trucks, and wheels. This is the traditional skateboard. It is shaped kind of like a small surfboard, based off of the original idea of skating. The average length of a skateboard deck is about thirty two inches long. It is about eight inches wide and approximately one half of an inch thick. The deck has a much defined front (nose) and end (tail). The board also caves in ever so slightly to the center. The wheels are typically made of polyurethane, a polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbonate links (Petrusso). The trucks of the board are metal hinges that hold the wheels to the board. Skateboards also have grip tape. Grip tape helps the rider’s feet stay on the board. Regular skateboards are typically used for more of trick skating. They are used when skating bowls, ramps, rails, and just street riding. Skaters that do tricks and professional skaters use this type of board. Then there are longboards. Longboards are much longer than a regular skateboard. They are on average eighty four inches long and ten inches wide. Longboards are physically built the same way as skateboards. However, they are used differently. While skateboards are used for tricks, longboards are used for transportation and recreational riding. Since they are much larger than a skateboard, they are much more difficult to do tricks on. Longboards ride smoother than skateboards do. Also, when powering the board with your legs, it takes less power to control a longboard than a skateboard. Longboarding is also known as “sidewalk surfing”. Longboarding is also used when riding down very
  3. 3. Hutchison 1large hills. You gain speed a lot quicker and require me effort, unlike skateboarding. Theride is much smoother and less risky (Longboarding). Boards have changed much overtime. At first, the skateboard was more like a scooter. The handle was removed and theskateboard was created. The first skateboards were made out of a fruit box or a two-by-four with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom (Fry). In the 1960s, the nose and tailof the board was formed. The first manufactured boards were also created. A SouthernCalifornia surf shop made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to start makingboards of wood with pre-attached roller skate wheels and selling them to the public.Larry Stevensen designed the first professional skateboard and created the Makaha brand.He worked with his wife and legendary surfer, Mike Doyle. These boards were sold for$10.95 with shipping already included. In 1964, the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard wasintroduced. The board was much rounder than the original rectangular boards. LarryGordon and Floyd Smith created a new board manufacturing process that combines Bo-Tuff (a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy) with a maple wood core to create the Fibreflexskateboard. This was the first laminated skateboard. James OMahoney created the U.SSkateboard Association in 1974. In 1978, the skateboard went from 8 inches in width theabout 10 inches in width. They found it harder to do trick on the wider set board. By thistime, skateboarding had evolved into the sport that we recognize today (SkateboardingHistory Timeline).b.Vertica ramps are one type of skateboarding ramp. They are also called vert ramps.These ramps are typically found in skate parks. A vert ramp is similar to a half-pipe, butthe sides are built up so after the initial drop, there is an equal incline. It is mostcommonly used for height tricks. Another type of ramp is called a bowl. It looks like an
  4. 4. Hutchison 1 empty swimming pool and is initially used for speed and height tricks. A half pipe is simply a drop. It is the ramp that is most commonly associated with skateboard ramps. It is most commonly found at skate parks and is used to start a run through the park. Rails are also very important in skateboarding. It is just a rail that skaters grind on. Grinding is sliding the deck of the board along the rail, without using the wheels. There is also a quarter pipe. It is simply half of a half pipe. It is used for the same thing as the half pipe but is used with less experienced skaters (Patterson). II.Professional skaters that have majorly influenced the sport Skating has had many different professionals but there are a few that have really stood out. A few of the people are Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Ryan Sheckler, and Rob Dyrdek. These people have changed the sport as we know it. All of these men have made their names a brand. Dyrdek owns half of the skate shoes brand DC. White has won numerous skate compititions and gotten gold in the Olympics and also has his own brand of clothing, shoes, and gum. He also has a video game. Hawk has his own clothing line, won Olympic gold, and has his own video game. Sheckler also has his own video game, clothing line, and shoe. These men have made the sport what it is today (Pro Skateboarders Profiles and Bios).All in all, skateboarding has majorly influenced the history of the United States. I grew inpopularity and crashed, and still managed to become the sport that it is today. Skateboarding isvery a very deep, emotional sport. The people that do it are very passionate about what they do.It is that passion that has kept the sport going.
  5. 5. Hutchison 1 Works CitedCave, Steve. "A Brief History of Skateboarding." Editorial. N.p., 2011. Web. 1 Sept. 2011.< brief_history.htm>. This website basically jsut tell me how skateboarding was created. It tells me who invented the wheels that are still used today. The author talks about the concept behind skateboarding. This source will help me with my project.Fry, Kathie. "Skateboarding History." Editorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2011. < skateboarding-history.htm>. This website shows me the history of skating. It says pretty much the same thing as all the other websites. It shows kind of a time line of the events of skateboarding. I can use this source with my project."Longboarding." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>.Patterson, James. "Types of Skateboarding Ramps." N.p., n.d.
  6. 6. Hutchison 1 Web. 19 Sept. 2011. < 183774-types-of-skateboarding-ramps/>."Pro Skateboarders Profiles and Bios." N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. < Pro_Skateboarders_Profiles_Bios.htm>.