Skateboarding is the act of riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. A person who skateboards is most often referred to as a skateboarder, or just skater. Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2002 report by American Sports Data found that there were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of skateboarders polled who had used a board in the last year were under the age of 18, and 74 percent were male.
The 1940s-1960s Skateboarding was probably born sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s when surfers in California wanted something to surf when the waves were flat. No one knows who made the first board, rather, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies were producing decks of pressed layers of wood -- similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun besides surfing, and was therefore often referred to as "Sidewalk Surfing".
The 1970s In the early 1970s, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling it the 'Cadillac', as he hoped this would convey the fat ride it afforded the rider.The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that from the wheel's release in 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again, causing companies to invest more in product development. Many companies started to manufacture trucks especially designed for skateboarding, reached in 1976 by Tracker Trucks. As the equipment became more maneuverable, the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches (250 mm) and over, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. Banana board is a term used to describe skateboards made of polypropylene that were skinny, flexible, with ribs on the underside for structural support and very popular during the mid-1970s. They were available in myriad colors, bright yellow probably being the most memorable, hence the name.
Trick skating With the evolution of skateparks and ramp skating, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks had consisted mainly of two-dimensional manoeuvres like riding on only two wheels ("wheelie" or "manual"), spinning only on the back wheels (a "pivot"), high jumping over a bar and landing on the board again, also known as a "hippie jump", long jumping from one board to another (often over small barrels or fearless teenagers) or slalom.
In 1976, skateboarding was transformed by the invention of the ollie by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. It remained largely a unique Florida trick until the summer of 1978, when Gelfand made his first visit to California. Gelfand and his revolutionary manoeuvre caught the attention of the West Coast skaters and the media where it began to spread worldwide.
The ollie was adapted to flat ground by Rodney Mullen in 1982. Mullen also invented the "Magic Flip", which was later renamed the Kickflip, as well many other tricks including, the 360 Kickflip, which is a 360 pop shove it and a kickflip in the same motion. The flat ground ollie allowed skateboarders to perform tricks in mid-air without any more equipment than the skateboard itself, it has formed the basis of many street skating tricks.