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Skateboards

The first examples of skateboards bore more of a resemblance to scooters. In the early 1900’s children used to attach roller skates to a two-by-four, then nail a crate to it and mount handles to control the steering.

It was not until the late 1950’s that skateboarding started to become popular. The first official skateboard for sale was called the Roller Derby. It had clay wheels and a wooded veneer board.

One of the key figures in early skateboarding was Larry Stevenson who was an avid surfer and the publisher of a magazine called Surf Guide. Larry started to cover skateboarding in the magazine and soon his company began to build professional skate boards through his company, Makaha.

The first recognized skateboarding competition was held in 1963 - ironically in a factory, which produced urethane wheels. It would be Frank Nasworthy who first saw the potential of urethane wheels versus the old clay wheels. Initially the skaters resisted the new wheels, but once people had an opportunity to ride the new boards resistance fell and a new era in skating was born.

Over the next decade the popularity of skateboarding continued to grow with riders doing greater and greater tricks. A major issue came up in insurance costs, by the mid 1980’s a majority of skate parks were forced to close due to the liability insurance premiums. It seemed skateboarding was about to die.

Due to the demise of the skate parks many skaters turned to illegal riding, also know as underground riding. It was not until the early 1990’s that names such as Tony Hawk became well know. Tony is credited for taking skating from the underground to mainstream by pushing forward with skate competitions first in the United States and then world-wide.

Today skateboarding is now a worldwide billion-dollar industry. Who would have thought a couple of kids riding in an empty pool could cause the birth of a new worldwide sport?