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The Evolution of Skateboarding

In the Beginning
 
The first skateboards appeared in the early 1940's, and they were actually assembled from broken scooters and planks of wood. During the 1950's when surfing began to have a greater following, skateboarding was linked to surfing and the term "sidewalk surfer" emerged. The first commercial version of the skateboard was sold in 1959. During the 60's and 70's skateboarding emerged in the limelight. With this popularity, public skateparks began to emerge and over 300 were built, however because of liability issues and insurance they were forced to shut down. This caused the first crash of skateboarding's popularity, and those die-hard skaters began to hit the streets with their tricks.

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Skaters today are trying some unbelievable stunts. This is a smith grind down a very large rail.

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Skateboarding's New Era
 
Skateboarding began to take off again when the skateboard was completely updated with a double kick tail skateboard and urethane wheels, which were much better for riding in the streets.Skateboarders rode in swimming pools and half pipes, mostle during this time.In 1978 the skateboard world was turned upside down when Alan Gelfand invented the ollie, a trick used to launch a skateboard completely into the air. Now vertical skateboarders could soar higher on ramps, and this led to another liability issue, causing parks to shut down once again. In the 90's skating resurged, and it began to focus on more technical tricks. The amount of participants increased drastically after 1995, as skateboarders continued to focus on street style tricks. Skateparks began to pop up all around America.

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This  picture shows the evolution of the skateboard from the first skateboard to be sold commercially on the far left, to the double kick tail skateboards used by skateboarders today on the far right.

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For a more in depth history of skateboarding, click here.