Skateboarding

Short History

     Skateboarding was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. This was called "sidewalk surfing" and became highly popular. No one knows who made the first board. One of the earliest Skateboard exhibitions was sponsored by Makaha's founder, Larry Stevenson, in 1963 and held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California. That helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do. As the popularity of skateboarding began expanding, the first skateboarding magazine, The Quarterly Skateboarder was published in 1964.
     The first broadcast of an actual skateboarding competition was the 1965 National Skateboarding Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California and aired on ABC's Wide World of Sports. One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. The popularity of skateboarding dropped and remained low until the early 1970s, but then, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling his company Cadillac Wheels. In 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again.
     In 1975 skateboarding had risen back in popularity enough to have one of the largest skateboarding competitions since the 1960s, the Del Mar National Championships, which is said to have had up to 500 competitors. Soon, skateboarding contests for cash and prizes, using a professional tier system, began to be held throughout California. From the mid-1980s on, it was possible to earn good money as a professional skateboarder and skateboard industry boomed in the US. The popularity of skateboarding dropped, again, in the end of the 1980s, and early 1990s. In 1995, ESPN held its first Extreme Games in Rhode Island. These first X Games were a huge success and helped pull skateboarding closer to the mainstream and closer to being accepted by the general population.

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