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Skateboarding

History / Background
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Looking backward...

History of Skateboarding

"Some hobbies have a rich history or background. While it's not necessary to know the background in order to enjoy the hobby, it can sometimes enhance the experience." (I bet they have fun coming up with this stuff)
 
Skateboarding began way back in the 50's. The boards were a hell of a lot different from todays of course, they were modified over time and evolved with technology and science. The first official skateboard manufacturer opened in 1959. Skateboards popped up here and there, it was a slight phase and then due to parents whining and complaining about how dangerous and impropper it was it dies out for a while. Then, skateboards re-emerged in a second generation through the late 60's and 70's. New materials were experimented with and skateboarding popularity moved in waves. The first skateboarding competition was held in Hermosa Beach, California in 1963. Safety specialists claimed the hobby was unsafe and so it would slow for a while, but true skaters kept it alive until it grew once again. In the 70's the sport progressed with the major invention of urethane wheels. They improved traction, speed and the type or tricks a skater could perform as well as the quality. It was in the 70's that the first concrete parks were made and the first movies, magazines and professional skaters appeared. Boards also lengthened to provide better stability to the rider. Unfortunately, the last 70's saw many insurance companies freaking out over injuries from skating, so te parks began to close and once again the business was slow. The heart o skating had not died. In the 80's skaters began to make their own back yard obstacles, like wooden ramps made from plywood and empty parking lots that provided room for skaters to work. Skaters also created a solid image in the 80's, typically a punk-rock, headbanging, person who wore retro tennis shoes, earth colored baggy clothes and listened to hard-edge punk. Once again the sport surged, then dipped through the late 80's, but it was still thriving and worked its way up to the largest the sport had ever been. In 1995 ESPN held the Extreme Games in Rhode Island which featured skateboarding and made it more popular than ever. In 1997 the Winter X Games featured inline skating, bike stunts and snowboarding. The media's presence with this sport turned it from an underground rebel to a full throttle way of life. Skateboarding is going full speed ahead. THe people have changed, the tricks have advanced, materials improved, but the love of the sport, nay, art is at an all time high.

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