Who Really Invented Skateboarding?


It’s hard to be certain of who was the first person to put wheels on wood for riding outside, but in the 1950s and 1960s, many surfers wanted a way to have fun on concrete when the waves weren’t good. So, they made their own versions of a skateboard.

Larry Stevenson created the professional skateboard design that’s seen today. In the ‘50s, many surfers started using wood and wheels to make skateboards. Larry started building his own based on the look of a surfboard. Its popularity grew his business to be the first major skateboarding company.

There are different styles of skateboards, but the style made by Larry Stevenson is the one that looks more retro today because it is an older style of skateboard. This sport is fairly recent but it’s gained immense popularity since its invention.

skateboard history - 80s

Larry Stevenson Inventing Skateboards

There are different styles of skateboards. After the invention of the kicktail in 1969, more styles of skateboard began to come out. Originally, Larry sold the surfboard style that was made with flat wood and wheels. But over time, he began designing new styles and learned new tricks.

Larry Stevenson was a lifeguard at a California beach, and he loved to surf and swim. When waves were bad, friends would get together and try to skate instead of surf. These guys loved surfing so much that they wanted to do it on land too, not just in the water. So they began using roller skates and wood planks to make their own surfboards for land.

The idea became popular for many surfers across the coast, and Larry Stevenson noticed other surfers making their own and having fun riding them on land. So, when he wasn’t surfing or lifeguarding at the beach, he was making his own skateboards. Larry wanted to improve the invention that these other surfers came up with.

Larry shaped the wood plank into the shape of a surfboard and attached wheels to the bottom. He shared his creation with friends and other surfers, and they wanted to buy it from him. Larry Stevenson started making the skateboard and selling it around town and it became really popular.

The demand for skateboards was getting too high to handle, and eventually, Larry made it into his own company. He started making and selling his skateboard to many people. He sold up to 2,000 skateboards a month.

skateboards from different eras

Larry came out with a new design that looks more like the common skateboards seen today. He would ride the skateboard and try to do new tricks, and he figured out that he could add a curved end to the skateboards. The kicktail makes it possible to do some of the most popular tricks nowadays. And by inventing that design, he was able to sell even more skateboards than before.

The kicktail is on every skateboard you see today. On the penny boards, it is on one end, on classic skateboards, it is on both ends. With it, you can easily step on the end of the board and have the other end fly up to you. Or, you can do harder stunts like the ollie and other aerial tricks.

Skateboards Today

Skateboards today are fun, customizable, and made with different materials. Many kids get skateboards and end up riding them into their teenage and even adult years. At some high schools, there is even Skate P.E.

In places like Southern California, it is common to ride a skateboard around everywhere when you’re a kid and teenager. Many kids get together with friends after school to ride skateboards at skateparks. It is also common to have concrete skateparks around the city, and it is easy for kids to get together and ride to one on a Saturday.

The skateboard styles commonly seen and sold today are built differently than they were in the 1960s and 1970s. There are now longboards, cruiser longboards, popsicle skateboards, speed boards, and many more. They all have the same basic fundamentals, but each one rides differently.

These boards are made out of plastic or wood and they vary in length. The placement of the wheels is different depending on the style as well. For instance, on some skateboards, you can see the wheels from above because the board doesn’t cover them. But other boards have the wheels unseen and hidden underneath the board.

a longboard, skateboard and cruiser on a road

With so many different styles, you can choose one that you like and one that works for you. The different boards ride differently. And depending on the kind of riding you do, you may need a different board.

For practicing tricks and skating in a skatepark, you will want a classic skateboard or an old-school skateboard. These have the right shape and length that allows people to perform and practice tricks on. There are many tricks that involve jumping in the air or spinning the board under your feet.

If you like to ride down long hills and cruising on long roads, then a longboard option is better for you. The surf-style longboard is popular for its length. It is the longest board, and people love riding down lengthy roads with it. Because of its size, people can stand, crouch low, or even sit on the board while going downhill.

The styles similar to this are for similar riding experiences, but they can also work on different terrains. For instance, some boards are built for the asphalt on roads, and others are better on smoother concrete. The wheels can be plastic or rubber-like material, usually a mixture called polyurethane. So depending on where you like to ride your board and how you like to ride it, you can find a skateboard that suits you.

Skateboarding was invented less than 100 years ago, and now it is one of the most popular sports played by kids and adults. In the 2020 Olympics, skateboarding was even added as an official event and people all around the world competed in the first skateboarding Olympic events.

It’s undeniable that the skateboard first made by Larry Stevenson has made a huge impact on society.

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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