It’s amazing to see how skateboarding has evolved over the years. And while it’s easy to dismiss it as a fad that died off long ago, the truth is that skateboarding is more popular than ever!
So grab your board, put on your helmet, and crank some tunes as we explore seven radical skateboarding facts.
1. Skateboarding Originated in California
There’s a good reason why skateboarding is so closely associated with California. It was in California during the 1950s that skateboarders (then called street surfers) crafted the first board.
While we have longboards and cruiser skateboards today, they had to get a bit more crafty. The first skateboards were about as dangerous as it gets, consisting of a wooden box and some wheels torn from a rollerblade.
We’re willing to bet the first skaters wiped out quite a bit.
2. Origin of the Ollie
If you’re learning to skate in your backyard, the Ollie is likely the first trick you’ll master. It’s a simple enough trick but looks impressive all the same: Pop up your board, drag your foot, and land.
But believe it or not, there’s a namesake behind the trick. Allen Ollie Gelfand is his name, and his trick’s invention was actually an accident.
3. The Z-Boys Revolutionized Skateboarding
Most of what we know about skateboarding today stems from The Z-Boys, a group of skaters based in Venice, California. In fact, before The Z-Boys, skateboarding was about skating around, not cool tricks.
It wasn’t until Tony Alva and his friends hit the scene that skateboarding got its trick-based focus we love today.
The team went on to compete in dozens of competitions in the local area and even inspired a movie, Lords of Dogtown
4. Skateboarding Made A Digital Comeback
There was a while where skateboarding more or less disappeared. It was still around, sure, but it was far more niche than it was in the 1980s.
Then Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater hit the Sony PlayStation in 1999. The game was an immediate success, spawning one of gaming’s most profitable franchises of all time.
But more importantly, the game inspired a whole new generation of kids to pick up a board in real life.
5. Tony Hawk Was The First To Pull Off A 900
Aside from making one heck of a good video game consultant, Tony Hawk has the honor of pulling off one of skating’s toughest tricks: The 900.
It was a stunt that had evaded Hawk for years. Each year, he’d show up to the X Games and attempt the stunt, and each year he’d miss it by an inch.
It took years before he pulled it off, but during the 1999 X Games, Hawk managed to pull off the required three full rotations, making him the first person in history to do a 900.
6. A Skateboarder Jumped The Great Wall of China
It may sound too strange to be true, but we promise it happened!
In 2005, Danny Way became the first person to jump the Great Wall via a skateboard thanks to a massive 70-foot ramp. The ramp launched way over 50 feet where he then landed safely.
7. Skateboarding Is as Much a Culture as a Hobby
Sure, the actual act of skateboarding is a big part of the skater lifestyle. But there’s so much more to it than that.
From the great music like The Offspring, Suicidal Tendencies, and The Notorious B.I.G. to the comfortable clothes and stylish shoes, skateboarding is so much more than grinding a rail or pulling off an Ollie.
Skating has the distinct honor of at once being a hobby, a fashion type, and a lifestyle.
Did You Know These Skateboarding Facts?
Skateboarding is such a fascinating sport to watch. From seeing the culture evolve to watching the insane stunts people pull off, these skateboarding facts capture the essence of skateboarding.
Now if you’ll excuse us, it’s time to hit the skate park.
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