Skateboarding was first started in the 1950s, when all across California surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets. No one really knows who made the first board -- instead, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at the same time. Several people have claimed to have invented the skateboard first, but nothing can be proved, and skateboarding remains a strange spontaneous creation.
These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom. Like you might imagine, a lot of people got hurt in skateboarding's early years!
A radiologist's dream to quote Johnny Morgan LOL
It was a sport just being born and discovered, so anything went. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies were producing decks of pressed layers of wood -- similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun after surfing.
In 1963, skateboarding was at a peak of popularity, and companies like Jack's, Hobie and Makaha started holding skateboarding competitions.
At this time, skateboarding was mostly either downhill slalom or freestyle. Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer were some well known skateboarders at this time, but what they did looked almost completely different from what skateboarding looks like today!
Then Skateboarding meshed with tattooing and punk rock.. The best documentaries of this very interesting twist in sport history are the films of Bart Saric. His two films SMELL THE CRETE and SKINNED ALIVE are both fascinating invitations to the general public into this world of SK8
Here is the official trailer of Skinned Alive which features my friends Steve and Art Godoy fabulous Pro skateboard legends, fantastic tattoo artists and punk rockers.
If you'd like to own your own copy of these fascinating films email Bart directly. I have them both and when I watch them I am transfixed and unable to leave my chair. Bart is really a great film maker and I know talent when I see it!
P.O. Box 3564
Santa Monica, CA 90403 USA