Meet the high earning skateboarders who have proven time and again that skateboarding isn’t just fun, it can be a serious career in action sports, entertainment, video games, movies and more. Aside from the fame comes the fortune for these men who have dedicated their time, energy, talent and effort to the awesome world of skateboarding.
The first skateboards were made of wooden boards and had roller skate wheels attached to its underside.
Eventually, the board evolved to become planks and the wheels changed to metal then clay and soon after urethane wheels.
As the sport became more popular, manufacturers tried and tested various materials for the board and eventually the decks got thinner, lighter, and stronger.
Trucks became specific for skateboarding which is credited to Makaha and Hobie, a famous surfboard company back in the 70’s. A major innovation in the skateboard would have been Larry Stevenson’s kicktail. If not for such invention, tricks and “braking” would be difficult.
Despite the progress in the skateboard, the sport itself experience highs and lows in the waves of popularity and success. From 1963 to 1965, skateboarding was developing its success with many downhill and freestyle competitions held by surfing companies. . Skateboarding was regarded a dangerous sport and parents would prefer their kids to stay away from broken bones and bruises. Skateboarding reached its low in 1965.
The invention of urethane wheels in 1972 by Cadillacs Wheel owner Frank Nasworthy, made the skateboard lighter and easier to ride. It reduced noise and increased its maneuverability. This raised the appeal of the sport.
In 1975, the Zephyr Team demonstration in Del Mar California changed the mindset of many people. It catapulted the sport to another level.
Amongst its most famous members, the Zephyr Team had Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta.
It was towards the end of 70’s decade that the ollie was introduced by Alan Gelfand. This spurred more imagination and creativity to the sport. Airtime was possible.
Skateboarding took another hit when parks began to shut down. The high risk, injuries and insurance costs couldn’t support small business owners.
Skateboarding also began to take more negative publicity, as skaters were stereotyped as loafers, druggies and anti-social teen agers. (mostly true).
As outcasts, skaters began setting up their own “parks” in their backyards. They turned their old pools into skate ramps and even built their vert ramps. Necessity fueled their creativity and work ethic.
Stacey Peralta, George Powell and their Bones Brigade Team soon gave skating another lift. Videos and movies. They recorded skateboarding videos in VHS and soon the entire world got to see the streets through their eyes.
Members of Bones Brigade include Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Stacy Peralta, and Kevin Staab.
Interest in skateboarding shifted from vertical to street skating.
It was about this time when vert skateboarding was losing its popularity that Mike Vallely and Natas Kaupas introduced skating rails and converting freestyle tricks to “street” tricks.
ESPN’s the X-Games took the sport to the highest level and legitimized the sport.
Soon, video games were released that featured skateboarding. TV Shows soon followed. The sport was riding high.
Today as we enter 2017, Skateboarding is wildly popular. There are tons of different brands to choose from, the X-Games and Street League give it plenty of publicity.
Entire categories of clothing and apparel are dedicated to the lifestyle and the sport.
Top shoe brands are dedicated to the sport (such as Nike, Adidas, Puma and Vans), and soon the Olympics will have Skateboarding as an Olympic Event. Well…What do you know…
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