Skateboarding

A skateboarder in the middle of a trick

Skateboarding is the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. Someone who skateboards is a skater (or skateboarder or most fully skateboard rider), though the shortest term may also refer to someone ice skating or roller skating.

Like roller skating, skateboarding is often done for recreation and as a sport, but, more often than ice skating, it is a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been thought of by many as part of the extreme sports family, which also includes (but not restricted to) snowboarding, BMX, and surfing.

History of the skateboard

The history of skateboarding goes hand in hand with the history of the skateboard. Improvements in skateboarding equipment have spurred advancement in skateboarding techniques and new techniques have required new equipment.

Skateboarding has its origins in surfing, and was originally called "sidewalk surfing". While surfing influenced skateboarding in it's early days, now the reverse is also true. Surfers are adapting skateboarding tricks into surfing, and the result is evolution in both sports.

The first skateboard

The first commercial skateboard was the Roller Derby Skateboard that was introduced in 1959. Before this skateboards were home made pieces of wooden planks with roller skates attached to the bottom. At the time there was a rapidly growing interest in skateboarding (sometimes referred to as sidewalk surfing) and soon many other similar products emerged. The boards were from 6 to 7 inches wide. These boards used wheels made of clay. They had poor traction and would come to a dead stop when rolling over even small pebbles. This made skateboarding inherently a dangerous sport and after a few years many cities banned skateboarding because of liability concerns. This development caused the first skateboarding fad to die completely in the fall of 1965. Many skateboard manufacturers went out of business because of losing money on cancelled orders for the Christmas holiday season.

The second generation

In 1970 Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of urethane. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again. With the growing interest companies started to invest more in product development and many companies started to manufacture trucks especially designed for skateboarding. As the equipment became more maneuverable the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches and over in the end, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. Manufacturers started to experiment with more exotic composites, like fiberglass and aluminium but the common skateboards were made of maple plywood. The skateboarders took advantage of the improved handling of their skateboards and started inventing new tricks. Skateboarders, most notably the Z-Boys, started to skate the vertical walls of swimming pools that were left empty in the 1976 California drought. With increased control skateboarders could skate faster and perform more dangerous tricks. This caused liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skatepark owners. Many skateparks went out of business and the parks were torn down or bulldozed. In the end of 1980, skateboarding had died again.

The third generation

The third skateboard generation, from early eighties to early nineties, was started by skateboard companies that actively promoted their sport. The focus was initially on halfpipe and vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the ollie made it possible for skaters to perform huge airs off vertical ramps. With vert skating being dominant decks were initially very wide with large and wide wheels, though as time progressed and skateparks became fewer in number, street skating was gaining popularity, causing a change in both deck shape and wheel size. Manufacturers preferred maple plywood over more exotic composite materials almost exclusively. The third skateboarding generation was killed by the global economical recession in the early 90's.

The current generation

The size and shape of the fourth and current generation of skateboards is dominated by one trick: the ollie. The boards are all about 7.75" wide and 31.5" long. The wheels have an extremely hard durometer so that they will slide better during grind and slide tricks. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards will rotate more easily during flip tricks. In the early 1990's, the wheels were only marginally larger than the bearings they encased to make complicated flip tricks easier but that fad died in 1994 and wheels currently are around 50 to 58mm in diameter. The decks are still almost always maple plywood but interest in high technology materials has increased slightly after the cost of manufacturing them has dropped.

Trick skating

see: Skateboarding trick for detailed description of trick skating maneuvers

Even young children can have fun at the skatepark.

With the evolution of skateboard parks (or skateparks) and ramp riding, the skateboard began to change. Skating was originally basically two-dimensional tricks (e.g. riding on only the front wheels (nose manual), spinning like an ice skater on the back wheels (a 360), high jumping over a bar, long jumping from one board to another (often over fearless teenagers lying on their backs), slalom, etc.) Around 1978 or so, street riding became transformed by the invention of the ollie or no hands aerial, the first modern skateboarding trick, by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. To ollie is to fly off the ground (flat or a wall) with the board, but without holding onto the board and then landing back on the board. It involves using your feet to press against the board in various complicated combinations, depending on the trick to be performed. The trick was reinvented by Rodney Mullen in the 80's, being transferred to the horizontal plane and used as a trick for freestyle skating (a style of skating popular in the 70's and 80's based on stationary maneuvers). No longer is the trick to fly from one place to another. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider, then to be united before hitting ground. The development of these complex tricks went from the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrains).

Very skillful skateboarders often become famous through sponsorship and endorsements. Examples include Tony Hawk (who has a series of video games in his name), Bob Burnquist, Rodney Mullen, Mike Vallely, Steve Caballero, Bam Margera and Josh Kalis (who has appeared in numerous television advertisements for DC Shoes). Hawk has recently appeared in the MTV music video awards. In the vert world, some are surpassing the skills of Tony Hawk. Recently his signature trick, the "900," was performed by an Italian skater named Georgio Zattoni and a Brazillian skater by the name of Sandro Dias. Also, Danny Way is considered by some to be the most innovative and daring skater, flying across the "DC Megaramps", and planning on jumping both the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canyon. Many styles today are a mimic of Tom Penny, who is a pioneer and in the early 1990s was the first skater to catch his flip tricks in mid air.

All this from an object that was never designed to lock into grinds, flip in the air or do the tricks performed by today's skateboarders. Throwing themselves down large stairs and handrails only ups the ante in the modern skateboarding world. Today's skateboarders not only differ greatly from those only 10 years ago in terms of tricks and consistency, but also style, which is a very important aspect in the way skateboarders are marketed by skateboarding companies.

Famous Skateboarders

  • Jay Adams
  • Tony Alva
  • Mark Appleyard
  • Stephen Berra
  • Bob Burnquist
  • Steve Caballero
  • Kareem Campbell
  • Rune Glifberg
  • Mark Gonzales
  • Tony Hawk
  • Heath Kirchart
  • Eric Koston
  • Bucky Lasek
  • Jason Lee
  • Bam Margera
  • Guy Mariano
  • Rodney Mullen
  • Chad Muska
  • Tom Penny
  • Stacy Peralta
  • Andrew Reynolds
  • Geoff Rowley
  • Kanten Russell
  • Arto Saari
  • Elissa Steamer
  • Aaron Suski
  • Ed Templeton
  • Jamie Thomas
  • Tony Trujillo
  • Mike Vallely
  • Danny Way

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Today's skateboarders not only differ greatly from those only 10 years ago in terms of tricks and consistency, but also style, which is a very important aspect in the way skateboarders are marketed by skateboarding companies. Mardi Gras is the title of a 1972 album by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Throwing themselves down large stairs and handrails only ups the ante in the modern skateboarding world. In Mexico, there are big Carnival celebrations every year in Mazatlan and Veracruz that include the election of a queen and street parades. All this from an object that was never designed to lock into grinds, flip in the air or do the tricks performed by today's skateboarders. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, is a well-known pride parade. Many styles today are a mimic of Tom Penny, who is a pioneer and in the early 1990s was the first skater to catch his flip tricks in mid air. Mardi Gras is one of only three exceptions to the Louisiana law (http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78402) against wearing hoods and masks in public, the other two being Halloween and religious beliefs.

Recently his signature trick, the "900," was performed by an Italian skater named Georgio Zattoni and a Brazillian skater by the name of Sandro Dias. Also, Danny Way is considered by some to be the most innovative and daring skater, flying across the "DC Megaramps", and planning on jumping both the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canyon. There are also Mardi Gras parades in Northern Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana by the Krewe of Centaur and the Krewe of Gemini and in Monroe, Louisiana and West Monroe, Louisiana by the Krewe of Janus. In the vert world, some are surpassing the skills of Tony Hawk. Many small towns and cities throughout southern Louisiana have Mardi Gras parades in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras day, and particularly on that day. Hawk has recently appeared in the MTV music video awards. The costumes used in these events are often homemade, emloying sheets, paints, and frequently masks of wire mesh with conical hats. Examples include Tony Hawk (who has a series of video games in his name), Bob Burnquist, Rodney Mullen, Mike Vallely, Steve Caballero, Bam Margera and Josh Kalis (who has appeared in numerous television advertisements for DC Shoes). These Courir can be witnessed in Church Point, Louisiana, Eunice, Louisiana, Mamou, Louisiana, Ville Platte, Louisiana, and Elton, Louisiana.

Very skillful skateboarders often become famous through sponsorship and endorsements. In many cases, if the homeowner refuses to give an ingredient, the runners will steal one. The development of these complex tricks went from the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrains). The homeowner will often release the animal and make the runners catch it. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider, then to be united before hitting ground. The requested homeowner may comply with their wishes, usually by giving some form of vegetable or live animal, such as a chicken or pig, to the members of the run. No longer is the trick to fly from one place to another. The townspeople will gather in costume and move from home to home requesting ingredients for the night's meal.

The trick was reinvented by Rodney Mullen in the 80's, being transferred to the horizontal plane and used as a trick for freestyle skating (a style of skating popular in the 70's and 80's based on stationary maneuvers). In parts of the Cajun country of southwestern Louisiana, the traditional Courir du Mardi Gras (French - Running of the Mardi Gras)is still run, sometimes by maskers on horseback who gather ingredients for making the communal meal. It involves using your feet to press against the board in various complicated combinations, depending on the trick to be performed. Without the restrictions on commercial ties to parades of Orleans Parish, there is much advertising and trademark placements on the parades there. To ollie is to fly off the ground (flat or a wall) with the board, but without holding onto the board and then landing back on the board. Other places in the Greater New Orleans Metro Area also have celebrations; notably the suburb of Metairie, Louisiana has large parades. riding on only the front wheels (nose manual), spinning like an ice skater on the back wheels (a 360), high jumping over a bar, long jumping from one board to another (often over fearless teenagers lying on their backs), slalom, etc.) Around 1978 or so, street riding became transformed by the invention of the ollie or no hands aerial, the first modern skateboarding trick, by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. Particularly since the inception of the larger parade organizations (sometimes called "super krewes") such as Bacchus and Endymion, it has become fashionable to invite Hollywood and other celebrities to act as Grand Marshals for parades.

Skating was originally basically two-dimensional tricks (e.g. Though each parade is unique, there are certain common ingredients: 1) either a King or Queen who reigns over the parade, picked from the Krewe membership; 2) gaily colored floats, ridden by Krewe members, who throw various items, including beads, doubloons with the Krewe emblem and often, that year's parade's theme, and assorted other fun items; 3) marching bands, usually from high schools and universities, but often other invited guest bands. With the evolution of skateboard parks (or skateparks) and ramp riding, the skateboard began to change. Most parades, balls and other festivities occur on weeknights and weekends in the 2-week period before Mardi Gras Day. see: Skateboarding trick for detailed description of trick skating maneuvers. Officially, Mardi Gras, more properly called Carnivale, starts at the end of the twelth day of Christmas. The decks are still almost always maple plywood but interest in high technology materials has increased slightly after the cost of manufacturing them has dropped. There are as many as 60 Krewes that have parades in the greater New Orleans area.

In the early 1990's, the wheels were only marginally larger than the bearings they encased to make complicated flip tricks easier but that fad died in 1994 and wheels currently are around 50 to 58mm in diameter. New Orleans traditions include Krewes such as the Krewe du Vieux, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, and the famous Rex parade, in addition to Mardi Gras Indians and king cake parties. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards will rotate more easily during flip tricks. New Orleans developed new traditions, as have other places ever since. The wheels have an extremely hard durometer so that they will slide better during grind and slide tricks. Mardi Gras came to New Orleans with the earliest French settlers. The boards are all about 7.75" wide and 31.5" long. The celebrations draw many tourists to the city in addition to the celebrating locals for the parties and parades.

The size and shape of the fourth and current generation of skateboards is dominated by one trick: the ollie. New Orleans Mardi Gras is particularly well-known, often called "the greatest free show on earth". The third skateboarding generation was killed by the global economical recession in the early 90's. Main article: New Orleans Mardi Gras. Manufacturers preferred maple plywood over more exotic composite materials almost exclusively. The Pensacola celebrations also use Moon Pies in combination with beads, coins, and small candies. With vert skating being dominant decks were initially very wide with large and wide wheels, though as time progressed and skateparks became fewer in number, street skating was gaining popularity, causing a change in both deck shape and wheel size. This is probably due to it being geographically near Mobile, Alabama, although other possibilities exist.

The invention of the ollie made it possible for skaters to perform huge airs off vertical ramps. Pensacola, Florida is home to the third largest Mardi Gras Celebration in the United States. The focus was initially on halfpipe and vert ramp skateboarding. Throughout each parade, mystic maskers throw trinkets, beads, candy, coins and Moon Pies, a sweet baked good that combines a graham cracker like crust with marshmallow, and is then covered in a flavored frosting. The third skateboard generation, from early eighties to early nineties, was started by skateboard companies that actively promoted their sport. This is a special honor, because the 'double-O M's' are the oldest continuous Mardi Gras society in America. In the end of 1980, skateboarding had died again. The Mobile Mardi Gras season is always concluded by the Order of Myths parade, produced by the society of the same name.

Many skateparks went out of business and the parks were torn down or bulldozed. Celebrations were halted with the American Civil War, but were revived with a parade by Joe Cain in 1866, whose memory is still honored each Carnival. This caused liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skatepark owners. Celebration of Mardi Gras in Mobile dates back to French colonial times. Skateboarders, most notably the Z-Boys, started to skate the vertical walls of swimming pools that were left empty in the 1976 California drought. With increased control skateboarders could skate faster and perform more dangerous tricks. Mobile, Alabama has perhaps the longest tradition of observed Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, and still celebrates it each year. The skateboarders took advantage of the improved handling of their skateboards and started inventing new tricks. Within the United States, it was originally celebrated by French settlers along the Mississipi coast of the Gulf of Mexico as a series of house parties.

Manufacturers started to experiment with more exotic composites, like fiberglass and aluminium but the common skateboards were made of maple plywood. Lucia and the French West Indies. As the equipment became more maneuverable the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches and over in the end, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. Other Carnivals are held on Aruba, Dominica, Grenada, St. With the growing interest companies started to invest more in product development and many companies started to manufacture trucks especially designed for skateboarding. The most famous and largest-scale of these is in Trinidad and Tobago. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again. In the Caribbean, Carnival is celebrated on a number of islands.

In 1970 Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of urethane. See: Brazilian Carnival. Many skateboard manufacturers went out of business because of losing money on cancelled orders for the Christmas holiday season. In Brazil, the Carnival celebrations in Recife, Olinda, Salvador are well-known, among others. This development caused the first skateboarding fad to die completely in the fall of 1965. As a result the biggest festival there, the Quebec City Winter Carnival was eventually moved from a lunar calendar, set with Easter in mind, to a solar calendar, and other winter carnivals in Quebec followed suit, abandoning the traditional Christian dates and placing the midwinter celebration at the end of January and the beginning of February, in order to avoid the danger of a late February or early March meltdown of carnival ice sculptures, ice castles and snow trails. This made skateboarding inherently a dangerous sport and after a few years many cities banned skateboarding because of liability concerns. In Quebec the Carnival period traditionally coincided with the coldest days of the year when temperatures dropped to forty degrees below zero, linking it to snow and ice sports.

They had poor traction and would come to a dead stop when rolling over even small pebbles. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe (Especially Southern Europe), and in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. These boards used wheels made of clay. Perhaps the three cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations are New Orleans (whose Carnival has become legendary), Rio de Janeiro (known for having the most ostentatious and licentious Carnival), and Venice (whose Carnival traditions have their roots in pagan times, and were shaped into what they are today during the Renaissance.) Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. The boards were from 6 to 7 inches wide.
. At the time there was a rapidly growing interest in skateboarding (sometimes referred to as sidewalk surfing) and soon many other similar products emerged. Mardi Gras falls on the following dates in the following years:.

Before this skateboards were home made pieces of wooden planks with roller skates attached to the bottom. Like Lent, the date is dependent on that of Easter. The first commercial skateboard was the Roller Derby Skateboard that was introduced in 1959. The date can vary from February 3 to March 9 in non-leap years or February 4 to March 9 in leap years. Surfers are adapting skateboarding tricks into surfing, and the result is evolution in both sports. The feast should not be confused with the Polish Fat Thursday. While surfing influenced skateboarding in it's early days, now the reverse is also true. It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.

Skateboarding has its origins in surfing, and was originally called "sidewalk surfing". Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday", the final day of Carnival (pronounced "CAR-nuh-vul" in English; "car-nee-VAHL" in most Romance languages – and in New Orleans, Lousiana, because of its French heritage). Improvements in skateboarding equipment have spurred advancement in skateboarding techniques and new techniques have required new equipment. 2014 - March 4. The history of skateboarding goes hand in hand with the history of the skateboard. 2013 - February 12. Skateboarding has been thought of by many as part of the extreme sports family, which also includes (but not restricted to) snowboarding, BMX, and surfing. 2012 - February 21.

Like roller skating, skateboarding is often done for recreation and as a sport, but, more often than ice skating, it is a method of transportation. 2011 - March 8. Someone who skateboards is a skater (or skateboarder or most fully skateboard rider), though the shortest term may also refer to someone ice skating or roller skating. 2010 - February 16. Skateboarding is the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. 2009 - February 24. Danny Way. 2008 - February 5.

Mike Vallely. 2007 - February 20. Tony Trujillo. 2006 - February 28. Jamie Thomas. Ed Templeton.

Aaron Suski. Elissa Steamer. Arto Saari. Kanten Russell.

Geoff Rowley. Andrew Reynolds. Stacy Peralta. Tom Penny.

Chad Muska. Rodney Mullen. Guy Mariano. Bam Margera.

Jason Lee. Bucky Lasek. Eric Koston. Heath Kirchart.

Tony Hawk. Mark Gonzales. Rune Glifberg. Kareem Campbell.

Steve Caballero. Bob Burnquist. Stephen Berra. Mark Appleyard.

Tony Alva. Jay Adams.

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