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. Katie Price claims that she will be retiring her Jordan image. Throwing themselves down large stairs and handrails only ups the ante in the modern skateboarding world. Jordan gave birth by Caesarean section to her second child, a 5lb 13oz boy, on 13 June 2005. 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. It is rumoured within industry circles that the vocal tracks for "Not Just Anybody" were in fact sung by Rachel Stevens. 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. The other contestants were the 1996 UK entrant Gina G, as well as Andy Scott-Lee, and the group Tricolore.

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. On 5 March 2005, singing a song titled "Not Just Anybody", she came in second place in the pre-selection show Making Your Mind Up, behind Javine. In the vert world, some are surpassing the skills of Tony Hawk. Under the name Katie Price, Jordan was one the acts competing for the right to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, to be held in Ukraine. Hawk has recently appeared in the MTV music video awards. They plan to marry in September. 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). In February 2005 Jordan announced that she was 5 months pregnant with Peter Andre's child.

Very skillful skateboarders often become famous through sponsorship and endorsements. In May 2004, writing as Katie Price, she published her autobiography, Being Jordan to surprisingly good reviews. The development of these complex tricks went from the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrains). Jordan began 2004 by appearing on the reality TV series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, flirting in the jungle with singer Peter Andre, which seemed to have resurrected both of their careers. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider, then to be united before hitting ground. She had it removed at the nearby Nuffield Hospital. No longer is the trick to fly from one place to another. She had a leiomyosarcoma on her finger, this being a rare form of malignant tumour which attacks smooth muscle tissue and can spread around the body.

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). That same year, Jordan was treated for cancer. It involves using your feet to press against the board in various complicated combinations, depending on the trick to be performed. His condition is thought to be incurable. 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. Media coverage speculated that Jordan's alcohol consumption while pregnant might been the cause, but doctors said that it was almost certainly caused by a genetic disorder. 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. He was found to be blind, having a condition known as septo-optic dysplasia, meaning that his optic nerve hadn't developed correctly.

Skating was originally basically two-dimensional tricks (e.g. Harvey was born at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, his birth being induced when he was two weeks overdue. With the evolution of skateboard parks (or skateparks) and ramp riding, the skateboard began to change. Harvey's father was the Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke, although again the relationship broke up before the child was born. Jordan has said she intended to have the birth shown live over the Internet, but changed her mind later and decided to keep it private. see: Skateboarding trick for detailed description of trick skating maneuvers. On May 27, 2002, she gave birth to a baby boy she named Harvey after her grandfather. 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. In the end, Jordan won 713 votes or 1.8% of the vote.

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. As a part of her election campaign—which was intended to bring a little fun into a dull election—she promised free breast implants, increases on nudist beaches, and a ban on parking tickets. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards will rotate more easily during flip tricks. In the June 7, 2001 British General Election, Jordan ran as a candidate in Manchester, England (using her real name) under a slogan of "For a Bigger and Betta Future". The wheels have an extremely hard durometer so that they will slide better during grind and slide tricks. One of her first public relationships was with the pop singer Dane Bowers, of the boy band Another Level, but they ended their relationship while she was pregnant by him, and she had an abortion. The boards are all about 7.75" wide and 31.5" long. She has had a number of well-publicised relationships.

The size and shape of the fourth and current generation of skateboards is dominated by one trick: the ollie. Jordan's private life and wild behavior and outrageous antics have been extensively detailed by the paparazzi, much of it at European nightclubs. The third skateboarding generation was killed by the global economical recession in the early 90's. She appeared at a number of promotional events for the similarly named Jordan Grand Prix Formula One team during this time, during a period when they were heavily promoting themselves to the youth market. Manufacturers preferred maple plywood over more exotic composite materials almost exclusively. In 2002, Jordan was shooting a cover to run in Playboy and Hugh Hefner invited her to spend three weeks at his mansion. 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. Jordan appeared in six volumes of Playboy's Book of Lingerie from 1997 to 1999.

The invention of the ollie made it possible for skaters to perform huge airs off vertical ramps. Thus began a series of operations to enhance her figure. The focus was initially on halfpipe and vert ramp skateboarding. In July 1998, Jordan received her first breast augmentation, thus forcing her "retirement" from Page 3 of the Sun, which had recently decided that its "natural beauty" policy required it to stay "silicone-free". The third skateboard generation, from early eighties to early nineties, was started by skateboard companies that actively promoted their sport. In 1998, Jordan tried out for a part on the television series Baywatch, but did not get the part. In the end of 1980, skateboarding had died again. It was at this time that she began to use the name Jordan.

Many skateparks went out of business and the parks were torn down or bulldozed. An excellent swimmer, gymnast, and horsewoman, she took up glamour modelling as a "Page 3" girl in The Sun, a popular tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. This caused liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skatepark owners. After a while her mother, Amy, remarried to Paul Price, and Katie Infield changed her name to Katie Price. 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. When she was four, her father left home. The skateboarders took advantage of the improved handling of their skateboards and started inventing new tricks. She was born in Brighton.

Manufacturers started to experiment with more exotic composites, like fiberglass and aluminium but the common skateboards were made of maple plywood. Jordan is a British glamour model, perhaps most famous for her large, surgically enhanced breasts and the reports of her personal life in British tabloid newspapers. 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. Jordan (born May 22, 1978), is the public name and image of Katie Price, who was born Katie Infield. With the growing interest companies started to invest more in product development and many companies started to manufacture trucks especially designed for skateboarding. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again.

In 1970 Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of urethane. Many skateboard manufacturers went out of business because of losing money on cancelled orders for the Christmas holiday season. This development caused the first skateboarding fad to die completely in the fall of 1965. This made skateboarding inherently a dangerous sport and after a few years many cities banned skateboarding because of liability concerns.

They had poor traction and would come to a dead stop when rolling over even small pebbles. These boards used wheels made of clay. 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.

Before this skateboards were home made pieces of wooden planks with roller skates attached to the bottom. The first commercial skateboard was the Roller Derby Skateboard that was introduced in 1959. Surfers are adapting skateboarding tricks into surfing, and the result is evolution in both sports. While surfing influenced skateboarding in it's early days, now the reverse is also true.

Skateboarding has its origins in surfing, and was originally called "sidewalk surfing". Improvements in skateboarding equipment have spurred advancement in skateboarding techniques and new techniques have required new equipment. The history of skateboarding goes hand in hand with the history of the skateboard. 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.

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. 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. Skateboarding is the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. Danny Way.

Mike Vallely. Tony Trujillo. 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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