However, to some other people, the story of the Skate Board is a little different. They say that, the surfers who needed a way to surf when the waves were flat invented the Skate Board. At that period, people used to call Skateboarding as "sidewalk surfing". The name was evident as the early skaters followed the moves and style of surfing. In spite of having so many controversies about its innovation, the Skate Board was able to keep only one design for it. The standard design was a 2X4 Board attached with roller-skate wheels. After being played as a park play for several years, the homemade Skate Boards got the first commercial attention in the later half of the fifth decade of last century. In the year of 1959, the first Skate Board that came to the market for sale was the "Roller Derby". As the relation between the surfing and the Skate Boards was evident, the surfers made a huge use of these Skate Boards in order to practice their skills. This is another strong reason behind the belief that it is the surfers who originally invented the Skate Board.
When the "Roller Derby" became very much successful commercially, there came some other companies in the market with their innovative ideas of the Skate Board. The Hobie and Makaha introduced the plastic Skate Boards and for these easily affordable Skate Boards, the game of Skate Boarding started its journey to be played in the competitions. The first International Skating Championship was held in the year of 1965. In the same year, the first skateboard magazine named as "The Quarterly Skateboarder" was also been introduced. The International Championships were broadcast on national television. It was this year when the game of Skate Boarding went mainstream. However, from the very following year the popularity of Skate Boarding started to drop down.
Though Skate Boarding almost disappeared from the public view during the late 60's, the decade of 1970 brought a great light of hope to the world of Skate Boarding. In the early 70's, a man named as Frank Nasworthy discovered a new material, Urethane and began to make Skate Board wheels with this material. As these wheels were quite superior to the clay wheels in every aspect and were soft enough to roll over defects in riding surfaces, the traction and performance was improved a lot and this made a great hike in the popularity of the sport of Skate Boarding. This hike in the popularity attracted a large number of manufacturers to invest in this sport and these investments gave the Skate Boarding a great technological breakthrough that was needed. With this breakthrough, the modern outdoor concrete skateparks also began to come into existence. Amongst them, the first that was opened for business was in Port Orange, Florida. This changed the dimension and characteristics of the game in a great way.
After the popularity increased, more and more tricks of the game were discovered and in order to do them more easily, the Skate Boards got wider. They became 10 inches in width and some other new parts like trucks were attached with the Boards. When the skinny, plastic yellow coloured boards came into the market, the very famous term of "Banana Board" become obsolete. There were some kinds of renovation in the design of the Boards going on at that time as well. However, the maple plywood Skate Boards proved to be the best among all the renovations as it has the perfect spring, flexibility and the crispness needed for Skate Board tricks and exercises.
When the Z-boys and others invented the tricks to skate vertically in the year of 1976, it started a brand new trend in the world of Skate Boarding. The vert Skaters began to skate faster and perform more risky tricks as the slash grinds and front or backside airs and these new adventurous tricks boost up the popularity of the Skate Boarding in a great way. The game began become a phenomenon during the later part of the 70's. It got immense popularity in the National level and thousands of skate parks started to be situated. However, because of some unfortunate reasons like the hike in the insurance rate of the skate parks, forced the game to fall in crisis for the second time at the beginning of the 80s.
The game of Skate Boarding again recovered from the crisis by the mid to late 80's. During this time some incidents helped the game to be amongst the popular games once again. Some new Skate Boarding publications started to be published, new manufacturers appeared in the market and the "streetstyle" Skate Boarding gave the sport a renewed enthusiasm. The National Skateboarding Association started to organise contests and championships across North America and then throughout the world. The final evolution of the design of the Skate Boards and skating tricks and maneuvers were also marked down during this time. The Board design was standardized to a 7-ply, pressed maple laminate that evolve to a point in shape.
The decade of the 1980's also brought some great changes in the tricks and ways of Skating. From that time, the first and foremost focus of the game became to ride larger vertically. The "U"-shaped ramps were being made to do it more easily. Not only this, vertical Skate Boarding began to focus on the aerial maneuvers as well. As this was quite a difficult task to do so, this increased the number of spectators in the game of Skate Boarding. A new type of Skate Boarding also emerged in the late 80's. This was named as the "Street Skating". Another form of Skate Boarding named as "Freestyle" emerged almost at the same time. The Street Skate Boarding was being performed on the vert-style boards even after being very much popular. However, the evolution of Street Skate Boarding lead the way to the current state and design of Skate Boards used in today's world. These Boards are trademarked by long noses and lightweight capabilities.
After having such a great decade of the 1980's, the game of Skate Boarding again turn down shortly in the early period of the 1990's for some unavoidable reasons. In the year of 1991, the game faced a worldwide collapse. As a highly technical version of Street Skating, combined vert skating produced a new sport that lacked the mainstream appeal to attract new skaters, only a small fraction of skateboarders remained by the year of 1992. However, despite these setbacks, skateboarding didn't die another death. It was preparing to reinvent itself once more.
During the mid 1990's, the game of Skate Boarding once again recovered the collapse. The National Skateboarding Association became World Cup Skateboarding (WCS) in the year of 1993. It started to conduct professional tours with events in the countries like United States, Canada, England, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Switzerland, Austria and Brazil. Another organization, named as the United Skateboarding Association (USA) was also founded in 1998 with a view to conduct competition in the United States. As a result, the game reached a large number of audiences in every country of the world through the satellite TV and the events like the Extreme Games (Popularly known as the X-games). With the help of these incidents, the game of Skate Boarding enjoyed new levels of popularity up until the end of the century. It also enjoyed its own global renaissance in accordance with the increased globalisation of the world at large. An international audience of the game was evolving and new talents and professionals from all over the world were also brought with this global audience.
In the new millennium, the game of Skate Boarding became more and more popular among the world audience. The popularization of Skate Boarding video games such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater along with the X-games contributed a lot in making this new era of Skate Boarding. In today's world, among the numerous cities having the skate parks, the Vancouver, Canada is well known for its multitude of skate parks and can even be called as the "Skatepark Capital" of the world. However, the skateparks have also gone through some changes in recent times. Among the changes, the "Skate Plaza" should be counted as the foremost. This is in fact in the theory of a skatepark but have the look of a normal public park. In such a park, one can easily find the real sidewalks, real benches, real stairs, and real handrails to skate upon.
From the discussion above, it is quite evident that. The game of Skate Boarding has a very much fluctuating experience throughout its existence. Sometimes it went up in the popularity and sometimes it collapsed almost to the death. However, despite of all its ups and downs, the game has been able to remain amongst the top most popular games of today's world and there is no sign for it to collapse again in the very near future.
(Last Updated on : 15-12-2010)
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