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The Origin of Skateboarding

When recalling the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, people still remember the authority added a couple of new additions in the competition. The authority included surfing, baseball, karate and another one that hit the world by surprise for the first time in 125 years throughout Olympic history. Witnessing park and street skating included as separate competitions, some may question whether skateboarding is in tune with the definition of sports.

Today, off road skateboard electric rideables dominate the market. Every e-skate company loves boasting about having the best all terrain electric skateboard for sale. Many may know little (or even none) about the origin of the skateboard as it’s as ambiguous as that of our universe. A number of self-proclaimed sports historians published multiple papers on how the first skateboard was born and where the first skateboard appeared.

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Skateboard history has had several versions. It’s been largely agreed upon that skateboards come from the United States. According to this version, the first skateboard was in the form of crates of wood with roller wheels attached to the underfoot. Handlebars were attached to the earliest models that resembled the modern scooters. After modification, wooden crates were replaced by planks and the handlebars were removed to replicate the experience of surfing. These skater-boxes had already existed as far back as in the late 1800s, but it was only transformed into wooden pallets with clay wheels in the 1950s. Some sources show that they were first popularized in Southern California. It is believed that skateboarding was born out of the surfing community in California and Hawaii whereas enthusiasts were trying to create an experience akin to riding waves on the ground. A decade later, skateboards were commercially produced. The first skate competition even took place at Hermosa Beach, California.

Before commercial skateboards were released in 1959, making your own board was the only way to skate. These homemade skateboards laid the foundation for the DIY concept rooted in skateboarding today. As we can tell, skateboarding didn’t begin from an industry but from the intense desire for one’s individuality and self-expression in a raw and exotic way. This is the simple yet profound truth that helps us to understand skateboarding, and ultimately, the criteria of being a capable skateboarder.

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