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Skateboarding

Skateboarding the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. Someone who skateboards is a skater (or skateboarder), though "skater" 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, or as an artform for its creative aspects. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by hundreds of skateboarders throughout the years.

History of the Skateboard
Skateboarding has its origins in surfing, and was originally called "sidewalk surfing". While surfing influenced skateboarding in its early days, now the reverse is also true. Surfers are adapting skateboarding tricks into surfing, and the result is evolution in both sports.
The skateboarders most credited with the advancement of skateboarding are the Z-Boys from Venice Beach, California, who revolutionized skateboarding with the 'surf style' riding technique, and the Bones Brigade from the 1980s, who helped produce some of the most revolutionary skateboarding videos ever made.

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 (axles) 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 aluminum 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 a Z-Boys member named Stacy Peralta, started to skate the vertical walls of swimming pools that were left empty in the 1976 California drought. This started the vert trend in skateboarding. With increased control, various skateboarders could skate faster and perform more dangerous tricks, such as slash grinds and backside airs. 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. By the end of 1980, skateboarding had died again.

The Third Generation
The third skateboard generation, from the early eighties to early nineties, was started by skateboard companies that actively promoted their art. The focus was initially on half-pipe and vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the no-hands aerial (later known as the ollie) by Alan Gelfand in 1978 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 gained popularity, causing a change in both deck shape and wheel size. Street skating became skateboarding's most popular form. Mark Gonzales pioneered street skating and was the first person to ollie up a curb and to clear a set of stairs. Manufacturers preferred maple plywood over more exotic composite materials almost exclusively, and concave decks became ubiquitous. The third skateboarding generation was nearly killed by the global economical recession in the early nineties.

The Current Generation
The size and shape of the fourth and current generation of skateboards is dominated by one trick: the ollie. Most boards are about 7 1/4 to 8 inches wide and 30 to 32 inches long. The wheels have an extremely hard durometer (approximately 99) so that they will slide better during grind and slide tricks. Additionally, very high durometers offer the benefit of reduced drag on hard surfaces, resulting in an overall faster ride. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards will rotate more easily during flip tricks. In the early 1990s, Dave McGann began the first professional urethane wheel company also known as SpitFire. Today, modern wheels are currently around 50 to 58mm in diameter and advances in technology have made them extremely light compared to the wheels of the eighties. The decks are still almost always constructed out of Canadian Maple, with 7-plys being the industry standard for strength and durability. Interest in high technology materials has increased slightly as the cost of manufacturing them has dropped.

Trick Skating
"See Skateboarding trick for detailed description of trick skating maneuvers"


With the evolution of skateparks and ramp riding, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks consisted mainly of two-dimensional maneuvers (e.g. riding on only the front wheels (nose manual), spinning like an ice skater on the back wheels (a 360 pivot), high jumping over a bar, long jumping from one board to another (often over fearless teenagers lying on their backs), slalom, etc.)
Around 1978, street riding became transformed by the invention of the ollie, the first modern skateboarding trick, by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. An ollie is performed by pressing down quickly on the back of a skateboard, and controlling the resulting upward motion of the skateboard with the skater's front foot. This results in the skateboarder, along with his/her skateboard, lifting into the air. At first, none of Gelfand's companions believed it was possible to perform a feat like this, and they thought he was attaching his feet to the board somehow. 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 seventies and eighties based on stationary maneuvers). (Rodney Mullen also invented the kickflip.) No longer is the trick simply to fly from one place to another. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider. The development of these complex tricks by Rodney Mullen and others transformed skateboarding. Skateboarding went from being performed only on the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrain like huge stairs and handrails). The act of "ollieing" onto a rail or pole, and sliding along it on the trucks of the board, is known as "grinding" and has become a mainstay of modern skateboarding.

Skateboarding Culture
Skateboarding in its inception was tied to the culture of surfing. As skateboarding spread across the United States to places that were unfamiliar with surfing or its culture, it developed an image of its own. Skateboarding culture has long been tied to Punk culture, but over the last decade skateboarding has broken from even its loose cultural ties with punk to form its own subculture. Skateboarding now has its own stereotypes, music, fashion, and slang. The "modern skateboarder" is no longer perceived as a degenerate or malfeasant, on account of the mainstream popularity and respectability of skateboarders like Tony Hawk. Previously, skateboarding was looked down on by most of society because of most skateboarders perceived affinity for crime and delinquency. Now that skateboarding has become an international sport and many have made their livings out of professional skateboarding, the sport is no longer considered meaningless and is considered by many to be a legitimate sport.

The former image of the skateboarder as a rebellious, nonconforming youth has come in direct conflict with the modern image of skateboarding in recent years. The word "Poser" is used quite often by people who consider themselves to be "authentic" skateboarders to deride people who they believe only skateboard in order to imitate the fashionability of skateboarding. This rift between the old image of skateboarding and the new one is quite visible: magazines like Thrasher portray an image of skateboarding that is dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while magazines like Transworld Skateboarding portray a more modernized, diverse image of skateboarding.


Source: Wikipedia


Flags: Very Short (0-60 mins), Short (1-3 hours), Solo, With a Friend, With a Group, Children, Teens, Adults, Outdoors, Morning, Day, Night, Sunny
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