Skateboarding originated in the 1930's and 1940's when kids attached roller skates to a wooden plank, but these weren't real skateboards. It wasn't until 1958 that a variation of the skateboard as we know it was made. It was built in a California surf shop. It was something for surfers to do when the ocean was flat. The shop owner, Bill Richards, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels. Then they attached them to square wooden boards. Soon, many kids were rolling down hills and calling it "sidewalk surfing."
After the invention of the first skateboard, skateboarding gained popularity. The first skateboarding competition was held at a middle school in Hermosa, California and 100 people showed up. The next year, 1965, the first National Skateboard Championship got on ABC's "Wide World of Sports." It also got on the cover of Life magazine. In 1966, the first movie showing only skateboarders doing tricks, "Skater Dater," got an Academy Award.
In 1971 two critical improvements were made to the skateboard. The first was the kicktail invented by Richard Stevenson. The other was the concaves, or inclined sides of the board, which was also invented by Richard Stevenson.
The late 70's were the golden years of skateboarding. During that time, over 40 million skateboards were sold in America. In addition to that, lots of skate parks were opened, almost 300. In these golden years, a man named Guy Grundy set the speed record on a skateboard of 68 mph.One of the highlights of the late seventies was when Allen Gelfand invented the ollie.
These years ended quickly when too many injuries were caused by skateboarding. A ton of skate parks were closed all over the country.
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