Sidewalk surfing was a combination of surfing and skateboarding. Sometimes surfers were unable to surf when the waters were calm and the waves were very small. It has the same rolling motion and mimicked the rolling waves of the ocean.
On the plus side: you can do it at any time!
Surfers could still practice. The name of sidewalk surfing has been changed to skateboarding. Like Hawaii, skateboarding quickly became popular in California with surfers and teenagers. In 1963, over 50 million skateboards were sold.
The journey from skateboard to longboard
After curb surf / skateboarding became popular with America’s youth, skateboards evolved over the years and got shorter and wider for tricks. The first skateboard was made as a toy for children, but as the kids got older, the toy version became too small. Teens wanted a longer, smoother board and started making it bigger. This was mainly done in their backyards. Early longboards were often made from a wooden plank with old-fashioned roller skates or metal wheels. It wasn’t very strong, smooth and confident. As a result, the sport of longboarding and skateboarding has declined tremendously, because people thought it was too dangerous.
But over the years, a small core of skaters have been looking for a better and safer way to skateboard and metal wheels have been replaced by clay wheels and trucks have been improved. But it was still a dangerous sport and the popularity continued to decline.
Then modern skateboarding and longboarding took off in 1973, also known as the second wave of the sport, when urethane wheels appeared.
Wheels, wheels, wheels … it’s all about wheels
These wheels were smoother, safer, stronger, faster and also had more grip. With the new wheels the skaters were able to do much more than just flat terrain and some jumps.
It was crazy but on the rise …
The sport has become more versatile and the popularity has increased again. Instead of just plain, see also freestyle, downhill and slalom.
Bahne Cadillac was the first company to produce sufficient urethane wheels for longboards and skateboards. Later, the trucks were only designed for the longboard. They call it reverse kingpin trucks. The popular ones were (and still are) Tracker, Gullwing and Bennett.
Popular Tony …
The real explosion came when Tony Hawk and other celebrity boarders have attracted media attention through tricks and competition. Snowboarders started using long boards during the warmer months, so they were still able to practice. This has caused the longboard’s popularity to rise again.
Has anyone emptied the pool?
Another style has also come out called pool skating or pool surfing. Many surfers have started longboarding and skateboarding in the empty backyard pools. A drought in California made this happen.
Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Bruce Logan have been featured in many magazines and have helped shape the sport. These pools were a forerunner for modern skate parks. They were built all over the country. The first skate park was built in Florida. Many skate parks disappeared in the 1980s due to high insurance costs and lawsuits. Longboarding and skateboarding fell again.
It made its final comeback in 1993 and to this day longboarding and skateboarding are both very popular activities for young and old alike. Longboarders and skateboarders can be found on campuses, sidewalks, driveways, and major competitions.
The equipment continues to improve, more durable and safer. Modern CNC machines (computerized machines) help overcome limits. Eco-friendly materials like bamboo and composites like vinyl are starting to influence the endless change of longboard gear. As people continue to innovate and see where the new material can take them.
And yes … even more fun!
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