Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing and most popular sports, enjoyed by young and old, males and females, all over the world. Here are a few amazing facts about skateboarding.
Fact 1: Skateboarding Takes Off in California.
Skateboarding originated in California in the late 1960s. Early boards were nothing more than boards or crates on roller-skate wheels. Some of these early boards even had handles. Skateboarding was seen as a good sport for surfers when the waves were poor and was often called “side-walk surfing”. It was only later when surfboard makers started to make skateboards that they started to resemble the boards we see today. The first official competition was in California in 1965.
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Fact 2: Early Wheels Were Made of Metal or Clay.
It seems hard to believe but early boards did indeed use wheels made of metal or clay. As you can imagine, these were slow, noisy and clumsy. It was only in the early 1970s that polyurethane wheels came onto the market. We have Frank Nasworthy and his company Cadillac Wheels to thank for that. The development of these new wheels was a major boost for the sport.
Fact 3: The Ollie Is Invented.
One of skateboardings’ most popular tricks, the ollie, was invented in 1978 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfad. This is generally one of the first trick a new skater tries to perfect. Before popular skate-parks were built, skateboarders often used empty swimming pools to practice their sport.
Fact 4: Skateboarding Becomes an Olympic Sport.
In 2016 the IOC announced that skateboarding will be officially included in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is a major milestone for the sport.
Fact 5: Skateboarding is Safe.
Skateboarding is relatively safe and has far less injuries than sports like baseball, basketball, football and soccer. Those injuries that do occur are normally people new to the sport and more often than not, they are not wearing the correct safety equipment. Wrist injuries are the most common injuries associated with the sport.
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Fact 6: Norway Banned Skateboarding for 11 Years.
Despite the relative safety of the sport, Norway decided to ban skateboarding completely from 1978 to 1989. Safety of the riders as well as pedestrians was the reason they gave. While the ban was in place, skateboarders simply took their sport underground. After lifting the ban, the sport boomed. Noway went on to host the X Games or Extreme Games, featuring skateboarding.
Fact 7: Skateboarding Becomes One of the Fastest Growing Sports.
There are currently over 13 million skateboarders and this number grows at over 10% per year. This makes skateboarding one of the fastest growing sports in the world, overtaking basketball and football.
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Fact 8: Skateboarding Can Make You Rich.
There are many millionaires that owe their wealth to the sport of skateboarding. Most notable of these is the famous Tony Hawk. Despite retiring from the sport many years ago, Tony is still worth over $120 million. His fame and success with the sport even lead to an invitation to the White House to meet the president.
Fact 9: Skateboarding Hits the Movies.
There have been many popular movies based on the sport. Some of the more famous being Thrashin’, Gleaming the Cube and Lords of Dogtown. Again, the movies served to promote the sport to greater heights. Apart from movies, music associated with skateboarding also became very popular. Some of the most influential bands were Fallout Boy and The Offspring.
Fact 10: Skateboarding Is Big Business.
Growing from very humble beginnings, skateboarding is now a $5 Billion industry and growing by the year.
I hope you enjoyed these amazing facts and learned something new. Be safe, have fun and happy skating.