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Skateboards Have Evolved with the Sport

Apr 5, 2008
From their earliest years, the vast majority of males seem to be programmed to love anything with wheels on it. Road graders, garbage trucks, race cars-if it rolls it's fascinating. No small wonder then, that of the 18.5 million skateboarders on the planet, 74% of them are boys or young men! The first kid who attached wheels to a plank and launched himself down an incline could not have imagined what he started.

Modern skateboarding had its beginnings in California in the late sixties. Not surprisingly, the idea came out of a surf shop. The intent was to give surfers something to do when the waves were not promising. "Sidewalk surfing" took off. The motions of these early skaters mimicked the moves surfers used on water. The skateboards of that day did not have great traction and were not nearly as streamlined as those of today, however, and the trend died down by the mid to late 1960's.

The popularity of skateboarding changed over the next few decades. Many adults look back on the flashy "banana boards" of the seventies with fondness. Not until the 1980's however, did skateboards acquire the curved design with which we are familiar today. The curves finally gave riders the board strength and control they mandatory for the aerial moves which define the sport.

Today's skateboards are engineered to give riders perfect balance and control. After much trial and error, sugar maple has become the favored wood veneer used for almost all boards, or decks and planks, as they are also known. Sugar maple offers the most elasticity and toughness, necessary attributes for the sport modern skateboarding has become.

Skateboarding has become a widely popular sport, with teams competing in organized competitions. There has even been discussion about the inclusion of the sport in the Olympics in 2012, however, there is dissension about this from within the ranks of skateboarders.

Whether or not skateboarding ever becomes an Olympic sport is not a big issue to most skaters. The excitement of skateboarding will continue to entice youths, particularly males, to reach new heights. Challenging one another to perform more advanced skills, individual skateboarders will continue to help their sport evolve.
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