The history of Skateboarding is fairly recent. Its origins had a modest beginning in the 1950s when kids took the wheels off of roller skates and put them on a 2x4 wooden board. Usually this was accompanied with a wooden handlebar making it look more like a scooter but nonetheless, this was a skateboard in its infancy.
Surfers were the first to adopt the skateboard in large use during Surfing’s off-season on the West Coast. The 1950s brought with it tons of cement and thus roads were better equipped for the skateboard. Surfers were given the nickname “Cement Surfers” because they were often seen “surfing” down roads and sidewalks.
The Surfers were the first to make improvements to the skateboard; often times they took smaller surfboards and equipped them with homemade trucks and wheel bearings. Beginning in the mid 60s, skateboards had begun to be commercialized and mass produced allowing more kids to use them.
The first skate competition was in 1963 and it showed off the various tricks skaters had learned showing a new side of skating. Before, skateboards were just used to get around town but now they were beginning to be used to show true skill. Skaters started to use empty swimming pools to perform tricks which was the foundation for the modern skatepark.
Skating took off in the late 60s where the modern roots really started to grow. Different brands started to make accessories which were previously unheard of. The company Vans for example which makes skate shoes, was founded in 1966 and is still a staple shoe for skaters today.
The awesome thing about shopping for skateboards is that the market is still largely partisan. One can find hundreds of different brands if he or she decides to build a skateboard. This is in large part due to the history of skating. From the “anything goes” mentality of the surfer to the constant need to evolve the skateboard, there is always a style of board to suit your needs.
You can learn more about the history of skating here: