|Skateboard History Timeline|
|Written by Jim Goodrich|
|Friday, 23 May 2008 13:42|
[We recently were working on a project that required an in depth look at the history that makes the sport we engage in, what it is. In the research we cam across the website of Jim Goodrich. The obvious wealth of knowledge he has about the sport and his personal experiences are laid out in a well researched timeline of skateboarding . Granted many people are sighted as sources but you have to give credit where it's due. Read on and learn.]
Skateboard History Timeline - 1920s to 2007
This timeline is primarily the result of input from skaters and those who were directly involved in skateboarding's history. However, it is still a work in progress as I receive additional input. Compiled by Jim Goodrich. Revised July 2007. Contributors and sources are listed at the end [This is published with explicit permission from Jim Goodrich. The author holds all copyrights to this work.]
1940s - A four-wheeled device made from aluminum, the "Skeeter Skate" is created around 1945. With a 4 3/8" by 15 3/4" riding surface, this scooter comes with a removable handle and pedal-car style wheels. This device introduces a unique innovation, the first steering axles, or "trucks," which allow riders to turn for the first time.
1947 - Peter Parken, a local San Diego surfer, is the first known person to skateboard on a wooden plank mounted with rollerskate trucks.
1950s - A crude form of skateboarding as we know it today begins to develop. Kids create their own home-made boards by nailing roller-skate assemblies to the bottom of a wooden plank. Often the wood has a milk crate nailed to it with handles attached for control. Late in the 1950s, surfers discover skateboarding and embrace the feeling of wave riding on flatland.
1957 - Point Loma, California locals, Jim Fitzpatrick and friend, George "Buster" P. Wilson nail rollerskate trucks onto 6" by 1' wood planks to make homemade skateboards.
The early 1960s bring the introduction of the first manufactured skateboards. The following are some of the popular mainstream skateboard designs from the 1960s: Scooter Skate (three-wheeler), Roller Derby, Skee Skate, Sokol SurfSkate, Nash Sidewalk Surfer, Sincor, and Super Surfer. Gren Tec, Hang Ten, and California Free Former join the mass-production skateboard market in the 1970s.
1962 - A southern California surf shop, Val Surf, begins making its own skateboards. Owner Bill Richards makes a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, attaching them to squared-off wooden boards. Val Surf is the first known retail shop to sell skateboards.
Kids begin referring to skating as "sidewalk surfing." The strong connection with surfing gives skateboarding a direction that influences everything to come, from maneuvers and style to fashion and attitude.
Larry Stevenson designs and manufactures the first professional skateboards, which becomes Makaha. Larry and his wife, Helen, initially work from their garage building and shipping boards. Surf legend, Mike Doyle later works with Larry in developing future board designs. The Makaha Phil Edwards (another legendary surfer) model is the first pro model skateboard ever produced. The board introduces two revolutionary components - clay wheels, and Chicago trucks (the first double-action, adjustable truck). That first skateboard is ordered through the mail for $10.95, shipping included. Makaha's early team riders are Phil Edwards, Jim Fitzpatrick, Brad "Squeak" Blank, Bruce Logan, Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, John Freis, Brendan "Woody" Woodward, George Trafton, Danny Schaefer, Joey Saenz, and Mike Hynson. The original team captain is Dave Rochlen. Larry later publishes Surf Guide, which becomes a popular surf magazine.
The first skateboard contest, sponsored by Makaha, is held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa, California.
Working with Bill Richards at Val Surf, surf legend Hobie Alter introduces the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard. Surf legend, Charles "Corky" Carroll III is also involved with Hobie in developing its products. Hobie Alter later teams up with the Vita Pakt juice company to create Hobie Skateboards. Hobie's early team riders are Skitch Hitchcock, Danny Bearer, Brendan "Woody" Woodward, Pat McGee, John Freis, Joey Cabell, and Davey and Stevie Hilton.
Mahaka team member, Jim Fitzpatrick, takes a two-month tour to promote Makaha and introduce skateboarding to countries all over Europe and the U.K.
Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith, co-founders of Gordon & Smith Surfboards, develop a revolutionary new board manufacturing process which combines Bo-Tuff (a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy) with a maple wood core to create the Fibreflex skateboard. This is the first laminated board created for the skate market. G&S's early team riders are Harry "Skip" Frye, Willie Phillips, Mike Hynson, and Vince Turner.
The musical group Jan and Dean appear on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and sing "Sidewalk Surfing." Dean performs a few tricks and rides the board across the stage.
Skateboarding becomes widespread and very popular, and companies are struggling to keep up with demand. While most skaters take to the streets or sidewalks, some skaters begin to explore skating in backyard swimming pools.
For A Better Living, Inc. publishes The Quarterly Skateboarder, which releases only four issues that year. John Severson is the publisher and editor. When the magazine begins publishing again as a bi-monthly in 1975, the name is changed to Skateboarder magazine.
On May 22, 23 the National Skateboard Championships are held in Anaheim, and is shown on ABC's "Wide World of Sports."
The first skateboard organization, the National Skateboard Championships Association (NSCA) is formed in Anaheim.
San Diego skater, Pat McGee is featured on the cover of Life magazine.
The first skateboard movie, Skater Dater is released, and later wins an Academy Award for Best Movie Short.
Hobie Alter looks into using urethane for skateboard wheels but is turned down by Vita-Pakt executives because the price is too high. It will be nearly 10 years before urethane is used for skateboard wheels.
Later this year many public officials and safety organizations begin condemning skateboarding as unsafe – urging stores not to sell them, and parents not to buy them. Many cities start banning skateboarding on public streets. The skateboarding fad dies primarily due to inferior product, too much inventory, and a public upset by reckless riding.
1966 - Vans shoes get their start in the surf and skateboard scene after brothers Jim and Paul Van Doren build a shoe factory in Anaheim, later opening a chain of stores in California. Vans are popular with surfers, then become popular with skaters in the 1970s after the company introduces their Off the Wall line shoes which are designed for skateboarders. Their stores even offer skaters the ability to choose from a selection of materials and colors to create their own custom shoes. For many years, Vans shoes are considered "the" skateboard shoe.
Summer - Surfer's World, the world's first known skatepark opens in Anaheim, California. Hobie and Vita Pakt sponsor a contest at the newly opened park.
1967 - The National Film Board Of Canada releases, "The Devil's Toy," a documentary movie about the skateboarding craze in Montreal, Quebec.
1968 - Skip Engblom, Jeff Ho and Craig Stecyk co-found Zephyr Surfboards, in Santa Monica, California.
1969 - Larry Stevenson invents and patents the kicktail. Though not accepted at first, other manufacturers eventually copy the idea. All the companies but one balk at paying a royalty to Stevenson and he eventually loses his patent rights in court. Gordon & Smith is the only company to ever pay a royalty on the design.
1972 - Frank Nasworthy creates a skateboard wheel design using urethane after seeing the material being used on rollerskates by the Roller Sports Company. He begins producing the first urethane wheels made exclusively for skateboarding. He promotes the wheels heavily at surf and skate shops, but meets with a great deal of resistance because of the much higher cost over clay wheels. After selling Cadillac to Bahne, urethane wheels become a hit around 1973-74.
Ron Bennett builds one of the first skateboard trucks specifically designed for skateboarding. Board manufacturers spring up everywhere and the industry is booming with new products and ideas.
Kent Sherwood (Jay Adam's step-father), who owns a fiberglass shop, is approached by Jeff Ho, Skip Engblom and Craig Stecyk of Zephyr Surf Shop to create a Zephyr skateboard. The Zephyr surf and skateboard team is formed to promote the company. The team becomes known as the Z-Boys, with Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Wentzl Ruml IV, Bob Biniak, Jim Muir, Nathan Pratt, Stacy Peralta and Shogo Kubo as the original members. Craig Stecyk is credited with giving Santa Monica the Dogtown name.
Northern California surfing buddies, Rich Novak, Doug Haut and Jay Shuirman join together to form NHS, the powerhouse behind Santa Cruz Skateboards. Jay Shuirman is later instrumental in the development of Independent Trucks in 1978, but dies in 1979 of leukemia.
James O'Mahoney creates the U.S. Skateboard Association (USSA), and later creates the World Skateboard Association (WSA) to bring the world's skaters together.
Dave Dominy approaches Larry Balma and his partner to create a wider, more stable truck for use at the slalom races at La Costa. Trackers are the first truck that can handle the more aggressive skating that is developing at the time.
Gordon & Smith begin production again on their popular skateboard line, the Fibreflex. As skating style and terrain changes in the following years, the company offers a variety of stiffnesses and shapes in the Fibreflex line.
Skateboard magazine is published by James O'Mahoney, who also forms a team consisting of Russ Howell, Steve Monahan, Gordy Lienemann, Tom Sims, and other top skaters.
Skateboarder Magazine begins publishing again as a bi-monthly. Warren Bolster is the editor and principal photographer, and Steve Pezman is the publisher (he is later replaced by Dave Dash).
The coastal hills of La Costa in northern San Diego County become the most popular local skate spot in history. The hillside streets and sidewalks had been built in preparation for a new housing tract, but construction was delayed for years and La Costa becomes a Mecca for skaters from all over southern California. Slalom and downhill skaters like Steve Sherman, Curt Kimbel, Lee Gahimer, Marty Schaub, Greg Taie, Bobby Piercy, Tommy Ryan, Henry Hester, Bob Skoldberg, Denis Schufeldt, and Mike Williams hold regular races there. Over the next few years, many of the top freestyle and street skaters also enjoy the smooth asphalt and curbs. Kim Cespedes, Steve Cathey, Ellen O'Neal, Laura Thornhill, many of the Dogtowners, Bruce Logan, Robin Logan, Brad Logan, Jim Goodrich, Di Dootson, Curtis Hesslegrave, Brian Beardsley, Ty Page, Warren Bolster and Curt Lindgren are among the regulars.
Fausto Vitello and Eric Swenson form Ermico to create a skateboard truck that would turn well in the streets. Fausto's friend, John Solomine creates a complex steering system truck design, and production begins on the Stroker truck. Though the truck turns too much for street riding, it proves popular for downhill skating.
Road Rider wheels are developed by Quality Urethane in Rhode Island. It is the first wheel to use precision bearings, ending decades of loose ball bearings. Road Riders are an immediate success, soon bringing an end to the very popular Cadillac wheels which are still using loose ball bearings.
Mike Rector and Bob Wolfe create the first safety gear designed specifically for skaters. Prior to this, injuries are common since most skaters didn't give much thought to safety gear.
The skateboard movie, Spinnin' Wheels is released, featuring the skating of Mike Weed, Ty Page and Skitch Hitchcock.
Pro surfer and slalom skater, Mike Williams, looking for a new truck design to use in slalom at the La Costa races, approaches San Diego aerospace tooling company, HPG IV. Mike works with owners Bill Brawner and Walt Tiedge to design what will become the first product from the newly formed Gull Wing Products. Released in January 1976, the truck is a revolutionary split-axle truck design called Gull Wing, which allows adjustment of both the tension and radius.
March - Huntington Beach City Skateboard Contest, Dyno Championships. Held in the Huntington Beach Mall and sponsored by Dyno Surfboards. Surfer, Corky Carroll is the MC.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Russ Howell, 2-Tom Sims
Junior Freestyle: 1-Fred Flavell, 2-Don Weaver
12-14 Freestyle: 1-Jay Adams, 2-Steve Monahan
May 24, 25 - Huntington Pier City Contest. Held in the HB Pier parking lot, skaters from all over southern California compete. Many new faces emerge that will go on to higher recognition.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Russ Howell, 2-John Denny, 3-Chris Cahill
Junior Freestyle: 1-Bob Neishi, 2-Fred Flavell, 3-Stacy Peralta
Boys Freestyle: 1-Steve Monahan, 2-Paul Constantineau, 3-Jay Adams
Women’s Freestyle: 1-Patti Monahan, 2-Janet Larruea
Men’s Slalom: 1-Don Andre, 2-Jim O’Mahoney
Women’s Slalom: 1-Denise Shaw, 2-Tina Trefethen
April 26, 27 - Bahne-Cadillac National Championships are held as part of the Del Mar Ocean Festival. This contest leads to the creation of the first skate "stars," which are heavily featured in the magazines. The appearance of the Z-Boys, with their unique and aggressive style, causes a major sensation and controversy at the competition.
Senior Men’s Freestyle: 1- Russ Howell, 2- Skitch Hitchcock, 3-Bob Mohr
Senior Men’s Slalom: 1-Chris Yandell, 2- Dan Trailer, 3-Woody Woodward
Junior Men’s Freestyle: 1- Steve Piccolo, 2- Ty Page, 3-Jay Adams
Junior Men’s Slalom: 1- Paul Engh, 2-Dennis Harvey, 3-Steve Shull
Women’s Freestyle: 1-Peggy Oki, 2-Robin Logan, 3-Michele Brunot
Women’s Slalom: 1- Michele Brunot, 2- Loretta Rogwold
July 3 - Long Beach Arena City Championships.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Russ Howell, 2-Torger Johnson, 3-Tom Sims, 4-Bob Jarvis
Men’s Slalom: 1-Don Andre, 2-Jim O’Mahoney, 3-Bruce Logan
Women’s Freestyle: 1-Desiree Von Essen, 2-Robin Alaway, 3-Mary Zorkie
Women’s Slalom: 1-Andra Malczewski, 2-Desiree Von Essen, 3-Tracy Green
Northern California Pro-Am Skateboard Championships, Cow Palace, San Francisco. Broadcast on Ara’s Sports World. Jon Malvino and John O’Malley are co-directors.
Summer - Southern California State Championships, Orange County Fairgrounds.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Russ Howell, 2-Bob Mohr, 3-Tom Sims
Men’s 14-17 Freestyle: 1-Kelly Mahon, 2-Ty Page, 3-Stacy Peralta
Women’s 17 and over Freestyle: 1-Andrea Malczewski, 2-Debi Eldredge, 3-Desiree Von Essen
Signal Hill Downhill Contest - Guy Grundy sets world downhill speed record at 51 MPH.
Ventura Pro contest
Toms Sims, working from his father's woodworking shop, begins manufacturing the first Sims skateboards. The first team riders are Lonnie Toft, George Orton, Brandon "Woody" Woodward, and Laura Thornhill.
September 7 - San Diego Stadium World Invitational contest (now Qualcomm Stadium).
September 20, 21 - Los Angeles Sports Arena World Championships. Tom Sims and a friend streak down the slalom ramp.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Bruce Logan, 2-Tom Sims, 3-Stacy Peralta
Men’s Slalom: 1-Henry Hester, 2-Tom Sims, 3-Dan Trailer
The Zephyr team begins breaking up - Kent Sherwood leaves Zephyr and starts making his own boards (Z-Flex), taking Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Jim Muir with him; Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Bob Biniak switch to Logan EarthSki; and Stacy Peralta starts skating for Gordon & Smith. Shogo Kubo is the only skater who stays with Zephyr up until the company folds. Skip Engblom later starts Santa Monica Airlines.
Wes Humpston and Jim Muir trademark the Dogtown name and start Dogtown Skates. Wes begins creating the first real graphics for skateboard decks.
1976 - January - Gull Wing Products release their first truck on the market, the Gull Wing split-axle truck.
Don Branker promotes the World Skateboarding Championships at a series of rock concerts with the Beach Boys, Jethro Tull, Peter Frampton, Santana, and Rick Derringer.
March – Carlsbad Skatepark, designed and built by Jack Graham and John O'Malley, opens in northern San Diego County, California. They also consult and design a dozen skatepark projects including, Concrete Wave in Anaheim and Shady Acres in Long Beach. They publish a skatepark builder’s guide, "Skatepark Development." This is the beginning of the construction of skateparks all over southern California, the U.S., and eventually worldwide.
"Wee" Willie Winkels, an avid Canadian skater and skier, begins making his own boards at his father's door manufacturing company because skateboards are so expensive to buy from the U.S. He creates one of the first maple laminate decks, and forms a skate team to promote it. His new board design soon comes to Tom Sims' attention, and Sims switches to having their boards manufactured by Willie. Soon, many other board companies begin having their boards made in Canada. Willie is also a pioneer in developing modular, mobile half-pipes.
Yo Yo wheels, the first radiused wheel, is released by G&S. Steve Cathey, noticing that his Road Rider wheels rode better after the edges wore down, approached Dave Mc Intyre (G&S sales and team manager) about making radiused wheels. G&S designed and manufactured the wheels shortly afterwards.
Challenge of the Sexes on the CBS TV Network, with Robin Allaway and Chris Chaput.
Spring/Summer - Two brothers in Saskatchewan, Canada, Rick and Peter Ducommun, form Great North Country Skateboards. They change the name in 1977 to G.N.C., then in 1978 the name is changed to Skull Skates. In the early 80s they move operations to Vancouver, B.C. Skull Skates is one of the few Canadian skateboard companies to gain a widespread popularity worldwide. Over the years, top skaters Christian Hosoi, Duane Peters, Steve Olson and Dave Hackett are connected with the company.
The skateboard movie, Freewheelin" is released. Produced by Scott Dittrich, and starring Stacy Peralta, Camile D., Russ Howell, Kenny Means, Tom Sims, and Mike Weed.
June 19, 20 - New York Nassau Coliseum Invitational World Contest. The contest uses an applause meter to determine the winners.
Results: 3-Way Tie for 1st place in Men’s Pro Freestyle - Russ Howell, Steve Cathey, Gary Kocot.
June - Signal Hill Downhill Contest - Guy Grundy sets world speed record at 50.3 MPH for the Guinness Book of World Records.
Jack Smith and two of his friends skateboard across the United States, completing the trip in 32 days. Jack completed the trip again in 26 days in 1984 with Bob Denike, Paul Dunn and Gary Fluitt.
July - Skateboard City, the first skatepark in Florida, is built in Port Orange by builder, Joe Quinn.
California Free Former World Professional Skateboard Championships are held at the Long Beach Arena, California.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Chris Chaput, 2-Ed Nadalin, 3-Mike Weed, 4-Gary Kocot, 5-Russ Howell
Men’s Slalom: 1-Henry Hester, 2-Bob Piercy, 3-Mike Williams
Women’s Freestyle: 1-Ellen Berryman, 2-Laura Thornhill, 3-Ellen O’Neal
Women’s Slalom: 1-Desiree Von Essen, 2-T.
Brown, 3-Robin Logan
Consecutive 360’s: 1-Bob Jarvis, 2-Chris Chaput, 3-Gary Kocot, 4- Steve Shipp, 5-Ed Nadalin
September 11 - The first major skateboard contest in Canada is held in Vancouver’s Stanley Park with Canada’s National TV news program "W5" covering the event.
September - 2nd Annual Hang Ten Pro Skateboard Championships, held at Carlsbad skatepark. It is broadcast by ABC Wide World of Sports.
November - George Powell teams up with Tom Sims to produce the Quicksilver Pro Slalom deck, constructed of fiberglass and aluminum. Shortly afterwards the company produces the Quicktail to appeal to the growing freestyle/vertical market. Powell also introduces Bones, the first double-radial wheel.
The skateboard movie, That Magic Feeling is released by Jon Malvino. Shot in and around San Francisco and Marin County, it features Kim Cespedes and Nick van Krydt.
December - Signal Hill Downhill Contest - Sam Puccio sets world speed record at 54 MPH for the Guinness Book of World Records.
From the summer of 1976 through 1978 many new skateparks begin construction around the U.S., especially in southern California. Some of the most popular parks in the Los Angeles area are Concrete Wave, Skatopia, Pipeline (Upland), Lakewood, Reseda, Oxnard, Big O and Whittier. The main San Diego skateparks are Carlsbad, Del Mar, Oasis, Movin' On (Home Avenue), Vista, La Mesa and El Cajon. The main skateparks in the San Francisco bay area are Winchester, Newark, Campbell and Milpitas. The best parks across the rest of the U.S. are Cherry Hill (New Jersey), Sensation Basin (Gainesville, Florida), Rainbow Wave (Tampa, Florida), Solid Surf (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Clearwater (Florida) and Kona (Jacksonville, Florida). Wally Hollyday is one of the main skatepark designers and builders.
On April 21 the Canadian Pro-Am Skateboard Association is formed by Monty Little, who serves as its President for several years. Although the association's name changes twice over the years, CASA is still recognized as the oldest active governing body of skateboarding in Canada.
May - Skatetopia Skatepark opens in Buena Park, California
Gordon & Smith begin manufacturing a new series of boards made from solid wood; the Warptail and Warptail II.
Brad Dorfman gets his start in skateboarding helping his sister distribute Mad Rats (a popular skate short). With the success of Mad Rats, Brad begins manufacturing other skate products, leading him to later create what will become Vision, one of the largest skateboard companies in history.
Pepsi and 360 Sportswear form a professional skateboard team which sponsors a variety of safety clinics and demos performed mostly at local schools. The first team riders are Stacy Peralta, Russ Howell, Jerry Valdez, Laurie McDonald, Gregg Ayres, Alan Scott, Gordy Lienemann, Lonnie Toft, Waldo Autry, Paul Hoffman, Marc Scott, Brett Levett, Rod Saunders, Sylvia Scott and George Orton. Rene Carrasco, Ritchie Carrasco, David Carrasco, Steve Rocco, Tony Jetton, Wink Roberts, David Hackett, and Cheri O'Berg later join the team.
February - Hang Ten Championships held at Carlsbad Skatepark, California.
Signal Hill Downhill Contest -? sets world standing world speed record at (? MPH). Dave Dillberg and Henry Hester tie for fist place in the skate car world speed record at (? MPH).
Russ Howell and Stacy Peralta do a six month skate tour of Australia to promote and organize provincial skateboard contests for the clothing company, Golden Breed. Russ and Stacy tour all over Australia organizing contests which later end in the Australian National Event.
Peter Camann organizes the Another Roadside Attraction Pro Race Series, a pro and amateur skateboard race series held in several Colorado mountain communities. The events are downhill, giant slalom and dual slalom. The series is a huge success in the summers of 1977 and 1978.
August 25 - Canada’s first concrete skateboard park opens in West Vancouver, B.C. Two weeks later the Skateboard Palace, Canada’s first indoor concrete skateboard park opens.
September 4, 5 - California Free Former World Professional Skateboard Championships are held at the Long Beach Arena in California.
Men’s Freestyle: 1-Bob Mohr, 2-Mike Weed, 3-Ty Page, 4-Ed Nadalin
Men’s Slalom: 1-John Hutson, 2-Bobby Piercy, 3-Greg Taie, 4-Randy Smith
Women’s Freestyle: 1-Ellen Berryman, 2-Ellen O’Neal, 3-Laura Thornhill
Women’s Slalom: 1-Terry Brown, 2-Kim Cespedes, 3-Desiree Von Essen
Consecutive 360’s: 1-Russ Howell, 2-Paul Hoffman, 3-Ed Nadalin, 4-Steve Shipp
High Jump: 1- Bryan Beardsly, 2-Jerry Pattison, 3-Brent McCullogh
Barrel Jump: 1-Tony Alva (17 barrels), 2-Paul Hoffman, 3-Ed Nadalin, 4-Steve Shipp
October 15, 16 – The Catalina Classic contest, sponsored by Santa Cruz, is held on Catalina Island.
Vertical, slalom, downhill and freestyle skating are all progressing at an incredible rate and are included in the increasing number of contests.
The average size of skateboards changes from 7 to 8 inches in width to over 9 to 10 inches.
March - The 1st Annual Skateboarder Magazine Poll Banquet is held at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach, California. Industry awards are given for accomplishment and popularity. In the men's category, Tony Alva wins first place, followed by Tom Inouye, Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta, Gregg Weaver, Ty Page, Bob Biniak, Waldo Autry, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Shogo Kubo, Henry Hester, Paul Hackett, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims. In the women's category, Laura Thornhill wins first place, followed by Ellen O'Neal, Kim Cespedes, Jana Payne, Robin Logan, Ellen Berryman, Desiree Von Essen, Robin Alaway, Michelle Matta, and Edie Robertson.
March - The USSA and Don E. Branker put on Cal Jam II. The rock concert and skateboard demo is held for an estimated 400,000 spectators. It is the largest live skateboard demo ever, with the California Free Former team performing.
March 11, 12 – The Hester-ISA Skateboard Pro Bowl Series #1 is held at Skateboard Heaven, Spring Valley, California. It is the first organized professional skateboard contest series, and the first held in a vertical pool.
Results: 1-Steve Alba, 2-Mike Weed, 3-Steve Olson, 4-Scott Dunlap, 5-Gregg Ayres, 6-Doug Saladino, 7-Doug Marker, 8-Steve Cathey, 9-Harvey Hawks, 10-Dennis Martinez.
Signal Hill Downhill Contest - John Hutson sets the standing speed record at 53.45 MPH for the Guinness Book of Records. Roger Williams sets the skate car speed record at 59.92 MPH.
Alan Gelfand is credited with inventing the "ollie pop," which is the first known no-hands air on vertical. There is some debate on who did this first since most tricks tend to be discovered by a number of people in different places around the same time. The same debate goes on about the aerial. It is generally accepted that the first air is done in southern California by Russ Gosnell, Tony Alva, George Orton, and Dennis Martinez.
Concert/Skateboard Demo Series in Anaheim, with the Beach Boys, Peter Frampton, Santana, Boston, Black Sabbath, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen
Skateboard Mania show at the L.A. Forum in Los Angeles, California. The stage show features Tony Jetton, Vicki Vickers, Leilani Kiyabu, Kerry Cooper, Lauri McDonald and Paul Hoffman, among many others. The hero skaters went up against the "Evil Emperor," Dan White, with everyone dressed in glitter costumes for the event.
Skateboard movie, Skateboard is released, starring Leif Garrett, and skaters, Tony Alva and Ellen O'Neal.
Fausto Vitello of Ermico Enterprises, with input from Jay Shuirman, Rick Blackhart and Kevin Thatcher, creates Independent truck, which combines the best design features of both Tracker and Bennett trucks. It takes the skateboard world by storm with its quick-turning radius, and gains a 50% market share within six months.
Stacy Peralta leaves G&S to start a partnership with George Powell, forming Powell-Peralta. Stacy starts as team manager, and in promotions and advertising. Powell-Peralta's first board is the very popular Beamer, a wood laminate with aerospace strips for reinforcement. Stacy is responsible for creating one of the all-time most successful and popular skate teams. Known as the Bones Brigade, Ray "Bones" Rodriguez, Steve Caballero, Alan Gelfand and Mike McGill are the original members. Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and Rodney Mullen later join the team. Vernon "Court" Johnson is the creative genius responsible for nearly every company graphic ever created.
Spiraling insurance and slowing skatepark attendance begins forcing all but a few skateparks out of business. The punk movement infiltrates the skate scene and alienates many skaters and commercial sponsors. Throughout 1979 skateboarding interest declines, and is all but commercially dead by the end of the year. The majority of skaters move on to other things.
Skateboard World Magazine begins publishing, and is soon joined by Wide World of Skateboarding Magazine.
Russ Howell sets the 360 spin record at 163 spins, at the Fountain Valley CASL contest.
Summer - Skateboarder Magazine Poll Banquet. The winners are, 1-Steve Olson, 2-Tony Alva, 3-Steve Alba, 4-Doug Saladino, 5-Bobby Valdez, 6-Shogo Kubo, 7-Rick Blackhart, 8-Chris Strople, 9-Jay Adams, 10-Tom Inouye.
Vision begins manufacturing skateboards, and later produces the very successful and popular Mark "Gator" Rogowski model, followed by the Mark Gonzalez model. Their popularity launches Vision into the mainstream.
Skateboarder Magazine changes its name to Action Now, and begins to focus on a variety of action sports in order to widen their appeal in the dying skateboard market. Warren Bolster leaves Skateboarder in 1979, and Brian Gillogly becomes the editor of the new magazine.
Vision signs a licensing agreement with Sims and begins producing and marketing the Sims boards. Vision eventually produces an entire clothing line called Vision Street Wear, which becomes very popular worldwide. Vision later creates Vision Shoes, which spurs growth in many new shoe companies creating shoes specifically for skaters.
Former Skateboarder magazine photographer, Jim Goodrich, takes over as general manager and team coach at the struggling Gull Wing Products. Gull Wing makes a come back as one of the top three truck companies through heavy marketing, truck design improvements, and rebuilding their team with riders like Neil Blender, Chris Miller, Mark "Gator" Rogowski and Jeff Phillips.
Skating goes mostly underground. Street skating, and kids building their own wooden ramps, keep skating going at the core level. The large skateboard companies suffer huge losses.
Fausto Vitello creates a skater-only magazine, Thrasher Magazine, which begins publishing in January with Kevin Thatcher as the editor.
May - In an attempt to portray a more positive side to skateboarding, Larry Balma and Peggy Cozens begin publishing TransWorld Skateboarding Magazine.
Vert riding takes off, followed closely by streetstyle skating. Launch ramps become popular.
Powell-Peralta creates the first "Bones Brigade" skate video thanks to the creative talents of C.R. Stecyk and Stacy Peralta. The video features all the team skaters and helps to propel skateboarding to new levels of popularity.
Dozens of new manufacturers spring up in the industry. Numerous vertical champions emerge, including Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain and Neil Blender. Skaters like Mark Gonzales, Natas Kaupas and Tommy Guerrero take street skating to new heights, and Rodney Mullen dominates the freestyle competition.
In the mid to late 1980's, Powell-Peralta, Vision/Sims, Santa Cruz, Tracker and Independent are the major companies in the industry. Board royalties and contest winnings escalate and some pro skaters earn as much as ten thousand dollars a month. The National Skateboard Association, headed up by Frank Hawk, holds numerous contests across North America and eventually throughout the world. Skateboard shoes from Airwalk, Vans and Vision become enormously popular along with skate clothing.
TransWorld Skateboarding Magazine hires Gull Wing manager, Jim Goodrich, to be their new managing editor.
August 18 to 27 - TransWorld Skateboard Championships are held at the Expo86 in Vancouver, Canada. Organized by Monty Little and the Canadian Amateur Skateboard Association, it is the first true international skateboarding event, bringing pro and amateur skaters from 16 countries together to compete in various events. The entire event is covered by an international film crew, which later releases the video, Radical Moves.
Many new and existing shoe companies begin marketing directly to the skateboard industry. In the coming years, Airwalk, Etnies, Simple and DC are among the first companies to enter the skate market. Converse, which once had been a popular skate shoe in the 1960s, begins going after the skate market. Mainstream shoe companies, Nike and Adidas also begin to focus on skate shoes.
The cycle peaks this year after skateboarding has directly influenced international culture, ranging from hard-edged punk style music to the baggy, earth-tone clothes and retro tennis shoes. The current cycle of skateboarding is fueled by many items, including new companies, more varied and difficult terrain, a new, more hard-core attitude. Skateboard tricks become very technical and more difficult.
A number of top skaters and former pros leave their sponsors and start their own skateboard companies. One example is Steve Rocco of World Industries. The new skater-owned companies increase competition and shake up the established industry.
1988 - Jim Fitzpatrick joins Stacy Peralta in the growing promotion and marketing departments at Powell-Peralta, and Todd Hastings becomes the primary team manager of the Bones Brigade team.
1989 - Canadian World Championships, Vancouver World's Fair.
The skateboard movie, Gleaming the Cube is released. It stars Christian Slater, and features the skating of Tony Hawk, Mark Rogowski, Mike McGill and Rodney Mullen. Stacy Peralta is the second-unit director.
1990 - The skate industry is deeply affected by a world-wide recession. Skaters rediscover their roots in street skating, and the skate companies begin re-evaluating themselves. As in the past, a hardcore group remains with the sport, but this time the attrition is not as great as it was in the past.
Skateboard deck sizes begin to decline from 9" to 10" to an average of 7" to 8" in width. "Popsicle stick" board shapes gain popularity.
Stacy Peralta leaves Powell-Peralta, and the Powell Corporation struggles to reinvent itself in a changing market.
1993 - Jim Fitzpatrick becomes Executive Director and founder of International Association of Skateboard Companies.
Skateboarding re-emerges from its slump. The sport gains a great deal of exposure at the ESPN 2 Extreme Games in Rhode Island. This serves to bring skateboarding more into the mainstream. Skateboard shoe manufacturers like Etnies (owned by top freestyle skaters Pierre Andre and Don Brown), and Vans begin selling huge quantities of product and are joined by other soft good manufacturers eager to cash in on skateboarding's growing popularity.
The Extreme Games are held again in Rhode Island, once more exposing the sport to millions of people. Skateboarding is also included in the 1997 Winter X Games in the form of a crossover event that also included in-line skating, bicycle stunt, and snowboarding.
IASC Director, Jim Fitzpatrick travels to Sacramento several times to educate and lobby legislators to pass new liability laws to provide municipalities the opportunity to build public skateparks.
There are less than 10 public skateparks in the United States. By 2004, there are more than 2000 skateparks.
1998 - One of the biggest trends at work is among soft goods. In the past, clothing fashions have consistently reflected the changes influenced by those who skate. Footwear is currently getting all the attention. According to the 1998 TransWorld Skateboarding Business Summer Retailer Survey, shoes represents 26.5 % of the market share, followed by decks (26%), apparel (16%), trucks (11.5%), wheels (11%), and accessories (9%).
Interest in old school products and skaters begins. Many old school skaters re-surface again after years away from the limelight. Thanks to eBAY, collectors can now purchase old skateboards and other skate related memorabilia.
Towards the end of the 1990's, skateboarding's focus remains streetstyle and the industry is filled with numerous manufacturers and marketers. Many pro skaters continue developing their own products and manage their own companies. Longboarding, a forgotten art, begins to make a comeback. Skateparks are being built once again in California, partially due to a change in legislation. Jim Fitzpatrick and the International Association of Skateboard Companies ensure that other states follow California, and more parks are scheduled for construction over the next few years.
The impact of media coverage on skateboarding has moved it from an underground sport to a more mainstream spectator sport over the last four years. It brings an influx of companies and their advertising dollars.
Skateboarders are now present in ad campaigns for products from soft drinks to potato chips, candy to phone companies. The primary focus of the sport remains in street skating, as can be seen throughout both the editorial and advertising pages of the major skateboard magazines. Vertical skating makes a comeback, due in part to the large number of new skateparks being built. These skateparks give a boost to the skating community in many towns.
2001 - The documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys is released with rave reviews for this story of Dogtown's history. The movie launches a new interest in Dogtown and skateboarding's history. Directed by Stacy Peralta (an original Z-Boy) and written by Stacy Peralta and Craig Stecyk.
Monty Little receives a lifetime achievement award for his hard work and dedication to the advancement of skateboarding in Canada.
Jim Fitzpatrick becomes the Executive Director of the United Professional Skateboarders Association.
2004 - The two main skateboard organizations are the IASC (International Association of Skateboarding Companies), and World Cup Skateboarding, which is the leading competition organization. Skateboarding is beginning to earn respect as professional athletes are receiving greater amounts of purse money from contests.
Jim Fitzpatrick is named to the board of directors of USA Skateboarding, with Tony Hawk and Don Bostick as vice-presidents. Recognized as skateboarding's national governing body, the organization works with the USOC and the IOC in preparation for skateboarding to be included in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, China.
George Powell and Stacy Peralta get back together again to produce their once very successful Powell-Peralta product line.
A new skateboard movie, Lords of Dogtown, is filmed this year, and scheduled for release in 2005. The producers consult many of the original Dogtowners to make the movie as true to life as possible. The screenwriter is Stacy Peralta, an original Z-Boy. The film is produced by Indelible Pictures and Columbia TriStar, and distributed through Sony Pictures.
- September - Surf and skateboard photographer, Craig Fineman dies.
- January - Skateboard photographer, Gary Medeiros dies.
- January - Legendary surf and skate filmmaker, Hal Jepsen dies.
September - Former editor and photographer of Skateboarder Magazine, Warren Bolster dies after a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Sources and contributors to date: Concrete Wave-The History of Skateboarding, Skateboarder Magazine, Juice Magazine, Russ Howell, Dave McIntyre, Dale Smith, Monty Little, Larry Gordon, Jim O'Mahoney, Jon O'Malley, Peter Ducommun and Skull Skates, Gordy Lienemann, Keith Hamm, Bob Feigel, Jim Fitzpatrick, Woody Woodward, and Jim Goodrich
[Silverfish would like to thank all the contributors that came together to create this amazing resource and a special thanks to Jim Goodrich for compiling, organizing and hosting the work. ]
|Last Updated on Sunday, 30 January 2011 05:22|