Besides, skateboarding is not a crime.
Skateboarding has come a long way in a shorter time than the freedom riders of the Civil War. Boarding, as it is known amongst the locals won audiences and lost contracts faster than any other sport in US history. But skateboarding has never fully drifted away. In the fifty plus years of its existence, surfing supported their sibling wholeheartedly as professional riders displayed newer more complex maneuvers and techniques. The urethane wheel easily influenced the former clay-high-ride wheel and the “Ollie” won not only the skateboarding motto but a placard in the Hall of Fame, thanks to Alan Gelfand. Then the nationwide public viewed the professional sport on Xtreme Games 2000 for the competitive freestyle techniques so widely used today among professionals and boarders alike. Let’s now take a closer look at a summarized history of Skateboarding taken from Thrasher magazine online 2009 and About.com
In the early fifties and sixties, surfing was the sport done in the daylight and at twilight skateboarding was performed on the back streets of the many beach cities in California. There boarders practiced freestyle skating that resembled ice dancing than skateboarding. These pro-skaters of the 1960’s were Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer. Their skating style was completely different since the wheels were made of clay that forced the skateboard to ride high off the ground. Unfortunately, fame would be placed on hold since in 1965 skateboarding crashed for a period of seven years.
In 1972, the urethane skateboard wheel was carved into the competitor’s edge by Frank Nasworthy of Cadillac Wheels (About.com; Sports, 2009). The skateboard now rides inches from the concrete. His new invention gained positive regard from surfers and boarders alike. “In 1975 at the Del Mar California Ocean Festival, the Zephyr Team showed the world-wide audience what skateboarding could become (about.com 2009). However, the anti-establishment still remains with surfers and boarders alike. “No longer would boarding just be promoted as a hobby or an underground phenomenon, but now the world at large would have a chance to rekindle a love of a sport they coveted for so long to a much higher potential than ever before (About.com;Sports2009).”
While skateboarding held the audience and the ratings, the “Ollie” Alan Gelfand invented a ‘slam-the-tail-of-your-board with your right foot and jump-therefore-popping your-self into the air with board and all’ maneuver. In 1978, the “Ollie” gave skateboarding a revolutionary jolt to sports illustrated and subsequent survival and competition in the Xtreme Games of 2000 (About.com; 2009). The “ollie” also gave Alan Gelfand a well deserved plaque of honor in the Hall of Fame in 2002.
In the latter stages of the seventies, skateboarding again took a dip and crashed from the public view. During this time skateboard parks were established and subsequently shutdown since insurance rates for injuries was at a record high because boarding is a dangerous sport and the costs got out of hand. During the eighties, skateboarders built their own ramps at home or utilized neighborhood parks and schools, stairways and public parking structures to continue their love for the sport whether the world looked on or not. Just because the world ignored these skateboarders, the VCR came on the scene with a powerful punch. Stacey Peralta as the experienced cameramen and George Powell as the choreographer filmed boarders doing what they like to do best and demonstrating to others new to the sport how to accomplish these techniques. Maneuverability, more complex legwork and balance would come with continued practice. Together the two men formed a union while shooting young talented skaters they named the Bones Brigade. Two series of revolutionary sequels came about after the Bones Brigade Video Show followed by Future Primitive in 1985 and Search for the Animal Chin in 1987.
By then skateboarding began to influence a definite line of clothing, style, music, and a definite sub-culture of anti-establishment Boarders established and formed in the fifties as relative to their existing attitude toward outsiders.
Since the end of the eighties, skateboarding took another dive but with lesser impact. This period saw an increase in user friendly CD’s, video and online demonstrations of the required techniques to hold a contest locally. Such maneuvers included the natural, intricate legwork in turns, flips and the required basic “Ollie” to qualify for a local contest. Los Angeles and vicinity held many such events over the last ten years. One of the more recent venues of 2009 is the New-Life Community Foursquare Church located at 275 East Foothill Boulevard in north Pomona. In the past year the church held several contests for the local youth on several weekends. The ramps were specially made by a band member of the church whose artistic quality should be applauded for craftsmanship and durability. Let us hope the near future holds another rally of skateboarders ready to take on the competitor’s edge.
Next week a list of local rallies takes place for the Skateboarders in the Los Angeles County and neighboring cities. Feel free to leave a comment.
Besides, skateboarding is not a crime.