Skateboard shed its transport equipment image of the late 40s and 50s to become what it is today, the recreational tool. The early skateboard championships were ‘soap box derbies’ held in cities during that era of crude skateboards, which sometimes used to double up as surf boards too.
Skateboards as Sports Gear
With mass production becoming a reality in the 1960s skateboards underwent a lot of transformation for better; from solid wood or metals to plywood for decks, flat no shape to concavity, clay composite steel wheels to polyurethane made ones and finally single action trucks (axles) to aluminum constructed two part trucks. There is so much more in the safety, comfort and durability departments that you need to look into when buying skateboards.
Well, how do these things help? At first, the question may strike an irrelevant chord, but not so when you see the difference. Just taste this for samples: Without that innovative concavity would it have been possible for those champion skateboarders to takeoff from flat ground? Forget that for a minute, speeding along the streets wouldn’t have been a reality but for the grip tapes now you find on the decks, which prevent you from slipping even as you takeoff.
Did you know, what helped easy turning at such high speeds? Of course you do your skillful ‘foot work’ but the rubber cushion in between the two part truck flexes when you turn by front foot while pressing by the back foot. It is this flexibility that gives you additional turn which was harder in older skateboards.
If you are not on the streets you are skateboarding on the ramps. Ramps are carpentry constructions made in plywood. As you are aware, there are just as many ramp plans as you like and the simplest one is the obvious bank plan (flat plan), half pipe, quarter pipe, pyramid plans etc, all of which are named after their shapes.
Then you have the ‘launcher’ ramp for the lion hearted guys and girls. Skateboarding over this launches you into the skies vertically. If you don’t want to fly, you still have an option that interests you. You can ride the walls with two identical ramps placed at a distance apart.
Championships have encouraged many aspirants to take-up the sport and excel there. Television coverage has catapulted skateboarding to top youth sport. The most famous competition are them all is the annual X-Game Skateboard Championships. Skateboarders from all around the world take part this is event to gain recognition and fame, not to mention lucrative sponsorships and turn this one time hobby to a serious career path.