The Continuous History of Skating

Hailey Mejia, Assistant Editor

Noah Bailey ollieing over the stairs at Rhodes skate park

As people, we often only focus on the current situation of sports and activities. When watching a football game most people first thought isn’t about the origin of the sport. When seeing people skateboarding down your street you don’t wonder when it was invented. How did the art of skating grow into what it is now? A sport with such a strong, and positive community. Without an extreme interest in skateboarding, most don’t know about the history of how such an extreme sport had its kickoff.

There isn’t an official inventor and creator of the idea of skateboarding. The idea of wheels beneath your feet has been around for decades. To give an estimate for when skateboarding originated would be the 1930s, when scooters were all the rage. Some kids created homemade scooters and skateboards. The idea floated until the 1950s where surfers in California created surf boards with scooter trucks attached. Once this happened it was decided that skating culture would be most influenced by surfers.

A decade later, an official skateboard was on the market with a surf-like board, trucks, and wheels that were also used for roller skates. Originally skateboards were completely flat; it wasn’t till Larry Stevenson brought the idea of the kicktail, also visually known as the bend at the end of your classic board. With the kicktail it opened new opportunities for tricks and competitions. Back then people would race and compete, much like now when skaters play “s.k.a.t.e”. through the 70s skating had its drop in popularity. There was a decrease in skate parks due to insurance issues. We had to wait another decade for skating to rise to the top again. It started with a now well-known magazine brand called Thrasher. Skate brands and iconic skaters made their appearance and brought skating back to life. Skating shifted more towards half pipes and tricks instead of just ‘sidewalk skating.’ Easing into the 90s is where skateboarding started becoming mainstream in media. X games was introduced in 1995 and no other than tony hawk won with landing a 900 on a vert ramp. Tony Hawk is a big face in the skating community, a sort of bond among the community when it come to the Tony Hawk skate games. This time was truly when the skate culture started to form.

Even with all the good that came in the 1990s-2000s skaters faced a problem. A conflict with the police. Skaters were labeled as rebellious and criminal, which made them targets amongst older people and police. They were bombarded with accusations that they were disturbing the peace. Most skaters just ignored it and kept at their craft.

Skating is now all around the world, spreading its influence and community to its youth. Skateboarding has spread all the way to our very own Rocky too. An example would be Noah Bailey, a freshman. Noah started skating almost 2 and a half years ago. He says his interest started in 6th grade when he saw a student named Ryan, “I would always walk around in school and in the morning, I saw Ryan and he looked so cool, he had all his friends around him. Then one day after school I saw him outside skating.” Whatever Ryan was showing off must’ve been impressive because it was on Noah’s mind when coming home, “Then I went home, and I was like dad I want to try skating. He told me that he used to skate and that he skated for 5 years. Then he pulled out his old skateboard from the garage,” it was a lucky coincidence that the spark for skating runs in the family. From that point on Noah stayed committed to his board and has learned the good and the bad of skating. When asked what he’s learned from skating he said, “Skating taught me how to keep my cool if I wasn’t landing a trick right and to keep trying to get it right. It also taught me very good social skills as well.” Failing at tricks can either make or break a learning skater. Noah also mentioned how skating affected him mentally, “It was really good stress reliefer. Every time I would be stressed out about school I would go out and skate.” It’s always a good to have something to distract you from your daily worries, either at the skate park or your simple driveway. But can skating distract you too much? Noah was asked what he thinks is the bad part of skating, “Sometimes you can get really caught up in skating, making you irritated. Whenever you’re skating it consumes all your time, you don’t have time for a job and stuff. Then if you ever break your board of something you can’t really buy it because everything’s so expensive.”

As shown in pervious quotes, Ryan was a big part of Noah’s introduction to skating. Without his presence we wouldn’t have another skater here at Rocky. Skaters inspire skaters and the circle of skating continues. Noah’s story is just one of many amazing skaters.