Skateboarding: Back From the Sixties with a Vengeance

By: Lana Hawkins

In the decade of the 1960s skateboarding was known as sidewalk surfing. The sport was akin to surfing and the surf mentality. It went underground during the 1970s and 1980s but came back with a vengeance in the 1990s. The counterculture sport has spun off sportswear and fashion that has become its own industry. Every school around the country has a clique that uses the skateboard as the centerpiece of their lifestyle. These skateboarders not only sit around and watch skateboarding videos all day but they also actually practice the sport by going to skateboard parks which are especially constructed so that the skateboarders can do tricks and aerials just like there hero Tony Hawk.

Just watch a skateboarding video once and you will find out that the sport takes the agility and balance of surfing without the comfort of falling into water. When these guys take a dive they hit rock hard concrete.

Sometimes considered daredevils, these skateboarders can do tricks which include 360s in midair, 180s that will lift the skateboarder upside down with the skateboard above their head, and daredevil feats such as hopping their board onto a metal hand rail on a set of stairs. If you want to start the sport of skateboarding it is pretty cheap to begin. You can find a board and safety equipment for under $300 at most sporting-goods shops. The sport only gets expensive when you decide to fall into the skateboarding culture and buy the top line equipment and all the fashion and glamour that go with it.

For some great history on skateboarding I highly recommend watching the movie Dogtown and Z-Boys, a Sony Pictures Classic. The next paragraphs are a direct quote from a review of the movie by Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida.

Quoting Pepper Anne "Anyone looking to learn more about the development of skateboarding should find Dogtown and Z-Boys adequate research material. This is not to be confused with Lords of Dogtown, that sorry Hollywood attempt to cash in on the success of the original Dogtown revival."

The movie was directed by Stacey Peralta one of the original Dogtown members and co-written by Craig Stecyk who is a skateboarding photojournalist.

The movie shows how in the 1970's in California, groups of surfers with skate boards would find empty swimming pools (due to a drought and ban on water usage) when the waves were dead and use the pools as vertical courses. It all started here. Of course now there are places in public parks that are built just for this activity. If you want to see some excellent skateboarding history and watch a cool movieFeature Articles, rent this vid.

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