Monday, August 8, 2011

Saturday Skateboarders

Saturday I walked into Chinatown to attend the twelve annual Chinatown Festival but they were still setting up so I walked downtown. I went to the Robson Square Artisan Market who also weren't entirely set up. I walked along Granville and found these skateboarders!

The sport of skateboarding started in the 1950s when a group of California surfers decided to try to surf on the streets. They took some boards, attached some roller skate wheels to the bottom and Voila! Skateboarding emerged.

The popularity of skateboarding grew rapidly, achieving significant recognition. Manufacturers were churning out boards, playing a game of trying to outdo the competition.

Between 1960 and 1963 over fifty million skateboards were sold - the sport was hot! It was one of the fastest growing sport trends ever. And why not? A person could get the feel of surfing and not have to have a body of water nearby. It came to a crashing halt in 1965 due to overwhelming concerns for safety. The demand for boards was high and no one had taken the time to design a safer model. There were numerous accidents and even some fatalities.

There were still skateboarders. Inventive souls who took a board and attached clay wheels to it. But the wheels were hard to control and dangerous. In 1972 Frank Nasworthy and his company Cadillac Wheels invented urethane skateboard wheels, similar to what is seen today and inspired a new interest in skateboarding.

With the invention of these wheels the sport changed. Instead of a noisy bumpy experience it was now a smooth and silent ride. The new wheels could grip concrete so banks and ditches became skateable and that opened up all new avenues.

In Del Mar, California in 1975 a slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival. The Zephyr Crew put on a show like none other and showed the world what skateboarding could be. They rode those boards low and clean, gliding through the air as if propelled by magic. A new era was born.

In 1976 Florida built the first outdoor skate park for skateboarders, something that was adopted by many parks across North America. The skateboards also changed. Instead of being six to seven inches in width to over nine inches. This provided more stability.

Did you enjoy that? What those guys are doing is remarkable! I've got more pictures and more to tell you probably next entry.

I hope you find the beauty around you.
,, ,,,,,

No comments:

Post a Comment