On Monday I mentioned the Zephyr Crew as being the group who first showed what skateboarding could really be. Some names to remember from that time are Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta.
Other names that figure prominently in the history of skateboarding and skateboards are Tom “Wally” Inoyoue;Wes Humpston and Jim Muir who marketed the first line of successful boards with graphics under the Dogtown Label (if you are interested there is a great movie entitled Lords of Dogtown as well as a 2001 documentary entitled Dogtown and Z-Boys that have more on the evolution of skateboarding). We also can't forget Alan Gelfand who perfected the 'ollie' or hands free aerial which propelled skateboarding to the next level.
Pool skating - just what it sounds like, skateboarding in an empty pool - became extremely popular. It is also difficult and dangerous. The insurance required to insure these places soon became overly expensive and the homeowners had to discontinue the use of their pools in this manner. But there was that hardcore group of skaters that would not go away and found other ways to ride.
There were still skate contests as well though they tended to be smaller, the turnout less and the prize money also less. In 1982 Tony Hawk won his first contest at the Del Mar Skate Ranch and it looked like the sport was on an upswing again.
Flash forward a couple of years to 1991. The skateboarding industry is once again forced to reinvent itself due to a world wide recession. And it did. ESPN 2 gave the sport substantial exposure in 1995 with Extreme Games and downhill skateboarding gains new popularity thanks to street luge.
Skateboard shoe manufacturers like Etnies and Vans began promoting huge portions of product and were joined by different delicate good manufacturers that were eager to get in on the revenue with skateboarding making another comeback.
This event was sponsored by Vans Off The Wall. Paul Van Buren opened the Van Doren Rubber Company on March 6, 1966 in Anaheim, California. Van Buren and his three partners made deck shoes. A person would come in in the morning, get measured for a shoe and the shoes would be ready that afternoon.
In the 1970s skateboarders found these rugged and sticky sole shoes and began soon Vans were on the feet of a lot skateboarders. Van Doren responded by teaming with Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta to design Vans #95, the Era. The Era had a padded collar and different colour combinations and soon became a favorite among skateboarders.
For those of us who are old enough to remember the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, we may recall that Sean Penn's character, Jeff Spicoli, wore Vans Slip Ons. This exposure helped the shoes gain international appeal and attention. If you are interested in the shoes, check out the company's website.
That is all I have to say about skateboarding for now. I am sure I will find other areas at a later date to cover. Perhaps the next time I find more skateboarders.
As many of you know I live in East Vancouver and am quite proud of the rich history and culture in this area of town. I had to smile when I saw this van parked on Granville Street.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill,skateboarding, Vancouver,Zephyr Crew,Vans,Paul Van Buren,History,Underworld