By, Marco Martins
You stand on the end of a half-pipe, looking down at a curved wooden panel. Your heart beats as you plan the tricks in your head. All you need is momentum, balance and the practice behind you. You step on your skateboard, allowing your wheels to roll you away. You speed up; the wind is in your face. You’re experiencing the exhilaration of being on a board.
Where it all Began
Skateboarding was born from the love of the ocean. In the 1960s, surfers in California longed to experience wave-riding on land.
So with planks of wood, roller-skate wheels, a few screws and a whole lot of good intentions, they created the first skateboards. These first boards were clumsy, but they worked. Surfers were able to stand up on these skateboards and ride them down the street, sidewalk surfing around town.
Skateboarding was always destined to do more. It was a way for a generation of young people to find freedom. It was a method of pushing the limits of gravity and imagination. People started performing handstands and jump on their skateboards.
In the early 1970s, skateboarders look for anything they could use to push the limits. They’d skate in concrete reservoirs and use any structure they could find to test their imaginations.
Around this time, there was a water shortage in California. Most homeowners emptied their pools to save water. Skateboarders used this to their advantage. They waited for adults to go to work, so that they could skateboard in these empty pools. They used the angles of the pool to do tricks that saw them popping out into the air. It was common for many people to come home and find their backyards infested with skateboarding teenagers skating in their pools.
Pool skating soon became illegal. Luckily, today skateboarders have Skate Parks to fulfill their needs. These Skate Parks are places where skateboarders can practice their skills and get better at the challenges that they face.
Skate Parks simulate an environment where you can practice tricks. They have wooden ramps, steel rails and half-pipes that help you gain enough momentum to perform all sorts of manoeuvres.
Skateboarding has become a significant sport. It’s televised all over the world and gaining more and more popularity all the time. Famous skaters like Tony Hawk have made skateboarding into a thrilling sport, with incredible tricks that defy gravity and push the boundaries of human limits.
While you’re bound to have hours of fun on your skateboard, you’ll need to take precautions. Skateboarding is a sport that comes with its share of accidents.
A fall off a board could mean more than just a few scrapes and bruises. So, be sure to have your helmet ready, as well as knee and elbow pads. This equipment will keep you safe as you learn to gain balance on your board.
Skateboarding is an integral part of human history. It shows how creative people can be, and what we can do when we choose not to allow ourselves to be limited by the ideas of the people that have come before us.
So, when will you pick up a board and give skateboarding a try?