"Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo." But skateboarding as we know it today was born back in the late 1940s or early '50s. And it will come as no surprise that the idea of skateboarding was developed by surfers in California who wanted something to do when the waves were flat. back then, it was called "sidewalk surfing."
The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles, California surf shop, meant to be used by surfers in their downtime. The shop owner, Bill Richard, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which they attached to square wooden boards. Early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot. By the 1960s, a few surf board manufacturers in Southern california began manufacturing skateboards that resembled small surfboards. One of the earliest skateboard competitions was held in 1963. Some of these same teams of skateboarders were also featured on a television show called "Surf's Up" in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards, that helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do. As the popularity of skateboarding began to grow, the first skateboarding magazine popped up, too. In 1964, John Severson published the first edition of The Quarterly Skateboarder. The magazine lasted only for issues but resurfaced again in 1975 but was renamed simply Skateboarder.
One of the earliest sponsored (paid) skateboarders was Patti McGee. She traveled around the country holding skateboard exhibitions and speaking on skateboarding safety. Ms. McGee was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1965. She even appeared on several popular TV shows of the time including, The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line?, and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. All this, of course, fueled interest in this new sport. Soon after, kids everywhere were begging their parents for skateboards. Skateboard competitions offering prizes and money were held all over the US.
Skateboarding is still very popular today and most boards are still made of wood, usually maple which is known for being very hard. While the early skateboarders preferred riding barefoot, most of today's enthusiasts wear a "sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe that was popularized by Sean Penn in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
You may be shocked to learn that skateboard stuff (memorabilia) regularly sells for "big bucks" at auction houses. In January 2019, Sotheby's in New York auctioned the full set of the 248 skateboard deck designs ever sold by Supreme, collected by Ryan Fuller. The full set sold for $800,000 to 17 year old Carson Guo from Vancouver who plans to exhibit them in a local gallery. New York based SHUT skateboards had a gold-plated skateboard for sale at $15,000 in 2014, then the most expensive skateboard in the world. In 2019, artist Adrian Wilson created the SUPREME Mundi, a cross between an artist palette and a skateboard as a commentary on the record bids at auction of the Supreme decks and the restored Salvatore Mundi which was sold by a New York art gallery for $20,000.
Quigley, jr. and I will have a lot of fun, I'm sure, on Saturday, trying out the new Lily Pad Skate Park. My biggest goal is to not fall off and break my typing digits. Whatever you plan on doing this weekend, I hope it includes spending time outdoors with family and friends. Today marks the official beginning of summer and the fun kicks in to hi9gh gear.
I hope to see you back here on Monday.