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Skateboarding is the act of rolling on or interacting with a skateboard. A skater is a skateboard rider (although the term may also refer to someone ice skating or roller skating). They may wear saggy, baggy trousers exposing underwear (when that is not covered by a long T-shirt), because of fashion and to provide more freedom of movement.

Like roller skating it is often done for recreation and as a sport, but, more often than ice skating, it can be done functionally for moving around (it is faster than walking).

History of skateboarding

Skateboarding has its origins in surfing. Originally called "sidewalk surfing," skateboarding was an easy way for non-surfers to feel the great feeling of surfing. Now, with wakeboarding replacing much waterskiing[?] and snowboarding replacing much skiing, the desire to feel this great motion is really catching on like never before.

In the 1970s skateboarding was still a sidewalk "sport" with surfboard shaped boards designed more for the California vibe than for function. Narrow trucks kept the wheels close together and made the board a bit unstable, but still fun. As boards and truck widened, there was also a growth of terrain skating. Originally drainage ditches and such were uses, and for the lucky, empty swimming pools, but then skaters began to build their own terrains: the ramp. In the beginning, the ramp was a quarter pipe that you would skate up to and up to the edge at the top. A big improvement came with the "half pipe." Though there are skateboard parks with extremely complex 3-d terrains, the half-pipe is still the core of upper level skateboarding. Ski resorts have them for snowboarders, and the pipes for skateboarders are also commonly used for rollerbladers[?] and BMX bicycles.

A very interesting evolution happened approximately simultaneously with the evolution of skateboard park and ramp riding. The street riding was originally basically two dimensional tricks (eg: riding on only the front wheels (nose wheelie), spinning like an ice skater on the back wheels (a 360), high jumping over a bar, long jumping from one board to another (often over fearless teenagers lying on their backs!), slalom, etc. Around 1978 or so, street riding became transformed by the invention of the "ollie", the first modern skateboarding trick. It was invented by a single person in a skateboard park and it spread like wildfire. In 1978, Alan Ollie Gelfand invented the "ollie" or no hand's aerial and moved skateboarding to the next level. The ollie is to fly off the ground (flat or a wall) with the board, but without holding onto the board and then landing back on the board. It involves using your feet to press against the board in various complicated combinations, depending on the trick to be performed. No longer is the trick to fly from one place to another. On the way the board can twist and flip, as can the rider, then to be united before hitting ground. The development of these complex tricks went from the street to the vertical tops of the half pipes (and other terrains). Truly an amazing transformation considering what is going on between rider and board.

Some famous skateboarders include Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, Rodney Mullen and Steve Caballero.

later, I will add info on: a few of the transformational personalities of the history of skateboarding. Also, a few links to interesting sites about the old days of the sport, magazines, press coverage, etc. (for ex: Wide World of Sports used to cover skateboarding competitons...Howard Cosell interviewing Tony Alva!)

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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