Who invented Skateboarding?

What is Skateboarding, and Who invented it? When did Skateboarding turn into a Sport and What other milestones did this sport cover? Who is Rodney Mullen, and What did he invent?
who invented skateboarding
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There are a number of sports invented till now, among which some are more thrilling than the others. If you have tried skateboarding, you will be able to understand the ongoing discussion. It is one of the most thrilling activities. Coming to think of it, you must want to know about who invented skateboarding and who invented the first skateboard. So let’s start and also find out the facts about who invented the 360 flip and who invented the kickflip.

1. What is Skateboarding?

It is an action sport that includes performing tricks while riding on a skateboard. However, it is not just a sport; people use skateboards for transportation too. The boards used in this are usually made from specially designed 7 to 8-ply wood. These boards have a pair of polyurethane wheels attached by a pair of skateboarding trucks. (See What is Zorbing?)

2. Who invented Skateboarding?

During the 1950s, surfing was the most thrilling sport for people. Who invented skateboarding does not have any exact answers as the idea for skateboards must have been drawn from surfing and surfboards. There are two places where skateboarding was invented simultaneously, Hawaii and California.  Surfers picked the small surfboards and attached metal wheels without bearings under the boards. (See 10 Facts About Motorized Single Wheel)

3. Who is the Father of Skateboarding?

A person standing on a skateboard: who invented skateboarding 1
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

An American professional skateboarder, Rodney Mullen, is considered the father of skateboarding because he invented most of the tricks. He got famous by his nickname, the father of street skateboarding. (See: How to Play Checkers and Win?)

4. When was the First Skateboard made?

After the start of skateboarding in California, skateboards were made by attaching roller skates with a board. But the earliest boards were hand-made, using wooden planks and boxes. The commercial manufacturing of skateboards began in 1959. (See When Was Silly Putty Invented?)

5. Who invented the First Skateboard?

The invention of skateboards was just a rough idea that people executed with surfboards and wheels. The toy industry came to know about this idea, which led to the release of the first official skateboard. Roller Derby is credited to have launched the first skateboard in 1959 with some technological developments. This enabled the riders to try new tricks. (See When was the Unicycle Invented?)

6. When did Skateboarding turn into a Sport?

By the time skateboards came into the market, skateboarding was not just a sport, but it developed an image of a toy. The person who invented skateboarding never thought about such immense success. But between 1959 and 1965, the image changed from a toy to a sport because of its increasing popularity of it. Slowly, the newly manufactured skateboards began to have roller skate trucks (the piece of metal through which the wheel and axle pass through). The Patterson Forbes produced the first completely industrial-developed skateboards with advanced trucks in 1962. (See When did Pokemon Cards come out?)

7. Who first advertised the Skateboards?

Keeping in mind the increasing popularity of skateboards, Larry Stevenson, the publisher of Surf Guide Magazine, released the first skateboard advertisement in the magazine in 1963. (See What is the Best Martial Art?)

8. When and Where was the First Skating Contest?

A lady skateboarder performing: who invented skateboarding 2
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In 1963, the first skate contest was organized in Hermosa Beach, California. Here skateboarders showed mind-blowing skills in freestyle or slalom. With its increasing popularity, the first skateboarding magazine came into being in 1964 under the name the Quarterly Skateboarder. (See What is Marathon Distance?)

9. When did the first Skateboard Parks open?

The 1970s proved a time for huge success in skateboarding. It was during this year that various new skateboarding magazines were published, and additionally, the first artificially created skate park was inaugurated in 1976. During the same year, various other parks with skateboarding elements like kickers and vertical ramps were opened. (See How Long does the Super Bowl Last?)

10. What is Kickflip?

Who invented skateboarding has nothing to do with the kickflip as Kickflip was invented in later years. A move in skateboarding in which the rider flips his skateboard 360°, along the axis from nose to tail of the skateboard is termed a kickflip. The board will flip counterclockwise if the rider is regularly footed (the format in which the rider stands on the skateboard with his left foot near the nose of the board). (See What’s a Brace in Soccer?)

11. Who invented the Kickflip?

In the 1970s, freestyle skateboarders learned to flip their boards at 360° while riding, or during standby. Curt Lindgren was credited with the invention of the kickflip during this time. Later in 1982, Rodney Mullen brought the move into the mainstream after refining it. He named this flip the magic flip. So, he is considered the one who invented the kickflip. (See How to Use a Hula Hoop?)

12. What is Kicktail?

The kicktails of a skateboard: who invented skateboarding 3
Photo by Ryland Dean on Unsplash

The upward bent tips of the skateboard, both at the front and back, are termed kicktails. The front kicktail is termed the nose and the back kicktail is known as the tail of the skateboard. They help in maneuvering the skateboard. Larry Stevenson invented and produced the kicktail skateboards. (See What is a Hockey Puck made of?)

13. What is Ollie, and Who invented it?

It is the skateboard trick in which the rider leaps into the air while sitting or standing on his board, without using his hand. The person who invented skateboarding more or less laid the foundation for Ollie too. It is the combination of popping, jumping, and sliding the front foot for leveling the board. This flip is the fundamental skill in skateboarding, as all other flips and moves are dependent on it. It’s all thanks to Alan Gelfand who invented this move in 1978, which became the greatest trick leading to street skateboarding. (See What are Hat Tricks in Soccer?)

14. Who invented the 360 Flip?

Besides knowing about the people who invented skateboarding and its history, you must note that an American professional skateboarder, John Rodney Mullen, is the one who invented the 360 flip. He is considered the most influential freestyle street skateboarder. He has invented numerous tricks like heelflip, impossible, refined kickflip, and other previously invented tricks. He invented the 360° flip in 1983 along with Switch 360 flip, 360 pressure flip, and Casper 360 flip. (See What is the Best Spinning Top?)

15. What are the Tricks invented by Rodney?

A skateboard rider in air with his board: who invented skateboarding 4
Photo by Ruben Gutierrez on Unsplash

Other than the famous 360° flip, Rodney Mullen has invented several refined various tricks and moves in skateboarding. Take a look at the following – arranged as per the year in which they were invented:

  • 1979 – Godzilla rail flip, 540 shove-it, and 50/50 Saran wrap
  • 1980 – 50/50 Casper and Helipop
  • 1981 – Gazelle flip, No-handed 50/50, and No-handed 50/50 kickflip
  • 1982 – Kickflip, Heelflip, Double heelflip, and Impossible
  • 1983 – Sidewinder, 360 flip, Switch 360 flip, 360 pressure flip, Casper 360 flip, Half-cab kickflip, and 50/50 sidewinder. This is another invention from Rodney.
  • 1984 – One-footed Ollie and Backside flip (Backside 180 Kickflip)
  • 1986 – Ollie Nosebone, Ollie finger flip, and Ollie Airwalk
  • 1988 – Frontside heel flip shove-it
  • 1990 – Helipop heel flip
  • 1992 – Kickflip underflip, Half-cab kickflip underflip, Casper slide, Half flip darkslide, and Handstand flips. (See How to Throw a Curveball?)

The person who invented skateboarding never knew someone else would be known as the Godfather of skateboarding. Particularly, there isn’t a single person who invented the first skateboard or who invented skateboarding since the idea was a combined effort. Also, Rodney, who invented the kickflip and who invented the 360 flip, was the real inventor of different moves. 

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