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Who Invented The Skateboard? History Development

Here’s a very common question – who invented the skateboard?

The skateboard was created by Bill Richards.

Skateboarders in the present day think Bill Richards created the sport.

Richards created the skateboard in 1958 after adding a roller to the board.

For more information, continue reading.

The Skateboard As A Homemade Toy

The first commercial skateboards, in accordance with historians, appeared on the market between 1957 and 1959.

Selling $2 boards with steel wheels that were approximately 50 mm in diameter and 10 mm wide were AC Boyden/Humco, Skee-Skate, Chicago Roller Skate, Sport Flite, Carl Jensen, and Roller Derby.

Clay wheels were one of the earliest examples of technology, which improved the ride. They were adapted from public roller rinks.

The majority of the early skaters made their own equipment out of wood planks and rusty skate wheels because the equipment found on the streets lacked eye-catching graphics.

Initially, the term used for the outdoor activity was “sidewalk surfing.”

The idea refers to the sport that surfers in Southern California had taken up when the ocean was flat or the waves were too small to ride.

By imitating the tricks, moves, and body positions they used on the waves, they were able to make contact with the boardwalk concrete and asphalt of their coastal towns.

“We just rode imaginary waves and blazed all over the city,” described Wentzle Ruml.

The hula hoop, Frisbee, yo-yo, and Schwinn Built American Flyer with chrome handlebars, fenders, and racks on the back were all popular during this time.

Smooth wheels, bearings, half-pipes, helmets, or protective pads were not present. Riding crude, homemade skateboards was the only thing involved.

However, a revolution was about to transform the SoCal streets.

“The DIY deck culture that started it all – hacking together boards from found and borrowed parts in the garage – couldn’t keep up with the demand,” highlights Matt Berger, author of “The handmade skateboard.”

“And why should it, when an entire sector of specialized manufacturers was itching to innovate?”

From The Flexible Flyer To The Modern Skateboard

Who then actually created the skateboard?

The history of skateboarding tells us that the world’s first modern skateboard was designed and manufactured in the late 1940s, and early 1950s.

We do know that several kids were using the Flexible Flyer sled to have fun at about the same time, even though we are unable to pinpoint the single creator and inventor of the first-ever skateboard.

“These kids were charging down small drainage pipes on Mount Soledad, lying on their stomachs while holding flashlights, corkscrewing upside down and flying out on the beach – a hybrid of the Flexi Flyer and the broken scooter,” notes Jocko Weyland, author of “A Skateboarder’s History of the World: The Answer is Never.”

“The thrill-seeking features of the Flexi Flyer were combined with a broken toy to create something unique from its forerunners.”

“The kids were riding the scooter planks while purposefully leaving the handle off. Skateboarding was invented. The apparatus was no longer a toy, regardless of how basic it was.”

Teenagers were skating barefoot over harsh metal wheels that caused the skateboard to stop abruptly at the slightest crack and as they wore down.

At first, gimmicky products like The Scoot Kit and the skateboard with metal wheels for roller derby capitalized on the hype.

“The concept of a rolling plank of wood was revolutionary enough that there was little innovation in skateboard design and construction during its adolescent years,” states Matt Berger.

“As no set had been created specifically for a skateboard, the trucks and wheels were taken from roller skates. And the deck’s shape remained mainly flat, square, and small.”

But soon, businesses run by skaters and surfers started developing niche goods and making good money off of them.

Two key personalities helped shape the first designs of what we now call skateboards – Bill Richard and Richard Lawrence “Larry” Stevenson.

However, Who Made The First Skateboard?

After a bit of digging, we decided that the one who invented the skateboard is:

Bill Richards

Bill Richards created the first skateboard in 1958 while attending the University of California at Santa Barbara. He did this by mounting rollerblading wheels to a wooden board. In 1959, the Roller Derby Skateboard—a very thick board with narrow trucks and clay wheels—began to gain popularity.

Skateboarding as it is currently known did not start to take off until the 1970s. Before the 1960s, skateboarders who wanted to pull off tricks would attach roller skates to their boards or purchase special equipment like Frank Nasworthy’s wheel rollers. Around 1961–1962, the first skateboards that were manufactured began to show up. They were made of solid wood, much like a surfboard, and even had roller skate wheels attached to them! Magnesium alloys weren’t utilized for making wheels and trucks until the middle of the 1960s.

Skateboarding became significantly more popular in the 1980s, largely as a result of surfing influences. Surfers who once needed a board to ride the waves desired a land-based activity. Consequently, businesses began creating boards that resembled surfboards but could be used for pavement riding.

Skateboarding began to gain popularity in the 1990s. The most well-known skateboard companies of today got their start back then, including Girl Skateboards, Element Skateboards, and Plan B Skateboards.

Also during this time, skateboarding competitions like Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam (1999) and the X Games competitions held in California were at their peak. As the 1990s went on, more board sports developed along with new boards specifically designed for various tricks as well as protective gear for skaters, like pads and helmets.

Companies that aimed to produce something different from the typical rink board were founded in the 2000s. For instance, Flip Skateboards boasted that the decks would not flex or crack that easily. In addition, Girl Skating created a board that was a bit more pale and slim than earlier, wider boards.

Skateboards Today

Today’s skateboards are entertaining, adaptable, and made of various materials. Many children who purchase skateboards continue to use them well into their teen and even adult years. Even skate P.E. is offered at some high schools.

When you’re a child or teen, skateboarding is a common form of transportation throughout places like Southern California. After school, a lot of kids gather with their friends to skateboard in skateparks. In the city, concrete skateparks are also frequently found, and it is simple for kids to organize a ride on a Saturday to one of them.

Today’s popular skateboard designs are built differently than those from the 1960s and 1970s. There are now many different types of skateboards, including speed boards, popsicle skateboards, and longboards. Despite riding differently, they all share the same fundamental skills.

These boards come in a variety of lengths and are made of either plastic or wood. In accordance with the style, the wheels are positioned differently. On some skateboards, the wheels, for instance, are not covered by the board, so you can see them from above. However, the wheels on some boards are concealed beneath the board and are not visible.

There are a variety of styles available, so pick one that appeals to you and suits your needs. Various boards ride differently. You might also require a different board based on the type of riding you do.

You need a traditional skateboard or an old-school skateboard for skating in a skatepark and practicing tricks. These are the ideal size and shape for practicing and performing tricks. Many tricks involve leaping into the air or spinning the board beneath your feet.

A longboard is a better option for you if you like to cruise along long highways and ride down steep hills. Due to its length, the longboard in the surf style is popular. People enjoy using this board to travel down long roads because it is the longest. People can stand, squat, or even sit on the board while going downhill due to its size.

Although they can be used on various terrains, riding styles similar to this one are for similar riding experiences. For instance, some boards are made for the asphalt on roads, while others work better on concrete that is more polished. The wheels can be made of rubber-like material or plastic, typically a compound called polyurethane. So you can find a skateboard that suits you based on where and how you like to ride your board.

Less than a century after its creation, skateboarding has become one of the most well-liked sports among both children and adults. Skateboarding was even added as an official Olympic event for the 2020 Games, and the inaugural skateboarding Olympic competitions featured competitors from all over the world.

Unquestionably, Larry Stevenson’s invention of the skateboard has had a profound influence on society. See more about How Much Does A Skateboard Cost?

Who Invented The Skateboard History Development
Who Invented The Skateboard? History Development

Types Of Skateboards

The Mini-cruiser Skateboard

The mini-cruiser is a scaled-down version of the cruiser skateboard.

For beginners, it’s the ideal deck, and intermediate skaters can use it to cruise around town, perform a few tricks, ride a bowl, or visit a park.

They were first used when the sport was just starting out, and in the 2010s, their popularity skyrocketed.

High-school students love them because of their short, narrow design, which is very portable and fits in a backpack.

Riders can perform a few simple tricks and navigate the city on it because it has soft wheels, a kick tail, and a textured surface.

They frequently consist of plastic and call for unique trucks.

The Double-kick Popsicle Skateboard

The most common and widely used design, it is the standard skateboard. It is effective for almost all types of riding, including street skating and skateparks.

They are a great choice for people just starting out in skateboarding because they are lightweight.

The preferred tool for trick-performers, grinders, curb-shredders, and people who want to fly is the popsicle-shaped skateboard.

It has a kick in the tail and nose as well as a concave curve across the width.

The modern street deck is largely symmetrical from end to end and extremely adaptable when it comes to being used in various settings.

This design from the 1990s is made of seven layers of 1/16-inch hard maple veneer laminated with PVA glue and pressed from a complicated form.

The Cruiser Skateboard

It is the ideal option for city travel and quick excursions.

To provide a smooth ride over tiny cracks and uneven pavement, they have larger, softer wheels.

They give riders the ability to turn more quickly and precisely than on longboards, as well as to avoid obstacles more easily. Furthermore, they have kick tails.

The Carve Skateboard

With its effortless pumping motion, the carve skateboard creates its own speed.

It was created to behave on flat ground like a surfboard would on the face of a wave.

It’s a preferred plank for riding bowls and a great choice for practicing turns and deep carves.

Due to the way in which it combines the qualities of both cruisers and longboards, this hybrid skateboard design is growing in popularity.

The Classic Longboard Skateboard

The longboard is a long, stable skateboard that is shaped for easy boardwalk cruising, leisurely long distance rides, and skating faster up more or less steep hills.

They offer a sizable riding platform that makes it simple to learn how to balance, making them a good choice for beginners.

However, they’re also a fantastic option for skaters of all ages and skill levels.

The most popular longboard designs are pintail or twin tip.

A longboard typically has a longer length, i.e., 33 inches and more. The skater can perform wide-arched carves and turns and has good maneuverability.

It took its cue from longboard surfboards from the 1950s and 1960s.

The Downhill Longboard Skateboard

A skateboard that has been specifically made to be used on slalom races and steep mountain roads is called a downhill longboard.

It is a special skateboard that is shaped for a very specific purpose and provides more stability and speed than a traditional longboard skate.

In order to slide and control speed more safely when bombing hills at top speeds, skaters need a wide wheelbase and cutaway fenders.

When it comes to shape and contour, there are two main styles: drop-through and standard concaves.

The Electric Skateboard

The list of different types and designs of skateboards most recently included the electric skateboard.

The paddle longboard, an off-road deck with large all-terrain wheels and a long flexible pole with a rubber ball at the end used to propel, steer, and slow the board, was one of the first variations of the pre-eSkate era.

A small motorized skateboard powered by electricity eventually replaced the original design. Young urban commuters and gadget nerds are the design’s intended target audience.

These motorized skateboards have a five-mile range and a top speed of fifteen miles per hour.

The front and rear pads are activated by simply moving forward and backward on the deck.

Models that have a handheld remote that can be used to speed up and slow down the electric skate are also available.

Components Of A Skateboard

A complete skateboard is made up of three basic parts:

  • Deck: Skateboard decks are the wooden or composite material platform on which the trucks are mounted and which you stand on. The topside of the deck is typically covered with grip tape, which is applied in various ways depending on the skater’s preference, to ensure that your shoes don’t slide off the board. Skateboards typically have artwork or simple designs on the bottom. The skater’s height, weight, shoe size, and preferred style of riding all affect the deck size.
  • Trucks: Trucks are the axles that hold the wheels, and each truck is fastened to the board with four bolts. You can control how loosely or tightly the trucks move by adjusting the kingpin and releasing or applying pressure to the bushings. This controls how simple or difficult turns are and is tuned to the board, rider, and usage. Your trucks should be about the same width as your skateboard. The size of your wheels and the way you want to ride will determine the height of your trucks.
  • Wheels: Every skateboard has four wheels, two on each truck. Different wheel diameters are used for different purposes: smaller wheels (50–53 mm) are used by street and trick skaters because they are easier to turn; average wheels (54–59 mm) are good for beginners and work best on vertical (vert) ramps; and large wheels (60 mm or more) are used for longboards and rougher terrains. The wheels rotate via bearings (two per wheel for a total of eight per board) and are rated using the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) rating; sizes 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are considered to be of higher quality and precision. The hardness of wheels varies as well, with soft wheels being better for faster skating and downhill skating while hard wheels are better for tricks.

Choose A Skateboard

There are numerous considerations to take into account when selecting your skateboard because there are so many different types and designs available. Here are a few things you should consider when trying to choose the right skateboard:

  • Riding style: Different boards are required for various skateboarding styles. If you like to perform tricks at the skatepark with your friends, you should start with a shortboard and then focus on a few options. A longboard is more suitable if you like to cruise over long distances and engage in more street carving.
  • Shoe size: Choose a deck that is 8 to 8.5 inches wide if your shoe size is 9.5 or larger. You can use a full-sized standard skateboard with a 7.5-inch deck width if you have adult shoes that are at least size 8. For a deck that is 7.25–7.375 inches wide, a shoe size 6–8 will work. A 7-inch-wide deck can be used with shoes that are a size 2–5. A deck measuring 6.5–6.75 inches should be used for a size 1 or smaller.
  • Usage: Consider how frequently and where you will use your skateboard before buying one. You can have multiple boards for different purposes. Consider a mini board or another travel-friendly option if you’re going on a trip and want to ride a skateboard when you get there. On the other hand, if space isn’t a concern, you could purchase a longboard for cruising or slaloming.
  • Your height: Anyone 5 feet, 3 inches or taller will fit perfectly on a full-sized regular skateboard. With a deck width of 7.25–7.375 inches, a skater who is between 4 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 2 inches tall should purchase a mid-sized skateboard. A mini-sized skateboard with a 7-inch deck width is appropriate for skaters who are between 3 feet, 5 inches and 4 feet, 4 inches tall. Anyone shorter should purchase a micro-sized skateboard with a deck that is 6.5–6.75 inches wide.

Inexperienced skateboarders frequently work as professionals in skate shops. The staff at your neighborhood skate shop can probably give you advice on the ideal board width, wheel size, and other features if you have the chance to ask.


Who created the skateboard, then? Modern skaters can all agree that Bill Richards invented the skateboard. According to the history of who invented the skateboard, Richards developed the skateboard in 1958 by screwing rollerblade wheels onto a wood board.

Many people who experimented with various variations of what we now consider the skateboard have been credited with its invention, making the story of who invented the skateboard exciting to read.

Skateboarding is one of the most amazing sports ever, and it has a fascinating past! Skateboarding has changed and evolved thanks to the contributions of all its masters.

Regarding your reading, I thank you.

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