The prototype for the first skateboard was a bright red, metal toy from the 1930s called the Scooter Skate. When its handle was removed, a child could ride the three-wheeled contraption like a skateboard, except it had steel wheels and lacked the ability to turn. A four-wheeled Skeeter Skate appeared in the 1940s. It was only marginally better.

The first true skateboards were made in the 1950s. Initially, these were handmade affairs, constructed by kids out of cannibalized roller skates that were nailed to the bottoms of wooden boards. Sensing a market for these new skateboards, one company offered a Scoot Kit, which saved customers the trouble of destroying a perfectly good pair of roller skates.

In the 1960s, skate maker Roller Derby got into the act with its own Skate Board Kit, which came with clay wheels mounted on trucks that could be screwed through metal plates and mounted to a board. It didn’t take long for Roller Derby to figure out that it could sell more skateboards if they were fully assembled, which is what it did with the #10 Skate Board, which had a bright red deck and bone-rattling steel wheels.

The list of 1960s companies from Southern California to Ontario, Canada that made skateboards is very long. There was the Official Skee-Skate Air Master, whose brown deck featured a white box in which the owner could write his or her name. The narrow (4 inches) Zipees Sidewalk Surfboard played on the notion that skateboarding was really just surfing on concrete.

Many of the design precedents for contemporary skateboards were established in the 1960s. Putting logos on the board’s deck was one such standard—in the case of Genuine Skateboard of Canada, that meant a little graphic of a maple leaf. Sokol Surf Skate was one of the first boards to feature letters that were burned into the wood. It also had a rounded, surfboard shape. The decks of Nash Sidewalk Surfers sported a trio of stylized footprints; Bauer, the Canadian hockey-skate company, decorated its boards with a bold white arrow.

Super Skate, also from Canada, was one of the first companies to try to improve upon standard steel wheels by offering its customers wider clay ones. In fact, the clay was really a composite made out of walnut shells. Sincor of Venice Beach also went with clay, but added touches like tapered rails (edges) on its skateboard decks in a manner that was reminiscent of surfboards.

Color started to be a big deal, too. Roller Derby came out with the Mustang (yellow on aqua, with yellow wheels to match). Zipees’ Lahana M-444 had green clay wheels and a pair o...

By the mid-1960s, Makaha of Santa Monica had hired surfer Phil Edwards to pitch its skateboards. Even more significant was the arrival of fiberglass and composite decks. Super Surfer’s fiberglass board, with its textured deck to ensure a good grip, was the hit of the 1965 World Skateboarding Championships in Anaheim, California.

The next major breakthrough came in 1972, when Frank Nasworthy invented urethane skateboard wheels. He called his company Cadillac Wheels, and his invention fostered a ton of new interest in the sport, as well as scores of imitators.

The Hang Ten, for example, was an aluminum skateboard with urethane wheels. Hobie diversified from surfboards to offer the Weaver Woody, which had Power Paw wheels and precision bearings to improve performance.

Skateboards were becoming increasingly sophisticated by the mid-1970s. Logan Earth Ski specialized in high-quality wooden decks, some with diamond tails, bulbous mid-sections, and delicately tapered rails. Bruce Logan, Torger Johnson, and Brad Logan all had signature models. Even Tony Alva of the famous Zephyr team from Dogtown (the area between Venice Beach and Santa Monica) rode a Logan.

In northern California, Santa Cruz Skate Boards was building skateboards with high-quality Bennett trucks and cream-of-the-crop Sims Pure Juice Bowl Rider wheels. Speed Springs trucks were also desirable—the Ed Nadalin Pro Model ran with those. Canadian company Wee Willie Winkels used X-Caliber trucks and Kahuna Tar wheels.

Rounding out the list of 1970s skateboard makers is G&S (Gordon & Smith), whose Fibreflex boards, with Bennett trucks and Power Paw wheels, were state-of-the-art wood-and-fiberglass laminates. G&S made a Stacey Peralta Warp Tail model—with Bahne trucks and Road Rider wheels—that was actually designed with empty swimming pools in mind. Alva Skates was another prominent company, as were the Pipecleaner and Moose skateboards produced by GNC.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

On-Line Skateboard Museum

On-Line Skateboard Museum

This excellent gallery of vintage skateboards, with pictures and historical descriptions, showcases 80 years of col… [read review or visit site]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Nos 1990 Santa Cruz Corey O'brien Purgatory Oldschool Skateboard Deck NisVintage Dogtown Skates Wooden Skateboard Long Board Shogo Kubo Air Beam Z-flex Vintage 80s Jeff Kendall Santa Cruz Skateboard Indy Trucks G Bones Garage Fresh1984 Alva Hosoi Skateboard Deck Oldschool Christian Hosoi RareNos 1986 Sims Kevin Staab Skateboard Deck VintageVintage Rare 89 Near Mint Powell Peralta Tommy Guerrero SkateboardPowell Peralta Skateboard CollectionNos 1993 Plan B Mike Carroll Skateboard Deck Vintage No Reserve Powell Peralta Mike Mcgill Aquarium Skateboard Deck Still WrappedVision Mark Gonzales Pro Model Skateboard Complete Used Vintage Old SchoolRare 1991 Santa Cruz Steve "salba" Alba SkateboardJfa Skateboard Black Vintage RareCease & Desist Natas Kaupas 101 Devil Worship Skateboard Vintage Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp Designs Skateboard Bill "nomad" Danforth - Circle Of Skulls Skateboard - 1986 Bill DanforthNos Rare Vintage Original 1985 Sims Jeff Phillips Break Out SkateboardRob Roskopp - Original 1980's Vintage SkateboardRare Vintage Sims Christian Hosoi Rising Sun 1982 Skateboard Deck /e SeriesVintage G&s Fibreflex Kicktail Skateboard Deck Alva Sims Logan Santa Cruz Vintage Town & Country 1980's Oldschool Surf / SkateboardPowell Peralta Skateboard Caballero Chinese Dragon Purple Pearl 2011Santa Cruz Skateboards Reissue Salba Tiger Jeff Grosso Toybox Bundle Bryce Kanights And Mark Gonzales Deck For Juice DesignVtg Bulldog Skates Skateboard Longboard Wes Humpston Dogtown Gas Mask Old SchoolRare 80's Micke "malba" Alba Dogtown Skateboard DeckSanta Cruz Skateboards Jeff Kendall Snake Red Stain Reissue Kryptonics Old School Skateboard Vintage Nos Mark Lou Series Original Demon HighSanta Cruz Skateboards Steve Alba Salba Tiger Pink Reissue Limited 1989 Powell Peralta Ray Barbee Vintage SkateboardNos 1992 Milk Easysliders Skateboard Deck VintageRare Santa Cruz Og Eric Dressen Celtic Roses 1989 Skateboard Vintage Old SchoolVintage Bennett Pro Skateboard Trucks Alva Fibreflex G&s Logan Santa Cruz Vintage Sims Pure Juice Skateboard Wheels Alva Fibreflex G&s Logan Santa Cruz Sma Natas Panther Skateboard Deck Re-issue Special Super Limited Edition RedDamien Hirst Supreme Nyc Skateboard Deck Set Rare Koons Murakami Longo TakashiRate Vintage Daune Peters Skull Skates SkateboardG And S Vintage Skateboard Original Old School Nos Street Chomp 2 Vtg G&s OgWorld Industries Shiloh Greathouse Skateboard Sims Powell Santa Cruz IndependentBill Danforth Bbc SkateboardOriginal Penny Skateboard 22" Glow In The Dark Deck Hoverboard W/ Receipt!Barely Used Revive Skateboard With Venture Trucks, And Bones WheelsVintage Alva Craig Johnson El Loco Gringo Skateboard Deck Santa Cruz Skateboards Claus Grabke Melting Clocks Reissue Skateboard Original Mark Gonzales Hand Drawn Art Krooked Real Vision Skateboard Gonz ArtPowell Peralta Lance Mountain Vintage Skateboard New Old Stock No ReserveThink Vintage Skate Board DeckVintage Tony Alva Leopard Pig Skateboard Deck Autographed SignedBmw Streetcarver Skateboard Longboard Sims Snake Conical Skateboard Wheels Vintage Style Skateboard WheelsVintage 1970's Santa Cruz Skateboard With Original Parts, Road Rider 2's Acs 500Santa Cruz Corey O'brien Old School SkateboardPowel Peralta Lance Mountain Jr. Vintage Skateboard DeckNos 1984 Tracker Lester Kasai Prototype Autograghed Skateboard Deck VintageKanoa Tri Beam Pig Lonnie Hiramoto Powell Hosoi Gonzales Vision Deck SkateboardRare 1987 Claus Grabke Santa Cruz Skateboard White-used1988 Paul Schmitt Complete Skateboard W/ Tracker, Bullet Wheels & Santa CruzVintage Vision Gator Mini Pro Model Mark Rogowski Skateboard / Santa Cruz WheelsFreebord Freeboard Carving Skateboard Longboard Corporate 85cm Vintage Santa Cruz Corey O'brien Reaper Skateboard Deck1987 Vintage Gordon And Smith G&s Billy Ruff Clown Puppet Complete Skateboard

Recent News: Skateboards

Source: Google News

Devizes skaters get in line for prizes
The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, July 31st

The competition is open to youngsters of all abilities and registration starts at 10.30am, with the competition beginning at 11am. The entry fee is £5 for each participant and prizes include a skateboard deck, Grit scooter, bars, grips and month's pass...Read more

Locals swarm to local art exhibit
Rocky Mountain Outlook, July 30th

Brewing was the place to be for local art lovers in the valley Sunday night (July 27) where Carroll presented Escaping the Frame; an exhibition where he shared with the community his latest hand-painted skateboard decks and canvases. The event also ...Read more

the new museum skateboard deck
Designboom, July 30th

laser engraved skateboard decks by magnetic kitchen. Mar 21, 2014. the new museum skateboard deck by chapman skateboards. jul 31, 2014. the new museum skateboard deck by chapman skateboards. 0. the new museum skateboard deck by chapman ...Read more

6 unexpected products made from hemp
Mother Nature Network, July 30th

Habitat hemp skateboard decks Targeting cool kids concerned about the state of our forests, companies such as Habitat have started to offer pretty sweet skateboards that swap out traditional Canadian maple with hemp decks. And because skateboarding is ...Read more

Contest for juniors at Devizes skate park
The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, July 29th

Young skateboarders, inline skaters and scooter riders can take part in a junior skate competition at RampNation indoor skate park, off London Road, Devizes. Co-owner Lucy Wain said: “Following the success of the Wiltshire Skate Series earlier in the ...Read more

The Best Tracks Of 2014, According To The Operatives
Tone Deaf, July 29th

Whether it's by the skateboard deck, paintbrush or on Roland SP 404 pads, this Californian producer captures blossoming, positive energy. To celebrate Teebs' arrival in Australia, and his new album The Operatives crew have put together a playlist of...Read more

Club event pushes skate park funding higher
Huntington Herald Dispatch, July 28th

HUNTINGTON -- They came, they rocked, and some skated away with some sweet skateboard decks, ramps and more. About 170 people came out Friday to a Huntington Skatepark fundraiser at the V Club that included a silent auction, raffle and concert that ...Read more

Suspects snatch rare skateboards in west Houston
Chron.com, July 16th

Houston Police are seeking information regarding two suspects who broke into the Kingpinz skateboard shop at 8584 Westheimer Road on June 11 and made off with rare skateboards, t-shirts, caps and more. Surveillance video shows that thieves smashing ...Read more