Who Invented the Skateboards and Skateboarding? [When, Why, and History]

We all know skateboarders like to see who is best at skateboarding. But did you know that actual skateboarding started way before competitions, even before people were calling themselves skateboarders? And do you know who invented the skateboard and skateboarding?

Skateboards were invented by Californian surfers Larry Stevenson and Bill Richards in the 1950s. They were interested in creating a new way for people to ride waves, and they wanted to use the platform of a surfboard. So, they came up with the idea of using wheels instead.

If you want to find out if this sport has a long history, and who created this passion, then you’ve come to the right place! Learn more about what skateboarding represents for millions of people worldwide, and about the man to be credited with inventing this sport itself.

Also Read: Inventions in the 1950s

Who Invented the Skateboard?

first skateboard ever made

The skateboard has been around for a long time, but only in the last few decades have they become popular. 

But who invented the skateboard?

It was invented by Californian surfers who were looking for an easier way to move between spots on the beach. 

One of the first skateboard enthusiasts was Larry Stevenson, who started producing boards in 1963.

A crude form of the skateboard was first used in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it became popular as a recreational device.

The first skaters rode boards made from wooden planks with roller-skate wheels attached to them. 

The wheels were later replaced by polyurethane wheels and then polyurethane bushings around 1970.

As years went by, Famous people have been involved in the development and the global popularization of skateboards, including Alan “Ollie” Gelfand, Tony Hawk, and Rodney Mullen.

Larry Stevenson

Larry Stevenson, a founder of Makaha Skateboard company, was one of the first skateboard promoters. 

His company started producing skateboards in 1963.

The first skateboards were made of wood, but they were eventually replaced by plastic. 

The wooden boards were easier to ride and were more portable than plastic boards.

However, the first competition was held in 1964 at the Del Mar Skate Ranch in California. 

There were only nine competitors who entered that year’s competition, but there have been hundreds of competitors every year since then.

Bill Richards

Bill Richards was one of the first inventors and producers of skateboards.

He was born in 1937 in California and grew up surfing, which is what he credits with his inspiration for creating the skateboard. 

He didn’t want to lose his balance while riding so he figured out how to make a board that could hold him up better than other boards on the market at the time.

Richards’ first prototype had two wheels instead of four and lacked a kicktail. 

In 1965, he patented his design and began selling them under his own brand name: “Roller Derby.”

Who Were the First to Start Skateboarding?

The first people to start skateboarding were Californian surfers. 

In the 1950s and 1960s, a group of teenagers from California started surfing on old wooden roller skates.

They quickly realized that if they pushed themselves forward with their feet on the ground as they rode down hills, they could get much faster speeds than a normal skateboard would allow.

As time went by, skateboarding evolved into its own sport and became popular among kids all over the country. 

Today there are competitions held all over the world where skaters can compete against each other in different categories such as downhill racing or slalom racing.

When Was the Skateboard Invented?

When you think about when was the skateboard invented, you have to go back to the 1920s, just after the Great War.

The first prototypes were created in 1920. However, it was not until the 1950s that commercial skateboards were invented. 

The first mass-produced skateboards were made from maple and walnut with steel trucks and wheels.

They were manufactured by Makaha Surfboards in California. 

It is believed that these boards were inspired by the surfing craze that took place during those years.

Inventors continued to improve the technology throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1980 that the skateboarding industry really took off. 

Today, there are several different types of boards available: longboards, shortboards, and cruisers.

First Skateboard Ever

If you want to find out when was the first skateboard made, you’ll go back to California to the mid-1950s. 

The first skateboards were made in the 1950s, but they didn’t become popular until the 1960s. 

They were originally made of wood and people would stand on them while they were rolling down hills. Then they started making them out of plastic and metal.

The skateboarding craze spread across America in the 1960s when more kids began riding skateboards at school or taking them to the beach or skate parks. 

In 1965, Jimi Hendrix played his guitar while riding on a skateboard at Woodstock – an event that helped make skateboarding popular among teenagers around the world!

When Did Skateboarding Become Popular?

history of skateboards

Skateboarding is a popular sport. It has been around for about half a century, and it has been growing in popularity over the years. 

Skate reached global popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, along with the hippie movement.

In the mid-1970s, skateboarding was considered to be dangerous, because it was associated with gangs and violence in some urban areas. 

To solve this problem, skateboarding was moved out of urban areas into parks or other public spaces where there were fewer people around.

7 Most Popular Skateboard Tricks Names List

Here are 7 popular skateboard tricks names that are used in the sport:

  1. Ollie—The ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider’s hands.
  1. Backslide—Involves rotating your body 180 degrees while holding your board with two feet on it.
  1. Grind—Involves riding along an edge or lip on a surface (usually metal) using wheels on your shoes or trucks on your skateboard deck to provide friction against that edge or lip while maintaining balance on top of it.
  1. Flip—A flip is a basic trick where you rotate the board 180 degrees while your foot stays on the board.
  1. Heelflip—A heelflip is a trick where you flip the board and land with the heel of your foot on top of it.
  1. 360 Flip/360 Flip Varial—A 360 flip is a variation of flips where you rotate the board 360 degrees around its axis while your foot stays on it.
  1. Switch Stance/Switch Footed—A switch stance ollie is when an ollie is performed while skating switch (i.e., not in a regular stance).

10 Facts About Skateboarding

Skateboarding is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s also a very interesting sport to learn about. 

There are plenty of interesting facts that you may not have known about. Here are 10 of them:

  1. Skateboarding is an activity that has been around for over 100 years, but it wasn’t always called skateboarding. It was originally called “sidewalk surfing” or “sidewalk surfing” and the first one was made of a piece of wood with roller skate wheels attached to it.
  1. Skateboarding was initially barefoot, but once the first commercial skateboards were released, people started wearing shoes to protect their feet from injury.
  1. The first skate park was built in 1965 by surfers who saw potential in using empty swimming pools as a way to ride their boards on concrete surfaces instead of asphalt streets.
  1. Empty swimming pools inspired modern skate park design because they were able to be customized much easier than public parks which had already been built with other uses in mind.
  1. Skateboarding is the sixth most popular sport in the world behind soccer, baseball, basketball, American football, and volleyball.
  1. There are over 3,100 skateparks in the U.S., which makes it easy for skaters to find places to practice their skills on different types of terrain and obstacles (like ramps).
  1. There are over 85 million skateboarders worldwide who participate in competitions or just enjoy riding around with friends and family members.
  1. Skateboards have evolved from being made of wood to being made of metal, plastic, and fiberglass. Skateboarding can be done on a board with four wheels or just two wheels and it can be done on flat surfaces or steep slopes.
  1. Skateboarding was introduced to the Olympics in 2020.
  1. Skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry that includes manufacturing equipment, clothing and accessories, media production, and events such as competitions or exhibitions.

Skateboard History Timeline?

The history of skateboarding is a rich one. Check it out.

  • 1920s—The roller ski was invented as a way to practice cross-country skiing on roads.
  • 1930s—A three-wheeled contraption called the Skooter was developed. 

Its inventors gave it wheels like those of skates and used scooters’ handlebars to steer—this is considered by many historians as one of the earliest forms of skateboarding.

  • 1940’s—The Skeeter Skate was created. The device had four wheels made from aluminum and could be used with or without its handle.
  • 1950s—Toy stores across America began stocking commercial skateboards.
  • 1960s—In the 60s, several manufacturers began making plastic skateboards that resembled surfboards. The new and improved boards led to the first official competitions among skaters.
  • 1970s—After skateboarding almost died in the late 60s, it found new life and popularity in the 70s. However, many consider this period to be its golden age.
  • 1980s—Skateboarding experienced unprecedented growth during this period.
  • 1990s—Although skateboarding was at its peak of popularity in the 1980s, it saw a slight decline in the early 1990s for two main reasons: a limited amount of skateparks and increased scrutiny by police officers.
  • 2000s—The popularity of skateboarding, which began in the 20th century and was amplified by X Games competitions throughout that period, continued to grow during the 2000s.

2010 to 2020—In 2016, the International Olympic Committee voted to include skateboarding in the 2020 games.


Check what our readers asked about the skateboard invention.

What are skateboarders called?

They are usually called “skaters,” but they can also be called “boarders.”

Will skateboarding give you abs?

When you skateboard, your core muscles are constantly engaged to keep you balanced and upright. The more you skate, the stronger your abs will become.

Which came first skateboard or surfboard?

The first known board sport is surfing, and skateboarding came later.


In the end, skateboarding has certainly come a long way since its conception almost 100 years ago. 

It’s much more than a sport. In the end, it’s not even important who invented the skateboard. What really matters is that it has become a part of urban culture worldwide.

I hope you enjoyed the article. So, if you have any questions or comments on this topic, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll respond shortly.