Skateboarding originated in California during the late 1940s to early 1950s. It was invented by surfers in California as an alternative to surfing whenever the ocean was flat without any breaks.
The first skateboards were made by removing the handles off wooden scooters or by screwing on roller skate wheels to pieces of wood. The wheels of roller skates and scooters were made of steel back then. By the 1960s, the culture of skateboarding got a boost when skateboards when surfing companies like Hobie, Makaha and Kips' started manufacturing them. These mass-produced skateboards were made out of a basic, oval-shaped wood without a front nose and a tail with roller skate wheels attached.
In 1963, the first skateboard competitions were held in Hermosa Beach, Calif. The contest consisted of downhill slaloms and freestyle competition, which then consisted of tricks such as handstands and ballet moves. The popularity of skateboarding waned around 1965 primarily because of the injuries caused to riders whenever the clay wheels broke. Only a few hardcore skateboarders held out.
The succeeding years saw several innovations that seemed to rekindle the public's interest in skateboarding. Among these innovations include the urethane wheels, which made surfing smoother and safer for riders, and the skateboard truck, which gave skateboarders greater maneuverability. More innovations were added to the skateboard as it continued to gain popularity. By 2001, it was estimated that there are there were more Americans under the age of 18 who rode skateboards than those who played baseball.