Skateboarding began in the late 1940s. Scooters were popular then, but expensive. Some kids who could not afford scooters took the wheels off their roller skates and attached them to a piece of wood. They delivered a handle to this new vehicle. Later, they decided to remove the handle and ride on just the wooden platform.

Soon after, some surfers began to ride on skateboards. The first true skateboards, with clay wheels, were commercially made and sold in the 1950s.

Skateboarding is now a popular sport in countries throughout the world. Competitions attracting hundreds of professional and amateur competitors, of both sexes, are held in countries around the world. Skate parks have been built in cities and towns everywhere. Skateboard design is improving all the time. Special shoes and clothing have been designed and made for skateboarders. Extreme sports (X games) featuring skateboarding draw huge crowds.

There are two types of skateboarding: Street and ramp.
Street skateboarding is done anywhere but on a ramp. Tricks are performed on streets and roads, in car parks and school grounds, where the surface is flat and safe.

Skate parks are an ideal venue for all kinds of skateboarding. They have super smooth surfaces as well as ramps, steers, kerbs, and fun boxes. Street skateboarders jump, flip, and grind over and on all sorts of surfaces and objects. Street skateboarding also includes skateboard racing.

Skateboard racing involves riders pushing off from a starting position, then racing one another down a winding and sloping piece of roadway. They stand or kneel on the fast-moving skateboard, and can reach speeds of over 65 km an hour.

Ramp skating is carried out on either vert ramps or on mini ramps. The main difference between these two types of ramps is their size. Vert ramps are huge U-shaped ramps which are over 4 m long and have a vertical portion at the upper end of each side. Mini ramps are smaller than vertical ramps and do not have any vertical part in the transition. They are generally easier to ride on and is where most skaters practice their tracks before moving on to larger ramps.

Skateboarding can be dangerous. Skateboarders should follow the following basic rules to keep themselves and others safe and injury free:
1) choose flat, safe ground on which to learn the basic skills
2) skate in control at all times
3) wear protective gear, including helmets, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads
4) skate with friends, in case of accidents
5) keep your board and protective gear in good working order


Source by Pauline Stradlen