When Did Longboarding Became Popular And Why?
The longboard trend became very much popular just after it originated in Hawaii in the late ’50s. The sea surfers over there tried out different ideas, by customizing their skateboards. From giving large wheels to mimic the sea waves and longer decks to perform stunts, skateboarding became a very popular form of activity.
The trend of longboarding commercially took a structure in 1958. Till the ’70s, it became very much popular in California and in the mid-US. Later in 1972, Frank Nasworthy introduced a new concept of polyurethane wheels which provided a better grip on the roads. Almost around this time, an iconic group called Z-boys revolutionized skateboarding with their signature step called surf style.
The Resurgence Of Longboarding
In and around the 1990s, apart from longboarding, snowboarding also gained popularity as a great alternative to skiing. This revolution was soon termed as a renaissance of longboarding. When compared to skateboarding, longboarding became a very fun type of activity and also a very useful means of transport. Snowboarders at the same time embraced longboarding in order to refine their coordination skills and balance during the summer and the spring. The ’90s also saw the invention of reverse kingpin trucks. Here the kingpin was placed on the opposite side of the axle that was pointed in a different direction. Mainly due to the huge size and shape, longboards were made easier to turn and curve. This even made the longboard get increased stability and control and even developed various styles such as freeriding, dancing, slalom, etc.
The Evolution Of Longboards
- 1920: The oldest longboard prototype was designed. Here three metal wheels and a pedal car wheel came into existence.
- 1930: In the later part of this year, steel roller skate wheels with bulbous rocket ship like body and removable handles were made.
- 1940: Aluminium skeeter skate along with steering axles came into existence which allowed the rider to take turns seamlessly.
- 1950: Kids of Oahu, Hawaii nailed roller skate wheels to the base of a large plank of wood which led to the birth of modern longboards.
- 1960: Gordon and Bennett constructed a skateboard made of Bo-Tuff which typically had fiberglass-reinforced epoxy. Vans shoes also introduced a product called skating shoes in the same year. Larry Stevenson even invented kicktail which helped the riders perform quick tricks and easy maneuvers.
- 1970: The skateboarding style changes from horizontal to vertical street skateboarding. Longboards were even inducted into the market for the people whose preference lied in the horizontal skating style.
- Late 1980: This time the longboarding popularity revitalized after the sport got international acclaim.
- 2000: This decade saw a great increase in the popularity of longboarding. The sport was officially introduced in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Over the years many unique ways and ideas emerged and now longboarding is one of the most performed sport worldwide.
The advancement of longboarding is a long one with lots of halts and pauses. Longboarding took years to get established among adults and youths. Starting from the late ’50s to 2020, the sport saw a lot of modification and advancement. With time the popularity it gained was way beyond the word successful. From small transits to entertainment, longboarding has served US citizens in many ways.