Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Skateboarding: The Roots

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Skate shoes have been at the foremost importance of the skateboarding would. Without the impact they have created, abilities and forms of the 'sport' would not be able to constantly progress. They are a crucial factor to generating a persons interest and commitment throughout.

Each decade since the early 60's has seen subtle yet iconic changes in the style of shoe created. Collaborations between artists, skaters and various other companies have proved essential to creating an iconic style that still continues to evolve.


During the 1960's when skateboarding first came about, it was seen as fad that would eventually die out. Spectators could not even imagine the ground breaking future this sport would eventually play on the youth and dedication of skaters.

It began with surfers, wanting to continue to practice there lines when the waves were at bay. This allowed the freedom of the sea on a new format, concrete. Hitting up concrete embarkments allowed various surfing moves to take place. As it gradually became more popular, predictions of how far the sport could be taken began to arise.  '' I think someday we'll see giant contests with skateboards '' - John Boozer, Huntington Beach, California.

Made For Skate - Page 17


The main basis to the technique used to skateboard came apparent as a natural form of surfing. It was not a separate form at all, it was surfing. Just on ground. Debating the matter lead to '' heated diatribes bashing folks who wanted to call themselves '' surfers'' - Made for Skate / Page 19  This was not taken lightly, skateboarding was built up on the principles of surfing along with the bare feet. By practicing this new phenomenon on ground allowed surfers to practice there balance with added ease, ultimately allowing them to have a much greater control in the water. 

As a result of the growing demand for the sport, the first mass marketed company was set up. They were called  Humco. This allowed a wider distribution of the boards, reaching further into the market. The same time this arrived, Surf Guide Magazine began promoting this new thing as an extension to surfing altogether. 

Joey Cabell - Legendary Surfer 

For skateboarding to develop as a class of it's own, something had to die out. Unfortunately this was sidewalk surfing. Due to lack of developments in the technology creating the boards, led to the original clay wheels out wearing there welcome. By the early 60's Surfers went back to the waves. Landing on concrete was a whole different story compared to water. You would really mess yourself up on hard ground, unlike the ease of water breaking the fall. 

True skateboarders did not give up. They went through countless pairs of trucks and did not consider that there was nowhere to skate anymore. The people that kept it going, staying true to this sport allowed it to move on to a form of it's own. 

Chris Yandell - 1975 '' Who's Hot! '' 


Health issues began to become the forefront of the sport. More injuries involving skateboarding accidents surpassed bicycle injuries. Sales began lowering as the increase of affliction from the sport rose. By 1965 the California Medical Association reported ''skateboard fracture'' as a term for shattered elbows.

This also led to another problem. Skateboarding was redeemed dangerous, by August 1965 leading to it being banned across 20 U.S cities from Rhode Island to California. Police officers would also try to persuade stores immediately to stop selling skateboards in their shops. Could this have been the stand still ? Of course not.

Public dislike towards skateboarders proved an even greater factor to it's almost anarchy provoked sport. In the skateboarders eye, it allowed them to freely have as much fun as they could, without having to pay a massive sum. The public did not see it that way, they hated the fact they could go wherever they wanted. This still hold the key to anti-skate-legislature of the sport to the present day.

Moving on from this, LA marked an infamous skate spot across America. The International airport nicknamed '' the Trestle '' proved a hotspot for skaters, although they were often chased off before a good session could even unfold. People began to walk away from the sport altogether, it was evident that it was becoming mischievous and skaters could not afford to keep destroying there feet.

1965 - The first skateboard shoe advertisement


Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta took different outlook to the issue altogether. Shoes were a crucial factor for them to enable development throughout the sport. The aggressive approach they took to skating forced them into becoming more careful about there feet.

This is where the shoes come in.


Majority of the Information here, collected from : - Made for Skate: The Illustrated History of Skateboard Footwear 

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