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Skateboarding: A Brief History (page 2)


The Zephyr team, and all the skaters who wanted to be like them, also made skateboarding even more edgy in the public eye, and added a strong anti-establishment sentiment that still remains in skateboarding today.

In 1978, only a few years into the popularity of this new style of low-to-the-ground skateboarding, a skater named Alan Gelfand (nicknamed "Ollie") invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump. He would slam his back foot down on the tail of his board and jump, thereby popping himself and the board into the air. The ollie was born, a trick that completely revolutionized skateboarding -- most tricks today are based in performing an ollie. The trick still bears his name, and Alan Gelfand was inducted into the skateboard hall of fame in 2002.

Unfortunately, near the end of the 70's skateboarding faced its second crash in popularity. Public skate parks had been being built, but with skateboarding being such a dangerous activity, insurance rates got out of control. This, combined with less and less people coming to use skateparks forced most to close.

But skaters kept skating. Through the 80's skateboarders started to built their own ramps at home, and to skate whatever else they could find. Skateboarding began to be more of an underground movement, with skaters continuing to ride, but to make the whole world into their skatepark.

During the 80's, smaller skateboard companies owned by skateboarders started cropping up. This enabled each company to be creative and do whatever they wanted - new styles and shapes of boards were tried.

It was also during the 80's that the VCR came on the scene, and opened up the world of skateboarding to any kid, anywhere. Stacey Peralta and George Powell pulled together a team of young talented skaters and named them the Bones Brigade. Stacey had a talent for filming, and in 1984 shot the first of a long series of revolutionary skateboard videos - The Bones Brigade Video Show. The team included Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Stacy Peralta, and Kevin Staab, among piles of other huge named skaters. Peralta made more Bones Brigade videos - Future Primitive in 1985, and the famous Search for Animal Chin in 1987. There are many, many more. Skateboarding began influencing clothing styles, music and culture.

Unfortunately, near the end of the 80's, skateboarding started to dive in popularity again. Vert skateboarding quickly lost popularity, and most skaters only rode street. Each time skateboarding has fallen in popularity, it has fallen a little less. But these dips in popularity have huge impacts on pro skaters. Pure vert skaters like Tony Hawk had a very difficult time holding on through the late 80's and early 90's. The stress on Tony Hawk was incredible, and he even lost his first wife during this time.

Continue to the next page for the end of the history...

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