Take a look at skateboarding history. NO WORRIES! We did your homework for you. Basically, some young MacGyvers in the 1940’s attached random metal wheels to some janky trucks and nailed them into a wood plank. This happened in California, Paris, Hawaii – nobody I know really knows. But it happened. There are lots of details here, I don’t really know, so I’ll summarize what I find relative to our scene report today.
1950’s – a California shop started selling complete skateboards. The fire started.
1963-1965 – $10 million worth of board sales
1965 – Pattti McGee made the cover of Life magazine. Pretty major for a young sport.
1966 – Shops started getting scared, shit was dangerous. That made parents scared. Sales dropped significantly and Skateboarder Magazine stopped publication. The popularity of skateboarding dropped and remained low until the early 1970s.
1970 – FRANKY NAS!!! Homie was pumping out home-made Urethane Wheels! Respect.
1970s- Skaters were digging Frank’s urethane wheels! Skateparks hadn’t been invented yet, so skaters started skating everything.
1976- (probably happened earlier, I don’t really know) Truck companies started casting trucks, and skateboarding became awesome. The banana board was also introduced, and it was for the cool kids because it came in assorted colors! Relate that to today – Precision trucks and Penny Boards….skateboarding skipped a beat in 1976. So, lets back up to 1975.
1975- Del Mar National Championships, which is said to have had up to 500 competitors! What? A skateboarding competition where all the cool kids could show off their colored boards? RAD!
Competitions continued into the…80’S!
1980s- BIRTH OF THE MILLENNIAL This period was fueled by skateboard companies that were run by skateboarders. The focus was initially on vert and cheap transition. This is a special period, because most of the skateboard and longboard companies today are owned/operated by skaters born in this decade. Do the math. We were raised on the same shit, in different homes. SHIT WAS RAD IN THE 1980s! Subconsciously, the 1980’s kind of run this industry we call home.
1990’s – STREET. POPSICLE SHAPE BOARD. TWIN TIP. FUNCTIONAL. Need I say more? Competitions and skateboarding in the mainstream caused the industry to become very competitive, and skateboards became very minimalistic. but the only competitions that you heard of were X-games, and whatever other big namers. Independent events happened at skate parks, skate shop parking lots, etc – but hosting an event was not easy, 1,2,3. Teeny-tiny wheels for higher ollies. Hanging your board out of your front pocket, hanging on by the wheel, the side shaved head with the comb over, wide-leg jeans – 55″! Walkmans, Bart Simpson…MAYNESTREAM!
THE INTERNET. tHE INTERNET. tHE iNTERNET. The Internet.
(The Internet had a pretty major role in all of this……….)
2000-2005- By the turn of the century, skateboarding was officially no longer a fad, but a serious sport with immense international growth and local bans. Most cities were pretty harsh on skaters – no matter the size of the board. This was also the period when most of today’s longboard companies started becoming successful. A re-birth of shapes and extended wheelbases attracted new participants – and new genres of skateboarding/longboarding emerged. DH skateboarding was growing fast! Distance Skateboarding was growing fast! Examples: Maryhill Festival of Speed & Broadway Bomb NYC.
2006-2010- Longboard companies continued to grow. Traditional skateboarding went full mainstream, acquired by the big Corporate brands, re-branded and marketed to specific age demographics. Longboarding continued to be skater-owned/skater-operated until 2008 when Sector Nine Longboards was acquired by Billabong. Pretty major move for both companies, and I think it was a solid move. That definitely makes it more difficult to distribute boards for smaller manufacturers, but whatever. #Respect
OK – You want the truth?
I skated in the 80’s, but I was a kid just fucking around in the neighborhood, not like I got good at it or anything. No matter what, it’s my roots and it was sweet. I didn’t really skate much until 1999 when a buddy offered me an Envy Classic 159 from California on 10″ standard king trucks and 70mm side-set, vented aluminum core wheels, abec 5 bearings. I remember that shit like it was yesterday.
After that, I skated most of what Sector9 offered in their catalog 2001-2005. I was hooked. My local dealer Wind Waves and Wheels would special order anything for me that they didn’t have in stock. I made that a habit. Moved to Daytona Beach and converted to Loaded38, then left Daytona Beach riding a Gravity38 & Santa Cruz31. Landed in New York City with my girl, and skated Friday Night Rip with the Earthwing crew. Note Setup: Gravity Posiedon38, 72mm centerset S9 wheels on Randal150 front 62mm centerset wheels on a gullwing 9″ truck on the rear. You know, for sliding.
Met Ryan, Founder of Bustin in 2007 and helped around the Bustin shop after work every day. I was a cheese-salesmen for Land-O-Lakes and a Hot Dog Wholesaler for Hebrew National Dogs. (I’m Italian-Irish, but pretended to be Jewish). Worked for gear until the recession of 2008 hit the USA and I was laid off from the corporate world. Ryan offered me a job at Bustin same day. Say word.
2009 – Ryan asked me to join Bustin as a Partner, I cut out my first Mike D prototype, designed for Traffic Surfing in NYC traffic. We defined Push Culture was that same week, recognizing out style of skating as different. We moved Bustin from Hoboken to Brooklyn and opened our first retail location/online fulfillment/shipping dept. That was rad. Some say 2009 was also the spike in the skateboard industry that we will always compare to.
2010-2015- We still here! And now you have some decent history to compare to. New products, events, corporations….it’s all going full-circle. DH Skateboarding & Street League are the biggest segments in skateboarding, so it seems. Parents seem less in control of the decisions their kids are making on a skateboard, so long as helmets are worn. Longboarding and Skateboarding are commonly dubbed as one, regardless of what the Pure Bloods blab. Longboarding is a form of expression, an activity, a sub-sport with a bright future. Kids are playing less soccer and choosing to cruise the neighborhood with their friends on a longboard. You may not think that’s cool, but I know it means we’re all going to be OK. 1 Love.