Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gregory A. Hansen
Plastered onto a park bench on a downtown courthouse, where the steps are worn and the curbs are waxed for skateboarders' tricks, a bumper sticker reads “Skateboarding is not a crime.” Many skaters assert that skateboarding is a serious sport, but they are countered by an opinionated contingent who believe that skating's codification into sport competitions has ruined skateboarding. However defined, skateboarding is a highly creative form of serious play that has had a huge influence on contemporary culture. Skateboarding's relatively recent beginnings are related to the older sports of skiing and surfing. It is likely that rollerskaters adapted a prototypic version of the skateboard from a single skate by the 19th century, but skateboarding's origin is unknown. Documentation does exist that by the late 1950s, Californian youths created homemade skateboards by tinkering with an asphalt sled called a Flexi Flyer and sidewalk scooters. This technique of adapting and rearranging ...