Thursday, September 08, 2005

Skateboard Timeline

The word "oldschool" gets thrown around quite a bit these days, but in the skateboard world, where the impetus is towards constant progression and mutation, it is sometimes hard to know just where one stands in the greater scheme of skaterdom.

To help clarify the situation, Fakie Scholars have been working on a Skateboarding Timeline. It is quite hastily researched, I'm afraid, due to a funding shortage here at Fakie U, so we apologize in advance for any and all glaring distortions of fact.


Early 1960's ----Prehistorical Era

Surfers carve the waves, but begin to feel a strange impulse towards land-locked activity. Some try mounting their surfboard atop a car or flatbed dolly, but the results are largely unsatisfactory.

Late 1960's -----Time of the Ancients

Certain prophetic but uncelebrated souls begin affixing roller skate wheels to planks of wood, creating the first wheelieboards. The activity is greatly limited by the primitive technology, but the urge to roll proves irrepressible.

1970's -----Demigods of Skate

The sport sees its first great wave of influence. Banana boards with little or no kick, clay or metal wheels, non-sealed bearings, fiberglass, plastic, wood, sidewalk surfing, barefoot, hang-ten, powerslides, slalom, pools, parks, Peralta.

This era could respectfully be called "oldschool" , but perhaps "Antiquated School" might be a better term.

Early 1980's----Legends of Skate

Bigger boards, wheels, trucks, rails, lappers, skid plates, converse, half pipes, grabbing air, boneless, fastplant, wall ride, McTwist, freestylin', Future Primitive, Bonite (TM), Hosoi, Hawk, Blender.

This is the era that should properly be called "Oldschool". While the ollie was known and utilized, it was still cool to grab the board with your hands.

Late 1980's----Heros of Skate

Street skating begins to eclipse both ramp and freestyle as the dominant form. Kickflips become the dividing line between new and old school. Gonz, Natas, Hensley, first handrails, ollie-to-everything, Hawk's 720.

Skaters from this era are also called oldschool, though here at Fakiegrind, we prefer the term "Intermediate School".

Early 1990's----Clowns of Skate

Street skating really takes off, but somehow the sense of skateboard fashion gets grossly distorted by the influence of the rave scene. Super wide pant legs, tiny wheels, the first double kicktail boards, noseblunts, pressure flips, Mullen goes street, pros from the Legend and Hero era start their own companies, end up in jail, or fade into the woodwork.

Most skaters who harken from this period can pass themselves off as newschool. The heelflip and 360 flip replace the kickflip as the standard initiatory manouever.

Late 1990's----The Dark Age of Skate

Skating hits an all time low. Once prosperous companies go belly up. Riders renounce their vocations and take up ping-pong or video games. A small, underground remnant remains, but it is hard to find new equipment, so die-hards resort to home made substitutes that are difficult and dangerous to use. Many skaters go insane or join the Scientologists.

Skaters don't like to remember this period of their history, so there isn't a term for riders from this time. If any actually surface, they tend to be avoided at all cost.

2000 and beyond

Skating becomes popular once again, but what more is to be done? Learn everything backwards or go home. All skatable terrain is capped and patrolled. Skaters corralled into parks built in every town and city. "Urban youth", including skateboarders, now a major marketing category. Skating no longer subversive but still better than football.


mgc said...

i went to elementary school with steve and mikey alba. didn't they do some cool stuff in skating? steve was a year older and mike was in my class - he was really short!

flatlander said...

Steve and Mickey Alba?!! Wow! Those guys are, like, the great granddaddies of skate!

As far as I know, Mickey still shreds up the pools something fierce.

You must have gone to Skate Legend High, or something!

mgc said...

pool shredder at 40? that makes my bone hurt just thinking about it. mikey and i had the same 3rd grade teacher - mrs. allen - she was quite large and had bad, yellow teeth (probably a smoker). he was pretty much a wise ass most of the time. at least what i can remember since it was soooo many years ago.

flatlander said...

3rd graders be warned...If you act like a smart ass in school you might end up a decrepid old pool shredder at age 40.

A similar thing happened to Mike Vallely.