Vintage Photos of People Skateboarding in New York During the 1960s
Skateboarding as we know it today started off as wooden boxes or planks of wood that had roller skate wheels mounted on them. The crate scooters, as they were called, preceded skateboarding, with the front wheels being manipulated by two strings in some cases.
After the crate scooters came the planks, which were somewhat similar to modern-day skateboards. The first mention of these kinds of plank skateboards came from France in 1944. But skateboarding as we know it probably came around during this period – during the 1940s or 1950s. It appeared in California and was created by surfers who wanted to practice their balancing skills even when there weren’t any waves.
This is why the sport became known in its early years as “sidewalk surfing”. Not only that, but it also got a lot of traction with people. Nobody really knows who came up with the first one, and it is believed that several people may have invented it around the same time. But the first manufactured skateboards were being sold in LA in surfer shops as a plank for surfers to use in their downtime.
By the 1960s, surfing manufacturers had promoted the skateboard so much that they began holding exhibitions. By this time, the skateboard also came to resemble a surfboard more when it came to its shape. The fad even made it on TV, on a show called “Surf’s Up” in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards. In the same year, skateboarding even got its own magazine: The Quarterly Skateboarder. So, as you can imagine, it got around the country really fast after that.
When it comes to New York City, Bill Eppridge of Life magazine captured some cool shots of people skateboarding during the 1960s, and here they are.