history 1

photo by Warren Bolster

The idea of skateboarding came out of California in the '60s as a way for surfers to practice when there were no waves, assembling boards from make-shift parts from around the house. By 1965, the international skateboard championships were broadcast on national television. However, skateboarding's popularity dropped until the mid '70s when a sort of revolution took place.

In 1976, Alan Gelfand invented the ollie and Rodney Mullen performed the first kickflip and heelflip ever in Gainesville, Fla. Two pivotal moments that would change skating forever. A drought that same year left an abundance of emptied swimming pools in California and a group of youngsters named the "Z-Boys" began to ride the steep concrete walls of the pools. As companies designed better, more reliable products, the sport evolved and limits were pushed.

Two distinct movements came out of this time: Vert, also known as half-pipe, and street skating. Vert, which stemmed from the origins of pool skating, was costly because of all the wood and materials needed. Additionally, safety and insurance issues eventually led to the decline of vert skating in the early '80s. The first magazine devoted to the art of skateboarding debuted as a bi-monthly called SKATEBOARDER in 1975, and creating the genre of professional skateboard photography.

skate photographer by Andrew Pommier

© Jason Henry 2008 contact | bibliography