With the winter Olympics underway, there’s been a lot of talk about snowboarding. But let’s look back a little farther on what came BEFORE snowboarding: longboarding. All you need is a long plank of wood, trucks and four wheels and you have the ability to coast along pavement like a surfer would on water. In fact, surfing is where longboarding and skateboarding got their start. Nowadays, the water version and land versions of boarding stand apart, but they still have histories that intertwine with each other. From the genesis of sidewalk surfing all the way to the modern day competitions, longboarding has come a long way.
The lifespan of longboarding can be traced all the way back to approximately the 1950s. Longboarding and skateboarding came to be when surfers in Hawaii began taking their aquatic pastime on land. When the waves weren’t big enough for a satisfactory day of surfing, the surfers found that they could imitate those same actions by using a skateboard on the sidewalk. Thus, sidewalk surfing and skateboards were born. For surfers and teens, skateboarding then quickly caught on in California before skateboards themselves would begin to be modified.