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Sports Then and Now



The History of Longboarding 19

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Martin Banks

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.

longboard

Sidewalk Surfing

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.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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