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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

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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