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The Rise of Skate Culture Back in the Day

Skateboarding is said to have originated in California in the late 40s or early 50s by people who wanted something to do when the waves were flat.

The first skateboards were wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels attached at the bottom, and the sport was then often called, ‘sidewalk surfing’.

Interestingly enough, the enthusiasm and interest in skateboarding grew and the West Coast saw the eventual birth of the skate culture. One of those who managed to document this growing trend was photographer Hugh Holland.

“In 1975, driving up Laurel Canyon Boulevard one afternoon, Holland encountered his first skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. […] Although not a skateboarder himself, Holland for the next three years never tired of capturing on film the burgeoning culture he was witnessing.” — Hugh Holland biography, M+B

But that is not to say that East Coast was left behind. In fact, LIFE Magazine did a piece on this ‘new fad and menace’ in the 60s, with photos from known photographer Bill Eppridge.

“Skateboarding, LIFE opined in 1965, is ‘the most exhilarating and dangerous joyriding device this side of the hot rod. A two-foot piece of wood or plastic mounted on wheels, it yields to the skillful user the excitements of of skiing or surfing. To the unskilled it gives the effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs.’” — LIFE

While the skate cultures on both sides display a seemingly great contrast with each other, it’s pretty obvious through Holland and Eppridge’s photos that skateboarding has captured the hearts of everyone, and would stick around for a long, long time.

All information for this article was taken from the M+B website, LIFE, and Wikipedia

written by geegraphy

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