The sport of skateboarding has undergone significant changes since it was introduced in the United States in the early 1950s. Originally a land based offshoot of surfing, the original skateboards were wooden boards attached to roller skates. Skateboarding at that time was an activity primarily carried out on streets and sidewalks.

Skateboarding is today a multi-dimensional sport that includes persons who ride their boards in

Professional skateboarder Andy Macdonald performs a trick above the half pipe while professional skateboarder Tony Hawk (R) looks on.
public areas as well as the boarders who use specialized skateboard parks equipped with ramps and half pipes in which they can perform elaborate and often dangerous stunts. Skateboarding has a close connection to street fashion of young people and it has encouraged an easygoing attitude toward participation, in contrast to other more traditional sports. Skateboarding is a world wide sport, most actively pursued by youths and young adults.

Skateboarding has received a significant boost in its world wide popularity due to the combined effect of its inclusion in the X Games, the profile of professional skateboarders such as American Tony Hawk, and various videogames that have served to promote skateboarding and the extreme sports nature of the stunts that can be executed.

From the flat plywood board attached to a set of roller skate wheels that constituted the first skateboards, the invention of the first urethane wheels in the 1970s was significant innovation. Urethane permitted the rider to obtain greater traction on a paved surface, and the wheels ran much more smoothly, making the skateboard safer to operate.

Many skateboard tricks have acquired their own name. the most notable is the "ollie," regarded as the foundation to the majority of jump maneuvers performed in skateboarding. The ollie is executed by the rider applying a sudden force to the rear of the skateboard, and moving their feet forward to counteract the rear force, and sequence that propels the board into the air. Another common skateboard technique is "grinding," where the bottom of the board is made to slide along a hard surface. There are many examples recorded in the media where a skateboarder has sustained a spectacular fall when endeavoring to grind their board along a handrail or similar structure.

Skateboarding has significant safety concerns, particularly when the rider attempts a jump from a ramp, or any other stunt that takes the rider above the ground. Helmets, knee pads, wrist protection (to prevent injury to the hands and wrists in a fall), and elbow protection are common.

World Cup Skateboarding is the organization that sanctions professional skateboard events through out the world.

SEE ALSO Extreme sports; Snowboarding; Wakeboarding; Youth Sports Injuries.