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skateboarding

Now a staple in ESPN’s X-Games, skateboarding took off as a fad in the 1960s. As portrayed in the movie Back to the Future (1985), it started with children tinkering with go-carts and roller skates, yet quickly migrated from playgrounds to downtown as skateboarders sought the best surfaces for their fast-developing techniques and tricks. The sport’s novelty its athletes’ penchant for practicing in places where “suits” carried out their business and the inheritance of some surfing etiquette gave skateboarding an antiauthoritarian aspect. This lessened with growing commercialization and the establishment of custom parks designed to keep the skateboarders away from “public” space. New urethane wheels and fiberglass for the boards, introduced in the 1970s, increased costs, but also made boards more able to ride over bumpy terrains like uneven sidewalks. But the main thrills remain in the skating parks, where the boarders have developed tricks ranging from aerials and grinders to rock and rolls.

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