Many historians report that the first skateboarders were actually bored surfers. On days when the surf report wasn’t favorable, they would fit wheels to boards and mimic surfing maneuvers on land. The practice quickly caught on, and although these early boards didn’t offer skateboarders much control, by the late 1960s, many kids and young adults were taking part in the fledgling sport. As communities of skaters formed, an entire subculture developed around the sport. Over time, improvements in board technology and safety gear allowed for ever more complex maneuvers. Skate parks and other venues also encouraged the development of fancier tricks. Competitions sprung up as top athletes pushed the boundaries of what was possible, and top performers like Tony Hawk became household names. Today, the innovations continue as skateboards are carefully engineered to help skaters reach their athletic goals — or just enjoy the ride.