What are board sports and how did they evolve?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  08.02.2023
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Nowadays, there are many different board sports to choose from, each with their own unique set of rules and regulations, AND tricks!

Boardsports are played with a board as the primary equipment and take place on various terrain, from roads to snow-covered hills, water, and air. Most are considered extreme sports. Surfing was the first boardsport, originating from Polynesian culture. Skateboarding was then invented by surfers looking to “surf” on land.

Let’s look at the history of each.

What are boardsports

Exploring the World of Board Sports

Surf

Ah, the granddaddy of all board sports – surfing! This classic water sport involves riding the waves, and it’s been around since the dawn of time. But if you’re looking for something a bit more modern, you can always try Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP). This variant of surfing involves standing up on the board and propelling yourself with a one-bladed paddle.

Sandboarding

Sandboarding is a recreational activity that has evolved into a competitive water sport. It involves riding a board on wet sand or shallow water. So if you’re looking for a way to spice up your beach day, this is the perfect activity for you!

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a water sport that involves traveling over water on a small board powered by wind acting on a single sail. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

Bodyboarding

Bodyboarding is a wave riding sport that involves a small, rectangular piece of foam. It’s usually ridden lying down, but you can also ride it in a half-standing stance or even standing up. So if you’re looking for a fun way to ride the waves, bodyboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Riverboarding

Riverboarding is a combination of water skiing, snowboarding, and surfing. It involves being towed behind a boat or cable skiing setup and riding the waves. So if you’re looking for a thrilling way to get your adrenaline pumping, riverboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Skurfing

Skurfing is a mix of surfing and other water sports, where the participant is towed behind a boat. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

Flowboarding

Flowboarding is a man-made artificial sheet wave sport. It’s similar to surfing, but done on a man-made wave. So if you’re looking for a unique way to ride the waves, flowboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Wakeskating

Wakeskating is a boardsport where the rider is pulled behind a boat on a wakeskate. This board is smaller than a wakeboard and has no bindings, and it’s usually ridden with a foam or griptape surface. So if you’re looking for a fun way to ride the waves, wakeskating is the perfect activity for you!

Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is a boardsport that involves using an inflatable or foil power kite to propel yourself across the water. It can also be done on land, snow, or ice. So if you’re looking for a thrilling way to get your adrenaline pumping, kitesurfing is the perfect activity for you!

Wakesurfing

Wakesurfing is a boardsport where the rider is pulled behind a boat on a mini surfboard and can ride the boat’s wake with no rope. So if you’re looking for a unique way to ride the waves, wakesurfing is the perfect activity for you!

Skateboarding

Skateboarding is a classic boardsport that involves riding a board on wheels. It’s usually done on a half-pipe, in urban settings, or emptied swimming pools. So if you’re looking for a fun way to get your adrenaline pumping, skateboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Longboarding

Longboarding is similar to freeboarding, but with longer skateboards that come in different shapes and sizes. It’s mostly a racing sport, but there are many other styles as well. So if you’re looking for a unique way to ride the waves, longboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Snakeboarding

Snakeboarding is a boardsport that’s similar to skateboarding, but also heavily influenced by snowboarding. So if you’re looking for a thrilling way to get your adrenaline pumping, snakeboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Freestyle Scootering

Freestyle scootering is an action sport that involves using scooters to perform freestyle tricks, in a manner similar to skateboarding and BMX freestyle. So if you’re looking for a unique way to get your adrenaline pumping, freestyle scootering is the perfect activity for you!

Freeboarding

Freeboarding is said to be the board whose feel is the most similar to snowboarding. It has two extra castor wheels in the middle of the base that are somewhat lower than the other four, allowing the rider to distribute their weight to only one “edge”. So if you’re looking for a unique way to ride the waves, freeboarding is the perfect activity for you!

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is a great way to get some thrills and take in the scenery. You’ll need a kite, a board and a harness to get started.

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is a great way to explore the waters. All you need is a paddleboard and a paddle.

Kneeboarding

Kneeboarding is a great way to get some air and show off your skills. You’ll need a kneeboard and a rope to get started.

Skimboarding

Skimboarding is a great way to have some fun in the waves. All you need is a skimboard and a wave.

Carveboarding

Carveboarding is a great way to show off your skills. You’ll need a carveboard and a good pair of shoes to get started.

Castorboarding

Castorboarding is a great way to get some air. You’ll need a castorboard and a good pair of shoes to get started.

Streetsurfing

Streetsurfing is a great way to show off your skills. You’ll need a streetsurfboard and a good pair of shoes to get started.

T-boarding

T-boarding is a great way to get some air. You’ll need a T-board and a good pair of shoes to get started.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a great way to get some thrills in the snow. All you need is a snowboard and a good pair of boots.

Snowskating

Snowskating is a great way to show off your skills in the snow. You’ll need a snowskate and a good pair of boots to get started.

Skysurfing

Skysurfing is a great way to get some thrills in the sky. You’ll need a skysurfboard and a parachute to get started.

Hoverboarding

Hoverboarding is the newest way to get some thrills. You’ll need a hoverboard and a good pair of shoes to get started.

So if you’re looking for a new way to get your adrenaline pumping, why not give one of these board sports a try? Whether you’re looking for speed, air, or just a good time, there’s sure to be a board sport that’s perfect for you.

Surfing: A History of Waves

The Ancient Beginnings

Surfing is no newbie to the board sports scene. Way before the 50s when the hippies of California were catching waves, the Ancient Polynesians of Tahiti were already riding the waves back in the 1700s. It’s a pretty wild story, considering they were riding on pieces of wood that were used to make canoes.

Surfing Through the Decades

Surfing has come a long way since its ancient roots. In the 50s, the Californian hippies were the first to popularize the sport, sparking a wave of interest in the US. The 70s saw the rise of the shortboard, allowing surfers to perform more tricks and maneuvers. The 80s saw the rise of the surf culture, with the iconic movie Point Break and the Beach Boys’ music. Nowadays, surfing is a popular sport around the world, with competitions and championships held in many countries.

Surfing Today

Surfing has come a long way since its ancient roots. Nowadays, it’s a popular sport around the world, with competitions and championships held in many countries. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can find a wave to ride. From the sunny beaches of California to the rugged coastlines of Scotland, there’s a wave for everyone. So grab your board and get ready to catch some waves!

Surfing Through Time: A Look at Surfboard Design Before the 1950s

From Planks to Balsa Wood

Back in the day, surfers were riding planks of wood cut from trees like Willi Willi, Ula, Koa, and redwood. The problem with these materials was that they weren’t exactly waterproof, especially redwood. So, after a few hours in the water, the boards would get heavy and hard to control.

But, in 1926, Tom Blake changed the game when he created a hollow surfboard made from redwood. He drilled hundreds of holes in it and encased it in thin layers of wood. This board was 15 feet long and weighed 100 pounds, but it was much faster than the traditional boards. Plus, he added the first rudders, or “fixed fins,” to the boards in 1935.

By 1932, redwood was out and balsa wood was in. Balsa boards weighed around 35 pounds, or a bit more if they were made of a balsa/redwood combo. To make them waterproof, they were coated with layers of resin and fiberglass.

The Longboard Revolution

In the olden days, surfboards were much longer than they are now. Pacific noblemen and chiefs were riding 14- to 16-foot boards, while commoners made do with 10- to 12-foot ones.

But, today’s boards are much shorter, usually around 6 feet. So, if you’re looking for a throwback experience, you’ll have to find one of those longer boards.

The Final Word

Surfing has come a long way since the days of planks and redwood. Now, thanks to the genius of Tom Blake and the advent of balsa wood, surfers can enjoy lightweight, waterproof boards that are much faster and easier to control.

So, if you’re looking to take a trip back in time, you’ll want to find a longboard. But, if you’re looking for a modern experience, you’ll want to go with a shorter board. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to have a great time out on the waves!

From the Beach to the Streets: The History of Skateboarding

Surfing Origins

Surfing has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it really took off as a popular sport. But when the waves weren’t cooperating, surfers had to get creative. That’s when they decided to take their skills to the streets and create a new sport: skateboarding.

The First Skateboarders

The first skateboarders were surfers who were looking for a way to keep their skills sharp. They started bombing down hills and empty swimming pools, and soon enough, skateboarding was born.

Skateboarding Today

Today, skateboarding is a global phenomenon. It’s been featured in movies, video games, and even the Olympics. Skateboarders come from all walks of life, and the sport has become a way of life for many. From street skating to vert skating, there’s something for everyone. So grab your board and hit the streets!

The Evolution of Snowboarding

From Water to Snow

It’s no surprise that surfers wanted to conquer all types of land, so they invented snowboarding. In 1965, Sherman Poppen created a toy called the “Snurfer” for his daughter by attaching two skis together. But the evolution of snowboarding didn’t stop there!

Snowboarding Through the Ages

Snowboarding has come a long way since the Snurfer. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable moments in snowboarding history:

  • In the 1970s, the Snurfer was modified with metal edges and a rope to help steer.
  • In the 1980s, the first snowboarders started to appear in ski resorts.
  • In the 1990s, snowboarding became an Olympic sport.
  • In the 2000s, snowboarding was featured in video games and movies.

Snowboarding Today

Today, snowboarding is a popular sport for thrill-seekers of all ages. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can find a snowboard that’s perfect for you. Plus, you can find plenty of accessories like helmets, goggles, and gloves to keep you safe and comfortable while you shred the slopes. So what are you waiting for? Grab your board and hit the slopes!

The Birth of Skateboarding in the 1950s

Surfing on Land

It all started in California, when some surfers got tired of waiting for the waves and decided to get creative. They invented a plank with wheels to simulate the surfing experience on land.

The Original Skateboards

The first skateboards were made out of square wooden boards with a set of wheels from roller skates. It was like a surfing experience on land, and the early skaters were so into it that they even tried to do it barefoot!

Skateboarding Gains Popularity

It didn’t take long for skateboarding to become popular. Soon, people were doing it all over the place, and it was no longer just a way to pass the time when the waves weren’t good. Skateboarding was becoming its own sport, and it was here to stay.

Skateboarding Takes Off in the 1960s

The Boom of Skateboarding

The 1960s were a wild time for skateboarding. Companies like Jack’s, Hobie and Makaha were popping up all over Southern California, creating decks and hosting competitions. Skaters like Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer were becoming household names. It was a time of innovation, with clay wheels being introduced to the sport.

The Decline of Skateboarding

Unfortunately, the clay wheels weren’t so great for safety. Skateboarding injuries were on the rise, and the sport started to decline in the latter half of the decade. It was a sad time for skateboarders, but they kept their heads up and kept pushing forward.

The Legacy of Skateboarding in the 1960s

The 1960s were a pivotal time for skateboarding, and the sport wouldn’t be where it is today without the pioneers of the decade. Skaters like Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer laid the groundwork for future generations of skateboarders. They showed us that skateboarding is more than a sport – it’s a way of life.

The Birth of Skateboarding in the 1970s

The Invention of Polyurethane Wheels

Skateboarding was on the brink of extinction until Frank Nasworthy came along and invented the polyurethane wheel. This revolutionary invention made skateboarding smoother than ever before and brought it back into the spotlight.

The Del Mar National Championships

In 1975, the Del Mar National Championships was held, and it changed the skateboarding world forever. It was here that the legendary Zephyr skate team, later known as the Z-Boys, was born. These twelve skaters, including Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Stacy Peralta, made a huge impact on the style and techniques of skateboarding, and the tournament paved the way for future skateboarding tournaments with cash prizes.

The Rise of Skateboarding

The 1970s was a huge decade for skateboarding. Thanks to the invention of polyurethane wheels and the Del Mar National Championships, skateboarding was back and better than ever. Skaters everywhere were pushing the boundaries of what was possible on a skateboard and the sport was gaining more and more popularity. It was a great time to be a skateboarder!

Skateboarding in the 90s: A Revolution

The Rise of Street Skateboarding

The 90s were a wild time for skateboarding. It was the era of street skateboarding, which meant smaller, harder polyurethane wheels were the way to go. Skaters wanted to make their boards lighter and easier to maneuver, so they could pull off all their sick tricks. Plus, skateboarding and punk music were totally intertwined, making it the perfect time to be a skater.

The Inaugural X-Games

In 1995, ESPN held the first ever X-Games, and it was a huge success. Skateboarding was becoming an extreme sport, and it was only getting bigger and better. Plus, in 1999, Tony Hawk landed the legendary “900” trick, which involved two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions. It was a huge moment for skateboarding and it showed that the sport was here to stay.

The Legacy of Skateboarding in the 90s

The 90s were a pivotal time for skateboarding. It was the era when skateboarding really started to take off, and it laid the foundation for the sport we know and love today. Skaters were pushing the boundaries of what was possible on a board, and it was an exciting time for the sport. It’s no wonder that skateboarding is still going strong today.

Skateboarding: From Niche to Mainstream

The Rise of Skateboarding in the 2000s

Skateboarding has gone from being a fringe activity to a full-fledged sport in the 2000s. It’s no longer just a hobby for rebellious teens, but a legitimate way to make some serious dough. Pros can rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from winning events, and kids are starting to realize that they don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer to make a buck.

Plus, skateparks have been popping up all over the place, giving skaters more places than ever to practice their tricks. And with the help of digital technology, it’s easier than ever to record and analyze their moves. Blast Action Replay makes it simple to watch highlight reels of their tricks with overlaid metrics, and the Blast app helps them share their footage with the world.

Skateboarding: A Fun and Rewarding Activity

Skateboarding is no longer just a pastime for the rebellious and daring. It’s a fun and rewarding activity that anyone can enjoy. With skateparks popping up all over the place, it’s easier than ever to find a place to practice your tricks. And with digital technology, you can record and analyze your moves to make sure you’re always improving. Plus, you can show off your skills to the world with the help of the Blast app. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start shredding!

Electric Skateboarding: Taking a Ride into the Future

A Skateboard for Everyone

Electric skateboarding is the perfect way to get around for everyone from teenagers to young professionals. Whether you’re looking for an off-road adventure, a way to cruise the streets, or just a way to get to work, there’s an electric skateboard for you.

The Evolve Lineup

Evolve has got you covered with their three series of electric skateboards. There’s the Hadean Series for the off-roaders, the GTR Series for the street cruisers, and the Stoke Series for those who want to get to work in style.

The Future of Skateboarding

It’s hard to predict what the future of skateboarding holds, but one thing’s for sure: there will always be plenty of people who love the feeling of gliding through life on four wheels and a board. Whether it’s electric or not, skateboarding is here to stay!

So if you’re looking for a way to get around that’s fun, energy-efficient, and stylish, why not give electric skateboarding a try? You won’t regret it!

Conclusion

Board sports have come a long way since the first recorded skateboard race in the 1960s, and ESPECIALLY far since the first surfboard hit the waves! From skateboarding to surfing to snowboarding, these sports have become a way of life for many.

So don’t be afraid to get your feet wet and give it a try!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.