The Skateboard on Brainchild, with KT and Nasworthy

Nasworthy and Thatcher

There once was a TV series called Brainchild on the Science Channel that seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. There are a few mentions on discussion boards dating back to 2003, but that’s about it. Each hour long episode had three or four different inventions and their history highlighted. This particular episode dealt with Extreme!™ sports and featured skateboards, snowboards, and jet boats. There’s about five minutes of footage in the skateboard section, so as you can imagine, it’s pretty vague. The thing that is most interesting is that it features interviews with Kevin Thatcher (I can’t beleive that I kind of have to explain that he was the first and most beloved editor of Thrasher…) as well as Frank Nasworthy, the “inventor” of the urethane skateboard wheel. I always scratch my head when he gets credited with inventing the urethane skateboard wheel, since they were actually invented and used on rollerskating wheels first, and in the 70’s there were still rollerskating companies involved in skateboarding, so it seems pretty much like an obvious thing to do, he just did it first I guess. As for the original date of the program, I didn’t catch the credits so there’s no copyright date visible. I think I recorded it some time between 2000 and 2003, but the board graphics shown in the piece suggest sometime around 1996 or 1997. There are Stereo decks from when they were still in business the first time, and the voiceover says that Thatcher owns a skate shop and still runs a skateboard magazine, but that’s got to be an error. He would have been at the helm of Juxtapoz in the late 90’s. Other than that, there’s a little bit of cool footage from the 60’s. Ironically, the snowboarding section of this episode was much more interesting overall, maybe because the snowboard can actually be traced to one guy. Check it out.

The Skateboard on Brainchild

3 Comments

  1. where’s the snow-bro section of the show?

  2. I didn’t save it, sorry. Skateboarding site, you know.

  3. skategeezer on December 27, 2007 - Reply

    Other folks DID have the idea before Frank…Hobie Alter told me he had come up with rubber type wheels in the 60’s -but they were too expensive and the company (Vita Pakt) thought they wouldn’t sell. Teamriders, however, loved the prototypes.

    So Frank didn’t invent urethane….but he was the first guy to commercialize urethane skateboard wheels. He created the wheels to be used on skateboards, not rollerskates. He marketed, sold, promoted and did whatever he could to spread the word on Cadillac Wheels.

    He did a damn good job!

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