This wraps up any uncertainty about the authenticity of the Hobble Wobble, which seemed like it might have been artificially created to look like it was vintage. The name of the inventor made it easy to look up the patent this time. Harold Katz filed his patent in October of 1958 and finally received his patent in March of 1960. This short highlight article on the Wibbler must have been published sometime shortly after, making my original guess ( After the hula hoop in 1958 and before skateboard fad in 1964 ) pretty accurate. Somebody should pay me for this research. Hello Betsy? This is not skateboard related, you may cry, but I will endeavor to prove a direct connection in the following presentation. Can someone dim the lights please?
Jan and Dean’s 1964 song Sidewalk Surfin’ is pretty much the first skatesploitation song. I haven’t actually researched that, Doc Skaterock probably knows for sure. It’s easily the most famous one. As a young lad I remember buying a cutout Jan & Dean greatest hits compilation on cassette tape just because of this song. Before we were exposed to the larger world of punk rock and skate rock, we actually used to derive a bit of stoke from this cheesy tune, and later on would bust it out for a laugh and some nostalgia.
Peanuts Wikia says this cartoon of sally on roller skates while the rest of the gang rides skateboards, including Linus, Snoopy, and some random kid whose name I can’t figure out even with the help of wikipedia, which has an extensive listing of main and minor characters in Peanuts. Newspapers across the country have been rerunning “Classic Peanuts” strips since Charles Schulz died. The ones you can see on Peanuts.com have all been colorized, and in the case of the Sunday versions, reformatted slightly. Charles always treated skateboarding with respect in his strips. Whenever they appeared they were matter of fact, and not used for a pratfall. Catch the colorized version after the jump.
– Thanks to Jodie Taylor for the tip.
Check out this clip of Jan and Dean lip-syncing Sidewalk Surfin’ on American Bandstand. August 22, 1964. Dick Clark talks with audience a little bit about skateboarding (a young man’s game?) and half the “band” actually does sidewalk surf on the stage. There’s even a little bit of dorking around during the lip sync session. See what passes for a “trick” in 1964. All in all, a very interesting clip showing skateboarding and skatesploitation in mid-60’s popular culture.
Makaha Commander, allegedly from 1960, but probably not. The construction looks to be fiberglass or epoxy of some sort, nothing too interesting except for… What the heck is that thing on the rear axle? Bigger view after the jump.
I was trying to track down a better picture of some Hanna Barbera saftey cards from 1965 because one of them has the hapless Magilla Gorilla pulling a classic wilson. In the process I found Magilla skating in an uncredited image that looks like a still from a cartoon. Casting the net wider turned up a coloring book with Huckleberry Hound and Quickdraw McGraw doubling up on a longboard.
The 60’s were the true, toy store fad era of skateboarding. At no other time would you expect to be able to purchase a serviceable piece of sporting equipment from a snack food manufacturer. Yes, manufacturers have been sticking scooter handles on skateboards since shortly after the handles were torn off scooters to make the original skateboards. This one was a special order produced for the Burry Biscuit company, now known as Burry Foods, one time manufacturer of the Burry’s Scooter Pie. What better way to market a scooter pie than to sell an actual scooter? The box came with a skateboard and the handle, so you didn’t have to turn it into a scooter if you didn’t want to.
This is an excellent 60’s era window display for the Continental Surf Skater. Tommy Ryan, San Diego’s Skate Board Champion says “Get the Winning Continetal Surf Skater Here!” – As advertised on TV. How cute: Little Tommy looks adorable and the industry is still using the two word qualifier “Skate Board.” There was a Tommy Ryan in the downhill circuit in the 70’s, given the young age of the kid in this poster, likely the same one. This has nothing to do with the Replacements reunion tour.
The Hollywood Theater is showing to 16mm skateboarding films on Monday, February 16 at 7:00 pm in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are only $5 so that’s a no brainer if you’re on the fence. You’ve probably seen Skater Dater before, but you’ve not likely seen the Australian film Ultimate Flex Machine. These prints are owned by Stephen Slappe, and they are only shown every couple of years in order to prevent wear and tear. Both of these films had theatrical releases, Skater Dater in 1965 and Ultimate Flex machine in 1975. Slappe’s print of Ultimate Flex Machine is in especially good condition, and he’s got a newer print of Skater Dater than he had previously shown. Slappe has a couple of short mystery reels that will also be included in the show. You can check out larger versions of the posters for Ultimate Flex Machine as well as some stills after the jump. See you at the Hollywood on Monday!