The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Makaha Skateboards

1963

The Makaha Commando was the world’s first longboard     Photo: Courtesy of Makaha

During a stint at a boy’s home during the Great Depression, Larry Stevenson observed kids riding scooters made from girls’ roller skates nailed to wood with an orange crate balanced on top. Back home in Los Angeles, he saw kids riding the same scooters without the crates. As an adult, after surf bumming in Hawaii, Stevenson used these earlier inspirations to make a surfboard for the road, which he called a skateboard and advertised in surf magazines. At the 1963 National Sporting Goods show in Chicago, Stevenson’s five demo products earned him orders for 2,000 boards each day of the show. Before the next decade came to a close, Stevenson had sold more than 10 million units.

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