A skateboard is a type of sports equipment used primarily for the activity of skateboarding. It usually consists of a specially designed maplewood board combined with a polyurethane coating used for making smoother slides and stronger durability.
A skateboard is propelled by pushing with one foot while the other remains on the board, or by pumping one's legs in structures such as a bowl or half pipe. A skateboard can also be used by simply standing on the deck while on a downward slope and allowing gravity to propel the board and rider. If the rider positions their right foot forward, he/she is said to ride "goofy;" if the rider positions their left foot forward, he/she is said to ride "regular." If the rider is normally regular but chooses to ride goofy, he/she is said to be riding in "switch," and vice versa. A skater is typically more comfortable pushing with their back foot; choosing to push with the front foot is commonly referred to as riding "mongo".
There is no governing body that declares any regulations on what constitutes a skateboard or the parts from which it is assembled. Historically, the skateboard has conformed both to contemporary trends and to the ever-evolving array of stunts performed by riders/users, who require a certain functionality from the board. Of course, the board shape depends largely upon its desired function. Longboards are a type of skateboard with a longer wheelbase and larger, softer wheels.
Skateboarding, as we know it, was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s, when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles, California surf shop, meant to be used by surfers in their downtime. The shop owner, Bill Richard, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which they attached to square wooden boards. Accordingly, skateboarding was originally denoted "sidewalk surfing" and early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot.
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