California On Wheels: Amazing Pictures Of The Golden Age Of Skating

Skating and Roller Skating became a huge hit around the world in the late seventies and the beginning of the eighties, and California was the place that saw them grow and succeed. The streets of Los Ángeles, where the sun is always on top, were full of young skaters in bikinis, bathing suits and tank tops, showing off their bodies, their skills and their grace. Venice Beach became the World’s Skating Capital, and its famous boardwalk help to build that legend. We gathered fifty photos that are truly amazing and that show how the skating world was back then, and I’m sure you will want to buy some roller skates and travel to sunny California.

VENICE BEACH

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Venice Beach is one of the most vibrant areas of Los Angeles. It is full of young artists, musicians, bohemians and those who are in constant search of freedom and happiness.

ITS ORIGINS

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Venice Beach was originally built as a complex that imitated the italian city of Venice. It even have canals and gondolas to make the full experience. Then it was attached to Los Angeles city.

A HIT

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Roller skating became a huge hit in the late seventies and early eighties, but it was not something new: The first ever recorded use of a roller skates goes all the way back to 1743.

TRAFFIC

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Just like the rest of Los Angeles City, and especially because of its narrow streets, Venice Beach is known for its intense and infernal traffic. Something that can be quickly forgotten if you put on some skates.

DOROTHY

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Dorothy Stratten was the Playmate of the Year in 1980. Here we can see her skating with Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, a few months before her husband killed her when she was just 20 years old.

THE BOARDWALK

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Venice Beach is known for its eclectic and bizarre soul, and there’s no place as bizarre and eclectic as The Boardwalk. It is part a carnival and part a vibrant city center, and when you visit it you’ll never know what you may find.

THE PERFECT PLACE

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And that Boardwalk is what made roller skating so great. The pavement that goes all the way through the beach has been the perfect environment for roller skating to grow and become a success.

THE RECREATION CENTER

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The Venice Beach Recreation Center is a place full of sports and athletes. It is the place where basketball players, bodybuilders and skaters go to show off their amazing skills.

THE DROUGHT

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There was a drought in the seventies that emptied the pools, ditches, fountains and artificial lakes and turned them into a cool spot for skaters to learn and show off their talents.

THE CANALS

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Venice Beach was built in 1905 by a tobacco millionaire that wanted to make, as we said, the Venice of America, and so he did. There were actually more canals, but when the cars became popular they were filled and turned into streets, the streets where people skates.

ROLLER BOOGIE

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Roller Skating was so popular back then, that in 1979 a movie called “Roller Boogie” was premiered, starred by Linda Blair and Mark L. Lester, and it is set in Los Angeles.

ROLLER DISCO

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And two hits of the time came together to create The Roller Disco, where people wore their skates to dance to the latest disco beats. There are few still open.

XANADU

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Roller Disco were so popular that a movie called Skatetown U.S.A., about two skaters and a competition in a roller disco called Skatetown U.S.A., it was Patrick Swayze first movie role.

XANADU

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Another classical movie of the Roller Skating era is Xanadu, where Olivia Newton John plays a skater that hides a magical truth. It is quite bizarre but it became a cult classic.

EARTH SURFING

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Skateboarding was born in the seventies in California as an alternative to surfing. If you think about it, a skateboard is nothing but a surfboard with wheels, and most of the movements and tricks imitates the ones made in the waves.

SKATING COMPETITIONS

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The first Skateboarding competition was held in California in 1963, but skateboarding was quite different back then. They did “freestyle”, and it looked more like a dancing or roller skating competition.