Skateboarding Innovator Reflects On Sport's First Olympics
Skateboarding recently completed its Olympics debut, and several of those who participated and medaled hail from San Diego.
KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday spoke to skateboarding innovator Frank Nasworthy about the sport's origins and why San Diego is such a skateboarding hub.
In the 1970s, Nasworthy helped skateboarding take a major leap forward by introducing polyurethane wheels on skateboards. These new wheels allowed for much greater traction and performance than ones made of clay or metal.
"I liken it to if you want to drive a car with a wooden wheel, or you drive a car with a rubber wheel," the long-time Encinitas resident said.
Aside from its weather, Nasworthy cites San Diego's large amount of "manufactured terrain" for its skating popularity.
"I think that's one of the reasons that there's many skaters attracted to the area because there's so much both public and private radical terrain to skate that was made for skating," he said.
Nasworthy said he thinks skateboarding is much more universal than people realize, but the Olympics put it on an even bigger stage.
"Skateboarding is a global phenomenon and to me that's what the Olympics did- it really put skateboarding on a global stage," he said. "I think you are going to see the results of that in the coming years."