Larry Stevenson, one of the foremost skateboard designers, died on Sunday after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Stevenson was a Southern California native who, after witnessing the rise of surfing in the 1950s, aimed to popularize skateboarding by comparing it to surfing. He designed skateboards that looked similar to surfboards and promoted them in Surf Guide, a magazine he founded with a friend. In 1963, he created the world’s first professional skateboard, which he named after noted surfer Phil Edwards.
“He was the guy who said, ‘I can merge surfing with the skateboard culture,’” Michael Brooke, author of “The Concrete Wave” on the history of skateboarding.
“I wanted to expand skateboarding because I knew it had room to expand; I wanted to do something bigger and better,” Stevenson said in an interview with Transworld Skateboarding magazine in 2008. Although Stevenson got his start in the late 1950s, he managed to keep up with new trends in the skateboarding world for decades. He became publisher of the skateboarding magazine Powder Edge in 1988.
For more on Stevenson, go here.