Skateboarding was probably born sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s when surfers in California wanted something to surf 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. These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies were producing decks of pressed layers of wood — similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun besides surfing, and was therefore often called "sidewalk surfing" and performed barefoot.

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