Skateboard Inventor, Larry Stevenson Dies at 81

In 1963, Larry Stevenson started Makaha skateboard company to mass-produce his surfboard shaped skateboard design. The unique shape offered a better ride on the concrete wave. Makaha was one of the first skateboard companies that adopted clay wheels over metal wheels, providing a smoother ride and more maneuverability. That year, he also made the first professional skateboard, naming it after legendary surfer Phil Edwards.  The same year, Makaha sponsored the first skateboard contest, with about 100 competitors in Hermosa Beach. Makaha was the first to sponsor a skateboard exhibition team.

In 1969 Larry invented the kicktail, a sloping incline at the end of the skateboard that gives the skateboarder more control and allows them to launch the board off the ground with their feet. Without the kicktail, the ollie and all other aerial tricks that define modern day skateboarding would be impossible. Larry is also accredited with inventing the double kicktail which most modern skateboards are modeled after.

Mr. Stevenson died on Sunday in an assisted-living facility in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 81. The cause was pneumonia, resulting from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Mr. Stevenson is survived by his son who now heads the Makaha company, which is known for its retro line of skateboards.

View Comments (15)


  1. Luke

    April 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    oohhnooooo !

    • peter

      December 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

      why do you all end up as a pack of whiners?
      why is it you all experts on this matter, personally I do accredit this man for what he achieved, it is well document it was for surfer, this man saw the need and you idiot think it was the man in the moon.
      don’t diss this guy
      I think he is the real deal

  2. Afro Jester

    August 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Ok,so he invented the longboard,thats sick,who was the inventor of the 1st skateboard?

    • anthony

      January 25, 2015 at 7:32 am

      he invented the actual skateboard we have today in 1969

  3. Skaterboy72

    August 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    No one knows who invented the first skateboard it was created by a bunch of surfers who wanted to surf the sidewalks of cali when there were no waves or the water was too cold.

    • emmanuel brown

      December 13, 2013 at 6:27 am

      yo mama

  4. Pingback: Tooth Rescue…Who Knew?…(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations

  5. Anna

    March 6, 2014 at 7:09 am

    He is the inventor…. Stupids.

  6. Linda

    July 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Well this guy may have “produced” the first “manufactured” skateboard but as kids back in the day on the West Coast, we took blocks of wood, separated our metal skates in half and nailed each half to each end of the board. We started out riding down hills by sitting on these things but then we got the nerve to stand up on them. So whoever was the first person to actually do this is the real inventor of the skateboard. My guess would be it was a surfer who needed something to do between trips to the beach.

    • nate

      November 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

      not true u are just geluise because he was more succesfull and you were not.

  7. bob

    August 20, 2015 at 11:27 am


  8. bob

    August 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    well at least he did something kuu that gave people a job 🙂

  9. bob

    August 20, 2015 at 11:29 am


  10. Pingback: Inventions that change the world! | Photonics and Solars

  11. Hank

    May 7, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    He did not invent the skateboard. He just mass produced them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Skateboarding

Steve Aoki and Dim Mak Collaborate with PM Tenor and RVCA On Limited 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection

skatemagDecember 19, 2016
Skateboarding 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Olympic Announcement Precedes First-Ever Park Terrain Skateboarding World Championships on August 20

skatemagAugust 9, 2016
Bob Burnquist's Dreamland

Heli Madness: Bob Burnquist’s “Dreamland”

skatemagMarch 2, 2016
NYC Safari Skate Barge

The LA Marketing Agency Behind Skateboarding’s Coolest Events

skatemagFebruary 23, 2016

Lance’s Pool

skatemagFebruary 3, 2016
We Are Blood Official Trailer

‘We Are Blood’ (Official Trailer in 4K) | Featuring Paul Rodriguez and Many More Mountain Dew

skatemagNovember 25, 2015

Leticia Bufoni, We love you.

skatemagOctober 15, 2015

Tell us Why You Don’t Smoke, Win a Free Truth Skate Deck

skatemagOctober 12, 2015
Ghostface Killah and Dustin Dollin review the Vans Propeller Skate Video

Ghostface Killah & Dustin Dollin Review The Vans Propeller Skate Video

skatemagSeptember 23, 2015

Skateboarding Magazine is a project by Tony Owen