The first organized freestyle contests took place in the early 1980s in cement
skateparks on the West Coast. In 1984, the American Freestyle Association (AFA) was formed and it held two major flatland
and ramp events in California. A full-fledged series developed in 1985 and a December final in Manchester, New Hampshire became
the AFA's first truly national event. The sport exploded in 1986 and while the AFA was still going strong, the 2-Hip series
began holding Vert half-pipe events. After the AFA held its last contest in 1989, the sport entered a recession, and Street
contests became the norm. In 1992, Matt Hoffman organized the Bicycle Stunt (BS) Series, which included Vert, Mini-Street,
and Flatland categories. The sport has been on the rise ever since.
The expression "Freestyle Motocross" was first used to describe tricks performed by Motocross racers when they
were hopelessly behind in a race and had nothing left to lose. In turn, Motocross magazines began to use the term to categorize
the innovative tricks and jumps that motorcycle enthusiasts were performing while Free Riding. The majority of Freestyle Motocross
tricks can trace their roots to BMX tricks perfected in the 1980s and made famous by video documentaries in the early 1990s.
The first Freestyle Motocross events took place in 1998, the same year that the International Freestyle Motocross Association
(IFMA) was formed to sanction events and implement an annual World Championship.
Directly related to the more widely accepted and practiced skateboarding, street luge is relatively
new on the scene. While the exact origin of the sport differs depending on whom you ask, it is safe to say that the idea was
born when the first tired skateboarder lay down on his board and pointed the wheels downhill. The equipment has evolved considerably
since those days and the popularity of street luge has exploded in recent years. There are now officially sanctioned annual
events in Europe, Australia and throughout the United States.
Downhill Skateboarding rose to prominence in the 1970s with the first major event held in Signal Hill, California. Requiring
great skills to perform, downhill skaters were heavily sought by manufacturers who produced special equipment for "downhilling".
However, as speeds rose above 60mph, the mainstream skate industry lost its nerve, dropping events, sponsorship, and equipment.
Forced underground for the last 20 years, downhill skateboarding is making a strong comeback.
In the mid-1960's, a man from the Midwest looked out his dining room window and saw his two daughters
trying to stand on a sled. That man was Sherman Poppin and that event spawned snowboarding's birth, or more accurately "Snurfing."
Through the '70's, Snurfers refined their tools, taking Sherman's original plywood plank, and making it wider, longer
and adding skegs for stability. This intuitive tinkering, continuing over the next ten years, led to one innovation that revolutionized
the sport: highback bindings.
With highbacks, riders could control a snowboard on hardpacked snow and safely ride
on resort terrain. Since snowboarding's acceptance at ski resorts, its growth has been exponential. From humble backyard beginnings,
snowboarding is now an international discipline and its top riders are celebrated heroes earning six-figure salaries.
The 2001 Winter Gravity Games aims to showcase the best snowboard talent in the world through events like boardercross,
big air, halfpipe, and quarterpipe.
It doesn't matter who the first
person was to stick an engine on a ride with a couple a skis and tread and decided to ride the sucker. The first snowmobiles
were primitive affairs, used for function not fun. However, as technology has improved snowmobiles, the fun quotient has risen.
Racing has probably always been a part of the sport, even back in the early days when buddies pointed their sleds across the
frozen tundra and tried to be the first to the bar. But with stronger suspensions and larger engines, racing and jumping are
coming into their own - as radical sides snowmobiling that appeal to spectators beyond the motorheads that developed the machines
and the sport.
Initially developed in 1985 as a form of short-board
surfing, wakeboarding has grown into one of the world's most popular watersports. The addition of footstraps to the board
was an integral event in the evolution of wakeboarding because it allows the riders to go for big air as they launch off of
a boat's wake. In the 1990s, the sport has continued to thrive with the assistance of the sanctioning body, The World Wakeboard