Larry Stevenson, inventor of the skateboard “kicktail”, passed on yesterday of Parkinson’s Disease in Santa Monica at the age of 81.
Stevenson, who attended Venice High School, Santa Monica College and USC, was also a lifeguard here in Venice Beach in the 50’s. In 1969, Stevenson added the “kicktail” and then the “double kicktail” to skateboards, which were until that point flat pieces of wood. The kicktail, combined with the invention of urethane wheels, created modern skateboarding as we know it.
Stevenson’s MAKAHA skateboards created the first skateboard team in 1963 and also promoted the first skateboard competition that same year. Stevenson is also remembered as the publisher of Surfguide Magazine and Poweredge Magazine.
In 2010 Stevenson was elected into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. His son Curtis Stevenson accepted the award, seen in the video below.
Donations can be made to the Larry Stevenson Parkinson’s Foundation
Santa Monica, CA 90406