Larry Stevenson, skateboard revolutionary, has died at the age of 81.
Stevenson was working as a lifeguard at Venice Beach when he noticed surfers riding around on the pavement on crude, often homemade skateboards. He knew he could make a better board, so he started building them in his garage and was mass-producing them by 1963.
He continued to innovate: he invented the kick-tail and the double kick-tail (making most of modern skateboarding’s tricks possible), founded the first skateboarding team and started the sport’s first competition.
You can read Stevenson’s full obituary in the LA Times. Plus, check out Makaha, his board company (which still makes retro-style skateboards).