While it seems like every new generation of teenagers discovers skateboarding on their own, it’s actually been around for more than 50 years. For those interested in how the pastime went from a surfer alternative to mainstream sensation to punk rock pastime to extreme sport headliner, there’s a new bizarre animation that tells the tale. Antonio Vicentini has compiled this surreal cartoon to not only explain the genesis and evolution of skateboarding in popular culture, but also to set each milestone within a proper historical context.

Using collage, abstract images, geometrical shapes, and other techniques, Vicentini turns what could be a dry history lesson into an engaging gonzo freakout while imparting a well-researched amount of information. It’s interesting to see the various patterns in culture emerge through the lens of skateboarding, how it went from mainstream acceptance to the alternative scene and back again, seemingly able to occupy space in both worlds without having to change much about the activity itself. Vicentini also highlights the various rising stars through the years of skating and the impact that skating videos had on both its proselytizing and its underground status. Hopefully someone can bring a similar approach to other alternative modes of transportation, like the penny farthing or the Pogo Ball.

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a brief history of skateboarding from antonio vicentini on Vimeo.