Back in the 1970’s during skateboarding’s second boom, the push to hit 60 mph was a big deal. John Hutson, Guy Gundry and a number of legendary skaters gave it their all at places like Signal Hill. Most folks were amazed to see skaters hitting 50 something mph. When Gary Hardwick (RIP) hit 63 mph in 1998, it started a domino affect.
Gary Hardwick hit 63 mph in 1998. That’s Mark Golter in the yellow leathers.
Gary’s timing was excellent as longboarding began its ascent. The truth is that it’s taken almost two decades to bring the technology to where racers are comfortably hitting speeds once thought inconceivable. Drop thru decks, precision reverse king pin trucks and lightening fast urethane have all done their part to increase speeds.
2016 will go down as quite an astonishing year politically. But there was another astonishing thing that happened in skateboarding. When Erik Lundberg edged out Mischo Erban’s fastest speed on a skateboard, people were pretty thrilled. It was less than .5 of a kilometre faster and yet the feat was overshadowed only a few months later by Kyle Wester. Kyle laid down a blistering 144 KPH (89.41 mph and blew Erik’s and Mischo’s records right off map. You can see a video of this incredible feat.
Will Kyle Wester hit 90 mph in 2017? Don’t bet against it!
As we enter 2017, the question that is on many people’s minds is just how fast can the next record holder go? But it’s not just skaters who are intrigued by the prospects of speed. The bar has been set very high and it will take an extraordinary effort to push things forward but there is no doubt in my mind that we will see someone hit over 90 mph. It’s only just a matter of time…and pure guts!