+ AoS History
This is the historical and visual history of the birth, growth and evolution of the web site. I hope you enjoy...and appreciate... just how far we have come and how much we have accomplished in trying to be the online home for our community.
Fellow Team Ping skater, Phil "Smithgrind" Hosey introduces Chris Solomon to the world of skateboard collecting. At the time, Chris had no idea that a person could (a) find all their old skateboards on eBay in almost perfect condition and (b) that a HUGE underground community existed solely for the purpose of skateboard collecting and appreciation of skateboarding's history and art. One day, Phil showed Chris some old decks he had found and sat down and showed him in about ten minutes exactly where to go and what to look for on eBay to find some for himself. In addition, Phil showed Chris a couple of web sites and forums to find other collectors. The seed was planted.
The Art of Skateboarding actually began life as a small part of another web site, TeamPing.com. That web site was built more to document the local, Southern group of skaters that Chris Solomon had grown up with over the years than being any kind of resource for skateboarding collectors. Chris added a kind of "side" area called "Art of Skateboarding" to try to drum up business for some frames and deck holders he was building that were made specifically for skateboard collecting. The idea was to always eventually build a site for "Art of Skateboarding" on it's own, but at that time, there was no real rush...or free time to put into it..
By January, Chris Solomon had been paying attention to skateboard collecting for several months...gleaning information from site, figuring out who the real "players" were, making contacts, and generally gaining more experience and knowledge in this new world. About this time, he also happened to stumble upon a very disturbing "business". There seemed to be a handful of sources that were dealing in "fake" old school skateboards and putting them on eBay for unsuspecting collectors to fall victim too. One of the reasons this was so easy for these "people" to pull off was quite simple...the good ol' human memory. It is amazing what our memories will convince us we remember or do not remember. People fell victim to these fake skateboards very simply because (1) yes, they did remember those decks BUT (2) they did not remember exactly how the old decks were suppose to look or even be shaped to the very specific shapes and dimensions. Once turning over the rock and uncovering the snakes, Chris decided something had to be done to help make sure others knew about this and did not fall prey. Therefore, development for a "Art of Skateboarding" web site of it's very own stepped up dramatically. The initial idea was to build a "comparison" guide of sorts...show pictures of the original items as they were in ads or from known reliable sources so that other people could use these to compare to what they were seeing on eBay. Yes, it began just that simply....well, that and the fact that Chris had been programming since he was ten years old (haha). For Chris, he thought "hey, this might be a nice side project and if nothing else, a fun development challenge". He never imagined many people would ever find it interesting or that the "guide" could ever possibly have more than a few hundred skateboards... He thought "Come on...How many skateboards could there possible be out there?" *grin*.......
East Coast -> Louisville Skatepark (Louisville, Kentucky)
West Coast -> tour of parks starting at "Newberg, OR" and going to Donald, Aumsville, Lincoln City and ending at the famous "Burnside" park with a few side stops along the way.
Originally, AoS was sub-hosted "under" the TeamPing.com web space.
Other various small, updates and changes take place over the next months.
The site becomes an official company with plans to expand and grow larger.
AoS-Fest II : The Return of the Green Monkey at Nashville's Concrete Wave Country Skatepark
Both Chris Solomon and ArtofSkateboarding.com are mentioned and creditted in the book "Disposable:A History of Skateboard Art" by Sean Cliver.
Around this time, we first began to have our "403.9" or ""too many users connected" errors. At a little over 15,000 members at the time, it seems our little ol' site had outgrown itself. The poor little Access database and cobbled together code just could not do it anymore. Sooooooo.....efforts were stepped up and schedules adjusted to get to work prnto on a complete site overhaul! Top-to-bottom, re-design, code inspection and new backend MySQL database...along with a lot of new goodies dreamed up to throw in! This marked the beginning of efforts to build "AoS version 2.0"...haha.