The Wiley School student newspaper hosted the second annual Skateboard Contest in June 1979. Contestants were judged on their ability to handle the course on the outdoor basketball court at the school in ramp, slalom (a form of downhill skateboard racing) and freestyle competition.
Skateboarding grew in popularity during the 1970s through today. In 2021, skateboarding was even an event at the summer Olympic games for the first time.
The sport is thought to have originated on the West coast by surfers looking for something to do when the waves were flat. It was originally called “sidewalk surfing.”
One place to practice skateboarding in Watertown is at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, 600 William T Field Drive.
Back in 1979, the winners of the Skateboarding Contest were, in the fourth grade division, Billy Wise, first place; Rich Monroe, second place; and Philip Desormeau, third place. Winners in the fifth grade division were Steve Krupkin, first place; Bob Timmerman, second place; and Craig Anderson, third place. Winners in the sixth grade division were David Shaban, first place; Kevin Denicola, second place; and Coco Gipperich, third place.