March 31, 2012

Makaha skateboard founder passes...

LA Times "Larry Stevenson, a Venice Beach lifeguard who helped popularize skateboarding in the early 1960s by marketing his Makaha boards to riders eager to essentially surf on land, has died. He was 81." By Valerie J. Nelson

'Stevenson, who had Parkinson's disease, died Sunday at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, said his son, Curt.

'"He was the guy who said, 'I can merge surfing with the skateboard culture,'" said Michael Brooke, author of the 1999 skateboarding history "The Concrete Wave." "At one point in time, there was nobody bigger making skateboards."

'From 1963 to 1965, he published Surf Guide and in 1988 became a publisher of the skateboarding magazine Poweredge.

'Ever the inventor, Stevenson devised a battery-operated armpit cooler to help nervous salespeople avoid sweating. When he noticed that saltwater naturally slicked down hair, he came up with a saltwater-based hair spray.

'Upset by rising home prices, Stevenson teamed with a structural engineer to develop an easy-to-assemble prefabricated house. Introduced in 1981, the Lifehouse was a 640-square-foot structure that was made to sell for less than $13,000. The house was used in disaster areas, according to Feigel.

'At Makaha, Stevenson remained active late in life, making modern high-performance skateboards and reproductions of vintage designs.

'Stevenson, who was divorced from Helen but remained close to her, is survived by his son.'

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