Makaha Skateboards
today Santa Monica, tomorrow the world

While others may have made earlier skateboards and even sold a few, Makaha
was the first  commercially successful, high-performance skateboard and the invention of Los Angeles City lifeguard, Larry Stevenson.

Larry based his prototype on a cross between a homemade skateboard and a surfboard.  He came up with the idea one summer while sitting in his tower and noticing the similarity between the skills involved in skateboarding, surfing and skiing. 

The first boards were put together by Larry and his wife, Helen, at home in their garage. 

It wasn't long before Larry started looking for a way he could promote his new product as well as the emerging 'sport' of skateboarding and he started Surfguide Magazine and formed a competition team made up of Southern California's top skateboarders. (see Surfguide Magazine and the official  Makaha website)

Not surprisingly, sales quickly increased to the point where Larry moved the entire operation to a building on the corner of 26th Street and Colorado Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Makaha Skateboards were soon imitated by a number of copycat manufacturers who wanted to cash in on Larry's creation and it wasn't long before what the media described as a 'skateboard craze' swept across the USA and the world.

The Makaha team not only competed in skateboard contests around Southern California, it made special appearances at shopping centers, for special events and promotions, and on television programs such as the 'Steve Allen Show'.

'Baby' Dave Rochlen was the original Commander Makaha, followed by me, and finally, Jim Ganzer. The trailblazing exhibition team was made up of many talented young surfer-skateboarders, including Woody Woodward, Jimy Fitzpatrick, Torger Johnson, Squeak Blank, Danny Bearer, George Trafton,  John Fries, Joey Saenz, Danny Schaefer, Bruce Logan and Greg Carroll.

Makaha Skakeboards Robert R. Feigel 1964, 2001, 2002 - All rights reserved

Below from left to right:  Woody Woodward, Danny Bearer, Larry & unidentified, Torger Johnson, and George Trafton.                 Above right: Larry Stevenson

Woody Woodward

Danny Bearer

Torger Johnson

Original Makaha decal for sale - click to view

Joey Cabell & Torger Johnson

John Fries

Danny Bearer

Joey Saenz

Michael Saenz and Woody Woodward on the Woodward family's tennis court at Topanga Beach - circa 1964

Classic Makaha skateboards are still being manufactured by Larry Stevenson, his son Curt and the Makaha team. Visit their website for a real blast from the past: MAKAHA WEBSITE