Venice Beach, 1976

Venice Beach, 1976

Load up some Donna Summer in a new tab and take a nostalgic trip back to a sun-drenched Venice Beach. '76 was the summer when outdoor roller skate rentals were introduced for the first time. What started out of an old mail truck from a parking lot soon became a global phenomenon - and it didn't need a viral video to get noticed. Thanks to a newly installed bike path, the rise of disco music and the invention of the polyurethane wheel, rollerskating on the street was now viable. This happened to be the same year Dogtown and Z-Boys staked their claim to fame.

No smartphones, no notifications, no worries - just blazing heat, ill-fitting tees and the hum of the rolling wheels on warm asphalt. 

This was the beginning of the outdoor rollerskating revolution, and the rebirth of Venice, or "Venice Beach" as it became to be known. A couple of years down the line, Mayor Tom Bradley declared Venice, "The Rollerskating Capital of the World", making it the most popular California tourist destination second only to Disneyland.

These original photographs are a representation of this vibrant decade, and offer a peek into the joy shared by those of who were lucky to be there.

Photos by Mark

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