Issue Date: June 25, 1999
City: San Francisco, CA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11
The X Games, produced by sports network ESPN, is one of the largest extreme sports competitions in the U.S. The event brings together the top athletes in sports like skysurfing and bicycle stunt riding. The 1999 “Xtreme Sports” stamps were issued at the games in San Francisco.
Skateboarding developed in California in the 1930s from surfing, a sport that requires similar skills. Polyurethane wheels and flexible boards led to “trick” style skating, which can be performed on streets, ramps, or specially designed “half pipes” (U-shaped ramps).
BMX (bicycle motocross) became popular in the 1970s in an attempt to duplicate conditions faced by Motorcycle Motocross racers. Participants race on tracks that have bumps and sharp turns. BMX bikes have small frames, large, knobby wheels, and a high seat.
Inline skating began in 1980 as a training exercise for hockey players during the warm months of the off-season. The activity became a national craze in the 1990s, when the number of inline skaters increased from 12.6 million in 1993 to 29.1 million in 1997.
Snowboarding’s popularity has grown dramatically since its introduction in 1963, when Sherman Poppen bound two skis together. The sport gained world attention during the 1998 winter Olympics.