Before cities everywhere built skate parks, and skaters strapped GoPro cameras to the bottom of their boards, the May 1965 cover of LIFE magazine featured San Diego's Pat McGee doing a handstand on a tiny, basic skateboard. "The craze and menace of SKATEBOARDS" reads the cover copy, ushering in a new cultural phenomenon.
Bill Eppridge provided the photographs for the article, capturing, among other places, New York City all swept up in the skateboard fever. Take a look below at a sampling, courtesy of LIFE (go here for even more photos), and marvel at some stylish New Yorkers (time travelers?) piling onto boards and cruising through Central Park.