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Any Skateboarders On Here?


k-train
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I feel like I recall seeing a few posters talk about skating on here... maybe @Sponge @FenixFalcon and some I'm forgetting? Anybody else have a history of skating, or currently skating?

Back in the late 80's, when I was probably 11 & still living overseas in Turkey, I got one of those Variflex-style JC Penny catalog boards for X-mas. It was one of those 80's, really wide, flat boards with no nose, hardly any concave at all, a giant space between the grip tape, and plastic all over the place... rails, nose & tail guards, a lapper covering the rear truck kingpin, and even these thick plastic things that snapped onto the hanger of the trucks. It was ridiculous but it was the best that was available on an Air Force Base in Incirlik, Turkey in 1988. I loved that board & spent as much time as possible riding around the neighborhood.

We moved to North Carolina the following year & I immediately gravitated toward a few other skaters in my new school. These guys took me under their wing and steered me down the right path... introducing me to a world I had only dreamed about a year earlier. I was given a used deck... I think either a Dogtown or Zorlac deck, also some used wheels. The trucks from my JC Penny board would have to do until I could get something proper. These guys geared me up, turned me on to bands like the Circle Jerks & Dead Milkmen, and taught me how to ollie. Suddenly, I was consumed by it. All I wanted to do was skate. I'd miss the bus on purpose, just so I'd have an excuse to skate to school... and then I'd already have my board with me, so I could go skate immediately after school.

I eventually got my first new 'legit' setup: a dark stained Powell Ray Barbee 'hydrant' deck, Independent trucks, Bones wheels & bearings, Bridgebolts, etc.

I skated that thing to death. It had razor tail so bad it became dangerous. Once I tried to nose slide a ledge and because the tail was so worn on  one side, my foot slipped off in the middle of the trick. I happened to be wearing shorts. The tail shot upward and sliced the **** outta the inner part of my shin/calve. It scraped a 2" x 3" gash through all the layers of skin; deep enough that it exposed a white, waxy layer of subcutaneous fat (which at first I worried was bone).

After that, I had the Blind Jason Lee "Dodo" deck that mocked the old Powell Tony Hawk art. That one was the only board I ever broke. About a week or two after I got it, it snapped while doing a kick flip off a sidewalk.

Then, I went through a few different 101 decks: the Natas "P1 Exciter" slick & the Natas "Patriot"

There were certainly others that I've long since forgotten... I have vague recollections of having a New Deal deck, and possibly one from ACME.

One day out of nowhere, around early 1993, things seemed to shift. It wasn't so much about having fun skating with your friends anymore, or just messing around on a curb or quarter pipe in the driveway. Everybody seemed obsessed with doing ridiculously technical tricks, listening to only rap, and wearing silly looking raver pants & clunky shoes. While there were a handful of technical tricks I could do decently, it got to a point where it felt like everything revolved around pressure flips. For whatever reason, I never got those down and it became frustrating. So at that point, skateboarding just wasn't fun to me anymore.

On top of it, I had started playing bass when I was 14. By the time I was 16, I was in bands that were doing some regional touring, and by 18 it was full on. I knew at 16 I didn't want to risk not being able to play music because I messed up an arm, hand or wrist while skating. So at that time, I stopped skating.

That brings me to now.

My wife grew up hanging around skaters, and always liked watching people skate, but said there was never anything or anyone that encouraged her to try it for herself. There really weren't but perhaps 1 or 2 female skaters in the world in those days, and they got very little airplay or recognition. It was very much a "boys club" in those days, but thankfully seems to hav gotten much, much better in the past few years. At any rate, her birthday is coming up in a few weeks. When I asked what she wanted, she told me that she wanted to get boards, pads, and for me to teach her to skate.

So I went ahead and got everything so we could get a start on it before things get too cold. She's not planning on doing much more than cruising around & maybe eventually learning some super basic tricks. I know it'll take me a minute to get acclimated, and I'm certainly not trying to fling myself down anything larger than maybe 3 stairs at the most, but oddly enough I can sorta still picture exactly what I need to do with my feet for certain tricks (impossibles, heel flips, etc.).

She was feeling the Powell "Skull & Sword" deck, so she's got that with some 56mm Bones filmer wheels & some standard Bullet trucks. I went with a Cotie Robinson deck from Darkroom (a new-ish company run by Don Pendleton, the dude who did a lot of art for Alien Workshop back in the day). I got the new Powell Dragon wheels, which are softer wheels that can handle rougher terrain, but yet still slide like a regular street wheel. I also got Tensor Mag Light trucks. They supposedly grind like butter, and are sooooo much lighter than everything else out there at the moment. My 45 year old legs will appreciate that big time once I get to a point where I'm trying flip tricks over & over & over.

Very briefly tonight, we got on the boards for the first time.

For me, it's been 30 years, and it honestly felt like it right at first. I've got a long way to go before I'm super comfortable on a board again, but I was making rapid progress once I tightened up the trucks a bit to have some extra stability.

For my wife, it was the first time EVER that she has tried skateboarding. She absolutely rocked! After a handful of tries with me guiding, she was soon pushing around & stopping on her own... on day one, stepping on a board for the first time ever at almost 47 years old. Cannot wait to see her progression!

Anyhow, sorry for the mega post, but my passion for skating has been rejuvenated & I just feel like I need to speak about it. Really hope this doesn't all fall on deaf ears & there are some other folks on here who love skateboarding... doing it, watching it, etc.

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I skate almost everyday and I'm 46. I keep my board in my work truck because I pass a skatepark on the way home. I'm in the process now of digging a 2ft. pool to skate in. Wood is still too high to build a half pipe. 

My first skateboard was a Valterra Dragon from Kmart.

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On my Toy Machine setup I got Spitfire wheels, Independent hollow trucks with Indy mounting hardware, Bones Red bearings, Santa Cruz rails, and Mob grip tape. Watch out for the Chinese selling fake wheels too. Only buy your wheels from a skate shop or from the company directly online.

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Day 1 went soooo well for my wife that we may have gotten ahead of ourselves a bit.

Day 2 was not good... at all.

On day 1, we pretty much just stayed in the garage, on super smooth & mostly flat concrete (just the slightest slope in one direction). She was doing great at pushing off, stopping, and just standing on the board, skating back and forth.

So on day 2, we decided to try a parking lot near our house. The asphalt was ok, but still a little rougher than I thought it would be. It also was nowhere near as flat as we had envisioned from driving & walking around there for the past 3 years. It wasn't hugely sloped, but enough that you can pick up speed in a hurry when going in certain directions. Even I wasn't super comfortable with the amount of speed I was getting, so for her it was really sketchy. She started skating the opposite (upslope) direction & was doing great.

Then, she thought she would try to do the sloped direction, but rather than push off, just stand on the board and ride. Rather than placing her weight on her front leg, she must've placed it on her back leg. Once she did that, the board went out from under her feet & she was on the ground. I barely saw it happen, and as she said, "It happened so fast, I didn't even have time to react or try to fall properly."

She landed with her entire body weight on her right arm.

While it never got too swollen, and nothing turned blue/black/etc., she was in a considerable amount of pain if she tried to move her forearm in certain ways. We assumed it was probably a bad sprain, but wanted to get it checked out to be safe. Unfortunately, there wasn't an urgent care facility open nearby that would've been able to x-ray, and she didn't want to deal with the hassle & cost of going to the ER since the pain seemed manageable so long as she didn't move it certain ways.

So, she toughed it out until we were able to get to UNC Urgent Care yesterday. Initially, the doctor she saw also thought it was just a severe sprain, but then the x-ray tech pointed out that there were in fact two fractures: one on the elbow, and on e on the wrist.

She's in a splint for the next 6 weeks, but hasn't let this setback deter her one bit. She says she totally knew she was inevitably going to fall at some point, she just wasn't expecting it so soon, or so intense. She's dead set to learn how to skate, and says she'll use this as a learning experience & motivation.

The crazy thing is that before any of this happened, we were waiting to go to a skate shop to try on wrist guards & figure out which size she needed. The closest store with any in stock at all is in Raleigh, and a 25-30 drive each way from our house in Durham. So, we hadn't gotten around to going yet. She had mentioned wanting elbow pads at some point, but I personally never knew anyone outside of vert/pool skaters who truly needed them. I didn't think they'd be particularly useful for street skating, especially just pushing around on "flat" ground... but obviously that theory went out the window when all this happened. We went ahead and ordered elbow pads & wrist guards yesterday after finding some sizing recommendations online. Thankfully, she was wearing a helmet at the time, because she might've otherwise smacked the back of her head on the asphalt during the fall.

I'm super bummed she got hurt, but blown away at her determination & drive. In hindsight, we both wish we would've taken things a little slower, and had gone ahead and just gotten the pads before trying to skate.

It's an unfortunate setback, but a learning experience for sure. If everything stays on track, she should get the splint off on New Year's Day. So, she can start the new year with a resolution to get back on the board and learn to skate, safely of course.

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