Changing my Style (because I am getting old)

Jan 2019

Ever heard this before: I can't get back into skateboarding because I am too old and I would get mad that I can't do what I used to do? Wow ... I am not going to put the word I would use to describe the guys who said that to me here, because then my two readers would probably stop reading this trash - so I will say something slightly nice - what a load of horseshit. Yeah sure, it is true, maybe it is time to hang up aerials I know I have stopped a lot of things, but I haven't stopped. One of the problems of unending media is the ludicrous (speed) expectations people put on things because everyone has become so goddamned impressionable. You don't actually need to be able to do shit, there is one and only one expectation I have anytime I session: a good time. Besides, even when I was zinging up the sides of bowls, I still had off days where I was too tired for that shit and had to change it up, do something a little more low key. These are some suggestions even if you are young and don't feel like dropping in on a 20 foot crete monster, there are alternatives.

Soft Tunnel Wheels

Putting some relatively small (say 56mm to 64mm) softer tunnel wheels on a regular skateboard was something, in the beginning, I would have labeled as blasphemy. Such wheels are reserved for old school decks and longboards with no place in the regular skateboarding world ... until I saw this dude thrashing on them (that is a whole other article....) and after that I thought, why not? Well, here is one sentence to explain the ride: it was a bucket of unicorn meat awesome. I ride them all the time now: there is a lot I can't do with them ranging from bowl riding (I can't turn tight enough or do decent kickturns) or any kind of standard grind (curbs aren't a problem). I can do all sorts of other things I couldn't with regular wheels (usually 90ish 54mm) like ride in a ton of parking lots, long carve, edbd bombing, manual (I could never manual before I can almost do it now), and drop in lot skate parks are actually fun now where before I would leave with numb feet. It is not like longboard skating but it is not like park skating, it is some weird fun groovy in between.

Reverts & Fakies are still Tricks

As of this writing I am 47 and I get to skate parks a couple times a month when it is warm. That said, in my opinion, when someone is over 40 and has all the fun bullshit of a regular job (oh I am sorry, career) being able to do a clean revert or a fakie counts. Especially if you are middling over all, being able to pull that off on a small ramp is a cool thing... and oh yeah it is fun. Just remember helmets are now cool so it is all good. In particular, just me, when I see a well snapped revert that is always awesome - but a good kickturn counts too. I was infamous, for awhile, for doing one wheel kick turns on the lip of a bowl and zipping almost straight back down through the center.

Try Banks instead of Transition

Banks, especially really big ones, can be a blast for us slower reacting folks. A well made bank with gentle entry is even cooler. Banks do require a decent amount of speed (more than transition) because you lose speed quick going up them, however, they are easier to make carve style or slower kickturns on than transition. The other thing about a nice bank is that if you are even slightly experienced you can try out laybacks which are an old school classic that never gets old .... unlike us.

Skatelite, Pump & Big is Our Friend

Not much used in outdoor parks anymore, skatelite is way more forgiving than concrete. Yes skatelite requires more work to generate speed but when you don't make the slide out you won't mind so much, besides it is a great workout. Speaking of which, the bigger the better (well except megaramps) the more room we have to step off and bail the easier it is to get out alive. Last and not least, if the park allows it, try pumping up to the lip of the halfs instead of dropping in. Dropping in was fun when I was under 40 and had a lot of time. Now one of the nice things is I actually wake up early and can get on a half pipe before anyone else. Pumping from the bottom is how we learn to do it and if you are worried about twisting something up dropping in, give it a go.