Fun with Photoshop

Finally got back out to my skateboarding hill last night. Used the GoPro to get some footage. Not the greatest footage, but not too bad for tripod stuff done quickly.

I captured a few stills from the video footage and tweaked them a bit with Photoshop. Here are 4 of them.

Click the images for full size.

skate shot
Increase the “vibrance” by +45.

 

 

 

 

 

skate shot
Changed to B&W, increased brightness and contrast. I like the way it brings out the gnarliness of the seams in the street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

skate shot
Changed to B&W, increased brightness, decreased contrast.
skate shot
Another one changed to B&W, increased brightness and contrast.

 

Downhill skateboarding video

Don’t think I ever posted this here. I put it on texaslongboarder.net a few months ago. But since this blog is supposed to have some skateboarding too, well, here it is. Hoping to work on a new video tomorrow afternoon, weather permitting.

Some downhill


Comet Pagan

Originally uploaded by bibliosk8er

Took the new downhill board out for some mild hills today, over in the Canyon Creek neighborhood. Skated a run I’ve done many times and it was fun. Then scouted out a new run — about a quarter mile long — maybe a bit longer.

Got a nice adrenalin rush at the bottom, where it hits a 90 degree intersection. Pavement in this area is concrete, and the intersections can be pretty choppy, so a 90% turn isn’t child’s play for a downhill novice. Anyway, I found the line and blasted through catching a little sideways drift on the Retro Freerides. Probably not going all that fast — I’d say about 20 or 25 tops. But still, was fun. Wore helmet and slider gloves.

Can’t wait to get this board on some nice smooth asphalt and a longer hill.

Skating

Well, I haven’t been skating much at all lately. The last time I skated much was October 2008, when I went out to California for a conference.  Various family issues, fear of re-injuring my knee, and crappy winter weather have all conspired to keep me off the board. I really don’t like indoor skating.

However, I am going to try getting back on the board this week. The weather has been nice, the knee is feeling good, and I miss my skateboarding friends a lot.

I’m also considering seriously weeding my longboard collection down to only the boards I really like to ride a lot, which would be about 3 boards. My Comet Voodoo downhill board, LibTech longboard, and my 40″ Comet (plus the backups of this deck). I might also keep the Fibreflex Funshape. The rest I’m thinking about selling. I don’t see a lot of purpose in having multiple hill-carving boards when I live in such a flat area. Kind of a shame, because there are so many new developments with downhill boards.

But who knows? Maybe I’ll just get more longboards and THEN whittle the collection down. I don’t have a lot of “vices”, so maybe a garage full of longboards and bikes isn’t such a bad thing.

I would like to find a good all-around longboard that’s in good shape. The 40″ Comet is good all-around, but it is falling apart. I’m thinking that one of the Skull Skate’s decks might be a good choice. I’ve been looking at the Flowmaster and the Casket, although the Casket is a bit longer. I think they’d both be good for general street skating, parks, etc. I’ve been looking at the Gravity 45″ Spoon Nose  for several years now, and I may order one as a “long” longboard. It has a nice 28″ wheelbase, which I came to enjoy on my 2nd longboard years ago.

The only thing that is a bummer about all these boards is that you can’t really use all the killer new large-diameter wheels on them. You need too many risers, and end up riding way off the ground. For these kinds of boards, I like to go no higher than a 65mm or 66mm wheel.

Anyway, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll sell some current stuff to finance new stuff.

Old longboarding pic...hey -- I don't have than many.
Old longboarding pic...hey -- I don't have that many.

Videos and Youtube

Last week a video I put on Youtube was blocked because I had about 1 minute of a Led Zeppelin song on it. I’m not going to discuss the whole issue of copyright, fair use, etc, here. I understand that Youtube is trying to make money and have a viable business model. It seems kind of pathetic, since my 1 minute video is nothing compared to the entire TV show episodes that are posted there.

Anyway, I’ll be hosting my own videos, on my own server, in Quicktime format, in the future.

In the meantime, here’s that little video (at least until my dispute is resolved against me!).

A little parking garage skating

Had a nice chance to finally test out my downhill/parking garage board yesterday. After meeting some friends at the Allen, Texas, skatepark Saturday morning, I joined them for a garage session in Dallas. I set this board up last year, but have just never gotten around to really riding it.

Garage Killer setup
Garage Killer setup
The board worked great. When I set this board up, I knew that to keep the board low I’d have to settle for some “smaller” diameter wheels. In this case 66mm. That is small for a downhill wheel. A lot of riders use 75mm or higher. But I really like the spoon-concave of Comet skateboards, and since their board (at the time) didn’t have wheel cutouts, I kept the size of the wheels down.

The construction of Comet boards keeps them nice and light, with a little bit of flex – not bouncy at all — to soak up some road vibration. The spoon concave gives you a little spot behind the front truck that is a lowered pocket — creates an incredibly stable, locked-in feel.

I set this board up with Randal-II 150mm trucks, with the rear hanger flipped for added stability. One thin riser under each truck. 66mm, 80a Retro ZigZags from Milehighskates.com. A real surprise has been the great, fast, an inexpensive Speedy Lunatic bearings. And of course some good bearing spacers. Unfortunately you can’t get the Comet Voodoo deck anymore, but the Comet Crystal Chalice is very similar.

So I was riding with my friend Blake, another longboarder, and several guys on shortboards with hard wheels. The shortboard guys were doing a lot of sliding. This wasn’t a high bust-factor garage, but if you are planning to go ninja-style in a garage, leave the hard wheels behind. Man, they are a lot louder than the softies.

A few bertleman slides

I’ve still got a little tendinitis in my knee, so I stayed home from Aikido last night. I took the Loaded Vanguard out and taped a few bertleman slides. Just for something to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDYKIYZpvjw

Also available in my VodPod widget, down on the right.

Longboard ditch skating

My friend Chris and I hit the Glenville ditch, here in Richardson, for a session last night. Being extremely manly, Chris managed to seperate one of the wheels from the truck on his newschool board, so I shared my longboard with him. He’s a good longboarder, of course, so it was killer.

This was my first real attempt at skateboard photography with my new Canon SD750. The first shots were pretty blurry. Then I started using Auto mode, pre-focusing on the area I wanted to shoot, and then panning with the skater as he rode by. Pre-focusing reduced the shutter lag to almost zero, making it a lot easier to shoot. The result was a much clearer shot of the skater — pretty neat — good photos for a total beginner. Chris got some good shots of me too. Check out the rest by clicking here…

Funny, after so many years of longboarding, that 44″ board doesn’t feel or look that big.

Some downhill skateboard racing

This weekend in the cities of San Marcos and Austin, Texas, downhill skateboarding enthusiasts gathered for the 2007 Cold Fusion Sizzler, which included giant slalom and downhill speed events.

downhill racerHere is a link to some video from Saturday. If it looks like they were going fast, they were. Top speed was over 50 mph. For those who aren’t skaters out there, 25mph is fast enough on a skateboard to be scarey. Over 25 and you really need a good helmet and safety equipment. In the 35+ range most serious riders use a full motorcycle helmet. At speeds over 20 mph, there’s a phenomenon called “speed wobbles”. Your front and rears trucks hit a weird point there they sort of sync into a wobbling oscillation, which is scarey. Usually if you just stay calm you pass the particular speed range and get out of the wobbles. Of course, at those speeds you really can’t just jump off. Doing giant slalom on a 50 mph hill is very ballsy. So my point here is that these guys are “real men” – even the women.

Congrats to everyone, in particular Chris Doan, aka gorillabisuits, and Greg Stubbs, representing DFW.