I got my hour of rolling around in tonight. Just rolling around.
This pandemic and the various associated stressors that have come with it have really made me just want to roll and do simple things. I have no interest in “technical stuff” now, and even though there’s the online World Roundup coming up, I really don’t care. I’ll film some stuff, I’ll send it in — and that’s it. Just – don’t – care to stress out about getting a “good run” together.
One of my favorite skaters is this guy Stefan Albert, from Europe. He skates like I would if I were younger and prettier. It’s alway funny to see his lines, because they are very much like the way I roll around when I’m just kind of letting the board roll and seeing where it goes when I start spinning.
Anyway, here’s the same line, twice. Backside slide to fakie to fakie 540 rolling it out a long way, into an endover or two while I think about what comes next. I like doing the fakie 540 like this, because there is enough energy to sling myself out of it with some momentum.
Took the Mode Pool board, which I’ve decided is a little better for my weird freestyle influenced version of street skating, to my oldest skate spot and just let the GoPro record a bunch of stuff. Not crazy about the fisheye effect and the way it makes distant stuff look even more distant, but it gets the job done. After about an hour the school district cop rolled up and told me the entire grounds of the school are closed, so I saluted and said very good sir, and was on my way. I’d gotten my skate in, and really, I’m not gonna win that argument. I mean, there I am in an otherwise empty parking lot, but how can she tell all the dumbasses on the playground to leave and not tell me the same thing? Well, she can’t. So off I went.
By the way – for hard wheel skating, there’s just no reason to buy anything but Bones STF.
Nothing mind boggling here – just sharing ’cause that’s how we pandemic.
Looks pretty good if you go to full screen on the vid.
Went back to my spot tonight and rolled around. My friend Paul and his son were having a session at the same time, so we traded videos and had a cybersession. Man, Paul is quality. Paul — I love you man.
Anyway, here’s me farting around again. Probably more than anyone needs to see of this, but what the heck.
As the pandemic isolation and working from home continues, the days and weeks are blending together. It seems like only yesterday we started this, yet simultaneously it feels like forever. Like one long day. Looks like I’ve likely got another month of telecommuting, which is fine with me. No desire to go be around the public right now. Maybe never much of desire again, actually, unless they really find a vaccine to this virus.
I see a lot of people online saying the death rate “isn’t really that high.” They seem oblivious to the fact that where this thing gets bad the hospital fill up, the medical staff gets sick, and right there you have real problem regardless how many Covid-19 patients die. And a lot will die. But do you really want to go to the ER with stroke, or heart attack, or need cancer treatment, or whatever, only to find the hospital totally full of people that there is no place for you? Or your loved one? Or your neighbor?
So yeah, this is the rant I refrain from posting on social media 20 times per day. Instead, I block the stupids and move on.
I haven’t gotten out to skate the last couple of nights. Will try again tonight. The weather is fantastic today, but of course I’ll be working until 6pm. Probably just as well. I’m an evening skater anyway.
I’ve been trying to get out and roll around about an hour a day. Usually from 7pm – 8pm. Earlier and the sun is in my eyes.
I’m not really doing anything hard. As long as I get some rolling in, and I’m used to the feel of my board, I’m good. Nothing serious. Just riding a street board with somewhat turny trucks. The looseness of the truck doesn’t make footwork easy, but I like being able to carve a nice arc when I’d skating like this.
One thing I don’t enjoy in my typical freestyle is that I think the necessary tightness of the trucks (and I don’t even ride them as tight as a lot of FSers do) destroys a lot of my fluidity and looseness. And those are two traits of my own skating that I think are OK. I’m not great at technical stuff, and I’m not a huge risk-taking badass. Of all the stuff I do in this little video, my favorite thing is the little arc I carve after that first line, as I’m passing by the camera. I really need to slowly loosen up my FS trucks a bit so I can get that same effect.
Just rolling around. Getting used to this board. Cockfight likes a more severe concave and nose/tail angles than I really prefer, but I do like the board. Just makes it hard for the freestyler to move his feet around. I don’t get this desire to have your feet all locked in. Anyway, hope everyone is well. Just posting this stuff to try to stay connected.
Like many obsessive skateboarders of my generation I spend a lot of time ruminating over my gear, even though it makes very little difference as to how I actually skate. Time on the board, rolling, skating, and yes…practicing, make the most difference. A lot of skaters don’t really practice. They just go skate, which of course creates “practice”, but they don’t really do it in a real intentional way. Freestylers do, however, practice. I think the really good vert skaters do too. Maybe a few street skaters do, but generally freestylers and vert skater are not the kind of people who dabble in things.
Anyway, regarding compulsive equipment worrying. I tend to think a lot about wheels. I complain that there aren’t enough wheels available in the lower 90s durometers. But then for most of my street skating I end up going back to hard wheels. I guess I’ve gotten used to them. I wouldn’t use them in most of the ditches down in Austin, but for the kind of skating I do around here they have become normal to me. I’ve been using some plain old Spitfire Bigheads for ditch skating and street for a while. They are not the best quality urethane, but they are cheap, and for some reason I like the particular “clunk” they make when they hit the ground. They are relatively smooth for a 99a wheel. Are they the best performance wheel? No, not even close. They are usually adequate for my needs.
However, I’m a big fan of Bones Street Tech formula. I was clued into these by a friend in North Carolina on a skate trip back in about 2007. I started using their 54mm standard profile, and I have to say they are the best newschool hard wheels I’ve had. They are hard as shit, but weirdly also resilient, and have a smooth ride. I’ve honestly never had a bad Powell wheel. They make their own wheels, and they’ve been doing it a long time, and every wheel they’ve ever made has been great in its intended niche. These STF just don’t wear down much at all!
Here’s my current set, that I’ve been riding for over two years. These look better after two years than a typical wheel does in a week. And I am hard on wheels. My boards last forever, but if a wheel isn’t durable I wear ’em out fast. I do lots of sliding.
Bones 54mm STF after at least two years of riding.
Bones 54mm STF after at least two years of riding.
Brand new set of Bones 54mm STF.
For comparison, here is a brand new set I got a year ago, but have had no reason to start using! Weird thing is, these wheels just look like plastic. When you get them they have that look of a toy story boards’s wheels, but they are just superior.
I have friends who swear by the Spitfire Formula 4 wheels, and I believe them. I’m sure they are fantastic, but man, I feel like I’m about done buying anything but Bones STF. The only drawback is they make fewer of their profiles about 54mm. But That’s fine. These work for me.
So I was out “street skating” tonight. New board tonight. I like it. Anyway, I notice this particular little thing I do. And when I say “noticed”, I mean I’ve been doing this forever, but never really thought about what is going on. It’s such a little move, but it has a nice feel to it. Lots of directional changes.
Anyway, I slowed it down in this video.
Anyway, rolling forward, I set up like I’m going to do a g-turn, and you can actually see that the front trucks does make a very quick little arc, rather than just being an endover. That’s why I like doing this, I realized, because it sets up some physics where you kind of “sling” yourself out of it. Not saying it’s awesome, but it is a fun thing to me.
Yesterday I started a 3-time per week internet radio show. Radio Lefty.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:30 is the second show. They are an hour long. I’m taking a late lunch on MWF so y’all can eat, then I’m eating and “spinning records”. Just an effort to have some fun and connect with friends during this pandemic and the associated isolation.
You can listen here, or get on mixlr.com and have fun in the attached chat room.
My plans for bank skating were ruined yesterday when I got to the little ditch I’ve been skating for 41 years. There was water running from one of the alleys that run on either side running into the ditch. This has never happened before.
This was my first trip to the ditch since they rebuilt the alleys last year. The edge of the alley has been rounded and lowered a bit, so that water now flows right into the ditch, rather than into the street. I suspect that during the summer, given the Texas proclivity for washing cars and watering lawns, it will be very hard to find the ditch dry from here on out.
I must admit that this very much soured my mood.
But that’s life as a skateboarder. Spots come and go. Even long running spots like this one eventually get ruined or outright destroyed. The skateboarder’s mind must be adaptable, and it is.
Here’s a goofy thing I made after leaving the ditch. I didn’t really skate well after the mental assault of my ditch being messed up, but whatever. The mission goes on.
‘Cause I got my own world to live through and uh
And I ain’t gonna copy you
This is the first in a series of posts I’ll probably abandon after I do a couple and forget about the series. In this series, I will list a few skateboard tricks in each post that I am working on. Might be sequences too. You may now know what they are, because I do lots of weird moves that don’t really have names. I suspect that Tony Gale might figure them out. Anyway, here we go.
Today – bank skating moves. I love bank skating. I’m partial to big, flat banks, where I can spin and slide and whatnot.
Backside carving Walk Around to fakie
Frontside carving Turn-In to fakie
Frontside slide to fakie to 1-footed fakie 360
Carving backside 180 slide into backside 540 spin
That’s it. Hoping to get out to the little ditch I skate and try these today.
During this work at home phase of my life, we’ve been getting up and going for a walk first thing. Since I’m sitting on my brains most of the day, it’s nice to get the blood circulating first thing.
Today rather than just walking around the neighborhood, we drove up to the campus of UT Dallas, a couple of miles up the street. We got a good walk, and I actually jogged a couple of times. I have to say, I understand why people have a hard time “getting in shape”. At first it felt HORRIBLE. Now, I’m just a little bit overweight. Not horrible, but not lean. I have two physical things I like to do, skateboarding and aikido. So exercise is just an unintended consequence of doing the things I enjoy. But neither is really great for cardio, and if you haven’t run in a long time, it is kind of jarring. If you are overweight at all, you notice the movement of the flab on your gut. It’s disgusting. And it’s crazy how middle-age hits. All of a sudden you just don’t have the cardio you once did.
So we were walking and we’d pick a short section and say “jog to the stop sign. After the first couple such intervals the jogging felt a bit bit less horrible. Is it really possible to forget how to run and have to relearn it? I guess it must be.
Anyway, that’s what we did this morning. The walking in the morning is good. I kind of like it. I doubt I’ll really start “running”. I did that years ago, made great progress, and after a few months developed iliotibial band syndrome. I stopped running, let the symptoms die down, and started running again, and it came right back. No amount of stretching kept it at bay. It’s pretty painful.
I hate that there is a pandemic, and I really hate that people are suffering, and dying, and that people can’t work. I hate it.
But I have to say, I like working from home. I get a lot done. I like being able to walk to the front of the house and see my wife during the day. I like not having to spend nearly an hour of my day in the car. I like being at home, not eating any restaurant food, losing a lot of my gut already. I like getting up, going for a walk with my wife instead of having to drive to work, and then going for another walk in the evening instead of having to drive home. I do miss my colleagues. I love my profession, and I’m proud to be part of it, and the people I work with are of the highest quality. I miss my Aikido dojo, getting together in-person with my gaming group, skating with a friend or two from time to time, and being able to go to the store without wanting everyone else in the store to disappear (I’ve only been once — we are doing grocery curbside pickup — pop the trunk and they put the stuff in. No contact).
I miss these things, but there are some parts of this lifestyle, as noted, that aren’t too bad. It stinks that we have to have people getting sick and dying to rediscover our lives, and realize that we’re being run ragged most every day of our adult lives.
I think the republicans are seriously afraid that people might enjoy having a lot of their life back, and that people might suddenly understand that 75% of the shit they are buying isn’t needed or really of any value at all.
Haven’t posted here a lot lately, as I’ve not gotten a lot of freestyle in so far this year. I did manage to get to Florida at the end of February, right before the Covid-19 shit hit the fan, and skated with my friend Terry Synnott for three days. It was super fun and good to be back on the freestyle board. Looking forward to building on my freestyle this year, in total solitude and isolation, of course.
Also, since the World Freestyle Roundup was cancelled and they replaced it with an online event due to the pandemic, I entered, and I’m representing Mexico. My wife’s family is from there, and I love Mexico. So they are represented.