Author Archives: Bob

Don’t start with freestyle

I’ve been hanging a bit on a Discord channel full of people new to freestyle skateboarding. In many cases they are new to skateboarding in general. I think it would be hard to actually enter skateboarding as a freestyler. The sad truth is that starting off as a freestyler, I don’t think people really learn to actually ride their boards. As a result, you get a lot of people who can do some tricks, but barely roll down the street. They lack the fundamental skills and comfort level you get from just growing up skating around your neighborhood. It would be very hard to learn, for example, Walk the Dog, if you can’t even kickturn both ways with control and confidence. Or even tic tac without looking like you are struggling for your life.

It is easy to learn “about” tricks and all sorts of stuff now, but I think it was better back when I started and you learned the very basics really well because it was all you knew about.

I try to be open-minded, but there is one thing of which I am absolutely sure and totally inflexible…and 100% correct.

Skateboarding is about actually riding the skateboard. Ultimately, if you can’t do anything but ride it well, that is enough. Everything else radiates from that core skill, so if you lack that skill, you are not going to be very good on your board.

So if you don’t start with freestyle, where do you start? Just loosen your trucks up a bit and ride around.

Lyrics

Actual lyrics from the Police song Reggatta de Blanc. Great song.

The Wikipedia entry for the recording of this album is amazing. Can you imagine anyone doing something so seat-of-the-pants now? Well, maybe, but still.   Following up a great album by going in with pretty much no new material and making this album?

Anyway, here’re those lyrics…

One, two, one, two, three, four
Bamba, arriba
Dos cervezas
Ay-yay-yay-yay
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha (where’s my echo?)
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Cha
Eeyo-eeyo-eeyoyo
Eeyo-eeyo-eeyoyo
Eeyo-eeyay, eyyayo
Eeyo-eeyay, eyyayo
Eeyo-eeyay, eyyayo
Eeyo-eeyay, eyyayo
Eeyo-eeyay
Eyyayo, eyyayo, eyyayo, eyyayo
Eeyay-yay-yay-yay-yay-yay-yay-yay
Yayo

Birthday Skate

Today was my birthday. Well, it was 57 years ago. I guess today is the day we celebrate my birthday. Anyway, I had a good day. Only three more years until the next scheduled colonoscopy, so I got that going for me.

As always I taped a few clips. I am still in my Pandemic Style mode. Parking lot with lots of little chunks of crap in it from recent work? Check. Gorgeous Texas sky with church steeple of the church were I got married in the background? Check. Sound of freeway? Check.

I have been listening to the Police a lot lately. Got album 1 on LP a couple of weeks ago with free MP3 download. I have album 3 on LP already, from 1982? Still sounds great. Waiting on album 2 in the mail. I had 1 and 2 on shitty cassette tape when I was in highschool. Those first 3 are genius. Not a massive fan of their work after that, though were were some great songs so I’ll probably procure those as well.  The music in these videos, amazingly, is from my big red blue tooth speaker. It is pretty incredible.

Anyway, here are some shots of me rolling around.

Pandemic Parking Lot

Well, I’ve not gotten a lot of skating in the last couple of weeks. Just too hot. It was only about 91 F this afternoon, so I went out about 5pm to the old parking lot.

Anyhoo, it was just a bunch of relaxing rolling around, not really worrying about learning anything or doing anything in particular.

Pandemic Parking Lot from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

More on skateboarding

My ex-brother-in-law works in “finance”. One line of business of his company involves buying or getting a controlling interest in companies that do lots of interesting things. Those companies might need capital or whatever. For example, they bought a boot company. A company that made cowboy boots. Really nice boots. I mean, these people LOVED boots. Boots is what they live for. Now, do you think McHuge Investco really cares about boots? If you said “sure, they probably LOVE boots” you should probably stop using crack.

And this is what happens when you add money scumbags, marketing scumbags, and scumbags-in-general to something like skateboarding. The abortion that was the Olympic street skating event is what results.

Skateboarding

I love skateboarding, but that’s not skateboarding.

That’s what I thought when I just watched some clips of the “street” skateboarding event from the 2021 Summer Olympics.

I have never seen skateboarding as boring, soulless, and lacking in flow. If this is all skateboarding is, I would throw all my stuff away immediately.

I Survived

Survived my first aikido practice since the start of the pandemic.

Felt good. I was not in as horrible condition as I feared. I’ve been having a nagging shoulder muscle pain and a weird muscular or ligament problem in my inner hip area for a few months. Nothing horrible, but just annoying. I think the hip thing is probably the result of a skateboarding slam I took when I was 21.  Things got stretched out real bad but no breaks. I think it probably healed up with some scarring, and now at 56 the bill has come due. Aikido has been keeping it from flaring up all these years. One practice and it is better.

I’m not going to jump to any conclusions, but I think I just need to keep up my practice to keep this stuff from being an issue. Clearly I am not the kind of person that is going to do the things outside of practice to keep things good. I am not really a fan of “exercise.” Exercise is just a side effect of the things I like to do. So there you go.

 

Reading

I’ve been spending my evenings reading recently. I tend to read in bursts. I’ll read 3 books, and then not read anything for 2 months. I made a decision not to allow social media, youtube, and all the rest steal my life from me. I’ll let books steal my life. Mostly science fiction. Mostly older science fiction. Mostly science fiction novels of less than 300 pages.

I’ll be honest. I don’t really miss the social media. I’m not totally avoiding it. I didn’t take the apps off my phone. I decided I should be able to exercise my human mind and will to simply read most of the time, rather than just dicking around on the internet.

It’s a better way to live.

In Praise of My Microphone

I’ve been doing podcasting for quite a few years now. Of the last 14 months or so I’ve been working from home, and my podcasting gear has proven a real asset. In particular, this relatively inexpensive microphone, the Audio Technica AT2020 USB.

I have a Rode Procaster as well. A nice dynamic mic that I run through some combination of a mixer, audio interface, and Cloud Lifter. It sounds really good. It’s a $250 mic, and requires all the rest to make it work.

That AT2020, frankly, sounds just as good. Actually, there’s always this little bit of line noise in the Procaster that is there regardless what the setup is. The AT2020 is just about silent. No appreciable noise at all.  Great mic. I’ve had it plugged in 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the last 14 months. Sounds fantastic.

Audio Technica AT2020 USB microphone.

 

Yet another skate video

It’s that time of the year. Non-horrible weather, nice long days. I’m skating as much as I can.

Been riding an 8.25″ street board with some freestyle adaptations, like a skid under the nose and the rectangle cut out of the grip tape in the middle, for footwork. For the stuff I’m doing right now it’s pretty good. I wouldn’t recommend it for classic freestyle with lots of board flips and whatnot, and I wouldn’t recommend it for footwork for a shorter skater because of the relatively long wheelbase, but for me and what I’m doing these days it feels good.

The second shot in this video is a little sequence I’m working on. Next thing is going to be cranking some speed out of the frontside 360 that changes the direction of the flow. Was thinking about it today, and realized that a simple change in posture will probably do the trick.

I know it seems kind of like “the old guy is just doing this easy shit because he doesn’t want to learn hard tricks anymore”, but that is not the case. This is what makes me happy now.

Session from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.