If I’m going to go back to the Philly Freestyle contest in 2014, I guess now is the time to start thinking about my plan. Will I ride the longboard again? Will I go back to a shortboard? Will I do one run on each?
The truth is that I could probably go back to a normal freestyle board and do pretty well. I have enough reasonably good tricks to place well, and that would be very cool. On the other hand, I really like riding the longboard. It is challenging, and it is different. Even if other longboarders enter, it is unlikely they will skate in the same way I do.
I had a good time this year without placing. A number of people approached me after the contest to tell me they enjoyed my runs. That made me feel real good — I’d kind of rather be appreciated by a select few that dug by the many. Unless the many are all giving me money in appreciation of my skillz. Then the many would be really cool.
Now, when I eventually see the video of myself at this event, if I am just horrified by what I see I may change my mind, but as of right now I think I’m gonna stick with the longboard. I think there are enough good tricks I can adapt to the longboard that I can make it continue to work for me.
This past weekend in Philly was the most I’ve ever ridden the Small School 41″ Mega Freestyle deck before. It took a while, but I really started getting used to it. Took a while to find the wheelie sweet spot on the nose, as well as the right foot positioning for 360s and Space Walks on the tail. Once I figured that stuff out, it really became fun.
Besides the obvious difference of figuring out how to do tricks on a longer, heavier board, one thing I didn’t really consider is how much space it takes to do the moves. There were a few times I really had to rush. For instance, I had to rush getting my feet into position for a two-footed nose wheel, and as a result the wheelie wasn’t really that good. That’s a trick I can typically just lock in, and carve a nice smooth curve. So I need to remember that even with the relatively short 1-minute runs to not rush anything. I’d rather do 6 tricks well than 8 tricks crappily.
In the two days since I started writing this post, I’ve been thinking of and noting lots of ideas for tricks and footwork sequences on the longboard. While you can’t do the footwork as fast on the longboard, the extra wheelbase actually allows some footwork to be done better, as it give you a lot more room to move your feet.
So in the coming weeks I’ll start working on both my tricks and tweaking my setup a bit. Not much to be done with the setup, but I want to experiment with different wheels. I like the Bones STF — they are great and provide the perfect amount of slide for the board, but I am thinking about going to a slightly larger diameter. The taller wheels provide a little more consistent roll for doing wheelies. I’m not talking about a big difference – just going from 51mm to 54mm.