Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting It Down - Skateboarding, Land Paddling

I have been skateboarding with my longboard skateboard for about a year now.  I had never tried to skateboard before, except for occasionally hoping on my little brothers board when I was younger and pushing a few times.  That being said, I feel I am the poster child for 'it's never too late'.  I am currently in my mid 30's and have bad knees but I have still managed to get relatively comfortable on my Loaded Tan Tien longboard.  My roommate and I will occasionally go for a ride down at our local park.  At first I was very unsteady on the board.  I started off by using the Kahuna Big Stick to push because I didn't think my knees would hold up pumping with my foot.

After a few months of using the Kahuna Big Stick, I was still not very comfortable on the board.  I would basically plant my feet on the deck and hope I didn't have to move them around too much.  One day, I decided to give pumping a try.  My knees were definitely sore after every session but I could feel my legs getting stronger.  In addition to gained leg strength, I was getting much more comfortable with shifting my feet around on the board.  This gave me more confidence with skating in crowded areas, a scenario I would have avoided in the past.  Once I got better at foot breaking, I was able to slow myself down without needing something like the Big Stick.

Yesterday I hit another milestone with skating.  My roommate is better than I am at the moment.  He skated when he was younger so his progress, comfort, and flow are beyond my level.  He is able to carve and take sharp corners.  I was still having trouble with these concepts, until yesterday.  I have always kept my trucks very tight because I did not want a lot of wobble.  I wanted the deck to be as stable as possible.  This was great for learning but has hindered me from carving and taking sharp corners up until now.  I loosened up my trucks and took it for a spin.  It was like a completely different board!  The fact that I was able to skate on a board with trucks that loose and still feel comfortable definitely told me that I have reached another level with my skating.  I look forward to going out again soon.


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