I had a pretty good parking lot session yesterday. I did totally forget that the Mystic Weasel sequence starts from rolling backwards and carving, which now I feel dumb about. That is part of the trick.
I was riding an 8.25″ Mode popsicle shape. I boosted the trucks up with an additional 1/8″ riser, so I’m at 1/4″, and I put on some new 54mm wheels. I think my spins were better with the extra tail clearance. I’d like to go down to a 6″ tail. Or whatever. A tail that is about 1/2″ shorter.
The narrower Indy 149s spin much more easily than the 159s.
I have been thinking a lot about my 360 spins, trying to come up with adjustments to my body English to keep the tail from scraping so much, and to keep me from traveling so much horizontally. I decided to try putting my weight on my back heel, as I tend to dip the toes down too much, which causes both those problems to be worse. I think it helped quite a bit. If I could get used to moving my front foot further back on the board I think it would help too, by keep the tail further off the ground. Something to think about. I normally get about 6 spins, and sometimes nearly 8. Want to push this up to a regular 10.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about just riding and turning. I miss this hill. For over 10 years my friend and I could skate this 1/4 mile hill with no traffic at all after work and on weekends. The area was redeveloped a few years ago, which ruined it. The only real hill in town.
I go through different “moods” in skating. Sometimes I want to do tricks. Sometimes I want to do footwork. Sometimes I just – don’t – care about anything but rolling and flowing and getting that feeling that only skateboarding can provide.
Anyway, here is an old video I shot with my friend Chris Smith. Details of the boards are on the Vimeo page.
You’ll notice I stopped posting after my World Round Up run. This was because I switched back to a freestyle set up and wasn’t riding a longboard. The move to make this blog about skateboarding including all types and sizes of board makes sense. Why pigeonhole yourself into a set wheelbase or style of skating? Or if you are going to just longboard, why not be influenced by all different kinds of riding. Me? I skated the freestyle board for about a month, but this week I felt the pull of the long wheelbase call me, and I ended up switching over again. I was looking through my longboard stuff on instagram and, man, I like how that looks a lot. While I love how other skaters look on freestyle boards, I truly like my skating on a longer wheelbase (from an entirely aesthetic view).
All that said, while I am primarily freestyle skating, I have been thinking of getting out to a few ditches soon. In fact, I think you’ll notice skaters that skate a variety of terrains and “genres” of skating have a good style. Even if it freestyle meets street skating. Check out this pic of Steve Rocco that I stole from Bob who borrowed it from someone else:
Check out this video of Rocco skating freestyle:
Technically sound and able to throw down a late 70s inspired spinning slide in the middle of a run.
After some discussion, David and I have decided that this site and podcast are both just about skateboarding in general. Our personal journeys in skateboarding, whatever that might mean, rather than a dedicated longboarding podcast. We are both very much all-around skaters, and can’t contain ourselves anyway.
Besides the pandemic, it has been a horrible summer for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the oppressive Texas summer heat. I have less and less inclination to go out into it, but last week I did venture out about 7pm when the temp was only in the lower 90s. This week we are well above 102 in the afternoon, and I am thus staying inside. When it gets over 95, not only is it not fun at all but is well into the danger zone.
I’ve honestly not been on my longboards lately. I’ve been doing a lot of street skating, which for me is really more like freestyle, just on a bigger board.
BUT – truth is my longboarding isn’t that different from my other skating. The main difference is I do a lot more endovers and nose stuff on a shorter board. I feel like the years of longboarding have very much affected my approach to all skating. Most freestylers skate in straight lines. In fact if you look at modern street skating, it is very linear. Even skatepark design is very linear. Try going to skatepark and carving around, and watch the other 99% of people there get annoyed because they can’t figure out where you are going.
Anyway, longboarding to me is all about carving and turning. Skateboarding in-general has always been that way for me, but longboard riding for the last 20 years has very much made me aware of this tendency and given me greater appreciation of it.
So here are a few Instagram clips I’ve taken over the summer, just to prove that I have been skating. Draw your own conclusions!
Well, folks, here is my fifth place run from the World Round-Up Online Showdown. I think, for the only guy on a longboard, I did okay. If I’m honest, halfway through my run, the whole thing fell apart. I should have done a much wider variety of tricks, but I was more concerned with having a clean run than doing anything technical. Anyway, here is the run:
I’ve been depending on David to post things here and skate. Work has been busy, the heat has been hot, and 2020 continues to deliver unpleasantness and challenges that frankly have left me with little motivation to get out there and skate. We are determined to beat you, 2020, you son of a bitch. We will beat you.
Anyway, while it isn’t a longboard, I have ordered a 10.75″ wide Alva Aggression Fish deck and some 88a Alva Conicals (yellow). The board is 32″ long, has a 17″ wheelbase, and relatively short 4″ nose and 6.5″ tail. I will throw some 169s on it and some proper risers, and I think this will be quite a fun board to ride. I’m looking forward to it. Frankly, I’d have ordered the flatter oldschool fish if they’d had any, but think this board will be really fun. Its a board I’ve been looking at for a while, and frankly, I bought it to make myself feel better. Mindless consumerism to distract me from life’s difficulties. I’m good with that. I’m also looking forward to these wheels. I think they are going to rule.
I’m super proud of my partner here, David, for the massive progress he’s made on his freestyle longboard.
Anyway, when I get the new board set up I’ll try to get our and skate, and maybe shoot some video of myself flailing around.
Below is a picture of the three boards I ride most often right now. As you can see two of the decks are completely the same. However, one is set up with tkp trucks and the other with rkp trucks (slant and caliber respectively). As you can see, the wheelbase with the rkp trucks is clearly smaller than the tkp trucks. Yes, folks, wheelbase given on a deck isn’t really the wheelbase.It is, of course, the distance between the truck holes. A true wheelbase is the distance between hanger and hanger.
I have noticed that the deck set up with rkp trucks FEELS smaller than the truck with tkp trucks. When board walking I go into a wheelie on accident often and the the board feels much smaller than the other board. It is interesting to note in that I could easily have a deck several inches longer with a wheelbase of several more inches on the rkp deck to have the feel of the deck with tkp trucks.
Well, not so much a dilemma as a situation and not so much a situation as just another switch in bushings.
After feeling like I’ve talked smack about Bones bushings in both a podcast and a post. . .I’ve gone back to them in my freestyle/dancing hybrid longboard. Yep. I switched back.
You see, the week after I switched out bushings from Bones to Riptide I felt off. I felt off the whole week. I thought maybe skating seven days a week for over a month added into my other workout routines had made me tired. I thought maybe I needed to give my body a rest and promised myself that, after I finish getting ready for the Round-Up Online Showdown, I would take a few days off the board to rest.
And then I realized it wasn’t the weight lifting, running, cycling, and skating adding up to too much activity. I didn’t necessarily feel tired I was just skating as if I was tired. Nope. It was the change in bushings. Sure, the Riptide pump better. Sure, they return to center better (they are barrels after all). But they just didn’t feel right for this board. So, indeed, I am back on Bones Hardcore bushings once again. They are much better for the freestyle aspects of my skating on this board. However, I am about to throw these Riptides on another set up to see how they work. I think they might be just right for a non-freestyle related set up.