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.
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!
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.