Times have changed since I was a skateboarder in the mid-1980s. Of course a lot of other things have changed too like Madonna is 56 years old, BMW makes electric cars, and cellphones aren’t the size of shoeboxes and are used mostly to play video games not make phone calls. Okay, so enough old man talking. Now what was I writing about?
Oh yeah, skateboarding…
Our house currently has four skateboards that do get some regular use including my original Powell & Peralta Mike McGill board and an electric first generation ZBoard Pro woody edition that goes 23 mph and up to 20 miles per charge.
The twins are still learning how to board since we bought them a board to share in late 2013 and last Christmas Oscar got his own board from Santa with fully light-up blue wheels from Sunset Skateboard Co. They are working on balance and pushing off. There’s mostly a lot of “butt boarding” going on, but they are trying and we’ve had more success with the skateboards than the bikes.
I love skateboarding. Back in middle school and high school I spent a lot of time watching the early Powell Peralta VHS videos with Mike McGill, Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, and many more. The recent 2012 documentary Bones Brigade captured a lot of my youth and brought back so many great memories like seeing Future Primitive with a bunch of friends crowded around a neighbor’s TV and then we’d go out try to copy what Lance Mountain did or ollie on a curb.
Some kids had quarter pipes and one kid had a half pipe in his backyard. The house was right behind the track of our middle school and we spent a lot of time there and at parks jumping off anything we could find. I used to be able to ollie onto a park bench and rail grind on the half pipe.
A few skate parks existed, but they were all in Southern California and I only went to one when visiting my grandparents back then since we lived in Portland, Oregon during my skateboarding years. The best times were street skating mixing in tricks while riding the streets of downtown Portland. I remember even entering a small competition that was held on the riverfront of Portland.
No one had put up signage about no skateboards back then, so everything was game. Sure we’d get some shop owner yelling at us or some pedestrians glaring at us as we went by, but no laws were in place and we were just having fun emulating what we saw in the skateboarding videos and Thrasher magazine!
Sunday, the same day as Father’s Day this year, is something called Go Skateboarding Day. I’ve honestly never heard of it, but thanks to the people at Hamboard Skateboards I was told all about it. Basically, it’s awareness just like any other National Such-and-Such Day.
In a skateboarding world that is now big money and on ESPN, it’s nice to hear of something as quaint as Skateboarding Day. It’s simply about getting out and enjoying the sport with friends or family. Not that I need another excuse to keep practicing skateboarding with my sons, so I’ll join in because I need the practice too as I’m still trying to return to my ollie onto a park bench days. It’s hard now because I weight a bit more than I did at 13…
Grab your skateboard and join us!