Pic via Pinterest, Unknown
Let me just get straight to the point of this blog post. I want to get a freestyle board.
There I said it, damn it. Wow. That felt great to say.
As I inch closer and closer to my 46th birthday, I've come to the realization that I will most likely NOT have a mid-life crisis. I think I'm in the clear. Maybe. Well, that is unless I do live to 100 and might possibly face one in the next 6 years. Odds are I am in the clear though. Whew.
With that being said, over the past few years I've had the sudden desire to own a freestyle board.
I've only ever ridden one maybe once or twice over the past few decades. It just was never a thing back in the day and my core crew never got into it either. In fact, I don't recall ever meeting a freestyle rider in the wild. Like never. Not one.
I only ever saw footage of Primo, Harris, Per, Mullen, etc. from the old Powell videos. And, more often than not, I would simply fast-forward past any freestyle (and vert -- that's changed over the years) footage on skate videos. No disrespect to the riders, I just wasn't into it, but I kind of am now.
Back in it's peak I was just too busy riding popsicle style boards and shredding all over town.
However, with nostalgia being such a hot thing these days it was only a matter of time until we started seeing all of the boards we loved and broke over the years make a return via reissues - including freestyle boards. And I want one.
I think I want to go with the Rodney Mullen, but am curious to see what's out there these days. I know there are some available and freestyle riders do exist.
How does one go about buying a freestyle board? I'm pretty sure the local shops aren't stacking inventory of them. Maybe only online?
Freestyling looks fun. And hard. And silly at the same time.
Rodney Mullen made it look so easy back in the day. He is/was so good that he was able to transition into regular size boards with no problem at all. Check out Rubbish Heap to see what I mean. The guy is a freak of nature and helped invent many of today's staple tricks.
What about you? You into freestyle? Have any tips or board recommendations? Am I having a mid-life crisis after all?
Please don't answer that last question. Not yet at least.
If you've been following my posts or podcast for a while now you know I am a big fan of vert. I could never skate vert (although I tried -- never dropped in), but I have a huge amount of respect for skaters who have the ability to fly through the air like it's nothing. With no fear. That feeling is something that I will never be able to experience outside of maybe video games or lucid dreams.
With that being said, I was very excited to see some new footage / contest from Banger in the Hanger. However, this event went down in Texas, where as I type this blog post, where they're currently are at 1 MILLION coronavirus cases and 20,278 deaths.
So before I even clicked PLAY I was already somewhat hesitant. Sure, this ramp is "outdoors-ish" as it has a huge hanger that is CAT 3 certified, but how were the skaters going to function. Would it be limited to 10 riders (or less) at a time? Would there be copious amounts of hand sanitizer and masks toss around. Would there be footage of at least one person showing some responsible acts of any kind?
The short answer is NOPE. No way in hell. Not at all. Nice try. Better luck next time.
The first video I watched was from Bucky Lasek's YouTube page "Buck Yeah" and right away I knew I was in for an interesting ride. Literally. He picked up his long-time friend, both not wearing masks, and proceeded on to the event.
I mean, giving Bucky all the benefit of doubt, I am going to assume that he was recently tested, as well as his friend, who had just flown into town. **Some sarcasm**
However, I guess I do have to give Bucky some credit as he did toss over some masks to his buddy about a minute into the video. It was awkward, but that would be the last time one would ever be seen throughout the entire 11 minute video.
Bucky parked and both made the trek to the huge vert ramp/hanger.
Bucky then went on to introduce many of his friends and some of the riders. There were kids of all ages, boys, girls, etc. I do have to say, at least everyone was wearing protective gear because nothing looks worse than vert footage without any pads or a helmet. I just looks weird to me. So golf claps to all the riders who showed up and represented proper! Don't skate vert without gear. It looks lame, okay.
But back to the video know and how my overall excitement went straight to disappointment. Now keep in mind I live in CA where our coronavirus cases are on a huge increase and spike now. As I type this we are now in stage PURPLE. What that really means I don't know because my family has been operating the exact same since MARCH. Sure, we've gone out and about, but nothing like I just witnessed go down in TX. What a strange site to see.
Much like when I lost my mind on episode 56 "Keep Calm and Stay Home" of the No Mongo Podcast I am getting close to another blow up soon. Maybe this post will help ease my brain a bit and calm me down.
What is it about skateboarders and coronavirus?
So many of us (not me) don't even believe it's real. Or have the thought that "It won't impact me", etc.
Why is that?
I truly want to know.
Does it just not apply to skateboarders? Are skateboarders immortal?
If you think about it not a lot of skateboarders have admitted to testing positive to the virus, but I'm sure there are a lot. Is there a big name rider that caught it?
I do know that many well-known skateboarding legends have gone on to post stupid shit like conspiracies or lame memes and get unfollowed by me though. So many did that.
Anyway. Being that we are going to easily be carrying this virus/pandemic over into the new year this concerns me greatly. Much like I bitched about way back in March, if everyone would have just joined together and hunkered down for three weeks or so this would have most likely not lasted until now. We are coming to the end of November and there is no end in sight. All because we just had to keep "sending it".
Seeing very well known pros like Bucky, Hawk, Hosoi, Staab, Tony Mag, and many more at this event not even attempting to pretend we are in the middle of a global crisis was disappointing. These pros have an opportunity to influence real change in the way skateboarders view the pandemic.
"Hey kids, be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands!" -- (not one pro)
Which one is going to eventually step up and lead by example?
If I think about it, I have seen some skaters wear masks over the past 8 months, but it's not a lot. Off the top of my head Shaun White and Chaz Ortiz come to mind. Other than that I'm drawing blanks. Sure, wearing a mask while skating sucks and many would say that it makes the footage or pics look lame, but if we don't get a handle on this virus we are going to see way more masks on film in the future.
Again, which one is going to eventually step up and lead by example? Is there someone that has that I may have missed?
I have a feeling that I will be waiting a long time. I'll be sure to not hold my breath underneath this mask.
Skateboarding changed my life.