It's all about learning to board on Snö
My first words for you are ‘Ow, Ow, Ow’ as I continuously prod the bruise on my right fore-finger…its almost as if I think touching it will make it hurt less…I don’t its just a little like a fly to a fluorescent bulb…I just can’t help it… ‘Ow’
The cause of my ‘Ow’ is the bright idea I decided on to help me stem the eager and longing I’m experiencing as I wait to return to a snowboard. I’m really struggling to get back there (holidays are mainly to blame) and I need something to keep me occupied….so what did I choose a little surfing in glorious Devon… nah I chose skateboarding on the streets of South West London. Not as random as you may think, at the age of 12 or 13 I did a little free wheeling down the tarmac driveway of my friends drive…admittedly most of it was the skateboard ‘free-wheeling’ away from me with the skin from my knees and elbows left embedded in the stones for future SOCOs….but I’m older now I can take it!
‘Ow’ almost two days later and the bruise is getting worse and bigger…now I’ve decided I can stop poking it! OK so despite my moaning I’m actually enjoying skateboarding…I know the skillset required is relatively close and I’ve been tossing it over in my mind for a month or so. To be fair I’ve always kept an eye on the big names in the skating world since I found out who Tony Hawk was through Proskater back in 1999/2000 (whilst working stateside), I will admit to crying at the end of Lord’s of Dog Town and if I’m honest I knew Shaun White for skateboarding at the X-Games not snowboarding.
Getting kitted out
So learning to skateboard is not really like snowboarding, you’ve got to do it
yourself and get the equipment. A few weeks ago I did just that and purchased my first skateboard, skateboarding beginner specs are much more talked about than snowboarding, so it was much easier to get started, a little thank you goes to @skateasylum, for a speedy and friendly service. I also got noggin protection (@CycleSurgery if I throw a skateboarding strop I can at least still wear it for cycling) and some pads for my knees and wrist – I have a keen view of safety measures working with an Acute Neuro Rehab unit, equipment can’t prevent everything but I figure if there’s something between you and the object you hit – its gotta help a little. OK so the final purchase of two pairs of DCs from @magicseaweed technically wasn’t necessary but I needed some new ones!! All in all it was under £150 to get started including my shoes, so not that bad!
Another reason for all the gear… yes OK… I’m possibly approaching the ripe old age of 33 and not only am I not as fit as the younger generation and bruise more easily, I also still have to go to work and bloody knees with a shift dress ain’t gonna look too pretty whilst I walk around a hospital!
Slowly slowly…catchy monkey
I only fell off three times, two of which I’m blaming on the surface of the courtyard garden I have – its not tarmac but stone slabs and I kept hitting weeds in the cracks. Truth is I’m not quite brave enough to start skating on the street, nothing to do with cuts, bruise and grazes, more I’m ever so slightly intimidated by the young skateboarders I see around – damn they’re good. Not only that I also have visions of mortally wounding someone with my errant skateboard, man that thing can fly fast. When I have a little more control I will get out there on the street.
Poke, ‘Ow’, the bruise!
This will make you chuckle…this actually came from the protective equipment…I will admit the elbow pads are great I would be bleeding if it wasn’t for them, but the wrist guards – the plastic is so hard and inflexible it’s dug into my hand each time I fell (three times only!!!) and damn does that small bruise hurt. I did also incur bruises to my backside, calf and toe, but they are nothing like this one. I guess the fact it sits on my mouse hand and I work on computers all day doesn’t help, but why are the smaller ones always the more painful!
Does Skateboarding beat Snowboarding?
The answer to that for me is no, I’ll continue and practice, trying hard to get better, but its definitely more in aid of me improving my skill on the snow, I feel a little as if I have gone backwards (hopefully in order to go forwards) as I think most people hit a skateboard before they find the snow. Whereas I feel a little on the old side learning to snowboard at my age, I definitely feel old on a skateboard an should have kept it up all those years ago instead of stropping off at the first elbow and knee burns.
Another great part of snowboarding for me is cruising over the snow, for some reason I don’t quite fear it like a I do the ground beneath the skateboard and the rush you get when your gliding on the snow (and as you know I’m not that experienced), it’s definitely more like the feeling and thrill that kicks in when you catch a wave on a surfboard leaving you with a passion to want to feel it again.
I guess a skateboard is a lot more functional to me, less a toy, less of an experience, but I will admit it’s still quite fun and unpredictable and I will keep on bruising ass until I can get my soar bruised ass back on a snowboard.