Holy memory lane batman
[music | Ella Fitzgerald - They Can't Take That Away From Me]
Today another admin and I were (briefly) talking about how we're surprised either of us can walk because of skateboarding. He's some young punkass who would probably panic if someone threw him a vert skate and said "ride this, down that"...That's what I'm guessing anyway. So sit back and watch an old-timer pick shit out of his ear and tell you younguns how it used to be.
Back in the day, I lived here (you can't get an idea of how incredibly hilly it is right there unless you go like 3 kliks west), pretty much dead center of that thing. It was an area of no sidewalks, no handrails, no swimming pools, three TV stations, and to this day, evidently no Google Maps. What we did have was hills, lots of them. It was a straight 2 or 3 mile uphill drive (depending on your route) up this mountain to where we lived (I was clocked at 57mph on a mountain bike about 1/2 way down once. The guy got me at 57 about 1/3 mile before the spot that I lunched it on my way to school [6th grade] one day, I still have rad scars from that 20 years later). All any of us saw at the time were
Bones Brigade type vids of these smooth downhills where you could slide, and pools, and vert ramps. There was Per Werlinder (that video is sick), but he was about the only person anywhere you'd ever see riding these scrawny Freestyle sticks, all we could get were these 12 lbs. of maple vert decks, which is fine, because that's all anyone wanted.
You can see how close the front trucks are to the nose, and how flat and rounded the nose is, that's not too useful...
Some people had the Gator one, it was real popular but I think he went to jail without me ever having this deck, it's really easy to see that you have about 1U of space between the tip of the nose and the front truck drill holes:
This one I had, I think everyone did, turns out it should have been a Gator board, who knew...front trucks move back slightly:
You can see the nose turn up slightly on this Hassan deck. The last one I had, which is still in pretty good shape in my moms garage in Charlotte, is similar. Very wide deck, upturned nose, decent shape fer the grabbing, about 4" from nose to trucks.
- All eBay links to vintage decks except the Gator one, which is Wikipedia, which really sums up the era. 80's turn to 90's, Vert turns to Street, so he flips out and (presumably) kills the ex girlfriend he's been stalking forever.
-- Hopefully those eBay links work forever, in the event they don't, these decks are all many hundreds of dollars. I am completely blown away by that. I'm tempted to try and sell the one stick I have left and see what it brings. It's pretty beat, but I didn't wear the entire tail off...and it's got these RAD rails on it (maybe, maybe I got real and realized they were dumb)...
So we had these huge vert boards, and we had big hills, but not much else. So we naturally went down the hills. About twice a year someone would get really stupid, make it maybe 1/4->1/3 mile down one side of the mountain, realize he was going like 35, and bail for the trees, usually painfully.
Since everything that was cool was big vert, I took a stab at building a decent quarter pipe/launch ramp. Given my lack of access to masonite, and our poverty-line status, I had to substitute this weak fiber board, I hit that thing at warp 10 the first time, drilled my stick right through it and ate big pavement on the other side.
I ended up propping up anything I had on these cinder blocks in my basement for a transition and riding the walls with a makeshift mini ramp where I'd always be banging my head on the ceiling. In the winter time I was down there all the time. When we'd get ice storms I would head right for the driveway and ride down either on a full skate or just the deck to get some kind of idiot rush. Snowboards were about 2 years away from becoming much of anything, and about 4 years away from being allowed on any mountain I went to. To this day I've only ridden them twice. I got good in a hurry just to save my abs/tailbone.
Occasionally we'd end up in Wolfeboro (Oldest Resort Town in the US I'll have you know...jeez) where we had the elements of smooth pavement and one or two sidewalks/curbs. Luckily for my future progeny, none of us were retarded enough to think we could hit a handrail. We could never have gotten up that high anyway, I'm confident.
Pretty much skiing was the only option for real speed, real hight off obstacles and ultimately is why my knees and back are completely fucked, thanks to big bump skiing and GS racing.
Now get the HELL off my lawn.
Current Music? Yeah, nostalgia time. Pretty much any hardcore thrash skate stuff that I have and don't have to drag off tapes: