A long, long time ago, I was a skateboarder. Probably started when I was about fifteen, skated until I was through art school. Possibly longer, I don’t clearly recall. I dabbled occasionally after that, but mostly my boards stayed packed away in corners of rooms, old skate bags, or even became art I hung on the wall.
I was never particularly good at street skating, though I went out a lot, had fun, and tried. I loved half pipes, and I skated a lot of them. I had a couple at my house (one, dangerously built in my low-ceiling basement), one in my yard (it was junked by another skater and half-ass resurrected at my house), and I’d skated several from other locals. The first skate park I ever skated was Bill Danforth’s in Dayton, Ohio. That was such a huge deal for me. My mom took me, and it was terrifying and brilliant. It changed me. I skated a park somewhere around Pittsburgh where an on/off boyfriend worked. I painted murals for free skate time at an indoor park in Janesville, Wisconsin. It was in Wisconsin that I pretty much mothballed my boards.
Then, years later, I moved to the UK. I debated whether to bring the skate gear with me, but it was such an important part of me, my history, my memories that I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I have it all because I’ve recently begun stripping down the parts and refreshing everything to skate again. Call it a mid-life crisis or return to more carefree times, but I’m about to pad up and drop into a half pipe for the first time in over fifteen years. I can’t wait. Well, I have to, as I’ve got parts coming for my main complete board, and a couple new pads as the cushioning foam has all but perished in my old ones… Suffice it to say, I shall most likely be skating again by the weekend.
Here’s a couple photos I dug out from “back in the day” – the day being somewhere around 1989. My closest skate buddies, Mark (L) and Chad (R) were in some of my senior photos, as you can see here. Mark is propped up by one of my own skateboards, one that is getting new hardware now. I’ve been in touch with them both this year (the wonders of Facebook) but this may be the first time they’ve seen this photo in more than a decade. The black and white photo is of me in my skater prime, sitting on a front porch. Chad – that’s your old house, isn’t it? (click photo to enlarge)
The final scrap of nostalgia for this post is a receipt from 1989 I found in my scrapbook. This is the same deck I’m skating now (along with the one in the senior photo). Wow. (Interestingly, the shop was interested in sponsoring me, but I think it was because the owner may have had a crush on me. He was cute, but I knew I wasn’t good enough to be sponsored.)
So, now I’m waiting for a few hardware bits to arrive in the post. I’ve got some new stuff already, and even a set of vintage wheels (new- old warehouse stock) from my “old school” era.
Here’s hoping I pick up where I left off, and that when I drop in on half pipe in Bude’s skatepark, that I nail it and don’t break any of these old bones. 😉