Ironicaly my trip to the Golden state at the end of the summer has resulted in fairly severe slackening of my motivation to skate. The quality of the terrain in the UK is the issue. The last pool I skated in the states was this one (below). Eleven feet deep, perfect transitions , silky surfaces and pool coping. I left my favourite skateboard here due to fuzzy headed exhaustion but looking back I can n’t help but feel this was prophetic.
There are no pools or bowls that come close in comparison in the UK. The combi bowl at Shoreham is the nearest in terms of quality and dimensions by some distance.I think a few months out will do me me some good.Boarding on water will as always be my escape and focus.Come on Huey the hyped ‘hurricane’ has only sent some wind blown unsurfable waves. We know here is more in your locker!
This evening I thought about frontside smith grinds. That was it though, I just contemplated executing one of the more stylish manoeuvres in the staple of skateboarding. As soon as I approached the coping a familiar force field pushed me back safely inside the Rock Park bowl. It’s a strong force field , in fact it acts on me when I try pretty much any trick in this bowl.
One of the few moves that I can still call on is the one shown to some affect above. No longer a legitimate trick to most, the back side nose grab somehow retains (for me at least) the whisper of a surf/ skate style that is now more familiar in the water than on concrete.
It’s amazing that there are boarders out there now that can do stuff in the water and on wheels that my imagination could not even configure on the back of a text book years ago. Jon Florence is at the apex of the boarding polymath pyramid (do n’t try to say that with your mouth full:Ed).
It’s hard not to view him as the ultimate progeny of the Tony Alva, Jay Adams,Wally Inouye, Larry Bertleman, Buttons and Christian Fletcher surfer/ skater family tree. The rate of progression in surfing in particular will really kick on.
Mike and I had a good session at a miraculously dry and sunny Rock Park yesterday. There were no boundaries broken (and no bones:Ed), no new manoeuvres, no extensions to existing abilities and a good time was had. We chatted to Mikes mate who had brought his kids down to play on their scooters. He is an ex skater of some ability but has for one reason or another let it go. At one point his son exclaimed, in the way that only the innocent can.
”Dad, you should hang your head in shame”
He meant that his Dad was not participating or giving it a go. Of course by the time the boy starts to approach teen age years he will have changed his attitude and will just thank the lord inwardly that his father is not embarrassing him. Nevertheless, from out of the mouths of babes and all that. The cherub has a point.
You have to keep on doing the stuff the drives your mojo. The alternative is not to do it and to let the mojo wither and die.
TA (Tony Alva-pictured above) skates and surfs still with aplomb into his mid fifties and beyond. Probably not an ideal role model in lots of ways but I would guess that his mojo fires pretty well. I’m taking mine to XC in Hemel next weekend.
This blog will just have to keep on rolling, now where did I put that mojo?
A New Year dawns. What will it hold? There are heaps of things that I hope for but I will put in a plea to the Boarding God for no more injuries for a while, please.
I have always been lucky in this respect, at least until 16 months ago. Jumps off rocky platforms into some unpromising situations used to be my stock in trade. Whilst more than one board suffered the consequences of this approach, I paddled away unscathed countless times. My luck ran out September before last in Southwest France. On the penultimate day of our holiday I messed around in a shallow bowl somewhere near Bayonne. My foot slipped off the back kick and the result was ripped knee ligaments. I was side-lined for a good portion of 2010s autumn swells and of course skating. By the Christmas period though I was fit again. We ventured up Codden Hill on our mountain bikes in the snow. I took a small launch off a drop and landed in a snow drift. The result was that the bike stopped when the wheels touched the snow drift below but I maintained my trajectory. I partially dislocated my collar bone. Late February saw a return to the water but in truth I have been left with depleted paddle power. March saw me skating again. A snapped Achilles tendon soon put paid to this though. A snapped Achilles takes an eternity to resolve itself. The low point for me this summer was when I returned to the water on a kneeboard. It took me 30 minutes to hobble across the Croyde reef rocks from the Baggy Point car park. Finally. in September I had a coming together with a hot hatch whilst on my bike heading towards South Molton. This time though it was only some abrasions and a slightly tweaked leg.
From October onwards though my rehab work aided by Jane Cumming started to take effect. I am fit and rearing to go. So please no more injuries I have waves to surf, bowls to skate and trails to explore.
The answer to the title question of course is almost certainly yes but as far as I know he is still boarding with the style displayed above.