Posts from the “Spots” Category

Frontside Grinds

Posted on November 8, 2017

2017 has been, for me, the year of the frontside grind. Frontside grinds have been an obsession of mine for a while now and it’s been a very long and slow process to get them back. It took me more than four and half years and they are still not quite where I would like them to be. For me they are a benchmark trick, a delimiter. Like kickflips to street skating, frontside grinds on transition are something I think you must be able to do, to be considered a “true” skater.   I think I first formed this opinion during a visit to Baltimore several years ago. After skating the then new bowl in Hampden I stopped in at Vú, the local skate…

A Follow-Up With Marc

Posted on May 12, 2017

We had our first conversation over a year ago. Since then I broke my wrist, lost my nerve and then kind of came back. What has changed in skateboarding for you?   Right around the time we had that conversation I got really conscious of safety, especially head safety. I started wearing a helmet pretty regularly. I’ve hit my head three times, luckily with a helmet on every time. In December I went out…. It was a weird period after the election. I was so depressed and I remember going out about two weeks after, and I was like “Can I do this still? Am I shirking my duty as an American citizen by having fun?” It was that bad.   It was crappy…

2016

Posted on February 8, 2017

I was asked about an update, so here it is. This post was originally supposed to be about learning kickflips but that didn’t really work out as planned. After a month or two of trying them (which is shorter than it seems, it was less than an hour per week) I actually did land a few. Those were in the grass and sketchy though. Doing them while moving and on pavement… no way. My kickflips are rocket flipping, back foot catches with the front foot missing or touching down early most times. After hours of minor adjustments and no significant improvements I realized I was stuck and gave up. I decided I’d rather just skate than struggle.   So, instead of a triumphant “I…

Starting Again, Again

Posted on September 20, 2016

Starting to skate again after breaking my wrist was nowhere near as dramatic as the “Starting Again, Again” title implies. There isn’t actually all that much to write about. As I said in my last post, I was off of the board for almost exactly two months. I was supposed to wait three, so I eased back in to it during May with a few easy sessions at the mini ramp in Hoboken. By June I was back to skating once or twice a week. I’ve been skating regularly again for over three months now. I had to relearn some things and my consistency is worse but I didn’t really lose any tricks. I’ve actually learned a few things.   Even though my wrist…

Paying the Piper

Posted on April 28, 2016

I had high hopes for the spring of 2016.   I didn’t skate for most of the winter of 2013-14. Due to frequent snow and frigid temperatures, the roads were icy and the parks were buried until mid March. We took two trips that February to Garden Sk8, a now closed indoor park in New Jersey, but that was about it. The first time back skating Chelsea that spring was amazing, everyone was so happy to be outside. Those months off took their toll though. I was so unsteady on the board I slammed a few times just doing basic things and I lost a few tricks that winter that I have yet to get back.   During the winter of 2014-15, thanks to…

The Pied Piper Effect

Posted on November 17, 2015

Marc was one of my good friends in high school and a core member of my skate crew. He started skating again almost exactly one year ago. He now lives in Italy yet, despite the ocean between us, we talk nearly daily about skateboard related ephemera. He was the obvious choice when I decided that, instead of writing about it, I wanted to have a conversation about what it means to be an adult skateboarder. I’d like to thank him for all of his help in putting this together. It turned out better than I had hoped.   A few posts ago I wrote about how watching skate videos inspired me to start skating again. Where did your desire to start again came from?…

Chelsea

Posted on September 13, 2015

This post is coming in well late. Of course I have no real deadline but I’ve tried to keep to a roughly once a month schedule. I struggled with this one. Writing about the past is much easier for me than writing about the present. So let me start this off by rehashing a bit of skateboarding history. It has a point, I promise.   As I’ve discussed in many of my previous posts, skateboarding has gone through a number of different phases. The initial sidewalk surfing fad of the ‘60s faded quickly but rose again in the mid ‘70s, thanks largely to advances in equipment, such as the invention of the polyurethane wheel. Pioneers like the Z-Boys pushed skateboarding out of the streets…

Starting Again

Posted on June 22, 2015

After what was essentially a twenty-year hiatus, in the summer of 2012, at the age of 38, I began skateboarding again. Much like as with quitting, there is no easy answer as to why I decided to start again. I had not forgotten about skateboarding. The roar of wheels on the street (or the clack clack clack on the sidewalk) still instantly grabbed my attention. I still saw skate spots everywhere I went and I still watched skate videos online. During the latter half of the 2000s, that video viewing increased. If I had to choose one thing that inspired this, I would say it was the John Cardiel Epicly Later’d episodes. These came out in 2008 and were my first exposure to the…

Quitting

Posted on May 5, 2015

I moved to Philadelphia to attend college in August of 1992. By 1993 I had all but stopped skateboarding. If I had continued to skate, this post would most likely be called Philadelphia, or maybe even Love Park and it would be followed by a post called FDR. I have a fair amount of regret that this is not the case and that this is instead about quitting. It’s been hard to write, as there is no one reason I stopped skating, so I’ve tried to analyze the various contributing factors.   There were signs from fairly early on that I was losing interest in skateboarding. At some point in high school I stopped paying attention to what decks I rode. I remember my…

Towson & Lansdowne

Posted on February 18, 2015

Unlike the rest of my blog, this post is not about one specific spot, like the Ditch or Lutherville, or even thematically grouped, like launch ramps or mini ramps. It is instead about two very different places, Towson and Lansdowne, and two very different styles of skating, street and concrete flow parks. I had considered splitting this up in to two separate posts but decided to keep it together because I find the juxtaposition of these two places interesting. While they are quite dissimilar, what they have in common is that, in my last two years of high school, both of them were frequent destinations. Once we were old enough to drive many more spots opened up to us. We visited other backyard mini…

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