Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No really, I'm good at this.

I was taking the boys out for a quick (10 minutes before bedtime) trip to the little playground at church. The parking lot has just been re-paved and is a haven for youth of all ages. Tonight there were two young punks perfecting their skate tricks. J-Man got there first and said, "Hey! Nice trick!" when one of them landed on his ass. The other one said, "Thanks" and then they began studiously ignoring him. By the time I got close he was shouting BOO at them and looking for things to throw. I pointed him toward the playground and said, "Huh, I didn't know it was still cool to skate." Just to let them know that I too was once a terror of the asphalt and know what it means to shred... except they don't call it that anymore.

Not that I was particularly good at it way back in the day. Junior was real good at it back then, some of the guys he used to skate with are still out there winning competitions. I could just about string three tricks together on a good day, then my knees got too bad for it. But, I digress.

The great thing was to watch them "land" a trick. I use quotes there because what qualified as landing one was not what you would normally think of as being successful. It started out with a burst of speed on foot, charging across the lot. Then jumping on the board and paddling wildly like a back stroker to stay on. When the board slowed to a creep they would crouch way down, one of them would kind of paddle the ground with his hands. Then at the moment when it would require sophisticated measuring equipment to tell if they were still moving, they'd spring in the air, the board would flip over and if it landed on the wheels they would shout, "PERFECT!!!" whether they landed sideways and fell on their ass or not.

Suddenly I was back in my parents' living room wearing out the VCR backing up clips of Sean Sheffey. He would land these tremendous airs. He'd jump a fence or picnic table or something and just be up there all afternoon. Then at the very last second he'd throw in a little DE-lay shuvit just to let you know it was nothin. Or watch Mike Carroll land every trick in the book on a nose manual. And Rodney Mullen... words fail, I'm gettin all choked up here. Kids playing Tony Hawk on their PlayStations wish they could land that many tricks in a row. That's what kept us in parking lots till we were bruised and broken. We were trying to get to that place where we could glide around and make our boards do ballet with the ease that most people exhibit while leaning on a lamp post. Ah to be young and have time to waste again.

I found part of one of the Plan B vids we used to watch. Check this guy out. The track from Fu Schnickens is worth a click anyway. That part I was talking about is about 45 seconds in. He clears that fence and table and then right before he lands it (pop) little shuvit. Yeah... like nuttin.



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1 comment:

relevant tech said...

you got me watching Rodney Mullen videos