Learning to Skateboard


After recently watching Hak5 Darren travel around Oakland on a small electric skateboard, I instantly wanted to learn how.

I became a huge fan of rollerblading when it became the thing to do in the early 90’s. My buddies and I would skate any time we had the chance. Sophomore year, we even helped start the roller hockey team at our high school. So you can say that we loved skating and were fairly good at it.

Since we lived in Southern California, we had the opportunity to visit both the beach and the mountains in the same day. Whenever we head up to the snow, I’d always prefer to ski because it was so much closer to rollerblading than the new snowboarding craze was. Skateboarding not only carried a friendly-rivalry from it’s biggest fans, but was also something I couldn’t grasp the feel for. I’d step on the board and instantly fall on my ass.

Fast forward 20 years and a few YouTube videos later, I learned of a neat little thing called the “Penny Board.” These things are incredibly compact. They’re so small, in fact, that they can attach to your backpack while walking around town, work, or the airport. As excited as I was to learn of such a cool, new to me, method of transportation, I carry many years of falling anxiety in my brain.

So I bought one. Fuck it.

Today I am happy to announce that I am still in one piece and am fairly good at riding it. My wife wasn’t too impressed that I went from not being able to stand on the thing to pushing myself along and doing turns, in the short span of 15 minutes. Not only is this thing incredibly fun to ride, but it brings with it much opportunity for practice and improvement.

I plan on building a few boards to play with and will post updates here soon. The wood for the first two will arrive next Wednesday, so their construction will start shortly after. Perhaps I’ll bring my fancy camera along and take some decent photos. I’m not quite ready for video, but perhaps someday.

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