Thursday, February 12, 2009
In The Beginning...
So, Skateboarding, this was me in 1987. I was self taught, as were the kids in my neighborhood who first showed me a board, a "real board", one that I could actually put my hands on.
I mean I have seen a Skateboard prior to "starting". My brother had a little "red plastic thing" that I would ride about 5-10 feet across the front patio when I was 6 or 8 in Genoa, IL, I felt so accomplished just staying on that long.
We then moved to Oregon, IL when I was 9. I remember being at school, standing on the playground before & after, just in such amazement as I would watch these two brothers, one would ride his bike while pulling his brother behind him on a skateboard, a "real one". I dunno, prolly a Veriflix or something, They would just haul ass. I would go home and try to ride that little "plastic red thing" but it was so hard to keep your feet on because the thing was only like a foot long, never riding more than ten feet. Eventually I gave it up, but never forgot.
I would rather go ride my bike all around town with friends, ride through the forest by the river & go play in the ruins of some old building foundation that was in the middle of the forest & completely grown over, the only entrance was a hole at the base. It was weird, there was no door. The Burnouts loved it in there. Sometimes we would play around the trains tracks, there was some sort of freight depot there, or just hang out underneath the train bridge itself. There were these planks under the bridge placed across the beams like a 10" wide catwalk. We would just sit under there for hours and watch people fishing below & boats going by. Nobody knew we were there. It got kinda scary when a train go by overhead, but more of a rush. Very Loud. Oh yeah, Back to Skateboarding.
When we moved to St. Charles, IL in 1985, I had met some kids who rode boards around the neighborhood, they had wider & longer boards, much easier to stay on and move your feet, by the end of the summer of 1985 I was coasting the driveways and Cul De Sacs. I had never seen a skateboard magazine for the first six months to a year. I had no clue there was a movement/community/lifestyle. My first Magazine was the June 1986 Thrasher, yellow cover of Mike Vallely doing a Streetplant & a Metallica inset photo (this was my first introduction to them), Everything I & we learned in that first year of my Skateboarding was all out of our heads. Even if & when we had the magazines, it was still just pictures and words. We had to teach ourselves how to make it all work.
Of course, now there are instructional videos to make the whole thing go a little faster, but I personally think though that learning on your own helps you develop your own personal style and keeps you in the dark & not caring what is the Trick or Style Du Jour. It's more real and true. Once we all learned how to Ollie good, we just went up stuff, went 180 or 270 off door steps, We would do Board Slides to Fakie both ways because we didn't know how to come out of them on ledges and curbs yet, then eventually learning to pull out of our Boardslides both ways in the middle of the curb because that's all we had to work with, we didn't have curbs you could slide off of, you had to learn to come out early to land. We learned Hurricanes both ways by accident by trying to do Frontside & Backside 180 Ollies up our patio steps, learned Power Slides by accident because we were going to fast while trying to steer down. I started in 6th grade, the rest is History. Nice Ending.