old school skateboarding

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Skateboarding part 4: protective gear- 1980s- present day. A Day at the Skate Park- my critiques.

Published August 15, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

I did it at the skate park. I was told to leave by some teenage d-bags that, “This is a boys only park, so get outta here.” This teenage boy’s brass balls snide remark irked me, for one. Secondly, it further goes without saying that skateboarding is still a “male” dominated past time and this will never change.

And third, it solidifies my previous feelings about this upcoming rude punk a$$ generation: they are raised by the internet, not their lousy parents. They have no respect, no morals, either.

Well, that’s just tough. I stayed and made my videos much to the irritation of those¬†morons aiming a hand-held megaphone that was equipped with police siren effects and other annoying ūüí©¬†.

I cursed under my breath as I did a few laps on an empty basketball court. The NOS Rector pads felt okay, flexibility in them¬†was amazing for being decades old. I didn’t put too much faith in my new¬†mass-produced Chinese¬†elbow pads since they do¬†shift on my elbows.

I watched those never-will-be¬†posers take their spills while attempting to grind rails, do verts on the metal half pipe portion. Ah, yes, the days of old– their skateboards went flying over the edge of the half pipes, but they never attempted to make a half-a-rat’s assets to practice, practice, practice their tricks. They just did it once, gave up and sauntered back to their picnic table.

Most of the time they¬†were glued to their phones, seldom looking (nor doing) anything else. Their skateboards scattered on the ground like spilled Legos. Never in arm’s reach, never sat upright, either.

No audible conversation at all amongst them. I found it odd that they were so pre-consumed by their cell phones and didn’t bother to provoke me anymore. One of the boys very lazily strode to the highest half pipe; put the megaphone on police siren aimed in my general direction and returned to his lazy pack. And this is¬†supposed to irritate me that I give up and leave? Ha! Such ineptness.

There was just too much immaturity running amuck that it made me wonder why I got out of bed on my day off? Oh, yeah, right. I wanted to test out my NOS gear, plus skateboard around (cruise) on my new deck to break it in more and see how it preforms on different concrete. Maybe pull a few front nose fakies. I never said I was ever going to attempt these with a devil-may-care attitude. I take my time, I take it slow since I know my limitations and don’t go beyond those unless I feel confident doing so.

My outing on this beautiful, albeit humid, sticky, gross heat of midday wasn’t all for naught. I brought my other “go-to” board “weeble wobble”. Yes, I will adjust those king pins to remedy this issue all skaters encounter. I’m still in my ‘shake down’ period right at the moment and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The best gear¬†I know and love will always be¬†Rector. It fits very¬†true to size and won’t shift. The size smalls run very small, mind you. This is fine by me, but may not work for¬†the next¬†person. My helmet probably pre-dates 1985, and it’s light weight. ¬†My gloves are all new old stock. I ditched my long board gloves since the size small/medium were WAY too big on my hands. I never wanted anything new again.

I made myself have fun on this hot day. ¬†I slid down the metal¬†half pipe;¬†remembering my¬†old practice runs from back in the day. The metal was screaming hot and on¬†bare skin… Ouchy! Woo-hoo!!! Alrighty then…

Keep in mind that the¬†city planners were idiots when this skate park was built. The metal half pipes can be ridden, however, its sheet metal meeting a not-so-level slab of concrete.¬†¬†The metal has a lot of ¬†questionable “give” and does produce a creepy, unsettling¬†loud ‘ping’ sound as the wheels make contact with its surface. So skateboarders beware. I say take caution when attempting to ride this to all skateboarders, not just newbies. I caution the seasoned, the intermediates, etc. There are no plywood half pipes. When I first took up skateboard 30 some odd years ago, I learned on plywood, even helped my oldest brother in the final construction phase of his first half pipe. It was a real learning experience, very grueling hard work, and once completed– very scary, yet exciting and exhilarating to be the first to test it out.

Nowadays, I take my skateboarding¬†slow. I’m not¬†about to risk a bone fracture by skateboarding at break neck speed. My attempt at front nose¬†Fakies are taken with¬† cautious approaches. I’m there to¬†get the feel of both board, wheels, and terrain underneath my feet. What do I need to correct on the hardware, if any adjustments need to be made? That kind of assessment. And its all about having fun within one’s own ability.

I stood atop a massive slab of steep concrete that¬†jutted out of the pavement like¬†a pyramid with the point left unfinished. I’m not here to be grammatically correct with any skateboard terminology, by the way. I’m trying to¬†describe the skate park layout. There are tiny rails anchored into the pavement. I view it as another accident that could mangle beginner or even intermediate since they were placed too damn close to the proximity of each half pipe. I’m observing as a spectator and an old-school skater.

I watched the lazy punks take many spills. There popsicle decks¬†went skiddering, the wanna-be¬†skaters tripped head over heels every time. They skated poorly like something out of Skater 3, a video game. I wouldn’t¬†have even put them in a poser category nor even beginner. Perhaps a weekend warrior at best. ¬†There was no true form nor unique style all their own¬†that I could see. They sported tattoos and smoked¬†cigarettes. They rode¬†the half pipes with no zeal. There wasn’t even any ounce of passion. It was like bland nothing-ness. Almost giving off a ticked off message to the world that they didn’t want to skateboard, but did so anyway just out of boredom, perhaps.

It was like watching a dull skateboard follies without a laugh track nor any blooper sound effects. They just went up the half pipes without any real sense of feeling. There was none of this: “I’m awesome!” or “Look at me!” And¬†there was¬†zero¬†sense of “practice makes perfect” attitudes nor even any positive energy, either. To me, that was very odd. In my day teenagers couldn’t wait to out-best their friends or try to impress them, either. Teenagers of my generation took a tumble, jumped up, and kept trying it over and over again until they felt they got their tricks partially¬†correct to their liking. But I see none of this in today’s youth, nothing but this massive laziness boredom. And god-forbid if their Ipads or cellphones just quit working due to some cosmic solar interference, they’d have a snowflake meltdown and need to find their “safe” place.

Teenagers in my day would have thrown their non-working cell phone or Ipad¬†in the street and went on their way regardless of what caused it to quit working. They might have retrieved said device later if their parents made them, other than that, an 80’s teenager was vastly different to this generation. And I’m sure the generations of teenagers before my time might have taken similar approaches to modern technology, perhaps.

I didn’t detect angst, per se from the lazy teenage boys at the skate park. I mainly sensed it was for them just killing time between texting their friends, like something to do to pass the time before they had to head home¬†before another school day rolled around.

I wish I could have “shredded it” as one older male with long hair¬†cheered me on as I strode over to the skate park looking like a throwback of a typical early 80’s skateboarder. I gave the long-haired older dude a warm smile in return, nodding in approval,¬†and gave him a¬†‘thumbs up’. My old Rector gloves linger with the new leather scent, “fresh out of the bag” newness/ Saddle soap treatment. All is awesome applesauce on this day and I don’t let the snide remarks deter my determination to stay at the skate park. ūüôā

My old stock Rector pads lovingly shed their black lining like an affectionate cat. I remedied the sticky rub-off with non-GMO cornstarch and aluminum-free baking powder before I left the house. I figured it would also combat chaffing and sweat build-up.

I ignored the teenage village idiots seated at the picnic table. I practiced my falls, sliding on my knees, just having fun again that I hadn’t¬†got the chance to have¬†in many, many years.

I didn’t try any dismounts since I was putting the old pads through their first ever durability test runs. I felt no unpleasant jarring aftershocks striking concrete and metal. In fact, my knees were cushioned the whole time and comfortable.

Concrete though isn’t a good sliding surface, by the way with pads. The metal will scorch skin and that’s the only thing that burned. Otherwise, Rector pads get two thumbs up ūüĎć. And that’s my initial critique on the new old stock gear. I never tried out the Clawz gloves yet since these were probably first generation designed for the second generation of skateboarding in¬†1989-90. They were for¬†street skating, but do not have any full wrist support at all. The only minimal support (if one can call it¬†protection)¬†is a¬†Velcro wrist¬†wrap design. I used one Clawz glove¬†back in the day without a thought that there was really¬†no wrist protection at all. These were made of suede leather, minimal pads sewn on the palms, top leather with Clawz logo¬†sewn into the¬†glove. The Clawz logo is prone to cracking as with anything vintage and being thirty years old is to be expected.

Also, eBay is an excellent source to find a lot of vintage skateboard stuff at reasonable prices. Depending on the seller(s), they may even offer best offers and free shipping within the United States. Hope this helps. I’d also include Amazon as another online buying source for skateboard related stuff, but I find that eBay is vast and has more to chose from.

Just a word of advice buying on eBay: always try to¬†review seller’s feedback rating. If they have a ton of negatives, I’d recommend shopping with another seller since you may (or might not) get the item(s) you purchased on there. And its a let down, believe me when the item you work hard for never shows up in the mail. It happened to me recently with a couple of rock n’ roll trading cards, although the seller was very quick to issue a refund, I was searching for the cards for last couple of years. So, it just a matter of buyer beware on eBay. It’s still a good place to find anything you a person could ever possibly want/need/ add to an existing collection, etc. The selling aspect would be saved for another blog entirely.

Thanks for liking, blogging, following and sharing. And please, stay tuned for more future posts from me when I can find the time to do so. Have a great day everybody and happy skateboarding! ūüôā

By the way, have any¬†skateboard related¬†questions? Please, feel free to send me a comment on here and I will be happy to respond to the best of my knowledge.¬† Mind you that¬†I don’t know a¬†whole lot¬†about how to do skateboard tricks and¬†I’m still learning myself even after all these years.¬†I have very minimal skateboard mechanics under my belt¬†(self-taught), but I do try. I am a¬†very old-school fashioned skateboarder though. ¬†ūüôā

 

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Skateboarding-part 1 1989-1990 experiences. The love ‚̧ԳŹ begins.

Published August 9, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

Well it’s been forever since I was able to publish on here like I used to. A lot has happened, and I do apologize if I haven’t kept up on comments, blogging about antiques, etc.

Since I last left off, I moved out of my little money pit. I’ve got a secure job, but it has its share of new stress. I’m not complaining. I love working. I enjoy staying late when asked. It helps my nest egg I just started on.

Oh, and my old passion has resurfaced with vigor; skateboarding.

Before I break out my tube socks, let me state: I’m from the old school. I graduated top in my class from “Hard knocks”. ūü§ď

No, I’m not a cement-eater, although I’ve had my fair share like the skateboarders before me, of taking their falls. One of the first things I learned at 12 years young was practicing taking falls, tumbling off of my [then] brand new fat lady Mark Gonzales mini-deck. My older sibling taught me fast that summer of 1989. I was the first crash test dummy to test out my sibling’s newly constructed plywood half pipe. It was a blast! I loved the half pipe once I got the hang of it. The many hours of practice… that was a grueling, tedious, exhausting experience, but by midnight going into the wee hours of the next day was worth it. Me and my new mini-Gonzales were both broke in. Ha! ūüėĀ

The most exciting experience I’d never be physically capable of attempting again was pulling off a mid-air twist, crouched on my board with my eyes partly closed likely from fear and this sudden rush of intense excitement at the same time.

The take off was very happenstance. I didn’t plan on pulling off this mid-air turn and minutes are actually seconds when me and my board went high up off the half pipe and that famous saying popped in my little head; “That’s one small step for man, one ¬†giant leap for mankind,”

I not only astounded my brother, but the two neighbor boys that came over the same day to ride the new half pipe. And in the process I managed to literally astound myself.

And clank! Clank! The new Bullet speed wheels came down hard with a fierce aftershock that rippled through my half pint frame violently. I landed safely and very carefully had to pry my tiny fingers from my new rib bones (grip rails) screwed onto the underside of the deck. Very shakily I stood up from my crouching position. I just pulled off an amazing feat; my new position was “crouching “. I dubbed my new trick; “the ballerina twirl”. I never again tried mid-air turns since I was half pipe skateboarding without proper protection, for one. Secondly, I went at it with no knee nor elbow pads. My brother’s skateboard gear was way too big on me. And I ditched the dirt bike helmet early on the same day after our first trial and error sessions.

You “drop in” on your parents…

I never called it “dropping in” when skating a half pipe . We called shoving off a “nose dive”, likely in reference to the aerial maneuvers of war planes from both past World Wars. We wanted something aggressive-sounding, very edgy and unique and the term, “nose dive” fit for me. The term “drop in” is a new term for another skateboarding era I’m not familiar with, although “drop in” does go far back to 1980, from what I’ve researched thus far. How the skateboard terminology skipped me is a mystery of this great universe.

“Protection in the beginning for my pint-sized self was…”

We had several test runs/ fittings since my older brother couldn’t find any child-size, nor even itty bitty adult-sized small skateboarding gear that wouldn’t be huge on me. ¬†And all he owned were adult large and XL Rector elbow and knee pads, no helmet to my recollection as these were considered “lame” back in the day to wear and you’d be laughed right off the half pipe. Helmets were cumbersome to don for hours at a time and the sweltering heat buildup would make you sweat a river. So we improvised before I ever took to the half pipe for the very first time.

My brother and I found one of my uncle’s dirt bike helmets: glitter red in color with a black diamond pattern, very late 1960’s/early 70’s design and style, but eh, this was the late 80’s: a time of “use what you can scrounge up”.

The blue glitter helmet of similar style and design was way too big for my tiny pin head. We found the helmets discarded in a shed of junk at my grandmother’s house. The lining was shot and rotted, cobwebs galore, we brushed those away and vaccumed out the selected helmet. This was a hoot! But my brother and I had such a blast during the final construction phase of his brand new first built half pipe. Oh, and the weather was sweltering hot! I don’t recall the heat index, but I chugged so many New York Seltzer peach-flavored sodas (the Dom Perrigon of all brands of soda pop in 1989-1990), that I swore I had a sugar high for the next week.

And us being typical improvising, clever kids, my brother took safety to a new level: we tried to use grandma’s favorite hot pads as a helmet liner. Well, we couldn’t lie although we tried. Grandma discovered what we were attempting to do outside, and she wasn’t happy that we outright lied ūü§•¬†about ‘borrowing’ her favorite hot pads as our first ever improvised helmet “padded” liners.

My initial reaction to the cumbersome dirt bike helmet: It bonks. The hot pads slid down obscuring my sights. I was blind. I can’t see my new Vision Gonzales mini-deck… help! ha, ha. I can feel the half pipe below my feet as I stumble around aimlessly like a blind-folded birthday kid ready to hit a pinata full of candy and other sweet goodies. My brother roared with laughter. He’d been skateboarding since 1986 and was all- too-used to the half pipes made of plywood. This was long before the invention of city skate parks which are, in my humble opinion, very poorly designed, not thoroughly planned out well at all, and the metal constructed half pipes in a skate park are death traps waiting to happen, and broken bones and other sustainable injuries to give skateboarding an even more notorious reputation.

It was no time like the present to break in my new Vision fat lady. My new skateboard deck plus the components (all bought separately) cost my dear brother a large amount of money to buy me for my 12th birthday gift. What I didn’t know at the time was that he let me choose all of the accessories, but never let on that I was selecting my very own special gift.

I knew nothing of skateboarding at 12 back in 1989, but I was a very fast learner. My thoughts back then were, “I’m a girl. I’ll get laughed at.”

“I’ll be the laughing stock when I do enter a public school setting and the kids find out I do skateboard.” The opposite to this was true. They were actually amazed, but I wasn’t laughed at until I moved to Podunk towns and attended public schools there.¬† I was a prior learning disability student with no freedom while in school. 1989 was the year that marked my official freedom at long last and I was ecstatic! ūüėĀ

We lived in restricted times in the late 80’s. The late 80’s were from my {then} kid memory: turbulent. We had some family strife brewing like a dark storm; the beginning that would test us religiously, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Was I ready for my adult responsibilities that lay ahead? Nope. I blazed my own trail. I rebelled silently through my skateboarding, I threw caution to the wind with old rock music that I happily adopted as “my own” in 1989.

I discovered Anthrax.¬† No… not the mad cow disease, Heaven’s no. The thrash band, Anthrax. State of Euphoria 1988 and Metallica And Justice For All 1989 became the sound tracks of our youth. I doubt the lot of us cared what our parents thought of it. We were trying to establish our own identities around this time frame. I wore my favorite pair of bleached out peach Converse high tops with silver duct tape holding the soles together. My shoe strings were a dirty neon yellow; faded and well loved. I refused to ditch my high tops for my 5th grade class picture and proudly showed them in the picture much to the photographer’s dismay and frustration with my stubbornness. I wore my black Swatch watch too. I was entering my “black attire” phase at 12. I loved black nail polish. Wet n’ Wild only made black nail polish. They didn’t make any black lipstick to my knowledge at 12.

Santa Cruz screaming hand is a new iconic figure, and one that years later, is never far from me. In my thirty years of skateboarding I’d never again find ¬†another fat lady mini-Vision Mark Gonzales like I first had at 12. And at 16 years old, I stupidly traded it for some rock music pinups. So me and my first skateboard traveled far. Wherever I went, it was my true companion. I rode the devil out of that skateboard. I had Independent trucks: riser pads Independent, White Powell Peralta rib bones, and turquoise grip tape covering fat lady’s scantily clad top ¬†image. It was censorship according to my mother or else she’d make me get rid of my new skateboard. ¬†My dear brother outfitted my new deck with Bullet Santa Cruz 66mm, 92 a speed wheels for both street and half pipe use. The bearings may have been made in West Germany, no frills, no awesome neon colors. Just plain silver shields. Abec rating was unknown to me. They got me to where I wanted to go… at snail pace speed. Ha, ha! ūüėĀūüôÉ

My mother preferred I didn’t skateboard. She constantly took it away (groundings were commonplace), and skateboard confiscation was no exception to a lot of 80’s parents. I didn’t yap on the telephone¬†so my mother ¬†couldn’t take away that privilege from me. Skateboarding was/ is still my passion. I never learned any tricks. I promised my mom I’d never Ollie, and never attempted it. I wasn’t good at skateboarding, I just did what came natural to me. I learned really quick how to skateboard on the sidewalk and sometimes, street whenever sidewalks weren’t there.

Sure, we all take a few spills given any physical activity. That’s how you learn. Thankfully I never broke a bone. I learned to take my falls. I’m sure I skinned my knees back in the day. I recall hurting myself far worse on an adult-sized mountain bike and seldom rode that. I preferred skateboarding to bicycling anyway.

Being a girl skateboarder in a male dominated pastime made me a loner. In public school I was a looser, a poser, a (______) fill in the blank with choice labels. But I was never a delicate snowflake, far from it. I was a little spitfire and something my straight laced peers didn’t identify with nor comprehend. That was fine by me. I never set out to rise to the level of “Miss Popular” in school. Yuck!

I liked skateboarding alone as a teenager. I didn’t like Chatty Cathys or jabber jaws following me. Just give me a stretch of even pavement and I could entertain myself for hours! Back in these days I never owned the luxury items; a skateboard helmet, good pair of gloves designed for high impact skateboarding simply because finding them in my small size was non-existent, for one. Two, no skateboard shops anywhere within a 100 mile radius of the Podunk towns I lived in, either.

I cherished my older brother’s hand-me-down right hand Clawz skateboard glove until the day came I traded it off along with my beloved Vision Gonzales fat lady mini-board. I’d never receive the chance to own a new old stock set of Clawz until 2018. And as fast as I could find them, I’d happily buy out the seller.

I discovered old stock Rector gear from 1977 made here in the USA and never wanted to don unbranded Chinese-made crap pads again.

The Riot Streetwear Rector 80’s gloves I tried recently (and love) passed many vigorous trials and errors I put them through on and off my skateboards. The Rector gear old stock from the 80’s gets high recommendations from me. They hold up well under normal skateboarding conditions.

1980’s Clawz gloves are very true to size and they are suede leather, minimal padded gloves, used for half pipes and street skateboarding. They are great for Fall skateboarding, and very useful gloves to own.

Rector gloves are extremely small. Sizes are accurate. I’d recommend ordering one or two sizes up. Rector street riot gloves come in finger-less variety and thumb protection. They are very versatile for other purposes like bicycling, weight lifting, hanging from monkey bars, etc.

My work nowadays is extremely hectic and stressful. I try to skateboard whenever I can nowadays. I’m still very passionate about skateboarding, however, I don’t readily agree with how the trend in skateboarding has become in the recent years as wrongly portrayed as this: “disrespect”, “break the law”, “skateboard out in the middle of a busy street near dusk wearing all black on a longboard” kind of scene that’s popular in my neck of the woods lately. I’ll stick to my tube socks and Rector gear, thanks very much. Yep, I’m a geek, but oh well. ūüôā

Stay tuned for another 1989-1990 skateboarding installment from my youth. Thank you! Comments always welcome. Take care fellow bloggers! ūüôā