While I’m sketchy on the actual dates I remember at least two summers where my feet were pretty much glued to this beast of a yellow skateboard:
It was heavier than the sun but super-stable and rad for being pulled along on by my dog, husky sledge-stylee. All my friends did the same so we must have looked like some crazy wannabe waterski troupe. No matter it was the best of times.
There were no skateparks back then, in my London-outskirts town at least, or other girls skating so at some point the board went to the childhood fad-section of my parents’ garage and suffered the indignity of hanging out with a rusty swingball set. It got unearthed recently when they moved house.
Since those heady days I’ve snowboarded and surfed a tonne, but save a few longboarding sessions in mountain towns (forgive me skate purists) I’ve barely touched a skateboard.
That said, I’m yet to walk through a long airport corridor, you know the shiny-floored ones in between passport control and the gates, without wishing I was on a skateboard.
As more and more London-based snowboarder friends have found, or in some cases re-found, skateboarding I’ve been feeling this dull yet persistent pull to give it a go.
But I couldn’t hit up a skatepark, I was intimidated enough by teenage boys when I was a teenager let alone now, so I was stoked when we got the chance to run these girls only sessions at the HTC One Skatepark Selfridges as it forced me to have a roll.
I fully loved it in a still grinning a week later kind of way. I was less shit than I expected and with a bit of Jenny Jones encouragement/fear of embarrassment in her presence was getting kick turns up the bank dialled, well ish anyway.
Though witnessing quite how hardcore and impressive Lucy Adams was reminded me of the massive gulf between the pros and normal people who just happen to skate.
So yes it has made me want to skate regularly and I’m lucky as I live in Brighton where Lucy Adams runs She Shredders but would I go to my local skatepark when there wasn’t a girls only session on? Probably not. Partly because I’m too rubbish still but also because I’m old in skatepark terms and a parent now.
The parent thing isn’t because I’m more scared of getting hurt nor is it about being worried about what people think. One of the best things about being over 30 is that you care way less about shit like that.
It’s more that I’m weary of tainting the skatepark space with my unhipness; making it a place that kids don’t want to play and depriving them of skateboarding, this really awesome thing.
Take my kids, for example, if we skate together as they get older, will they then turn against it as teenagers on principal and fall in love with I don’t know spreadsheets, just to spite me?
Do I have a responsibility to leave skateboarding for them to discover and love and own? But then I wouldn’t worry about that in snowboard or surf terms. And no kids would hate football just because his dad took him every week, unless his dad was a dick.
But then it somehow seems different for mums and skateboarding? Not that the dads don’t get shit too (here’s a good piece by Michael Brooke in Telegraph defending a father’s right to skate).
Perhaps I’m over-thinking it and maybe mums like Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins and Alex White and Eliana Sosco are giving parenthood better press and paving the way for motherhood and skating to be less of a dork thing. But then they also ride better than most guys.
As for not being good enough to be legit, is there anything radder than this clip of a 60-year old beginner dude and the quite obvious life-changing joy that skateboarding is bringing to his life? Via mpora.
Over to you guys, what do you think?