Saturday, October 30, 2010

When Skateboarding was fun

Do you remember when skateboarding was fun?  I do.  It was fun today. 

Funny think to think about why I skate.  I have spent more years on break from skating (I took about an 11 year break) than most kids today have even skated.

A little history.  The year 1984.  A kid begs his mom for 20 bucks to buy a "morray eel" skateboard from a friend.  Mom agrees and a slightly used, and very poor quality board is purchased.  That was it.  I was hooked.  At the time it is only me skating.  This may be crazy for others to think about but there were no other skaters in the entire apartment complex that I lived in.

After a few weeks my best friend got a skateboard.  Wow!  Now there are 2 skaters in my town.  We skate every day.  What tricks are we working on?  Mostly pushing and rolling over speed bumps without falling.  At this time I have never seen a video or a magazine.

One day it all changes.  I find a skateboard magazine at a store.  I learn that there is more possibility with skating than rolling over speed bumps.  Shortly after that I am skating downtown and I run into 2 other skaters.  They show me my first skate video ever, "The Search for Animal Chin".  I am blown away.  It is so much different to see moving videos instead of still photos from magazines.  Now there is a crew of skaters formed.  There are 3 of us skating regularly.  Slowly this crew grows into a town full of about 15 skaters. 

It is an amazing time.  Every skater you run into is instantly your best friend.  No cliques, not attitudes (other than F$ck authority), just becoming friends with anyone on a skateboard.  By this time I was actually progressing on a skateboard.  I have learned how to Ollie, started skating handrails (I did my first handrail at about 13 years of age (1987).  Skating is changing every day.  Around this time I move in with my dad and get ready to meet all new friends and start a new school.

I start a new school and am one of the few skaters in the school.  at this time in skating you are looked down on for skating.  You are not a cool kid (not that I would have been anyhow) for skating.  Over the next few years I meet several new friends and a whole new skate crew.  I also met a girl at this time, but somehow this did not keep me from skating.  It actually helped me along with skating as she fully supported me skating (and 22 years later still is psyched on me skating and supports it, although now I don't have to borrow money from her to buy boards).

So here I am, a young adolescent outcast in highschool, with 2 loves.  Skating and some girl from my neighborhood (who is now my wife).  I am more hooked on skating than ever.  I am skating every day and progressing all of the time.  I am very passionate with skating.  I am also very hard on myself with skating.  "Focused" boards are a regular occurrence.  Anger and masterfully linked vulgarities abound.  If I am having an off day you better watch out as boards will be flying.  Skating is still fun but now it is more of a drive to progress and learn.  Frustration is very high when tricks are not pulled first try. 

Skating continues to progress, I continue to skate every day and I continue to snap boards almost daily, either from skating or from anger.

A few years after high school I am still skating all of the time.  In June of 1994 I get married to that same girl from my neighborhood.  We go on a honeymoon to florida, and I even manage to get some sessions in during my honeymoon.  Now that is an understanding woman.

Shortly after this we meet a guy with a 7' mini ramp.  The catch is this guy rides bikes (yes, bikers and skaters used to get along, they just teamed up against rollerbladers).  One night during a party at this ramp I stepped on a bike.  For the next 11 years I am on a bike and do not skate at all.  Why did I start riding a bike?  It was like skating was in the beginning.  Something new, fresh, and a change.  I met alot of great friends while riding and learned that not everyone is a dick (as was cool in skating at the time).

Over time my family grew past my wife.  One by one kids appeared (we topped out at 3).  Now it was a whole new experience but this did not stop me from rinding, just presented new challenges to balance time.

Then one day my oldest child decided he wanted a skateboard.  Off to the store we went and bought him a board.  Quickly after messing around on his board I was hooked again.  The passion for skating had never left, it had just been killed by missing the point of why we skate.  FUN!

So when was skateboarding fun?  If it is not every day that you are skating then you are missing the point.


  1. Mr. Matt Simpson, Nice job and good back story. I relate to it well and also have a wife that is sympathetic to my other love. I got to skate in SF for our honeymoon. I've been skating since 85 and have never gone more than 14 days without riding my board unless I've been out with major injuries. I look forward to skating with you this week-end, all we need to do is bring our boards and the fun will flow.
    Your friend and fellow skater,
    Kevin Muente