Every skateboard recounts a story, may it be used, snapped or even sealed and hanging on someone’s wall. This post is the first one (of three in total) in which I select one of my used decks and tell their story.
First, I will exhibit a board, that opened many gates in the skateboarding atmosphere for me. I learned a lot on it, not just tricks, but a valuable life lesson. The „Tom Penny Extremely Sorry Flip Pro Model“ (that’s a mouthful) was my first ever pro model deck and my first board from an American company. As someone who is from Europe, I only shredded European brands before, due to the cheaper cost.
I discovered this board online, and it caught my attention more than the others. Not because Tom Penny was on there, but because of the background. A fancy plant we all recognize. I didn’t smoke weed (and still don’t), but as a graphic, I found it to be very appealing. I proceeded to order it, alongside with a sheet of M.O.B. Grip.
Two days later, it arrived. I unwrapped it and discerned the purple top layer. I decided to do a creative grip job to showcase the color, but messed up. I had to remove the grip and get a new sheet. I chose to apply the new tape the regular way.
Sunday afternoon; we were skating an empty parking lot. As usual, I accompanied a magazine called „How to Skateboard“ (or something along those lines). It covered everything from learning to push all the way to nollie tres. As we were taking a quick break, I grabbed the mentioned magazine out of my bag and flipped through the pages. The beginner section for slides, caught my attention as I didn’t know any slide trick. The noseslide was the first trick covered there. I read through the guidance and thought that I could manage this maneuver easily.
The First Slide
Throughout the following week, I decided to revisit this spot to learn that noseslide. I threw way more wax on the curb than necessary. I was fearful of going fast, so I supposed that more wax means permitting me to approach the slide slower. After trying it again and again, I reinvestigated the pictures in the magazine and realized that the skater’s foot placement was way different than mine. Since an ollie wasn’t necessary to get my deck on the curb, I chose to place one foot entirely on the tail and the other one on the nose. Rolling up in the most awkward position ever, I slammed my nose onto the curb, slid for a few inches and rolled away somewhat smoothly. Too confused to react with any emotions, I popped up my board, checked the graphic on the nose, and saw a noseslide mark. That’s when I realized that I just did a “legit” noseslide.
Meanwhile, I decided to get one of those transportable flat bars, and the following Saturday evening, I took the rail out to the parking lot of the store, where my mother worked so she could drive me home after I’m done skating. Setting up the bar, I pictured myself boardsliding it and people cheering. I rolled up, ollied on it and bailed. I was terrified because I have seen people slipping out on boardslides and falling on the rail. „How embarrassing that would be,“ my 14-year-old self thought. I rolled up again with the speed of a snail, popped my board, got on the rail, slid less than two inches and got out of the boardslide, marking it my first one ever. I continued using this method as a way to practice and went faster and faster with each successful try. The horror-fail scenario that I’ve pictured earlier never occurred. Unfortunately, there weren’t any people cheering either.
The Defining Moments
My friends and I went to a local spot that was pretty popular for flat ground skaters back then. After arriving there, we met the other locals, and how else could it be? They’re laughing, having a good time and playing a game of S.K.A.T.E. with tricks that I couldn’t even name. A few hours into shredding that spot, I decided to do a game with my buddy who was slightly under my level of skateboarding tricks.
I’ve got K. while he’s at T. I decided that I should go for a trick, I’ve been practicing for a while but never landed. A skill as legendary as the man who invented it in 1982. The Kickflip. I set up my feet, popped, flicked, and toe-dragged. Re-do. „Now or never,“ I thought. I popped, flicked, landed. My opponents face turned into a smile, as I ran up to him cheering like a kid on Christmas morning. This indeed was one of the most memorable moments I’ve ever experienced in my life.
A few days later, I chose to also get it fakie. How challenging could it be? After not landing it clean for a while, I decided to jump higher and keep my feet closer together for the landing. This resulted in me, flipping the already abused board around, landing with both feet in the dead center of the board and ultimately snapping the board in half.
I learned to slide on this deck, landed my first kickflip and had a snap end its life. It made me feel like I was finally a „real skater.“ It’s kind of ridiculous thinking about it now, but that’s how I felt.
You should never question yourself if you can do something because you can. Everything is just a matter of time, passion, attitude and soul.