What advice do you have for a guy who still loves skateboarding as much as when he was 20, but his body is 35? I’m not content just doing push races, I want to continue to learn new slides, new mini ramp tricks, and reach new DH speeds, but my body isn’t allowing it due to the possibility of injury. In my mind I have not aged, until I look into a kids eyes who has never known a world without Facebook and realize. . . I’m getting old. Maybe start a team and live vicariously through them?
Longevity in skateboarding is something I’ve been thinking about recently too. I already can’t do certain things because it hurts too much. Being unable to do something because I don’t possess the skill is a feeling I am well accustomed to, but being unable to do something I used to be able to do because my ankle collapses (I’m looking at you, backside tailblocks) is genuinely the most frustrating thing in the world. There’s a couple of avenues I’ve been considering for the long game. Take all of this with a grain of salt, since I’m still just 22 and I haven’t been slapped in the face with harsh realities quite yet.
The first idea I’ve had is starting a skate shop or a little distro. Nothing too crazy, just get a business going. In today’s climate, however, that seems pretty difficult especially given the fact that there’s already a skate shop in every town, and online distributors offering free shipping most of the time. If you keep it small, keep it local, and keep it real, I’m sure you will find a customer base. I’m thinking like when Brian Petrie was pressing/selling decks out of his apartment, or when that homie in the projects across from the Brooklyn Banks (RIP) basically had a mini skate shop in his room. Offering something that they can’t get at a regular store would be crucial, even if it’s just your personality and friendship. This is where starting your team and living vicariously could come in too!
As far as actual skating goes, I’ve seen a lot of skaters get more into mini ramps, bowls, and street putting when they get older. Mini ramps are always fun, and no matter what kind of skating you’re into, you’re going to end up skating a mini ramp when you get older. That’s a fact. Bowl riding, in the sense of finding lines and finding speed is relatively low impact. I skate with some people in their 50s with blown out knees and bad backs who can still have a good time pumping around the bowl. No matter what though, there’s always slappies and no comply tricks to keep that smile on your face. When your body doesn’t allow you to skate the same way anymore, creativity can kick in and give you a second wind altogether.
Another idea is working somewhere in the skate industry so you stay involved with skating in some capacity. I don’t know how this works, and I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, but that’s living the dream, right? I’m open to advice about how to do that, because I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. If you love skating, and I know you do, you’ll be in it for the long haul in some way.
– Jamie (the fiend formerly known as Ed)
“Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist, keep on loving, keep on fighting.” – Pat the Bunny
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