WORDS John Kreutter PHOTOS Spencer Flaherty
If you live on the East Coast, you know how it is. When it starts getting cold around here, it get’s real cold. Which is not super helpful when you like to ride your skateboard everyday. In the colder months, when you get going any decent speed down a hill, the icy wind makes your eyes pour tears all down your face. When it snows here, a lot of people who live in the mountains tend to use traction chains on their car tires to get up and down the roads a bit easier. Due to these traction chains, the roads end up being extremely scraped up in places, and worn down in general. Usually, this leads to black tar or chipseal being put all over the roads in an attempt to patch them up for drivers. For skaters, this makes the roads even worse, but we’re used to such challenges and we make the best of it.
Urethane also tends to harden up in the cold, making wheels feel a lot more grippy. On top of the extra grippiness, there’s usually a fat layer of crushed shells spread on the road making sliding less controllable. And even as things do begin to thaw and the seasons change, most street spots are still covered in dirty snow left over from the past couple of times it fell—there’s always that pesky street salt in the mix too. What to do? What to do?
The above mentioned are all examples of the most lame things that go down when trying to skate hills in the colder months here, or even skate at all during the winter on the East Coast. That said, you can sit around, pout, and dwell on these winter challenges, but when it comes down to it it’s really up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to have fun shredding or simply just get bummed out. In times like this, It’s easy to step outside and say “It’s too cold”, and sometimes it really is. But I love to skate, so if it’s not under 30°F and there’s something I can find to get my wheels rolling on, I just go for it. I make sure to take every chance I get to hit indoor skateparks—like the one shown in the accompanying pics here captured during a recent session Spencer Flaherty and I took to Charm City Skatepark here in Maryland. If I didn’t skate everything (street, parks, hills, and whatever), skating would be so limited to me as an East Coaster. This isn’t an “oh it’s time for me to complain about how much I dislike winter” or how “I’m so jelly of all the Cali bros!” Ha, ha! Naw! But rather, this is a reminder to all the homies living in places with an actual real winter to not call the wambulance when the going get’s cold—if ya wanna go skate ya just gotta make it happen regardless of the challenges.
Signed with love,