WORDS Rachel “Bagels” Bruskoff ILLUSTRATION Kris Haro
What a time we live in; the world is at our fingertips! New technology is created daily. Since the dawn of skateboarding, innovations have flourished beyond anything ever imagined. Skateboards are no longer a simple piece of wood with metal wheels. Endless experimenting, innovating, and playing have opened the door to a range of new technology. As humans, we are always on the look for what is new—what can we can use as a tool next. It is important to understand that as we progress as a skate community, more and more new products and technology will be proffered for our use which will all aid in innovating tricks, testing new limits, and “sciencing” gear and products to new heights.
With the availability of such an expansive range of innovation the possibilities of one’s individual rider experience are endless. In the 1950s, when people were creating the craft of skateboarding, the ideas of what to ride all came straight from unprecedented thoughts; as they tried to recreate surfing on land. As skating flourished and more people jumped into it, countless innovations we’re applied, making pavement surfing more possible for all. Today, skating is no longer done with the bare minimum as we have advanced our technology to make the ride better and better—from simply cruising around on sidewalks to doing crazy tricks in the streets and bowls and going speeds excess of 50mph down mountain roads, our gear has opened the world of possibilities to every individual and riding preference.
As a generation, we are no longer ‘making due’; we are thriving. With this all being said, it is important to ride for yourself on something we love as individual skaters. It seems that with all the possibilities out there today, things are taken for granted at times. Everyone wants to say that they “ride for” a company to get free gear and exposure. With this being a wonderful thing to accomplish, it is not worth riding something you do not enjoy. Riding on a setup where you love every aspect of the feel is more rewarding than simply riding something for cash or attention. Finding that perfect setup, dialing it in, and becoming one with your board is such an amazing feeling. With the multitude of shared experience available at your fingertips via the web, finding a perfect setup for your unique riding style is more than possible. You can find info, test a hypothesis, play around with all the separate pieces of a setup, and ultimitly find what works for you individually, but best of all you can lean from the process of it.
A year or so after I jumped into downhill I was luckily to be granted the ability to test out some precision trucks, and it was an honor I held highly for 2 years. I loved them, but realized that I knew so little of the rider experiences out there in the world. But after traveling a bit—conversing with other riders—and seeing multiple shared experiences on the internet, I decided that I wanted to test out even more trucks and their particular innovations. I knew so little of truck options available and I wanted to dive into it in order to find a set of trucks I truly loved. I tested multiple options for months, trying new things and relearning the roads based on the trucks I tested. Now, I have settled on a new setup, something I truly feel comfortable with beneath my feet. In my search I have tweaked my bushings multiple times, I have played around with wheelbase options, and I have sorted through wheel options to understand what performs the best for my style of riding. A huge part of learning to ride comes from learning your specific set-up and how it works at a unit. Once you dial it all in, progressing becomes that much easier, and you can always keep learning and trying new things. As mentioned, the innovative and diverse range of gear available today makes it easier than ever for anyone—no matter the style of riding or terrain—to jump on a skateboard and fall in love.
As mentioned, loving what you ride makes skating a grander experience and it’s important to remember to ride for yourself and to find the best gear for you as an individual. These is so much innovative gear at our disposal and as time progresses and people keep innovating, more possibilities will become available to have an even greater ride. Exciting times! Keep experimenting, keep learning, keep riding, and keep having fun!