It’s been a while since I wrote about skating. I took it up because I wanted a physical activity that was rewarding, fun and physically demanding. Skateboarding delivered on all three counts and saved me from the horrors of gym membership.
In terms of progress, I haven’t really made much since I learned how to ollie. I’ve been trying to learn how to frontside 180, a variation on the ollie where you turn 180 degrees in the air. It’s taken me over a year and I think fundamentally I just don’t have a huge amount of talent, which has been frustrating. Skateboarding is hard, if you watch somebody do a trick it’s difficult to comprehend the amount of hours on average it took them to learn it. Nothing about the sport is natural, the way you move, the muscles you use, the way you move your upper body everything makes a huge difference. I think that’s what makes watching skateboarders who make it look easy so amazing.
Once you have the fundamentals down you have the commitment issue. Popping a trick is dangerous, if you land badly you can hurt yourself badly as I found to my cost. When I first started trying 180’s I was fairly confident in my ability to ollie moving quite fast, I picked up the basics of the trick and started landing on a couple. Then stupidly I tried a 180 at speed, landed on the board, slipped out and landed on my elbow. The pain travelled through my arm all the way up to my collarbone and I found out a few days later when it didn’t get better that I’d fractured my forearm.
So for the first few months of 2019 I wasn’t able to skate, lost confidence and muscle memory. The knock to my nerves was so big it’s taken a full year to land this trick even remotely consistently and I’m still doing it at a crawl.
I’ve been pushing myself more in the last couple of weeks and have found a way to integrate skateboarding into my day better. I’ve also been pushing myself to try new things so hopefully I’ll start progressing faster again.
I think it’ll be a good year, I’m still miles off my stretch goal of a kickflip and I don’t think I’ll make it before I’m thirty later this year. Although, it’s not impossible.