One of my buddies and I have recently rekindled one of our favorite old hobbies, skateboarding! However, older and wiser, our boards are now longer, wider and faster. Of course we both were skaters as kids, ollie’ing down stairs, grinding handrails and the like (some of us better than others, me being the worst) but somewhere along the way we grew up and left skating behind.
Well, I personally moved to San Diego with some buddies in 1998 at 19-years-old to learn to surf, specifically, and basically transform myself into some sort of extreme-west-coaster that used cool words like “gnarly,” and “sick.” Move accomplished, transformation complete, I was broke as hell and had no ride to get my butt down to the beach to surf! Being the “outside the box,” thinker that I was, I decided to pick up one of these “long-ass skateboards,” that I’d been seeing people ride. Seemed like the next best way to get around besides a car.
(For all my Oklahoma brethren, I would have chosen a bicycle but around North San Diego county, a young person riding a bike or rollerblades is risking serious bodily harm!)
Anyway, I shelled out about a bill-fifty and picked up a 3 1/2′ Sector Nine and set about learning not to kill myself!
Long story short, I ended up enjoying my new transportation about as much as surfing (who am I kidding, notice the “about”), and in time became pretty adept at handling speed, carving down steep hills, and riding about 2 miles to work and back everyday. Looking back I really felt free, if I was going far I could take the bus, whenever I hopped off I was instantly mobile and looking for “pavement waves.” Anyway, I loaned that board to a buddy once and never saw it again. A few months later I was back in Oklahoma to finish college, my longboard an ever-increasing distant memory.
Fast forward 7-8 years.
Back in Oklahoma, I increasingly found myself missing surfing and boarding like I did back in San Diego. I’d seen kite-boarding and it looked cool. However, as a young, new father I’d had trouble justifying enough cash to get set-up, take a lesson or two, and go out and not get tangled lines and have to resort to fisticuffs!
(I remember being 21 and learning to surf, Extremers are territorial and not necessarily welcoming to newcomers,”watch your ass kook,” is not an uncommon thing to hear in the water and fighting on the beach just goes with the territory.)
Anyway, my buddy, let’s just call him “Bill,” who had never really gave up shortboard skateboarding, showed up at my house one day with something I had not seen in years…a long skateboard. Now his Sector 9 wasn’t near as yachtlike as the 4-footer I’d had back in my Cali heyday, but it was alot more like what I used to ride than anything I’d seen in awhile. “Didn’t you ride one of these when you lived in San Diego? Let’s look for some hills this weekend. ” Just like that I was in… I was “going to look for some hills to bomb this weekend.” Two months shy of 30-years-old, older, fatter, less tan but who cared, I was about to get back to being that 21-year-old kid, riding his board to and from work!
That was about two months ago. Since then I got my own board, (a sick 4′ Arbor that could have been cut from my old Sector 9 template!) from Chris at Flip’d Action Sports in Edmond. “Bill,” and I have been riding every weekend since! We started out at Lake Hefner, found it too flat and moved on; now we search every weekend for new places to skate. Mitch Park in Edmond has some hills and wide trails, its pretty good for crusing around, but other than that, OKC has few accessible hills that aren’t out in traffic! Like I said I’m 30 and a father, I can’t afford to fall down and get my head ran over like Phil Leotardo in Sopranos!
Luckily I’m in sales and spend my days driving around to appointments, so I ‘m able to basically be in constant search mode. I say “luckily,” but my search has brought me anything but, OKC is flat, flat, flat!
Over Memorial weekend I ripped a few biggies while in Tahlequah where I went to school (my buddy, we’ll just call him “Jiz,” took a nasty palm scraping spill; I don’t know how he didn’t crack open his head going 40 mph!) and I was more psyched than ever to find some new thrills to quench my longboarding thirst.
Saturday May 31, “Bill,” and I went out like we do every weekend looking for places to skate. Finding few options, we decided to head downtown and look for hills, maybe skate a few parking garages. Oh brother! Did we find the OKC longboarding mecca! We found an 8-story parking garage downtown that on the weekends is completely empty! 50 yards wide all the way down, 35 degree angle, basically perfect! Even better, we start on the 8th floor right by the elevators and end up in the basement directly 3 feet away from the same elevator! It’s like my own mountain right in my backyard complete with lift!
We took about 15 runs, each time getting braver and braver and trying to go faster and carve harder! We figured out that you can really carve hard and make it down in about 2.5 minutes or you can bomb the bitch and make it down in the exact length of “She,” by the Misfits (thank god for Ipods!) 1.2 minutes!
So, my intent for writing this blog is to find other OKC dudes that like to ride longboards. “Bill,” and I have recruited a couple buddies who are going out with us this weekend, but we’d like to find other like-minded skaters to go carve it up with, share favorite spots, tricks and the like. I’d tell you in this blog where to find my parking garage, but I’d rather save it for those I end up skating with!
We really think it would be fun to meet in groups, grab a couple of cases, and go find places to skate! We’ve dedicated our summer free-time to doing so. Last night I could barely sleep in anticipation of going back today and I am constantly wanting to go skate. Not just in the garage, but at the park, the lake, wherever; every day, every night, all the time!
If you too enjoy longboard skating and would like to join our “OK Skate Club,” please read and respond to my blog. I nominate myself (and “Bill,” seconds it, although he doesn’t know it yet) as honorary chairman and I will take care of getting word out to the group as to where we will be and so on and so forth.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope some people search for “OKC Longboard skateboarding,” and find my blog. If you do and you want to go skate, hit me up and I’ll get back to you.