Sitting at the skate park for three months, three hours a day, watching my 9 year old boy learn to skate wasn’t an easy thing, not because I was bored…but because I was obsessed with the magic unfolding before my eyes. One day the boy was particularly pumped, “MUUUM Pop Shove it!” my response,”Go easy on the language son!”
“It’s the name of the trick; I dare you to have a go!” Now I am not one to back away from a challenge, so I slowly got to my feet “Alright, give us your deck!”

The traffic in the skate park slowed and the whispering got louder, as the wild kids Mum strolled over and grabbed hold of her sons skateboard. I stood on it and turned 90 degrees, yeah I can do this!!! I took the back foot off and gave a little push up to the ramp transition; I believe that the correct term for what happened next is “Patchoong slam”. I’m not quite sure how I managed to retrieve my spine from my chest. I daresay it could have been the massive adrenalin rush, accompanied by the flash of white light that shot through my head and screamed “UNREAL!!! DO IT AGAIN!!!” which pushed things back into place. However it happened, my brain function permanently changed and an instant addiction was formed. That very day I went and bought skating armor, rigged up one of my boys’ old skateboards and entered stage one of a new life.

The Skate Bowl

My first introduction to a bowl was at night at Cheltenham under lights, lights which seem to create the illusion that concrete is softer. Padded up on my dodgy little street deck, I just stood and watched the talent of the crew I was with….uh uh, no way did I want to roll down that paint tray, so I figured that if I was quiet nobody would notice that I wasn’t skating. This didn’t happen, “Go on Leah, have a go” the big voice of Eli bellowed through the crowd. “What, you want me to roll down there???!!!”….”Piece of piss, you can do that!!”…”You reckon…alright then!!!”.

It was an awfully frightening picture, or an awfully amusing one….depending on whether you are a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person, for most I think it was the combination of both factors.

I stood up both feet on my little deck and ‘willed’ it into the bowl, in an instant I flew straight to the opposite end, shot up the transition, panicked, attempted to bail, did what felt like a triple somersault mid air, came crashing to the ground, covered my head with half a leg and my shoulder blade for fear the skateboard would knock me unconscious, then jumped up screaming “Woohoo, that’s the sort of skating I want to do!!!”. Roll number two saw me semi-control the skateboard and fakie back down again to where I attempted a super brave 180 degree turn, to no avail….apparently when you’re going really fast backwards and you have no skateboarding clue, balance or co-ordination it’s not something you should attempt. My will would not have it however, and I did nail that 180 turn by the end of the night.

Wassat - intermission? Or is ‘chick flick’ a half hour show and we have to stay tuned for tomorrows instalment?

Either way - encore!

Big ups to Leah - a rare and brave mum 8)

An Insprational albeit unfinished story and still under intense developement look forward to future installments

Excellent! this is why I started the site…ohh yeh and the toys…

The First BIG Slam

I realize with skating now, not back then, that there are two types of pain….a ‘tweak’, or a SLAM. Now to me in the initial stages what I refer to now as a ‘tweak’, (being that it really hurts but not quite enough to stop you skating…at least not until tomorrow anyway), was really something that was quite fair enough to whinge about….this day I learned otherwise.

Now although I had been given sound advice after my first bowl session to simply practice the pump in the base of Cheltenham bowl, I just wanted to go really, really, really fast…the next challenge I had in absolutely and totally set in my mind was to conquer the roll in at Elwood bowl, only three days after my first roll in at Cheltenham. I organized someone who I thought at the time was an adequate coach/supervisor…this person shall remain nameless as I would not wish to taint his responsible and reliable image. I will make the point however, that girls are called chicks because they are cute, fluffy, frail and not designed to be catapulted through the air, land flat on their back smacking their head on concrete….then get up and do it all again. The result…concussion, compacted ribs, severely bruised sacrum, a cramped muscle over the sciatic nerve which destabilized my hip, muscle damage inside the back of my ribs which assist in holding your diaphragm in place and…last but most certainly not least….A CONQUERED ROLL IN!!! You can give the coach some credit here, because he did make me get up and do it again straight away….gutsy move on his part more than mine, I was still dizzy!!! I surely took his advice and leaned forward properly second time in!!!

So yes, a slam can be defined as the fact that you can’t skate anymore because even walking has become an issue. I don’t even want to talk about mega-slam!!! Sorry there is revert pain, which is tweak upon tweak upon tweak upon tweak…this is where I’m at today, but I will get over it, I must get over it, I have to get over it, I have to skate again today…aaah, another tweak won’t make much of a difference…surely!

The Other Impact

At this point in time, skateboarding started to impact on other areas of my life. I work for a Chinese Medical Practitioner, who is actually Italian, so we worked out a pretty good deal as far as treatment went. I started to learn a whole lot more about how the body and Chinese medicine works. My boss fully supported my decision to start skateboarding. His view on the whole thing was that adults only get old if they forget to play; in turn losing their sense of adventure which is what the human spirit, thus life, is all about. I decided now along with the new education I was receiving on the physical aspect, to start a course in spiritual healing. The mental challenge aspect of skateboarding intrigues me, how the skating attitude changes your general life attitude is incredible. I will finish this course in 5 months and set up practice in his rooms. There we go, finally a career sorted.

I have what is commonly known as a “wild child”, a very spirited boy who has a lot of energy to burn off. Before I started skateboarding he wore me out, both physically and mentally. Now the tables have turned and I’m the one saying to him “Are you ready yet, are you ready yet, can we go now?” I love hanging out with him now and he doesn’t wear me down half as much as he used to. We are out at it every day. I think the day I signed him out of school early for a “medical appointment” so we could go skating sealed our bond. Being on my own with my boy previously saw that such a thing as a social life did not exist. Now I find myself surrounded by inspiring, entertaining people who come from all walks of life but who all have the same attitude to it.

Then there is the gusto factor, this is where things get entertaining.

By the way, thanks for the great feedback boys!!! It will only inspire me to blabber on further!!! :smiley:

Hey I’m all for the ‘go for it’ attitude, and more power to you!! Mind you, I have found that I don’t bounce so well anymore, so a certain amount of caution always follows me around whilst skating - thus far I’ve been relatively pain free (touch wood). I guess the main thing is that you (like me) are having fun!! And bugger what anyone else thinks!

Someone was talking to Dave Duncan, the U.S. ex Alva team rider who was here that weekend. And he said the MOSSJ was the best part of his whole trip…from little kids to old mums and dads to rippers like Currie and Dorfus, everyone was here for one reason…SKATE!
spread the love.

hi leah,
i’ve become intrigued by the mental aspect of skating as well. it’s amazing how focussed and alive i feel after skating, especially if i do it a few days in a row.

i think its a combination of:
physical exercise - the sheer adrenal rush of the body in movement, as well as being out in the sun, breathing deep and sweating heaps.

defying my brains natural survival instincts - such as dropping into a 10 ft concrete hole with wheels attached to my feet.

the goodwill of skaters - there aren’t many sports or activities i’ve done where there is virtually no ego involved, i’m just as happy skating with first time riders and get just as excited seeing them drop in as i do watching the top guys pull off a new trick.

the age range and people from all walks of life who you meet is the other bonus. i have become so addicted to this sport it’s not funny.

take care,

One of the best things about skating is that everyone gets stoked when a skater pulls of a new move for the 1st time regardless of the stardard they skate at

the encouragement and deck slapping from others no matter how anyone skates

It’s so cool how 20+ years on being a ‘skater’ is as fulfilling as it always was. Plenty of other sports and hobbies have come in between for me but skating was always there lurking, waiting for an opportunity to resurface.

Funny too how the solidarity feeling is the same. Back in the day, skaters were a strange minority hanging onto what was thought to be a long dead ‘craze’. There was really only me and one mate at school circa 1980 skating. DEVO and hand painted Volleys - we were well left of centre.

Now, us 40 odd year old skaters are few and far between. So just like the days back in school 'cept move it on 25 years - we continue to be a strange minority amongst our peers. DEVO on CD and a constant stream of skate-shaped parcels arriving at home and work - well left of centre 8)

Skate 'til you can’t skate no more :smiley:

funny you should mention Devo and hand painted Volleys - I had/liked both! (By the way - hae you seen the ad for some whipped butter stuff with of all things 2 blokes in energy domes and sleeveless skivvies doing a ripoff of ‘whip it’? I almost choked it was soooooo crook…)

And I think the only two blokes with skaters were Mr. Mosu and I…

Exec I think it’s the rest of the world that’s left of centre, you have to be balanced to ride a skateboard!!

…to this day everytime i put my pads and helmet on i got ‘freedom of choice’ playing in my head.

I bought Pioneers that got scalped to complete my collection on CD. It’s excellent. Includes songs not on CD previously that I know of like Baby Doll and One Dumb Thing. Picked it up for 30 at JB Town Hall.

Little Miracles

These two young teenage girls turned up at the skate park, decked out in
their label clothing they looked like some serious skate
chicks…cool, Leah thinks. Shortly after I realised that they were
there just to pick up boys and had no clue about skateboarding.
One of the boys they were flirting with says to them "Are you going to roll or not??!!” The girls get to their feet, one of them idles along behind the other over
to a 2ft learners roll in box…the gauntlet had been thrown down…do
or die, the girls looked petrified.
The cutest girl with the long dark Pantene hair perfectly placed trudges up to the top of the box. The other stayed behind holds her deck and just watches. Our cute one puts down her deck, stands on it, grabs the rail, rocks back and forth for a little bit, takes the plunge and rolls down idling over the next little fun box rolls down and falls off.
This is where the miracle happened, she bounced to her feet, picked up her deck, turned around and there it was…the sparkling gleam in her eye! She was
officially an addict right then and there. Nothing stopped her after that, she skated solid for two hours and looked most annoyed when her friend kept
interrupting her with idle chit chat!!!
You cannot explain that look. It’s the “I’ve just discovered something
called life” look…that’s what skating is about! Once you’ve got
that feeling you never want to lose it, and with skating you never can
because there’s always another level to rise to! Millions of
successes amongst the main one, which put simply is just having a go!
Another day we were skating Cheltenham, this portly little nervous kid probably only about 7 was there with his BMX, skateboard and scooter. It was that transient time at the skate park where the little kids are on their way home and the serious skaters and bikers are starting to rock up….basically it was mayhem. This kid sat at the top of the bowl on his bike for ages, another teenage boy on his BMX had been snaking everyone and quite frankly we were all getting sick of it. Finally my gusto kicked in, the snaker was about to drop into the bowl and I called out at the top of my lungs “OI…don’t even think about it!!! It’s this kid’s turn!!” The snaker obviously knew I was serious, being that I used my “mum” voice he stopped dead in his tracks, to a few little sniggers in the background. All the traffic stopped, “Off you go”, I say to the little kid. He rolled into the bowl, did one lap, rides out and chucks a little monno at the top. The cheers went up; the smile on this kids face was priceless.
Now who knows whether or not that little kid will end up being a pro biker, skater, or a business man……but one thing is for sure…that shy little kid will never forget his first roll into the bowl and the cheers going up, just for him. You challenge yourself, and you do it with support of others who are challenging themselves. Everyone recognizes that no matter what level you are at, that it takes gusto and that there is no such thing as a small achievement in skating or BMX riding.

interesting story with the two girls. you mentioned one had a “look” in her eyes which showed she had discovered the stoke of skating while her friend had a look which showed she was just trying to pick up boys.

could you more accurately discribe the look of the 2nd girl just for future reference


Love the anonymous dirty old man post!

Another keen insight into the lesser publicised side of skating Leah, Thanks.
Keep them coming.