gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Skateboarding at 30: Starting Cheap

For a few years now I’ve considered taking up skateboarding. Not to be professional, or even particularly adept, but just to be good enough to get around and perform a few simple tricks. I’m not ashamed to say that Tony Hawk’s: Pro Skater series has had a lot to do with this desire. I’m a huge fan of THPS3 from the PlayStation 2 era, and have played it far too much recently.

As an adult who totally missed the whole skateboarding thing in my younger years, I’m totally at a loss for the terminology and technology that go into skateboards. I’ve always had a pretty good idea what wheels, trucks and decks were, but never any idea what difference they make.

I picked up a cheapish (£20) skateboard on a whim in Southwold many moons ago and, after some aborted attempts at riding it, left it in my cupboard for most of that time. It wasn’t until recently that it wore me down again, and I’ve started practising balance and the basics.

I’m not sure if it requires some getting used to, but I found my board to be a little on the large side. Using my incredible adult buying power I nipped into Sports Direct and grabbed myself a £12, half price, 28″ “junior” board. I really prefer this size, it just feels more nimble. Unfortunately the one I picked has a decal that looks like the terrible word-art you get by default in cheap picture frames:

Now I’m old enough to not really care, but the juxtaposition between the coolness of a skateboard and the sheer awfulness of this artwork really ground me down.

Fortunately, it washes off… no, really:

A little cheapo skateboard de-dorkification to start the day!

— Phil Howard (@Gadgetoid) May 10, 2017

And while the bare wooden board looked good, I really wanted to paint it. Unfortunately I don’t have the finesse or patience for painting so I decided to uh… corporate sponsor myself, I guess?

Now I can board on brand 😀 @pimoroni

— Phil Howard (@Gadgetoid) May 10, 2017

This was a strip of hastily applied custom gummed reinforced tape that Paul had *just* ordered in. I’m a sucker for a good rainbow.

Unfortunately it wasn’t quite gummy enough so… uh:

These are load bearing stickers 😀 also the bearings are so cheap the wheels wobble 😀

— Phil Howard (@Gadgetoid) May 10, 2017

Job done!

So now I’m practising on what appears, to the untrained eye at least (I suspect real skaters will be laughing so hard right now), to be a sweeeeet custom deck, that ties nicely into my love of tech, bright colours and cheap laminate furniture 😉 (hey maybe someone will sponsor me to hyperlink those last words…)

The best thing? I’m only down £12 and a few stickers if I break it!

So my skateboarding saga begins…

Thursday, May 11th, 2017, Lifestyle.