I got a new job offer (Yay me!) so I did what I did when I lost my last job, as a sort of symmetric homage:  I bought some new whiskey!

I’m currently enjoying some Tullamore Dew Caribbean Cask Finish.  There’s a warm sort of briney flavor, not unlike an island or highland Scotch, that’s also present in the more traditional rums of the Caribbean.  This, of course, dances tantalizingly around the biscuity, butter cookie flavor of the Irish whiskey (that Tullamore is).

The mouthfeel is quite unique…In the world of hot peppers, some fill your mouth with warmth, and others sting specific spots in your mouth.  This whiskey is like that second kid of pepper, where the flavor lingers on one spot of your tongue.

On the end, there’s a familiar floral note that fades back into that butter cookie flavor.  It’s kinda cool seeing the flavors meld together, especially in such a cool combination (rum finish on an Irish whiskey?  That’s cool!).

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Johnny Walker White Review

Posted: 2019-04-30 in Uncategorized
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Another Whisky review!  Per the label, Johnny Walker’s White Walker is a blend of two different Scotches, and is designed to be served ice cold…It’s got the ol’ Coors Light thing where you pop it into the freezer and a hidden message shows up and lets you know it’s cold enough.  They say it’s to give you, the drinker, a more unique experience as the whisky warms up.  You don’t need a special blend of whisk(e)y to do that, but whatevs.

I didn’t have a proper Glencairn-style glass, just a cordial glass that looked like a tiny 2oz red wine glass, but it’s not that big of a deal.  I tend to prefer my whiskies out of a little more open of a glass.

Taking a gentle little whiff of the whisky, I was met with a heavy, dank sweetness…almost like hay or grass.  Not freshly mown, but just the sweetish, chlorophyll smell of a lot of vegetation in one area.  I took a sip and got a lot of spice.  The first little bit was a lingering tannic or leather sensation, something like you’d find in a burly red wine.  The spice and leather danced around each other, until I swallowed my sip.  Then, the spice hung around and left me with a sort of crispy bite…just a little bit somethin’ somethin’ around the edges.

I can’t quite shake my own preconceived notions:  When I just turned 21, the microbrew scene was really taking off, and it was popular to cram as much hops into any given beer as possible.  As such, I was drawn to these incredibly strong, hoppy flavors.  As I got a little older, that mentality stuck with me as I got into Scotch and wine.  The first Scotch I ever bought was a little pack of Glenfiddich samplers, and I grew to love the hearty pinots and meritage wines.  I never learned to love more subtle types of Scotch, so unfortunately, I can’t actually appreciate JW’s White Walker.  The same applies to Monkey Shoulder, for instance.  They’re both very good whisky, but they don’t punch you right in the face with extreme flavors (which is what I expect of my whisk(e)y).  What I’m trying to get around to is that I enjoyed drinking it, but I have not equipped myself to properly appreciate it.

It’s most definitely a solid whisky, and I’m most definitely going to drink it again.  It’s a little more than Monkey Shoulder, as far as presence and flavor, but it’s also a few bucks more expensive.  If you’re a Game Of Thrones nut and want to buy this as a collectible, go for it!  If you’re a whiskey aficionado, it’s certainly a few bucks more ($40 locally) than comparably flavored whisky, and it may not be worth it for you, unless you’re buying it for collectible value…but that’s not for me to judge.  That’s for you to decide.

The counterpoint to yesterday’s article…this time, discussing the great things about skateboard forums!

We all know there is a nearly infinite amount of petty bickering, fanboy circle-jerking, juvenile elitism, and trolls of every stripe. Quite a few of us have threatened to leave at one point or another…Some of us have succeeded. In some (real life) scenes, kids haven’t even heard of Silverfish, even though this very site helped make longboarding into what it is today (and what it will be tomorrow), so in those scenes, the ‘Fish is irrelevant…often replaced by Facebook groups, or other local forums. The sheer amount of information is completely overwhelming to all but the most seasoned internet vets.

And yet…here we are. There are a million reasons to ditch this site and never come back. I’m sure we could come up with a list.  But, my question is, why do you stick around here? What do you  gain by wasting so much time on this website?

The responses were intriguing:

From Neanderthal1

-For the money.
-For the rep.
-Beats getting real work done.
-Longboarding pics and vids.
-Better than TV.
-Cute longboarding girls.
-The humor.
-The drama.
-The flame wars.
-The fan bois.
-The posers.
-The n00bs.
-The haters.
-The hype.
-The memes.
-The skate pr0n.
-The photography thread.
-The Official Silverfish Hall of Stupid.
-Boarderaholic (“The Warden”).
-To get sponsored.
-To learn how to skate.
-Cuz I’m a lonely guy.
-Cuz I paid money supporting this ghetto.
-Cuz when I’m not riding, I’m thinking about riding.
-Cuz I really really want to be an interwebz moderator.
-Cuz Malakai told me to “wait a minute”… and it’s been over a
year.
-Cuz I really want to know what’s the BEST board

 

From Cabbageboy:

First I used it only to get information. First I was a lurker for a while, then a “searching member” for over a year before I felt qualified to post/answer anything. Then I started to use it both to, give/share(my limited) knowledge and learning for a while.  These days there are far between the threads I learn anything from(still search up old ones if I need info). . . . . and I have to admit that the latest period I’ve joined in on the discussions/everyday talk etc(never did that before).

So, for me, now. . . mostly entertainment, sprinkled with some advice giving and some occasional learning here and there. It’s like a fun Facebook, or something in that direction.

I’ve noticed that my posts are much longer in the winter as well.

 

Omahgarsh:

I am a Househusband,I need something interesting to do between chores.The Fish is more fun than reading paperbacks or video solitaire. I also enjoy some of the people here. Jokey,Mortisz,Bassness,8ftbed,Maggot,and Boarderholic usually make my day in one way or another. I am still amazed at what I have learned about longboarding too. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

 

PBandit:

1. I like meeting strangers on the Internet (to skate)
2. Oogling other people’s set ups
3. Get advice
4. Give advice
5. Be sarcastic
6. Read other people’s drama
7. Find out what’s trendy
8. Feed the hype train – Cast Ronins OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!
9. Find reasons to spend money
10. My GameBoy fell in the toilet and this is the next best thing.

 

Sniffleless:

I do because ESPN cut snowboarder x and skier x from the Winter X Games and I can come on here and talk about how much the winter x has become fail. maybe i could make a spiderman meme about it or something with cats. also it gives me a place to rant about how it’s top and bottom not boardside roadside and how longboarding IS skateboarding. Sea Monkeys rock. Board building rules. and so on and so forth. what was the question again?

 

My response:

I never posted why I ‘Fish.

Back in the day, I was all about forums. I found that they were a good way to get real-world reviews on stuff, instead of half-ass magazine articles. The guys who are out every day using these products can give feedback. So, I joined a few…mountain
bikes, paintball guns…then I decided I wanted a skateboard, so I spent a few months browsing various skateboard sites looking for good info on what boards to buy. People kept urging me towards old-school boards and longboards, and this one particular site kept coming up in Google. So, I joined on up here. For a few years there, I had no local scene whatsoever, so Silverfish allowed me to live vicariously through others, while still skating on my own.

For all its faults and flaws, Silverfish is about community for me…I’ve made some great imaginary friends here.

 

 Boarderaholic:

Serious answer: I started out on the fish to get info on gear.
Oh wait, I still do that. Derp.

Light hearted answer: This is how I kill time at work, and during the winter. I’ve actually made some pretty decent e-friends, where I’m sure if we were to meet in real life, it’d be like two pea’s in a pod. Sf is also a place where I can let loose (ie: the rant thread) and not worry quite so much about repercussions. Of course, things  that I post on here are also with discretion on my end. There’s more to this as well, but my brain and stomach wants to be fed.

 

Back around 2009, I fell out of love with forums and social media.  This is right around when I did a full-on delete of my Facebook account, and when I did a pretty thorough audit of my entire online presence.  Here’s my (rather emo) rant:

First off, I know it’s silly…I acknowledge, and even embrace the silliness of how much I use forums for. Forums are a great tool to get unbiased information from real people. I do have my reasons, which I’ll get to later, for sticking so much with skateboard forums. But, let’s start from the beginning.

There are a lot of skateboarders in my local area. Unfortunately, I’ve never fit in with them. The few times I have skateboarded with them, I’ve been hassled, made fun of, shunned, and generally degraded because I wasn’t “cool” or “good enough” to hang with their crew. I have tried to change this, I really have. I tried anything from trying to learn from them, to teaching them new things (stuff I learned online, from the forums this rant is about). Again, this didn’t take…because I wasn’t “cool” enough for them. So, I really had nobody to skate with in real life.

So, onto forums now. I first turned to internet forums as a valid means to get information and product reviews regarding paintball guns and videogames. However, I only ever perused the forums and never signed up. Enter skateboarding. Skateboarding was the first type of forum I really got involved with…mostly because a certain brand had a literal monopoly on the local skate “scene” and I wanted to know what else was out there.

Now, I first used the skateboard forums to find out what was good (product wise), what wasn’t, for beginner tips and tricks, and inspiration. It wasn’t long after that I became welcomed into the forum community, and taken in as a regular. With that, came everybody’s drama…the BIGGEST equalizer for drama I had encountered was “it’s only the internet…don’t take it so seriously,” which never actually made sense in my mind because the same twerp that was telling me that had, not 4 hours before, blown up over someone who had dissed his youtube video.

Fad products, methods, tricks, and people (yes, fanboyism is VERY prevalent on forums) also dominate the online scene. If you’re not 100% on top of what’s hot this week, you’re basically e-trash. As such, even the most valuable, informed member of a forum can become nothing more than a scum-sucking lowlife when not following community trends. Going back to the whole “it’s only the internet…” I do agree, but an online forum is intended to encourage growth and diversity in a sport, not to trash the people who aren’t “in the know” this week.

The first forum I ever joined is still a very active part of my internet browsing…it’s a very laid-back, relaxed, somewhat dead website now (no, it’s completely gone). It’s mostly filled with teenagers, but there are a handful of 20somethings, and everybody’s on the same wavelength, so there’s very little forum drama.

The second forum I joined was about longboarding (also gone). Here, the tweens and whiny teenagers came out en masse. This is where most of my problems came up. These are the rich kids who have mommy and daddy’s credit card, to buy all the fad products. Also, since I’m a college kid and can’t afford a new board every week, “I” was the one (not me, specifically…the 20somethings that also frequented the forum) that was endlessly picked on because “I” didn’t have the cool new product. I wound up trying a few of the fad products and didn’t like them, so I told my honest opinion online. This led to a huge shitstorm directed at me, mostly by the manufacturers of said products (one of the reasons I boycotted brands like Venom, Madrid, Paris, Divine, and many other brands). When I went around and talked about how these so-called professionals were treating me, I wound up ultimately being banned from the site.

The third forum I joined was an all-encompassing skateboard forum (still there, at http://www.skaterscafe.com), including everything from street skating to longboarding. Again, it was filled with angry tweens and teens. Again, I stated my opinion about a lot of things, namely how fashion-oriented the site was (tight pants, baggy shirt, you know the stereotypical sk8rpunk dress), and some of the head tweens began flaming me. Every post I’d make was followed by another shitstorm about how I’m a poser and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I began thinking that this was mostly a problem about teenagers, so I joined up on an old-school skateboard site…a bunch of 40somethings who are rekindling their youth by skateboarding (www.skullandbonesskateboards.com). Again, I became a target of many insults, and wound up being run out of THAT site as well. This one resulted from an argument with the site owner of all people regarding Sarah Palin’s daughter. In the end, everybody on the site regarded me as “just another f***ing idiot.” (10 years later, and the site owner is still a bloated ginger bitch)

In a last bout of desperation for some kind of skate scene, I began going to local skateboard forums. Silly me, thinking that local skate forums would be open and inviting to an outsider. Not only was I an outsider, and not to be trusted, but I didn’t give in to the fads that were ever more prevalent on the local sites. I was actually a bit shocked just how much more fad-driven the local sites were.

As much as I loved skateboarding in the past, being shunned from not only my local scene, but 5 online scenes, I’ve pretty much given up. I know skateboarding is all about your own personal style, but I was madly in love with skateboarding for 2 full years and did develop my own style, but I fell into a very stagnant period because I had nobody to skate with, learn from, and progress with. As such, and in such a state of stagnation, I began falling out of love with skateboarding. So here I am now, haven’t set foot on a skateboard in over a month, and I’ve actually been trying to sell some of my stuff. Oh well, all things are cyclical I guess.

Haters Gonna Hate

Posted: 2019-04-16 in Uncategorized

I’m an inquisitor, a nerd, a sponge.  I love information, learning what I can, and disseminating it to others…don’t know if you’ve noticed this because of the obscene amounts of data I’ve hoarded from the forums at Silverfishlongboarding.  Because I’ve been revisiting so much old information, I’ve been forced to look my Internet presence in the face, and I’m not exactly proud of what I saw.

I was a hater, a brand snob, an asshole of a grand degree.  My dry, snarky sense of humor gave me just enough of a following on SFL to make my head swell.  That resultant cockiness gave me the right attitude to “tell it like it was,” and shit on some things that truthfully didn’t deserve it (and some things that did).  Roll that in with the anonymity of the internet, and this sort of idea that “Silverfish didn’t matter,” and that empowered me to post incessantly.  I thought I was completely invincible; I had the community by the balls, people worshiped me, even starting a series of “BRING BUCKSAW BACK” campaigns when I ultimately wound up getting banned.  It’s hard to type this, but it was a really tough realization:  I was part of the toxic environment at Silverfish, and I was part of the bad reputation the site had built up among other online communities.

As far as why I acted the way I did?  As mentioned above, I gained a little bit of notoriety through jokes and humorous quips.  I wasn’t afraid to try gear and give negative reviews, to put the big brands in their place and give those unpopular opinions just to “say the things that need to be said.”  And, it was the Internet.  I was never going to meet any of these people in real life.  What I said didn’t matter.  Except when it did.  Silverfish reached far and wide, and was many peoples’ first experience with longboarding.  When that first exposure is someone (me) posting their thread in a Hall Of Stupid, or saying that “I enjoy being an asshole to idiots like you,” that’s not exactly a welcoming experience…and that was the context of the thread in which I posted that “[I don’t enjoy helping,] I enjoy being an asshole to idiots like you,” wherein the original poster was commenting on how the forums at Loaded Longboards were much more welcoming to newbies…later on, after Loaded’s forums had folded, those same comments were directed at Reddit and Facebook (“reddit and Facebook are so much more welcoming to newbies,” etc.).

Yes, there’s a little bit of truth in that when a discussion forum is more geared towards one brand (Loaded) or towards basic information and getting newbies involved (Reddit/Facebook), that information is diluted and distilled to a point where beginners can understand it.  The breadth and depth of discussions on Silverfish, especially early on when the movers and shakers of the industry had personal accounts on there, reached bizarro levels of geekery and specificity.  That degree of insider information is how I justified myself in being that brand snob, and acting superior to others because I knew something that they didn’t…because I had access to more information, and deeper information, I was somehow superior to the guy who just dropped down his $80 off-brand longboard and charged hills all day long…despite the fact that I literally couldn’t skate without certain exacting skate products on my boards; hell, despite the fact that he only had 1 board and I had 6.  Because I was rocking premium Abec11 wheels, and premium Randal trucks, I was better than his Krown board with blank wheels…despite the fact that he could comfortably hit 35mph and do standup slides, something which I struggle with to this day.  Because I always had a new, shiny setup, my gear was better than his dirty, muddy, corroded board…despite the fact that he spent 100% of his time riding one board and becoming intimately familiar with it, and at best, I’d only spend 16% of my time with any one given board.  By all means, that guy is a much better skater than I, but I held a false sense of superiority over him.

False Alarm

Posted: 2019-04-15 in Uncategorized

My History Of Longboarding article has stalled…I’ve simply run out of information, and don’t feel 100% comfortable publishing something that I know to be incomplete (which I know that would be, as I only have about 2 perspectives on things).  Also, my skate season has stalled.  I’ve wiped out (and hard) far too many times in the past, during the spring thaw, when I’ve hit sand/salt debris on the paths, sidewalks, and roads I skate on.  As a result, I tend to avoid skating in the spring, while there’s still snow in the forecast, and before the street sweepers have been out en masse.  So, I was out last week, hitting a skatepark and doing some flatland work in the driveway…no snow was in the forecast.  Then, I checked the forecast on Tuesday, and they were calling for snow on the following Sunday…and we got completely hammered.  It was simply flurrying at noon, but by 2pm, we had 4″ of snow built up.  Even though it’s 45 degrees today, Monday, they’re still calling for more snow on Wednesday and Thursday, then rain on Friday and Saturday.  As a result, my skate season is currently postponed by the weather.

So many open ends

Posted: 2019-04-08 in Uncategorized

I’ve been posting dozens of articles over the past few weeks, digesting tons of information in a way that I can only hope makes sense.  I still have a lot more to go, as the online skate community surrounding Silverfish was near and dear to my heart, and this is my own way of recording the data for posterity.  Many of the articles I’ve posted thus far have been simple copy/pastes.  I’ve taken the luxury of adding some personal narration, and clarifying some of my more ambiguous points.  Hell, some of my reviews, as they were posted, were done at such an early phase of me owning whatever piece of gear it was, that my long-term experiences turned out vastly different from what I had posted.

But, I’m at a bit of an impasse:  I still have a lot of information left to be posted, but it’s a little more complex and complicated than just copy/pasting.  One topic I’m exploring is the history of longboarding itself.  I’ve got 3 different articles and threads saved onto my Google drive with 3 very different perspectives on the beginning and roots of longboarding.  It’s going to take a bit of effort and corroboration to present a healthy, full idea of longboarding’s history and roots; the movers and the shakers of industry and how and why they did the things they did.  Another topic deals with Silverfish itself.  I’ve, again, got 3 or 4 different articles and threads on the history of that website and community at large.  Much in the later history of the site is purely conjecture, but I’ve got a few dates of major events (website servers moving, site ownership changing, membership milestones, etc.).

There’s a lot of avenues to take, and perhaps most importantly, I’m shooting for Post 100 on this blog sometime soon, while maintaining a posting streak of longer than a week.

On Experimentation

Posted: 2019-04-07 in Uncategorized
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Another entry in my Silverfish series, this time, a rant about experimentation.  Skaters are notorious DIY guys, and the course of skateboard history has been shaped by this DIY ethos.  SWB Freeride longboards came about from guys “bricking” their boards; that is, chopping the nose and tail off of dropthrough boards and mounting the trucks and wheels onto the standing platform.  Dropthrough boards hearken back to the 70’s when guys would cut holes in the top of their boards to get a lower center of gravity, for more stability when going fast.  The modern street deck has rounded noses and tails, after wearing down the square noses and tails of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  In the early 70’s, urethane wheels were squared off with sharp lips.  By the late 70’s, skaters had realized that their wheels wore out and rounded over at the lips, so wheel manufacturers began pouring wheels with rounded lips already on them.  The point is that skaters are a unique bunch, DIY runs deep.  The rant below circles around the advent of social media, instant feedback, and having the collective experience of humanity at your fingertips.  This seemed to erode the DIY ethos on sites like Silverfish, and later on Reddit and Facebook…On the one hand it was cool because it signaled that people wanted to spend more time riding and progressing instead of fucking around with nuts, bolts, screws, washers, and bushings; on the other hand, if you have two sets of wheels in your hand and you have to ask which is better for sliding, you’re an idiot, just put the fuckers on and go slide them instead of posting about it online.

What happened to experimenting?
Seriously, why don’t people just try things out anymore? One of the funnest things about longboarding, according to my opinion, is just that: playing around with different setups. Anyone with any amount of experience knows that bushings are one of the cheapest ways to drastically alter your board’s feeling. And, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy 2 setups at the same time, why bother spending time asking which will slide better? Why not just…ride both?

Is this something the community at Silverfish has brought on itself? On one hand, I can see where this is definitely factor. People bash other skaters because of  odd/unusual setups…see the “Weirdest Setup You’ve Seen” thread. Anything outside the “norm” is immediately dismissed as nonfunctional at worst, just plain weird at best. In a weird way, it almost seems like the site at large discourages  experimentation via the hive-mind mentality.

Another odd factor that I’ve heard college professors talk on is how kids these days just don’t know how to play around, experiment, and learn on their own. At the risk of getting political, there’s an entire generation of longboarders that went through school under No Child Left Behind, wherein the students were largely taught the tests, and not the actual process of learning.  Since longboarding is so popular among this specific group of kids, it stands to reason that maybe they just don’t know they can experiment and break out of that aforementioned hive-mind.

Does anyone else have any comments? The point I’m trying to drive home is that it it’s perfectly acceptable to tinker with everything…play around…before you post a thread asking a question, explore all of your own possibilities. Hell, half the fun of skateboarding in general is DIY’ing everything; why not apply that to your longboard?

 

My friend, boarderaholic, agreed with my sentiments and added:

That part is fair, and understandable. What gets me are threads that are made where the user asks something like… “I have a Landyachtz Switchblade. I also own RAD advantages, and O’tang Stims. Which wheels slide better?”

It’s really, really not that difficult to take said gear out with you to skate and TRY things. I mean, isn’t experimenting how we got to the world that we have today? This is the beautiful thing about skateboarding, there is so much room to
grow, and be your own person.

 

One of the most common counter-arguments was cost, but that completely ignores the entire premise of the thread:  That you’ve already got 2 sets of wheels/trucks/bushings in your hand, and you’re asking which one is better

For me money is the biggest issue. I tweak what I can and come on here and find DIY stuff I can do to make my board better. I like just messing around to find the best feel and having people to sit around and tweak then ride then tweak then
ride (.ect) is awesome.

 

The Internet is a wonderful thing – it brings the collective experience and knowledge of the entire history of humanity into the palm of your hand.  If you’re considering a new piece of gear, search for it.  Google is wonderful, and it may have brought you to this very blog.  If you already have the piece of gear in your hand, go ride it!

Why have a Spot Etiquette?

Preserving the sanctity of a wonderful skate spot should be a natural feeling to any seasoned skater. Newcomers may do something careless, like get or cause injuries, damage property, litter, hit cars, and etc., which can cause a spot to serve consequences to attendees of a future session.

What does it mean when a Spot gets Blown Out?

When a Spot gets Blown Out, local officials and residence don’t enjoy our company. The tolerance toward skaters by the local community is subject to rejection upon visible or audible disturbance. In other words, someone will have a problem with skaters skating that spot, ask you to leave or simply call the local police station. Refusing to leave is a sure way to end a friendly situation.

How do I prevent spots from getting blown out?

Keep spots to yourself. The more people that know about it, the faster it will be blown out. Don’t mention road names or have them visible in videos. Spot etiquette should be followed regardless of whatever location you skate. Remember to smile and wave at all passersby. Be friendly and courteous of the community you skate in. Pick up all your trash, be conscious of your language (don’t curse, especially around children) and be mindful of others using the road. Wear your safety gear, accidents happen. Calling 911 is the last thing you want. Always wearing your helmet can help prevent a bad situation. Cars should be avoided at all costs! If a car is coming the other way, stay in your lane or get off the road altogether.

Who Blew Out the Spot?

The skater(s) that attract unwanted attention. Large groups or gathers of skaters, which is why it’s not the best idea to idle around at the bottom and waste time talking. Skaters that skate outside of their ability and crash. Skaters that fail to be aware of their surroundings, skating right out in front of cars or police. Cars own the streets, not skaters. Skateboards are easily crushed by cars. Severe injury, which may consists of an emergency rescue, can persuade local law the installment of a rule/sign that is intended to reduce future injury or other liability issues. Sharing skate spots with the masses (internet) allow a spot to be subject to overuse. The more skaters, greater the chance of causing an issue with the locals. In every case, the skater(s) are not aware that they are blowing out the spot(s).

Did I Step On Anyone Toes?

It is very likely that someone was offended that you skated their spot. Some spots are held so sacred by the native skaters, an outside-skater must understand the power of such a bond with ideal terrain. If you have seen the spot in a video, it is likely not yours to skate unless you are invited. This is not always true for many skate spots are not filmed. There is no way of a outsider knowing. It is best to contact people you know that do skate these spots to escort you on that particular skate sesh. Don’t bring friends to gnarly skate spots, especially if the terrain is far above their skill level.

Where Do I Skate?

Every skater has his or her favorite spot. Find a spot. Drive around until you find one in your neck of the woods. Get with your friends and localize your spots. There are spots hidden in the most desolate areas. Always assume you aren’t the only one skating that spot.

What Are Spotters?

Spotters are people that stay at the bottom intersection or blind corner that keep a lookout for traffic, pedestrians, or other hazards. Signs should be used in order to signal skaters on their journey down in case they need to stop exists. It is very dangerous skating through an intersection blindly. Spotters are your remote eyes. If people are sitting around watching, tell one of them to save your life and keep an eye out.

Who Uses Hand Gestures and Sign Language?

There are many gestures someone can use. Both spotter and fellow skaters are advised to use signals. This will allow a skater so signal the skaters directly in rear. It is wise to be courtesy to the individuals traveling behind you.


This guy isn’t the best spotter; he should be in the middle of the road making sure you see him. Make sure your spotter is focused on saving YOUR life.

What If I Don’t Know How To Slide?

A good rule of thumb is “do not skate faster than you can stop”. Stopping is important. If you are going faster than you can skate, you are skating outside of your limit. You are a danger yourself and to those skating downhill with you. If so, you should probably learn to Coleman slide. RipTide How To: Coleman Slide (180 and Pendy) – YouTube

Lessons Learned.

1. Know your limits.

2. Wear proper gear.

3. Progress in a controlled environment.

4. Respect the roads and respect the residents. Always be courteous and friendly. We are not entitled to anything, At best, we are uninvited guests. It is YOUR job to ensure that we have hills to skate for years to come.

5. Don’t blow out spots.

Having read through several of the more recent posts on this blog (namely, the product reviews), then comparing them to older posts, I’ve realized that a few of my points have been seemingly contradictory:

In Don’t Overthink Things, I try to present the viewpoint that bearings don’t matter…but, in my review on Seismic Tektons, I say that they do; going so far as to say that Tektons are faster than Abec11’s Biltins, a point reiterated in Toy Machine T-Sect.  But, in I Hate Bearings, the point is made that if you have to ask if a bearing will make you faster, the answer is no.

Here’s where it gets weird:  There are many truths in an entire internet full of misinformation and idiocy.  So, let’s unpack:
That’s not saying bearings don’t make a difference…but lil’ Jonny with his first Penny board isn’t going to set any landspeed records with Bones Swiss versus OEM Greaseballs.  Those skaters that will notice a difference in bearings won’t have to ask me what the difference actually is from I Hate Bearings.  The question from the customer was about making his Penny Board faster.  The truth is that, for the average Penny Board rider, rolling around a college campus or downtown area, bearings will matter less.  Cramming a bearing full of grease will slow the board down, regardless of quality.  The best way to improve speed in this scenario is by upgrading wheels to something a little bigger diameter, or with a little better urethane formula.
…Everything on a street skateboard is expendable. It’s something of a badge of honor to snap a deck or blow out a bearing (due to the high-impact of aerial stunts).  From Durable Goods.  In any sort of trick skating that involves aerial stunts, from longboard dancing, to flatland freestyle, to street skating, that’s going to involve weird impacts on the bearings (by way of the wheels).  The truth is that durability is a more reliable trait to have in a bearing than all-out speed, in a trick setting.  Besides, as we learned from Rock’n Ron, another truth is that even stepping onto a board such that your weight is borne onto the axles will wreck the ABEC rating, let alone doing an ollie.  Bearings are wear parts, period, and cannot be counted on to enhance speed when you’re jumping around.
-As noted in my review of Seismic Tektons, They’re noticably faster than something like a Biltin, although I’m not entirely sure Tektons are worth the extra few bucks if you’re not in an IGSA raceThis truth is that bearings can make a difference under the right circumstances.  Distill everything about your riding experience down to a scenario wherein the only variable is the bearing and you’ll begin to appreciate what I’m talking about:  Park and vert skating, slalom skating, and as an extrapolation of slalom skating, long-distance pumping are three scenarios in which bearings can make a discernible difference.  These disciplines are powered by internal forces (pumping either up and down on a ramp, or left and right for slalom), and are done on regular, controlled surfaces…any sort of street skating, downhill (including freeride/slide, and racing), commuting/distance pushing, or urban bombing, are not internally driven (by pumping), and are on irregular surfaces.  On these irregular surfaces (loading docks, asphalt to sidewalks, curbs, gravel, the occasional rain puddle), a good set of wheels will make a much greater difference in the quality of your ride than bearings will.

So, will bearings make a difference for your ride?  Sometimes yes, but mostly no.  Call me a sanctimonious douchebag, but there are many, many more parts of your skateboard (and there aren’t that many parts of a skateboard) that will make or break your ride sooner than bearings will.  For 95% of skaters, 95% of the time, a better quality wheel will make your ride smoother or faster.  For the other 5% of skaters, the other 5% of the time, your bearings just might make a difference, but you’re probably in a situation where you’re not going to be trawling Google and reading opinionated douchebags on a blog about bearings.