My Skateboard Story, Part 6

Posted: 2020-04-21 in Uncategorized

2011 kicked off with a new hobby:  Snowboarding!  I’d picked up a 1992 Burton Air snowboard from a local pawn shop and got it set up with help from Casualties Marquette, and the Switchback Gear Exchange.  There’s a lot of crossover between longboarding and snowboarding, with one key difference:  Snowboarding requires you to effectively straighten out your path of travel while carving; longboarding allows you to ping rail to rail (which is why slalom pumping and long distance pumping work).  I got off the bunny hill within a few sessions, and wound up being able to comfortably charge the green slopes by the end of the season.  For years, I’d slammed snowboarders as “bros,” lacking in intellect and subtlety, and generally milling about the world in a marijuana-riddled daze.  After I bought my first board, I saw how wrong I was.  One of my biggest regrets in college was not picking up a snowboard sooner.  Gliding down powdery slopes gave me as freeing of a feeling as longboarding had done for so many years.

One pretty important piece of gear acquisition in 2011 was the Dregs Race that I purchased from the RIT Music Skate Casa in Holland, Michigan.  That was the second board in my Gravity Games collection, and came mounted up with a set of Dregs Labeda wheels that bore a striking resemblance to the old Exkate Turbo wheels; highly desirable in the 2002 time frame I was trying to clone.  Ultimately, I put the Labedas onto the TVS board (to more closely emulate a Gary Hardwick setup), and put some red Kryptonics onto the Dregs board.

On top of that, I was selected randomly to do a set of community trials and reviews on Veloz Trucks.  I can’t sufficiently express the gratitude I still have for that company, for giving me a cool opportunity to test their gear.  The trucks, after being tested for the review linked above, would wind up mounted on a Gumball Machine street luge that I’d built for a class project in 2011.

I built some small locker-sized boards inspired by a Longboard Larry Humu to try and drum up a few bucks during the fall semester, but precisely none of them sold.  I did sell the Feralarts Rabid Rodent to a classmate, and in doing so, got rid of the 70mm Zigzags referenced a while back…must’ve been mounted on that set of Indy 169’s, because I’ve lost all photographic evidence of those trucks after this point.

I’d also built up the parts to build a full Element-branded complete, when I won a set of their Phase 2 trucks from the old Search + Win online contests.  And, some G&S Bam Bams to round out the G&S Billy Ruff I’d been riding since the previous Halloween.

I entered 2012 as a new college graduate, armed with a rack of boards totally different than I’d started the fall semester with – and just like that, my gear exchanges slowed.  Not only did my budgetary and financial situation change to paying bills and not just having fun money, but the entire used market slowed.  Buy/Sell/Trade sections on many different websites (not just Silverfish, where most of my dealing was done, but also Skullandbones and NCDSA) slowed to a crawl as people began taking to Facebook Marketplace to sell their wares.  Post office prices had begun rising, making it harder to ship stuff across the country.

A couple of boards I picked up were an S9 Raceboard (through trade), and an Earthwing Supermodel (one of the last boards sold by MileHighSkates.com, the other being a 2011 Superglider that my wife bought).  I wound up selling my own red Superglider and my Pavel GoG slalom board to a gent in Chicago…that was one of the events that inspired my wife to buy her ’11 Superglider:  She loved my red one, and I went and sold it.  Having traded the Faltown, that left me with the Moose board as my primary hardwheel sliding board, up until 2018.

Spring of 2012 was the last time I rode my snowboard and my luge – due to a freaky weather pattern, it hit the 80’s on St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan, then we had a substantial amount of snow.  I was in my backyard, practicing some flatground maneuvers on my snowboard, and wound up pulling the binding screw clean out of the deck.  Ultimately, I sold the deck to a collector, but that was another 5 years later.  I brought my luge out to a local park, and while out there, had gotten 2 phone calls for life-altering job offers…I had a small nervous breakdown while considering each option, and never actually rode the luge again.

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