So, having been working really hard, and with getting back into enjoying skating, and seeing all those (mainly) boys having fun down at Waitangi Skate Park I conjured a brilliant idea: I’d like to try skateboarding.
Last week I saw one young chap and another slightly older lad whose skates seemed to be simply extensions of their feet — in the way that toes are. They just wheeled around, effortlessly, skating in the way that most of us walk. It was all very natural and easy.
For me as a novice skater though, it’s more as though my skates are glued on to my feet as extras, and this is one of the disadvantages. When I come across an unusual obstacle, such as a kerb, I struggle to deal with it. I know that I could quite easily fall, at best, or go sprawling, at worst with the possible consequent injury from hitting the road, oncoming traffic, other passersby or even a headfirst dive into the harbour. With skates firmly attached to my feet I’m at a disadvantage, until my skills improve mightily.
One thing I realised from watching all the boys practicing their skating and skateboarding skills is that when things go pear shaped for a skateboarder they simply jump off. Well, hey! I can do that! Piece of cake!
A few years ago I bought my inline skates from a helpful young woman at a local skate shop (or maybe that should be the local skate shop…). When I went shopping the other day though the staff were several fairly listless young men who clearly weren’t interested in my purchasing power. I guess I was both the wrong gender and the wrong age. In brief, they couldn’t help me and I don’t think they even wanted to help me. Oh, and they had one single pair of women’s skates in the shop — not a single manufacturer or line or style, but a single pair. So much for my vague thoughts of maybe upgrading my skates!
Next I went to Ferg’s Kayak. Their website makes it clear that they no longer sell skates and indeed they couldn’t help me, but at least they looked in the stockroom just in case they still had something to sell. The most helpful thing they did was point me to Boardwatch, more or less next door to Molly Malone’s in Taranaki Street (and next to the archaeological excavation of a Maori Pa).
The guys at Boardwatch (no link available), who deal in snowboards and skateboards, were friendly, polite and extremely helpful. They had nothing to offer by way of skates or protective gear, but were able to sell me a skateboard, and plenty of information to go with it. I paid more than I really intended, but I was happy to spend at a place willing and able to work for the sale.
Next objective: learning to ride it without waving my arms in the air to keep my balance.