Posted by: martinworster | August 19, 2010

96. SKATE CITY HERE WE COME..

My youngest son Oliver is presently obsessed with skateboards. I can’t wait till he’s old enough so I can build him a mini ramp in the garden – so I can start skating again. He’s definitely growing up in the right place. Southern California is the spiritual home of skateboarding, Venice beach it’s birthplace. Huntington Beach, where I reside is surf city – but there’s still plenty of pro skateboarders and company HQs that reside here. The areas is littered with skateparks. Fiftysomethings cruise down the beach on trendy skate longboards made of eco-friendly bamboo. I’ve even seen skaters on longboards using a long punt to propel themselves forward, taking their cue from stand up surfing. Board sports are part of the DNA here. Gnarly dude. Not only is Olly in the right place – so am I.

Just shy of three years old, Oliver is too young to really skateboard on his own. We bought him a mini skateboard which he carries around with him but he’s not really cruising the sidewalks just yet. He wouldn’t be able to control it – he doesn’t have the balance yet. He has to make do with me pushing him around or cruising along with him standing between my legs. This is a bit sketchy, my skateboarding isn’t what it was. My agility is out of the window, good balance a rusty memory. A stockier frame means falls really hurt.

There is also a massive market in mini finger skateboards. Little sticks no more than six inches long – complete with interchangeable trucks and micro wheels. All the major pros have branded micro boards with customised graphics – even down to details like slide marks on the underside as if they’ve been riding rails and smashing up the streets. Along with the boards, there’s a whole selection of ramps and street obstacles you can buy. Mini-ramps, half pipes, kickers, street props like benches and rails. It’s pretty incredible.

Oliver plays with his mini-skateboard all the time. He pretends to ride it, even down to doing jumps off the step in the kitchen. He wants to wear skateboard t-shirts and caps. Tony Hawk watch your back, I think we have 2025s skate champ on the firm.

It’s great having two little sons whom you can vicariously relive your childhood through. Remote control cars, Dardar cars, Airfix models, BMXs, remote control helicopters, Lego, bodyboards, water pistols, water balloons, trampolines and so much more – all bought mainly so dad can get in on the act again.

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