26 December 2009

I'm not skateboarding, I'm ZiPziNGing

Over the last few years you may have noticed a new craze amongst certain skateboarders, it is called 'fun.' Fun started largely in part to Mark Gonzales and the Krooked Zip Zinger model. It is basically a small skateboard with a longer wheelbase and more of a shape than the conventional 'popsicle' mounted onto big soft wheels. Now some people use them for transport, while others use them as 'filming boards.' (So the filmer can follow the skateboarder more efficiently while filming). But more significantly, others use them as a substitute for actual skateboarding. "Yeah Bro, I'm not really skating today." The young ripper will say as he cruises around on his Zip Zinger, Zig Zagger, retro-cruising, hill bombing, cruising shred-stick. You see, skateboarding can be deadly serious. It either involves mathematically complicated technical tricks and dangerous stunts and not much actual 'skating.' It means trying something dozens of times before rolling away with wrecked body parts. Yet, sometimes all one wants, is to feel the wind in one's hair, hop a curb, bomb a hill, get barrelled by the over-hanging hedge and so forth. Le Zip Zinger opens up a whole new world to the jaded skateboarder including but not limited to: rough-arse asphalt banks, gravel, grass, slick walls, jersey barriers, wet hills, cracked sidewalks, trees and rocks.

Last summer, while cycling across town, I saw a roving gang of teenage Zig Zingereres. Instead of carrying their boards, which would usually have been mounted on rock hard 52 mm wheels, while waiting for the bus, they were actually pushing through the streets with smiles on their faces. I wanted to hop off my bike and join their gang immediately but they were gone before I could turn around.

"Fuck You, I'd rather skate to the beach and look better getting there." Remember that song?

Anyway, I finally rigged myself up a cruiser board. I went the opposite direction and got 9.25" wide with 16" a wheelbase (optional 16.75" for the SE 72nd Hawthorne to Division descent), 169 trucks and 65mm/ 75a wheels but the concept is the same. i.e. I don't have to pretend to skate anymore.

I took my cruiser out today for its inaugural session and made all sorts of friends because people knew I was not actually a skateboarder but a decent human being enjoying the fresh air on a blustery but sunny winter day.