The Beginning (Part II)

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Like many other new ideas, there is a grandiose vision but no real clue how to get it started.

How exactly do you find other crazy folk interested in getting back into skateboarding when you haven’t been involved in the sport in over 20 years?

To start, I decided to connect with the DrySpot indoor skatepark and learned that Monday nights were generally nice and quiet. Perfect! It was private, dry and away from the prying eyes of teenagers who would question you (more like comment) with “Dude, you can’t kickflip?!”

With a location in mind, now I had to find people to join in and it’s not like there were a lots of options.  Do I scour websites of people stuck in the 80’s? Do I scope out the local skateparks with a set of binoculars, guessing if the parents are former skaters themselves looking for a reason to unleash the beast?

As amusing as it might have been to try one of these options, none would really help me find people without having to go through a series of bad visuals, getting questioned by police or punched in the face. Surely there had to be a way to engage total strangers, maintain some anonymity and not appear crazier than the next guy.

Then it hit me: Craigslist.

Ahhhh the joys of Craigslist where the dreamers, the ranters and the flaky can unite in a market place of the weird and obscure.  Having done several auditions for bands using Craigslist, it was a perfect cover!

I set up an add and got the equivalent cyberspace crickets for a response, so I jazzed it up again with some lingo I pulled from watching old Bones Brigade videos and fired it back out there. I got one response.

The dude was 20 (almost half my age…………almost) but he fit the right criteria (anyone) and the DrySpot connected me with another learner in his mid 50s! With a few emails flying back and forth, the first trial session was set to include the ‘I’m going to fight middle age’ dude (me), the whipper snapper and a professor (now called Switch Man).

We gathered, skated and everybody lived to talk about it.

The Beginning (Part I)

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The Revert Skateboard Collective has only been around since 2013 but since the very start, we’ve found a core group of local dads who really just love to skate and have fun.  If you skate, you get it and if you don’t skate the questions remain: exactly how & why did a group of middle aged skaters come together?

Simple really.  Some coincidental timing of a couple of dads getting back into skateboarding and then some dedicated group effort to keep the regular skate sessions happening.  My re-introduction to skating is actually my wife’s fault (insert laughter here).

You see, I need to learn something new every few years as I have this wonderful obsessive and binge-like personality.  I’m never happy just learning something, I need to become it.  It’s kind-a-like watching a border collie becoming obsessed with learning to become a border collie.

Somewhere in December 2011 while running some last minute Christmas errands with my family, we made a brief stop at the North Shore Canadian Tire.  My wife quickly dashed in and then came out of the store with a low end skateboard hidden under her arm for my son.

Hmmmmmmmmm……interesting, I haven’t ridden one of those things since 1991.

Naturally I wanted to ‘just’ try it, so the on first dry afternoon that my son left his board unattended, I asked myself ‘can I still frontside 180 ollie?’.

Answer: Nope.

For the next 8 months, I don’t think I even considered getting back on it because I was border collie(-ing) my way through my MBA.  However my daughter asked me if she could have her own skateboard because her brother was getting mad at her for always taking his.

Perfect timing! I had just turned in my final MBA project………Ding!………cue new obsession……………

After two years of juggling work, school and family, I promised my kids a ‘day of awesome’. The day’s plan was to travel around Vancouver, hit our favourite breakfast and lunch spots, do some skateboarding lessons and go to the movies.  After googling ‘Skateboard Lessons and Vancouver’ I organized the kids into some lessons at the Dry Spot Indoor Skate Park (http://www.skatethedryspot.com).

We arrived at the indoor park, the kids were padded up, their lives signed away and I went to the side lines to drink my coffee and watch the fun.

I couldn’t finish my coffee,

I had to try it again.

At age 38, what could go wrong? Armed with my ski helmet (I have no idea why that helmet was in the car), I stepped on a board, pushed and flailed up and down the indoor park awkwardly.  Who cares really? In my mind it was 1987 and I was once again channeling Lance Mountain.

It was invigorating, familiar and terrifying all at once: I was hooked. I quickly purchased a complete Monke set up and spent a solid hour skateboarding (flailing) and wearing a ski helmet. As we left the indoor park to embark on the next phase of the day of awesome, I came to the conclusion that I must not be the only nutbar wanting to try it again.

Thus began the search for others……..