I was torn this morning. I wanted to crawl back into bed after walking Maggie at 7. I checked the weather, it was chilly and would warm up later in the afternoon. I was tempted to skate then, but there were two problems with that. 1, I had to work later in the afternoon. Well, that’s really the only problem, but the “logically” less important reason is the one that really motivated me this morning.
2, the park would be crowded later.
It’s been tough to get up lately with the change of season, but man is it nice to get to the park early and have it to yourself.
So I laced up my beat-to-shit vans and headed out. I wanted to skate today, and I had the time this morning.
The park was empty, as expected, and I wanted to build off of yesterday’s progress. “Build off of” might not be the right word choice though, since I took a few steps backwards on the progression ladder in the name of building a solid mini-ramp foundation.
Before I progressed any further with backside turns/slides, I wanted to build up my skillset going frontside. That was my intent this morning.
- Frontside kick-turns
- Frontside slash grinds
I can do both of those backside, but before this morning I couldn’t do them frontside. Still can’t do the slash grind, but I made some real progress with the kickturns this morning.
After doing some backside carves and slashes to warm up my legs, I went into kickturns. I stayed low on the ramp at first, and actually had an easier time on the bigger, 6′ quarter. I approached it at a wide angle and focused hard on turning my shoulders.
That whole “look where you want to go” thing is so much easier said than done, but once you get a feel for it the move just becomes so much easier.
I climbed the learning curve and quickly entered the realm of just practicing. On each attempt I would approach the ramp with more speed and at a steeper angle. Definitely need to keep practicing, but I’m psyched to have learned it relatively quickly, especially because frontside turns and slashes are so stylish. I was surprised by how high up on the 6′ ramp I was able to get!
With some more practice I’ll eventually progress up to the slash grind, which is ultimately the goal. Wasn’t able to get that far today, but I came close a few times. I’m pumped to learn them both front and backside so I can take it to the New Britain bowl. The thing I need to get comfortable with on the fs slash grind is that “weightless” feeling at the top of the ramp. For now I’m happy to claim a sick screen-grab!
Going backside, I’m a bit better at moving my body with the ramp instead of against it. Not quite the case going frontside… yet. That’ll come with more kickturn and carving practice.
At the end of the session, some rogue confidence came over me and I decided to try airing over a little hip that I’ve been using to pump. Being able to ollie/air over it would add so much more style. I didn’t really have a plan, other than to attack it head on with plenty of speed.
I wasn’t intending to do a full ollie, but rather kind of just continue the pumping motion and just ride off the lip. I kinda did? The board stayed under me, which freaked me out even though that was the goal. I bailed and ran down the ramp on the other side. The board followed me and snuck under my foot mid-stride. I quickly found myself on the ground deciding that the session was over.
Fun one this morning though, and I’m glad I got out.