Verbal has just bought a skateboard. She’s already conquered the ex-board to the point where we no longer pre-book a hospital appointment every time she swishes along on the deadly thing. Which has taken a while as that wheeled lunacy is nothing less than an accident that hasn’t quite happened yet.
But apparently it’s rubbish at tricks mainly due to the weight and the inability to plot a course that involves straight lines. So a£10 skateboard from Argos* and some youthful enthusiasm has already turned the kitchen into an impromptu skate park. My first attempt was pretty typical of anything that merges an Alex, something with wheels and anything requiring balance skills. I gave the board some ‘umpty with my right foot only to find I’d suddenly acquired seven league boots without the luxury of a seven league crutch.
The board sped off backwards almost kneecapping the dog, while I – in the manner of comedic potential energy – rocketed forward landing carefully on my face and elbow. This illicited howls of delight from the kids “Dad THAT WAS ACE, DO IT AGAIN” and a whimper from yours truly here. The dog pitched in with his terrifying slobber of life, and I was back on my feet before drowning was added to an escalating list of injuries.
I wasn’t allowed a skateboard as a kid. This may have been, in part, due to the demand being made while lying in a hospital bed with a busted pelvis. Even back in those unenlightened times, the physio couldn’t see any benefits whatsoever of placing a healing mid section of hip atop a small wheeled cart with no brakes. I did sneak a go on my mates, which was my first and last attempt at the alien skills of the boarder. Too fast to get off, too scared to turn it uphill, my brief – yet tremendously exciting – skateboarding history ended in Mr. Mills hedge having easily cleared his low front wall at the point of impact.
So, already my ten year old daughter is better than me. That will not stand. And neither will I at the moment especially having googled “Advanced Skateboarding” only to find myself entirely wrong for the sport. I have no trousers with gussets terminating just above ankle level, no wild thatch of hair, no ability to rotate and flip my ageing body except from vertical to horizontal and no tattoos. Surely though, an experienced Mountain Biker like myself with the hand-eye co-ordination of a special needs stoat should be able to master the simplest tricks.
Like getting on without falling off. I know some of you must have pierced the inner circle of these dark arts. Time to pony up and share your secrets!
* A place I’m coming to think of as “The LIDL REJECT STORE“