Me? I’d be fine with their skatepark. I don’t do aerial stuff. I’m pretty comfy down in the bowl, scooting around, keeping my head down…
Posts Tagged ‘skate’
I’m sneaking up on changing the update schedule. Did you guys want four cartoons this week, or the usual three?
Also, I’ve begun running some new ads here and there. All the regular readers, say “hi” to the new folks. New folks, feel free to use the comment section. Hope you’ll stay around with us. Also, whoever came in from Project Wonderful and read 500 pages on the site- Thank you! That was quite an investment in time and energy. I hope you enjoyed it completely.
I have written about wrist guards BEFORE, but I have some new ones.
The last wrist guard gloves I had and wrote about were by Harbinger. Harbinger quit making them, even though they still make some very slick looking weightlifting gloves. I liked their wrist guards very much, even after my puppy chewed them up a bit. After long enough, though, you just have to move along, so I tried to order a pair of HillBilly wrist guards from Unicycle.com (the same place that had offered the Harbingers). The HillBillys seemed to have the same design and materials as the Harbingers- like maybe somebody saw the need for really nice wrist guards and said, “We’ll make ‘em if Harbinger won’t!” “Good” I thought, and ordered some. The problem arose when I opened the box. I received Kris Holm Pulse wrist support gloves instead.
They look good, too, but they weren’t what I ordered. It was easy to see at a glance why such a switchup could occur, the package was marked in such a way that it could have been either glove. I had to look twice to realize they weren’t what I ordered. Some rushed kid filling boxes all day, mostly with unicycles and parts, isn’t going to spend a lot of time double-checking to makes sure the right gloves are coming out of the bin and going into a box. I mean, how many different kinds of wrist guards do they sell, right? Right. They sell two. Damn.
I intended to send them back to get the right things, but the cost isn’t too crazy, I like the look of them, and I thought I might just reorder the Hillbillys and keep these, too, “I can use them for stuff other than skating, even if they don’t have a rigid wrist piece in them.”
My mistake. I took them out of the package, thinking I’d check ‘em out, decide where I could use them, and then go order the HillBilly’s again. But they DO have a rigid piece of plastic in them, just not where the Harbingers do.
I thought these were going to be ‘wrist support’ gloves in the same way that my high-top skate shoes are ‘ankle support’ instead of ‘ankle brace’ shoes. (I have a wonky ankle. Gotta watch it or it folds like origami. The difference between ‘ankle brace’ and ‘ankle support’ has become important to me.)
These gloves, though, had the rigid plastic bit along the BACK of my hand, with nice thick goatskin pads on the palm. “Hmmmm” I said, while trying them on. “This might work.”
So I’ve tried them out. I admit I was nervous. Up to this point, I’d been using my Harbingers as little wrist skis. If I went down, I’d slide along on my padded knees and my palms (like a cow on ice, see?), then hop up and go again. These Kris Holm gloves weren’t designed to slide so much. And I worried that with the rigid spine, that if I fell badly, my wrist (that I use a lot when I draw, right? You guys get that the reason I’m cranky about my wrists is that I draw for a living?) would get mangled without the plastic between it and the nice concrete surface of our skatepark.
Not so much. In fact, I haven’t had to panic and think about how I’m falling or anything. There have been no rude surprises. The gloves are nice. I fall, I get up, it hasn’t impinged on my mind which gloves I have on yet. That’s a good sign.
I won’t say they’re an improvement over the Harbingers, just that I feel confident wearing them to skate. (keep in mind that Kris Holm is, after all, a unicyclist- and an amazing one at that. These gloves, unlike the Harbingers, were probably never intended for the kinds of falls taken in a skatepark, but then, the kinds of falls I take from a skateboard and the kinds of falls I take from my offroad unicycle are pretty similar.)
Here’s the details of the gloves themselves. Fingerless (fingered gloves are also available) and fitted well for my hand (I ordered the Large. I have trouble with gloves. My palms are probably more nearly a Medium, but my finger length is mutant long and my wrists are skinny, so fitting fingered gloves is an issue. I roll the dice with fingerless- it could go either way. Large turned out to be right) Nice goatskin suede palms. Plastic spine on the backs of the gloves, held in place by the wrist support wrap, which is held both at the back of the glove with a small bit of velcro (an improvement over the Harbinger, I think) and by the long piece of velcro of the whole wrap.
Good solid construction. Feels like it’ll be hot and sweaty, but I haven’t noticed it while riding. I sweated the Harbingers through so many times that white salt lines formed in the leather. Haven’t had that so far with the Kris Holm, but time, and a LOT more riding/skating, will show whether that’s a factor.
I like ‘em. If you do stuff that requires wrist guards and, like me, you don’t like the little Ace Bandage/Grandma style thingies you can get at Target/WalMart/Sportsmart etc., then these are well worth the $30 they cost.
And if your job means that your wrists aren’t worth $30 to you, then I envy your freedom to ride unencumbered.
I had this idea a while back, and of course it was overblown in its initial state. I would enlist the help of the two people I know who have the know-how and the elaborate woodshops that would enable me to lay up some custom skate decks. Then, I would woodburn cool custom designs into the decks for the sheer pleasure of having a really nice custom deck. Then, I would cover the deck with a clear resin finish with some quartz sand mixed in for grip, and vóila! A really expensive, jaw-droppingly cool skate deck for me. I say for me because you can see how such a thing could be well outside the perceived value/price range of your average skater. The kinds of people who would WANT such a thing are the kinds of people that skate so good and so hard that they regularly break decks. You don’t want to smash a two-month old $300 custom deck do you? No. Nobody’s that frivolous.
But overlarge good ideas can be whittled down to something manageable. I started tinkering around. Why build custom decks out of handpicked hardwood ply when you can go online and buy a half-dozen blank decks and piddle around all you like on them? So I did that. And that whole Resin finish thing? The wiser heads at the skate shop said “Why not use clear grip tape? Zap. Done. So all that remained was the woodburning of the art. That’s what I was mostly interested in. I like woodburning, and I like the idea of the art on the top of the deck, so I went for it.
It took me three months to finally clear a day in my schedule, and there wasn’t time to really finalize the cool Hubris art that I wanted to do, so I decided the first deck would be total practice- a throwaway if necessary. So I laid out an area to work in, transferred some art to a deck fresh out of the box and sanded bare of finish, and grabbed my woodburning tool. Turns out, I needed all three of my woodburning tools to make this thing work. There were some effects and line weights that insisted on various kinds of burn.
There are big fat lines from a tool that’s pretty much a soldering iron, a lot of tiny feathery lines that come off a tool I bought at a specialty wood shop years ago, and some patterning in the background that comes off a hot twist of wire in the end of a handle on a thing my father got from a woodworking buddy- it’s a tool that started life as a charger for a car battery and now does duty as a custom branding iron.
There you have it. Niiiiice skate deck. I took some photos and ran to the skate shop to get that clear grip tape put on it. That didn’t work out so well – waaay too milky and opaque, so we’re on to phase two. I do the art on the bottom of the deck and go get some resin.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
There are various folks, encouraged by Memphis’ success in building a first-class skate park, who’re fundraising to help our their own towns in building nice skate parks, too. One way this is done is the occasional fun-fund raiser. Where folks donate things like (ahem) Hubris books and Hubris skate decks and… y’know… Real Art. Here are some photos I’ve been hanging onto of some fine lookin’ art that was sold to support the Hernando Skatepark, which (If I understand correctly) the town has already included plans for in a new park area, but if the local skaters can raise sufficient funds, then the city will put in a larger, better skate area. Coolness, I say. Just so long as maintenance for the park is accounted for in annual budgets, right, City Fathers?