Posts Tagged ‘skatepark’
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.
Thanks, everyone, for forgiving me Monday.
I get disappointed when the webcartoonists I admire have to miss a day here and there, and I really don’t like to think about myself disappointing any of you.
But damn, did I have a lot to do. And still do, but tomorrow looks manageable, so here’s a comic strip for you!
I posted the still frame of Chad coming off his skateboard the other day, but I forgot to post this for you- the video of a perfectly good run gone silly only fifteen seconds in. The music (what there is of it) is Nine Inch Nails. Chad, being who he is, walked away unharmed and tried again. I’m gonna go get you guys a bunch of shots like this and try to string ‘em together into a real video.
There are some very fine people who skate at the Memphis Tobey Field Skatepark. Chad is one of the best. He’s skillful, enthusiastic, humble, and he’s really good at teaching- always taking time to help out the little guys and girls who come to learn.
We were shooting a little video to go here the other day- just an iPhone thingy- when he spilled off the board fairly high up a wall. Here’s a still frame for you to see. I had to crop the bottom, so in this shot, you can’t see how high up the wall he is nor how far he’s got to go to get to the bottom. So… is this a teaser or a spoiler? I didn’t hang around long enough to get really good vid, just enough to try to see the line he’s teaching me to skate in ‘The Bowl’.
Chad’s also helping raise extra funds for the Hernando MS skatepark soon to be built. Go HERE and check it out. You might wanna skate there someday. Chuck ‘em a dollar and the skatepark will be better for it.
It’s legendary among surfers, if I understand right. There’s a line you wait in until it’s your turn, and if you’re new there in some way, you might get pushed back in line a bit. There’s a code… an etiquette… to these things.
I haven’t experienced the surfer thing. I wanted to. I told my buddy Mike Ramirez, who had been a surfer before moving to Memphis, that when Hubris hit it big and got a high-money syndication deal, that we’d go to the beaches he frequented through college and he’d teach me to surf. Gosh, that was a long time ago.
I have experienced it in whitewater kayaking. At a play-wave, the downstream traffic has first call at the wave. You get out of their way as they come through. You find your place in line in the eddie at the river’s edge. You see who was there before you, checking both sides of the river. If there are two entry points to the play spot, you’ve got to watch and only get in when it’s Your Turn. There’s always going to be some jostling and some inexperienced boaters just aren’t going to be able to avoid jostling forward and back. Apologize. And let the guy you’ve jostled past slip around you to claim his turn at the wave.
Mostly, you’re not going to be called out for jumping line the first or second or even the third time… Mostly, you’d better move your ass on down the river if you’ve jumped line without looking as though you’re really really sorry about it and not at all the self-important jerk you obviously are. You hear stories about what happens to the cars and campsites of people who chronically and snottily jump line as a matter of course. DBAD, dude.
It happens at the skatepark, too, of course. I usually like to go so early that no one else in his right mind is interested in being awake. I’m not very good at scanning a crowd bunched up around the Serpentine or the Bowl and figuring out whose turn it is. Also, I’m not a very good skater and I feel like the little things I’m capable of are wasting other skaters’ time in there. Other skaters are usually really cool about disabusing people of this notion- they know everyone has their skill level, and don’t mind you learning. You’re using YOUR time in the bowl, not theirs. They don’t mind waiting their turn.
Even when the little kids with their TarMart bikes come and ride through the Serpentine. People watch and wait and, if the occasional kid seems to be slowly circling around at the end of the run over and over again, the kid doesn’t get an earful of expletive. There’s usually some teenager that’ll wander over and say, “Good run. It’s time to come on out and let the next guy in, okay?” and the kid pushes his bike out of the run. The next skater typically does something so amazing you feel it was worth the wait.
So. No matter what your non-team sport might be…Play nice, right?
So there’s this big steel wave at the skatepark- put there on the first anniversary of the park, or thereabouts. Anyway, I’ve been told it’s eighteen feet tall or so.
And it’s got stickers on it. I’ve watched as people ride up it and slap stickers as high as they can get them. It’s fun to watch.
Today, I had a bunch of Hubris stickers and some young enthusiasts willing to get them as high up as possible.
Here’s a photo for scale. It’s a big thing. And some of those stickers are really high. Lots of the highest ones are put there by in-line skaters (you know- the guys with wheel-bearing boots on their feet) They’re sometimes looked askance at by the skateboarders, but by golly, they can get really really high up that wave. And they can’t ‘bail out’- if they land badly, they STILL might roll away. The skateboarders and bicyclers? Tougher to get higher, and more chance for bailing out- intentionally or otherwise.
Yeah, that’s the kid’s skateboard way up next to him in the second shot. He got some decent height, and made a huge reach for the placement of a sticker, but there was zero chance of landing back on the board. Boom.
The guys were real troopers, though, and went through a lot of Hubris stickers on the wave.
If you duct tape a camera to the front of a skateboard, and have a hotshot (Hey, Chad) make a run through a serpentine, it’ll be a cool video, yeah?
Sounded perfectly reasonable to me.
Anyhow, the camera bobbles around and points down more than you’d like, and what you get is what your shoe sees while you skate.
That’s the trouble with a lot of skate videos. They don’t communicate the absolute FUN of what you’re doing. Most of them show you action shots of guys doing aerial moves that are amazing and all, but they don’t give you the feeling of BEING there. Neither does putting the camera on the front of the board, but it’s fun to try!