skateboarding (86)

James Kelly in Gnarly Downhill Skateboard Ride

“‘James Kelly-Unbound..

After a successful, but challenging year on the downhill circuit, James Kelly comes home to ride some of his favorite hills. What’s captured here is James completely unbound; a freeride session as good anything we’ve seen in years. A day away from the pressures of racing, a day to remember why he started skating, a day to let loose and just ride fast…'”

-Mike W”

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Skateboarding the Mountain This Morning

It used to be a rite of passage for serious teenage skaters in my small town to skate a local mountain road on full moon nights. It’s a 1-1/2-mile pretty steep (in some sections) curving downhill road that is closed off to cars at night. It’s way too fast for me on a normal board, but I can negotiate much of it on a Carveboard, which has pneumatic wheels, and can carve very steep turns.

   I got up at 5AM, drove to the mountain, parked and towed my Carveboard up on a rope (like dog on leash). Unfortunately, I had let too much air out of the tires, and couldn’t get a rhythm going, except for a stretch at the end.

   BUT — I got to see the full moon going down over the ocean in platinum brilliance, while the sunrise lit up the east in an orange glow — ain’t complainin. Got back to town and skated downtown, which has just been paved. No people, no cars. Bombed a hill 3 times, with no worries about running into humans or vehicles. FUN!

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Sk8ing Again

For months I’ve been wistfully looking at the downhills, especially the newly-paved. Just couldn’t risk a fall with shoulder healing. But things feel together enough for me to venture back on the pavement. So much fun!

  Since I’ve never learned to slide (whereby you can control yr. speed), I need to get off the board before getting to the speed where I can’t get off and remain vertical. For now I’m just skating gentle slopes and carving. No (well not much) bombing.

   I wear Loaded gloves with hockey pucks velcroed to the palms. Cliff Coleman, downhill speed legend, told me that when you fall, remember 4 words: “Get On Your Hands.” Meaning get those hockey pucks sliding on the pavement so you’re not sanding off skin. Also be on your knees, i.e. knee pads with hard surfaces, so you’re on all fours, sliding on hockey pucks and knee pads. The one time I had the presence of mind to do this was in San Francisco late at night when my board hit an unsurmountable crack in the pavement, and I skidded along on 4 noncorporeal surfaces. Felt pretty good about that.

   Boards shown from my, ahem sponsors: at left my Santa Cruz (not sure of model)—-for bombing and sharper turns, at right my Loaded Bhangra, which I ride most of the time for mellow downhills, smooth turns.

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Longboard Skateboarders in Park

Were these guys hot! I thought California boys had the fancy stuff all locked up, but these guys were busting one move after the other. One of them skidded his board into a 360 and kept going. I didn’t know there was a downhill in Manhattan, but this was maybe a 500′ run, in a paved section in the park adjacent to Central Park West between 72nd and 74th. No cars.

They meet up through, Longboarding NYC here.

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Lloyd’s Skateboarding on Russian Website

So much is going on in my life right now that I have a hard time sorting it all out, much less writing about it. I’ve started backing away from publicity ops because they take so much time, but I did one “media thing” last week before my shoulder operation because I thought the photographer and the project were so cool.

   I met Vladimir Yakovlev at Trouble Coffee in San Francisco. He was here from Moscow photographing people for his book The Age of Happiness, 70-100 year olds who are active and lively. The Russian version sold 5000 copies (a $50 book) in the first month in Russia.) Now he’s about to publish an English version in the USA. It’s a stunning book.

   This was such a great guy to work with. He shot a bunch of photos, and I loved his photographic-journalistic instincts. Now here is a journalist! (See Wikipedia on him here.)

   He and a friend came out here yesterday. A wonderful visit, to meet people from such a different part of the world, yet to be so completely in sync.

   Some photos and some of our conversation just appeared on Vladimir’s website here. To see other people on the website, click here.

   For The Age of Happiness on Facebook, click here.

Photo: Vladimir Yakovelev

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64-year-old Skateboarder

October 19, 2012

Lloyd, I took up longboarding about three months ago at the age of 63 (I’m 64 now). Thanks for the inspiration, since you’re even older than me! And still longboarding. I too use a Big Stick. And also have taken some falls, but not since I went Big Stick. Here in Oregon we’ve got acorns and other woody stuff that falls on trails. I just got a 60″ bamboo Norgeboard that seems more steady over such obstacles. I also blog about my adventures in longbording. See my “skateboarding” category:

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Skateboard Blues – Hittin the Road Jack

Crash My skateboard falls usually occur when I’m tired, at night or in late afternoon. Tuesday night I was skating, using my Big Kahuna stick. It’s like a pavement paddle, about 6′ long, with a rubber stopper at one end and you use it to scoot along. WELL, I guess it was a eucalyptus pod, my board stopped and I didn’t. Fell backward, landed on wrist and elbow on pavement — pretty intense shoulder pain. There are 2 foremost things in my mind when I fall and am lying there: First, how badly am I hurt? Second, did anyone see me? (hoping not). It’s now a few days later and the shoulder is a bit better. Ah me. I ain’t givin up. Not yet.

Deek Pic is of me and Deek Diedrickson, author of the unique tiny house book, Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, and Whatever the Heck Else we could Squeeze in Here. Deek’s not only an author, but artist , raconteur, and one of the most active guys in the tiny homes movement. We met for a beer at The Pelican Inn in Muir Beach a few weeks ago.

Music du jour: Mike Auldridge. Album: “Dobro, Blues, & Bluegrass.”

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TimTam Tan Tien: New Loaded Skateboard

“This video is a celebration of the launch of our newest longboard the Tan Tien. Progressive longboard riding by Adam Colton, Kyle Chin, P-Below Castro and the Bandyman. We had a lot of fun making this video, and yes the first part is the same location as Flipping the Switch it is just too fun to skate. Stoked that Loaded riders and employees Pablo and Marcus came out to skate. …SPECS: Length: 39″ / Wheelbase: 27″ / Width 8.75″

SETUPS: Paris 180s / Orangatang 86a Stimulus.”

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