Longboard Adventures: You, Me and my board Odie
After years of wanting a skateboard of my own, last year my savings were enough to purchase my first longboard – a Loaded Vanguard with Bear trucks and Orangatang 86a In Heat wheels. I named him Odie (like Garfield’s cute dog) because of its brand Loaded. I’ve had him for 9 months now.
First things first, a longboard is still a skateboard – but longer. haha. I say this because there are haters out there who want to give a clear distinction between the two. To be honest, I don’t really mind ’cause whether it’s plastic, wooden plank (or even metal?), long or short, as long as its on four wheels, it’s a skateboard.
Before I share with you some of my pocket escapades with Odie, let me give you a quick background to understand why I’ve been so stoked ever since I’ve had my longboard in my life.
Ever since I could remember, I was a shy but active little girl. A little ball of energy that could not be contained – be it dancing, playing musical instruments, sports (normal or extreme) or whatever else I wanted to try. I loved being in the outdoors. Thanks to the X-Games and The Mighty Ducks trilogy (and Joshua Jackson) my love for all things extreme grew fonder. Josh is such a dreamboat isn’t he? anwayyyyy, i digress.
Unfortunately, due to my medical history (I suffered a stroke at the tender age of 13), I had to stop playing contact and extreme sports altogether. It took a long time before doctors gave me the ok to do a limited list of physical activities. This took years. And so much other stuff happened in my life. I got depressed without even realizing I was.
Surreal and Stoked:
Fast-forward to now, 12 years after – I am a proud owner of a Vanguard and loving every stoking minute of it. I think I’ve been making up for lost time. That time when I was younger wishing I already had my own board and maybe I would’ve skated the inside and outside of my school campus. Or wishing that I never had a stroke maybe I could’ve done the sports that I wanted to try. But nevermind the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. Let’s live in the here and now.
Every opportunity I get, I skate. I don’t have a schedule so it’s pretty much spontaneous. I usually go Saturdays and/or Sundays to local parks and parking lots and skate around. But when I have lots of time, I do cruise around the metro. It’s pretty dangerous, but I’m aware of my limits so I don’t push myself into careless things. In the parks that I frequent, there are communities of longboarders/skateboarders, some of which I have talked to. They were also also willing to teach me tricks. They’re a friendly bunch of folk. If ever I do get the chance, I would want to join them in their late-night skate jams but I figure I’m too old for that. I value my 7-8 hours of sleep (raise your hands if you feel me! haha).
I’m glad that my friends are also loving longboarding as well. Some of them surf already so when they learned I bought a longboard, they were beyond stoked. So everytime we would see each other they’d ask if I brought my board with me (which I always do, by the way. haha) and we’d have a quickie skate jam. My other friends who don’t surf or skate love to give it a go. It’s a great way to break the ice.
I could go for 3-4 hours straight just cruising. No kidding. Because of that (and a healthier diet) I have lost 10 lbs and counting already. Waking up for an early morning stoke is one those delightful simple things. I was never a morning person but waking up to skate is all worth it. Specially when I have the empty road/park to myself. Just, ugh-mazing. Last Christmas, I walked & skated from Ayala Ave all the way to Bonifacio High Street. It was my bday-slash-xmas gift to myself. It was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself. Got heaps of stoke.
Thanks to longboarding, I’ve started to gain courage of a different kind. It’s a personal thing but I think those who have felt this too understand what I’m talking about. I think that when you start something, continue to pursue it, and get better along the way, there’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes with that. You don’t even have to be the best, you’re just doing it for your own benefit. Skating is not just a hobby to me, it’s my therapy and my escape. One day at a time I get better with every push I make with my board and with my life.
So go ride it. I’m not saying go buy yourself a longboard or a bike or anything of that sort. I’m saying go with your own flow. Let go of the fears that are holding you back and just ride life like a longboard (erm, skateboard). Soak up the stoke for as long as it lasts, then push forward and cruise, carve, dance, flip along the way. Go for it and ride the heck out of it!
Stop and Shop:
I wanna say a thank you shoutout to the owner of Longboards Manila, Paolo Vasquez. I’ve only met him once but have talked to him several times online, he’s an all-around awesome guy. He was very patient and helpful answering my noob questions. He knows his boards I tell ya. His shop is located at The Collective in Malugay St, Makati. Stop by when you do have the time. The Collective is one of those hidden gems in the city.
If you do want to score your own longboard, start local. Most of the longboard shops in the Phils have websites (trust me, I scoured the Internet when I was looking for boards and local shops). They’re friendly and accommodating to any queries you may have. Just be polite and no hating please.
Share the Stoke! Stay Safe, Wear A Helmet!
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