On skateboarding at 40

My first #kickflip in 23 years. Sketchy, on carpet, but I got it!! #skateboarding #skateboardingisfun

A video posted by Marc Di Martino (@godlessinitaly) on

It’s been a bit over two months since I got my skateboard. It’s been so long I can’t even remember the last board I skated on over 20 years ago. Below is a breakdown of how it’s gone so far: tricks I’ve (re)learned, slams I’ve taken, bucket list for the next few months.

I live in a place where most of what’s available is a smooth piece of pavement to roll around on and the occasional curb to grind (and those are rare enough); consequently, most of my skating is what used to be termed “freestyle”. But that’s alright, because when you haven’t skated in 23 years and your body is getting old the last thing you need is a set of stairs and a handrail to kill yourself on. In the last two months I’ve gotten back much of my repertoire of yore, plus a few new tricks: ollies, 180 ollies fs/bs, fs/bs pop shuvs, fs/bs halfcabs, helipops, fakie bigspins, nollie 180s, no-comply 180s and no-comply shuvs (new!), and most recently I’ve landed a few 360 bs ollies (new!). I’ve also landed a few sketchy kickflips (see above), but not on pavement so they don’t count.

Believe it or not, I’ve only skated curbs a handful of times. The weather has turned horrible and I’m getting out less and less. I’ve done some noseslides and some railslides, but that’s about it. I’m trying to get a friend to help me build a portable grindrail so when the weather gets better I can take it to the local park and get back 50/50s and learn some new tricks like crook grinds.

The first and only time I’ve skated any sort of ramp or transition has been at a local indoor BMX park. It was terrible. All the ramps were covered in dusty Masonite. I slipped trying a manual over the box and hurt my ribs. Definitely not going back there!

I have a few friends who’ve also started skating again recently. We exchange tips and updates over Facebook. They live in places where there are public and private skateparks nearby (in the US), whereas I have nothing of the sort (well, there is this all marble skatepark in Tuscany). The funny thing is, I grew up in a time when skateparks were a rarity where I lived, and we were largely considered outlaws on four wheels. “Skateboarding is not a crime” is a slogan from that era. Today in the US is a golden age for skateparks, and I happen to live in a place resembling the late 80s skate scene of my beginner days. Only now the only skaters I come into contact with are between 6 and 12 years old. They look at me with amazement when I pop a shuvit, and I offer them support on how to tic-tac and jump off a moving board.

It looks like February will be a month of staying indoors and watching skate videos on YouTube, dreaming of the nice weather to come. I have a few tricks I’d like to get soon, though. Other than the obstinate kickflip, I’d like to learn 360 shuvs and bigspins. Another trick I can map out mentally is the late shuv. Once I get kickflips down, tre flips will be next. I just hope this constant pain in my upper legs goes away!

One thought on “On skateboarding at 40

  1. I remember watching Marc skateboarding from the beginning, I was married to his mother once. He was very enthusiastic and very determined. He would show his Mother, sister and me new tricks he learned and we would watch him practice , practice and practice. He was really into skateboarding and he is right in saying there were no skate parks and skateboarders were looked at as outlaws ( some skateboarders and their tricks caused damaged to public property). but skate parks were built and the public took interest in other things. Marc never let the wounds and pains of falls ever stop him from getting back up and skating more. However, now that he and his bones are older I hope he can get a set of pads to wear for protection. Speaking from expierence having had a head injury from 9 months ago leaving me somewhat disabled I would also suggest a helmet. Good luck on re-learning skateboarding, keep safe and I hope your family are doing well. Mike

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