Tag Archives: skateboarding

Mini ramp update 7: skeleton!

All sorts of shit is subtly wrong or suboptimal but the brush strokes are all in place.

Working on the flat bottom next, I’m comically short of 2×6’s for it and will need to do a run to the lumber supply corp to resolve that. Minor shimming awaits, and then I can do another round of weatherproofing, followed by a few sheets of 3/8″ plywood, more weatherproofing, and then finally the Gatorskins!

This weekend is adult skate camp though, so I’ll be busy doing that from Friday through Sunday. No more updates for a few days…

Mini ramp update 6: downhill footings complete!

It is nine thirty on Sunday evening, I have run 3.5 miles, towed some fifty pounds of Eldest Child up maybe 2 miles of the Whoops Climb to initiate him into CULT MTB with his first trail decent, and the lower footings are in for the mini ramp!

Evening truly is a fine time for this kind of digging holes and filling them again kind of work. The sun is down, and one can actually see the laser level’s line. I love Bend mightily, but the sun does makes it hard to see the laser line at 24 feet away. A splash of DEET after 9 pm, and you’re off to the races!

Mini ramp update 5: footings for the downhill side

The hill in my backyard is on a serious grade, so I’ve had to get creative about bringing the downhill side up to level with the uphill side.

I’ve elected to tamp gravel into holes (to provide a foundation minimizing movement over time, and draining well, not that we get huge amounts of rain in Bend, but old habits die hard…), and then set prefab cinderblocks with galvanized 4×4 holders. Then, I’m using 4×4 pressure treat to bring the whole bottom side up to level with the uphill side. To do this, I measured from the top of a 4×4 sitting in one of the cinderblocks to the bottom of the cinderblock, and added that to the height I read off pavers Veen and I installed and leveled a few days back. This gave me a datum of 49 7/8″ that I needed all of the cinderblocks to rest on.

Using a laser level, it was pretty darn easy to get them all to the same height. And, the beams are even looking pretty darn level! Level enough to get shimmed the rest of the way into place, at least!

Continue reading Mini ramp update 5: footings for the downhill side

Mini ramp update 4: Gatorskins!

The Gatorskins have arrived!

I was at first baffled about how to get this palletized pile of impregnated sheet goods out of the back of my pickup, but Veen came to my aid and together we determined that the bottom pallet FedEx used to get the big pallet into my bed would do just dandy as an unloading ramp.

We were considering jerry-rigged hoist operations and other things I didn’t want to subject the carport to, so I’m very glad we came to this solution.

Mini ramp update 2

Can’t say as I have any idea how I got out of Home Depot without pictures of the first haul of supplies for the skate ramp. Plenty of 2×6’s, and 3/4 inch plywood for the transition panels.

Apparently I failed to document the transition panel fabrication process as well, but I definitely ran the jigsaw way too hot, way too fast, and ended up with terrible cuts that I then needed to bring into symmetry.

Harmonization entailed buying a belt sander (oh no, more tools!), and screwing the transition panels together to ensure that each side of the pipe was sculpted identically. I started out attempting to do all 4 at the same time, but that really chewed through belts, and I was struggling to get good contact across all four at the same time anyways, so I went down to two pairs.

Long story short, I’ve assembled the skeleton of one of the transitions for the ramp, started laying out where I want the footings/foundation to all sit, and will be working on leveling everything up as we go.

Continue reading Mini ramp update 2

Wear parts

Wear parts, to be utterly useless, are the parts that wear. A clutch is a wear part, skate shoes are wear parts, to some degree skate trucks are also wear parts (although one goes through approximately ten times as many decks as trucks).

Binning possessions into wear vs. non-wear parts helps reduce the amount of thinking that goes into taking care of objects. “I want to be less precious about the cars”, I said recently, by which I mean I don’t want to be quaking in my boots over scratches or the paint job getting gummed up, or any of the million other things that could happen when romping the new truck through the wilds of the Oregon high desert.

Does this make the truck a wear part?

My sunglasses are wear parts. Some folks (lookin at my wife on this one) prefer to own 2 pairs of expensive sunnies, cycling back and forth, caring exquisitely for them, and losing track of where they are. Purse? Car? Children’s room? Dedicated sunglasses collection point at house ingress point? Me, I buy sunglasses in batches of 10, throw them in my backpack, in the truck, in the diplomat, in the wife’s car, in all of the totes dedicated to specific genres of adventure sports. And then I simply chuck them when they get too beat up.

Treating the sunglasses as wear parts gives me all the intellectual freedom in the world. Scratches don’t matter, losing them doesn’t matter, putting them in cases doesn’t matter, nothing matters! They’re wear parts! Their entire purpose is to be in reality, ablate over time, and ultimately be disposed of. They are born, mature, and die, just like anything else.

What about nice sunglasses though? More pertinently, what about really nice skiing googles? Googles can run into the hundreds of dollars (almost justifiably! For anti-fog, comfort, field of view, and fabrication quality in general), but if we treat them so very preciously, we’ll find ourselves doing dumb shit like changing stance while ripping through the trees in a (I contest) vain effort to keep them from getting scratched up, when at least for ski goggles, their entire purpose is to protect our eyes from foreign objects coming in faster than the biology can counter.

Everything wears, ultimately. You and I are wear parts in our species’ reproductive engine. The truck itself is a wear part over a long enough time horizon, and will eventually need replacing as well.

Best to not get bent out of shape over a few scratches on the brand new car. It too will die (or be covered in glitter paint by reckless 5-year old terrorists) just like everything else. Quit stressing over the petty shit and go enjoy your life. Channel that OCD into productive outlets.

Flatland Skateboard Training Program

Here’s the training program that I’m currently working. I believe that it’s about on the money for someone with 3-5 years of dedicated practice and 95th-percentile core physical fitness. This is not meant to get you oodles of new tricks, it’s the drill-and-mastery oriented practice practice practice approach to emulating the endless time and unswerving focus of the 15-year old.

In addition to a minimum of 1 hour skateboarding every day:

  • Alternate daily between (40 minutes):
    • lower body (squats, heel raises, weighted vertical jumps, weighted lateral jumps, weighted single-leg jumps, weighted 180º jump-rotations)
    • upper body (exclusively on the olympic rings: push up, plank, mountain climbers, dips, pull up progressing to full muscle up, lower leg-raise progressing to full pike)
  • minimum 30 minutes of yoga per day (it’s pretty hard to beat Yoga with Adrienne)

Skate routine (everything rolling. don’t drill tricks not rolling, you’ll handicap yourself brutally. Ask how I know):

  • Ollies.
  • Shuvits, frontside and backside. Progress to pop shuvits. Progress to tre flips.
  • 180s, frontside and backside. Progress to bigspin. Progress to biggerspin.
  • Kickflips
  • Heelflips
  • Tailslides and noseslides, frontside and backside. Progress to shuv out. Progress to kickflip in. Progress to kickflip out.
  • 5050s. Progress to kickflip in. Progress to kickflip out.

Full-routine progressions:

  • Do everything over a parking bumper.
  • Do everything over 2 stacked parking bumpers.

Nothing in life is free, nothing worth having is easily got. Get out there and motherfucking drill.