Paderborn, Run 2, 2019

It seems that Youtube stripped out the music from my runs posted by Alex Foster at Late Tricks. So he sent me the footage, and I’m posting run 2 here.

It is not the best I can do, but when does one every skate the best they can during a contest? At least for me it is rare. BUT – I really enjoyed this run a lot. I think you can see me smiling. I went to this contest with the intention of doing a run that would be unlike any of the others, and I think I accomplished that, so I’m happy. Will go back next year with more flow and a couple of new tricks.

Off to Germany

Well, I’m off to Germany in 2 days.

At this time next week I’ll be at Paderborn, watching the street contest and trying to practice and/or relax for the freestyle contest the next day.

I’ve been working on footwork sequences to string together. Seriously, besides footowork I might have five “tricks”. I don’t care. This is how I skate now. It’s what interests me.

Looking forward to being overseas for a while, especially on the 4th.

Boards – who am I?

I set up my Mode single kick tonight. Gonna go back to it, from the double kick. I’ve been trying out different bushings, and still trying to get them tuned the way I like. I’ve also been riding this Fickle custom a lot. It’s really for bank skating, but if feels really great for footwork. I feel like I move better on it, but really, it doesn’t work that well for a lot of freestyle tricks. But damn – it sure does feel good. If I had a signature model, I think it would be this board.

Anyway, been planning a run for Paderborn. Trying to keep in mind who I actually am and how I skate, and not try to be someone else.

Paderborn is coming up

The annual freestyle contest in Paderborn, Germany is coming up in early July. It, quite simply, the best freestyle contest. The ground there is magical and holy. It’s a grassroots gather. No corporate bullshit, no parades. No prize money. Just a great event, like a family gathering.

I’m starting to think about my contest runs. A run at Paderborn has to mean something to me. It isn’t just a bunch of tricks strung together. Corny as it may sound, it’s my art, and I care about it. I’m not that good, but what I do out there is all mine. We all skate like ourselves. No one skates like you, and no one skates like me. So when you do a contest run, it should come from within you. It should represent you — your emotions. I don’t give a fuck what tricks someone does. A run must not be hollow. Even a run where you mess up a lot can still be a beautiful thing.

So I’m working on a list of tricks and an approach to the run that I think exemplify me, and picking some music that will mean something to me, and I hope I can make it a gift to my friends there and connect with them.

Competition sucks, but like all grassroots skateboarding events, this isn’t so much a competition as it is a celebration.

Backwards Walk the Dog

I’ve been horrible at backwards walk the dog forever, but a few years ago I saw this particular cool way of getting into them in some Doug Saladino footage from 1977. So I started working on it. This stuff is from Spring 2018. Summer, as I’ve said, was rough that year. I think I was just a bit burned out. It happens. I’m ready to work on getting this really nice again.

Old Bastard Trick Tip 6: Fakie 1-footed 180 Pivot

You’ll want to be able to do an endover to a nice smooth backward roll.

I’ll explain a bit more in the video – but you get into a 1-footed tail wheelie position while rolling backwards. You take your front foot off and begin turning your body frontside. The board lags behind just slightly, as you used a little ankle control to life the front wheels. This will naturally cause the board to do a frontside kickturn as it try to keep up with your body. As the board swings around, surprise! Your front foot is already there to meet it and get back on!

Not complicated, but like all footwork tricks there is the potential for things to go horribly wrong. Don’t underestimate this move if you aren’t used to doing this kind of thing. Maybe put that helmet on until you really have it down, or may keep it on.

Old Bastard Freestyle Trick Tip 6 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Update

It’s been a while since I posted here. Summer got hot and miserable, then it started raining, and so those are my excuses. When I’ve been able to skate I’ve been concentrating on filming for a new old guy video project I’m participating in, which will be findable in mid-October on the NeverWas Skateboarding Youtube Channel.

In their first video, Can You Spare Some Cutter Me Brother, I did mostly freestyle and a little bit of freestyle-inspired street skating. In this one I am mostly skating the mellow banks of the little local ditch where I ride a lot. Honestly, I just haven’t learned a lot of new freestyle in the last year.

Well, the temperatures are cooling down now, so I’m going to get back to this project when I can. Tony Gale is doing a great job over on freestyletricktips.com, so you should check out his stuff every week.

Old Bastard Trick Tip #5: 180 Shove-It

In keeping with the simple movement/flow footwork kind of thing we’re looking at here, this week’s tip is for 180 shove-its. Again, you can learn these on a normal board. I’d love it if you’d go to Moonshine skateboard or Mode Skateboards (see the side-bar) and buy a freestyle board, but don’t let that stop you from working on this stuff.

Like any other trick, it’s easier to do a shitty shove-it. I did a bunch when I was filming the first version for this tip. Bad landings. Simple trick, but bad landings. Weird. I’ve been doing these tricks for 40 years, but still the bad landings plague me on the forward 180 shove-it. That’s OK. Just means I can still get better! So once you start landing these, start working on making good landings (I kept landing the forward shove-it with my back heel on the board, toes hanging way off, and it looked like crap).

Old Bastard Freestyle Trick Tip 5: the 180 Shove-It from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Old Bastard Trick Tip #4: End-Overs

First, for a really comprehensive guide to learning this trick, I recommend you go to Tony Gales End-Overs tip on FreestyleTrickTips.com, on which Tony guides you from the very beginnings of this move. Tony gives you some variations that are very much part of the basic freestyle movement vocabulary that I’ll probably not cover here.

End-overs are one of the most basic elements of freestyle, and in my opinion skateboarding in general, and are often overlooked. Until I started this project I honestly had no idea that people have trouble with this. I suppose because it is one of the first things I learned back in about 1975 or 76, it has just never occurred to me that everyone doesn’t do these. But I think skating began to be so vert and later street oriented that people just didn’t learn this.

So here’s my tip. It is intended as “additional commentary aimed at the old guys” to Tony’s more comprehensive instruction.

EndOvers from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

I would also point out that when you can do endovers easily, stuff like this becomes easier as well, though it isn’t freestyle. Freestyle really should be, in addition to and end in itself, the fundamental building block of your skating.

360 Nose Rock from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Old Bastard Trick Tip #3: Walk the Dog

My talking seems to be increasing rather than decreasing, but I swear to remedy this. Part of the issue is that I am not just teaching the trick, but I’m also trying to talk to the old guys out there and address what I think are particular concerns and issues they might face. So that simply requires more talking. Next time I may wear a mask so y’all don’t get too sick of seeing my face.

So, Walk the Dog is one of the primary footwork tricks in freestyle. It’s important. Like the moves I’ve described in previous tips, it is a move that emphasizes the ability for the skater to move atop the board. It requires that your feet not be glued to the deck. You must be able to move them with some ease and eventually some grace. That’s the goal.

One thing I failed to mention in my excessive talking is the idea of not overpowering the kickturn in this. This move is all about subtle weight distribution. You may not have it at first. That’s OK. This trick will help you develop it. But when you are doing the kickturn part, try not to beat it to death. Just relax. Everything’s gonna be OK. A calm, peaceful, centered kickturn is what you want. So calm your mind, get all Zen, and let it flow slowly and smoothly.

Practice your Walk the Dog along with the previous tips here. Over, and over, and over. That’s how you get better. Mix them all together. Be creative!

I know with 100% certainty that you can do this!

Also, you can always get better! Looking at this video, I really need to work on my arm style. Man, it’s not the worst I’ve every seen, but it could be a lot better. I generally don’t like to copy anyone’s style, but when I see something in my own that I find ghastly, I try to adjust a bit.

Finally, for additional trick tips, and additional more detailed info on these, check out FreestyleTrickTips.com , by Tony Gale.

OBFTrickTip3 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Old Bastard Freestyle Trick Tip #2: the Walk-Around

First, let me apologize for the excessive talking in this video. I was tired from my work day. But since probably 10 people will watch this video, and they are all friends, I figured it might be OK anyway, so here it is.

The Walk-Around (that’s what I call it, anyway) is simple footwork move that you can apply to a freestyle run, as footwork or as the entry into various tricks. It is quite versatile. With some speed and control during the initial wheelie carve, it can be quite stylish too. It’s a nice little move to have for nearly any skating situation. Next week when I go film some bank tricks for the upcoming NeverWas 2 video, I’m going to do this on – you guessed it – banks. My friend Tony Gale taught me a version of this going the other way, where you pivot on your heel rather than the ball of your foot, and it’s really cool. I’m going to start practicing it obsessively too.

So when you go out to skate, work this move in. Practice it with focus. Obsess on doing it as fluidly as you can. Try to make each one smoother than the last — your feet moving across the grip tape with ease. Really, it is fun to do! When you get this down, think about doing 2 in a row, than doing the previous tip (2 endovers into the Shove-It Thingie) all as one line. YOU CAN DO IT!

OBFTrickTip2 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

The Insane Challenge

As you go through these trick tips and tips on overall freestyle-ish-ness, I have a couple of challenges for you.

  1. Practice these every time you get on your board. At the end of any line you do, after any slappy, do one of these things. Make it a habit. That is how you learn.
  2. Shoot some video of yourself doing this stuff, put it on youtube or instagram, and share it on the Old Bastards Freestyle forum. Join the forum, on the Always Will message board, if you haven’t already. It is more fun to learn things when you share your progress and innovations with the like-minded.
  3. Ignore the ollie. Yes. Ignore it. So many skaters grew up doing ollies and ollie-based tricks constantly that they can’t do anything else. Even old guys do this, since guys who started skating in the mid to late 1980s are now OLD. Yet there are at least a million things you can do on flat without the ollie. So commit to practicing freestyle without the ollie, so it isn’t a crutch.

Once we have done 10 tips here, I’m thinking about doing a Cyber-Freestyle Challenge, where you will film a short run to share with everyone.

When you post something, use #TheInsaneFSChallenge. If you post on Instagram use @bibliosk8er as well. On Facebook, tag me.

So get on it!

 

 

Old Bastard Freestyle Tip #1: the Shove-It Thingie

This is a little move I use a lot in freestyle, but I tend to use it whenever I skate anthing. It’s a habit. One of the 7 habits of highly habitual people, or something like that. Anyway, its a useful move for freestyle, and also useful for changing which end of your board is forward without fumbling around with great spasticity.

OBFTrickTip1 from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.