Elbow Smash

I went out Saturday night with great determination to land a 540 shove it.

I tried about 50, coming close, but not quite getting it. It is hard to add the extra 180 degrees and keep the board spinning under control and on a flat plane.


I got one about 30 degrees from 540, got both feet on the board, and I felt that momentary joy of thinking “This is is, I’m making this.” But the board didn’t have any rotation left, and my body position just wasnt good. I ended up pushing the board forward with both feet, going airborn, landing first on my butt and then with both elbows smashing to the concrete. Thank you, Aikido training, for allowing me to do this without destroying myself. amazingly, though my elbows are sore and scraped, NO SWELBOW! Head came nowhere near the ground. 

I got back up and tried a few more, though I’ll admit a lot of the fight was knocked out of me. I did some good 360 shoveits and some other stuff. Amazing how easy a 360 seems after trying 540s for an hour. 

When I got home I watched video of the slam in slow motion a few times. I have spotted some issues to deal with. Even tough I smacked hard, honestly it wasn’t a terrible try. So I will keep after it. Fuck it. I’m a skater.

No Skating This Weekend

Well, it was a weekend of no skating. I worked out hard at Aikido on Saturday morning, and had some very good family stuff to do that night. Sunday night the Community Band was playing on my practice spot, so I stayed in, let my body rest, and worked on some audio projects.

I guess I should mention it is super hot during the day. Way too hot to skated until about 7pm at which point it has cooled down to about 93 degrees F.

New Tricks

Inspired by the previous post, I set out to learn M80s tonight. However, since I flip with the “wrong” foot, mine will end up be Nose M80s. Got real close. Lots of progress. Filmed some attempts, and it is right there!

Also kept on the double kickflip

Getting a lot better at 2-foot Nose 360s. I feel like I’m on the verge of dialing them in really well. Stoked!

M80 Inventor

Found this cool animated GIF last night. It’s from the April 1980 issue of Skateboarder Magazne — Matt Barden doing an M80. I’m seeing a few places that he is the inventor of the trick.

For me, they way he does them would be an M80 to fakie, but that’s because I do my kickflips with the wrong foot. Oh well. Gonna pay some attention to learning this.

Saturday Night

I had a good long session on Saturday night. Almost 2 hours.

I am not making any of the new moves I’ve been working on, but I’m getting closer. They are requiring less energy to get close. I also decided to get back my rolling 1 1/2 kickback. I know I can get that one, and it’s not a trick you see done a lot.

Took Sunday night off, to let the legs recover. Will hit it hard again this week.

Flippity Doo

I got in 1.5 hours of skating last night. I spend about an hour on warming up and then doing all my “staple” tricks — the one’s that are solid. That way they stay solid. On weeknights that leaves me little time or energy to work on new stuff, so I try to throw new stuff in during that first hour. After a few tricks I’ll try a double kickflip or something. Still didn’t make the double last night, but still getting closer. I have to admit that while my legs are really strong, my strength to weight ratio is not great. So generating the explosive power for the double is not coming easily, but I will continue and I will get it.

Towards the end of last night’s session I started fooling around with fakie varial ollie flips, and I made one. I rarely do any ollie tricks, so it took a little time to realize I have to actually be light on my feet and I need some “pop”, but I made one. I’m actually kind of stoked about it. Gonna try more of them tonight, and see if I can get it worked out for good. It is a lot easier than an oldschool double kickflip, no doubt.

I’d be more stoked about this trick if it weren’t such a common newschool trick. I generally avoid such stuff, but it would be nice to add this to my repertoire just to show that I can learn “new” stuff.

It may be a bit hard to get out for a good long session tonight, but I’ll at least get in 30 minutes.


Two years ago I attended the Philly Freestyle, which is really the only major freestyle contest in the United States (until I do one). A few months before the contest I seriously blew my lower back out, and was not able to practice for it. I ended up riding a longboard in the contest, and had a really good time, but was not able to do my best. And I always like to do my best. That’s what I care about.

For some personal reasons it will be difficult to get back to Philly this year, but I’m going to try to work it out. I’d like to have some good new tricks for it, and skate up to my potential, regardless how I place.

Filming and whatnot

I managed to skate a little bit last night. I think I wore myself out last week, as I’ve not had lots of energy this week. Anyway, I worked on some new flowing footwork and taped it, only to discover some spots in the footwork that weren’t that flowy. Some stops that were not really good. Video is great for that — finding your flaws. So I’ll keep working on this stuff and getting it to look good.

I will have an extra couple of hours after work today, so I’m going to start skating at 6pm, and hopefully get 2.5 hours of skating in. Will continue working on the double kickflip.

I have been switching my freestyle wheels around a bit. My current preferred wheels seem to have a core problem, so I’ve gone back to the Terry Synnott wheels, which are really good. This morning I ordered some Kevin Harris wheels, from Momentum. They look a lot like the old Powell Freestyle wheels, just slightly smaller in diameter.

Since my energy level after work has been giving me trouble this week, I’m going to try a little carbo loading today for lunch, then not a lot of food before I skate. Really, it is mostly the Aikido practice that is draining me. It uses a tremendous amount of energy, but it is also what keeps me in good condition.

Went to the skate shop yesterday and got another pair of the Vans skate shoes I purchased a couple of weeks ago. Still on massive sale — about $35 — so why not get a second pair? Hell, I’d have bought more if they had more in my size.

About Last Night

I was really tired last night, but went up to the skatepark and skated from 8:30 – 9:30.

The flat area was crowded with BMXers. All good guys, but it was really impossible to skate there with 9 BMXers taking off from that spot.

Anyway, I was low on energy, but I practiced footwork, did a few shoveits and fingerflips, and came home. Good enough. Not every day can be a high-energy session. It is better to skate some that not skate at all.


No skating today. Went to Aikido tonight. 3 time per week Aikido is what rebuilt my body from the flabby doughboy carcus I was occupying into the lean mean skating machine I live in now. Seriously – its like I’m not even in the same body. Strength, agility, conditioning all 1000x better than 8 years ago.

So while I didn’t skate today, Aikido is essentially cross training for skating. Will it the freestyle board hard again tomorrow night. Got to learn the double kickflip. I will get it.

Weekly wrap-up

Well, I skated every day Monday – Saturday. Had some good sessions. Saturday night was July 4. I skated from 7pm – 9:30 – the longest session in a long time. I spent an hour trying to learn double kickflips. I am coming closer. Getting better at imparting the extra flip. I will just have to keep at it and try it every session, until I develop the skill to flip it that much. Not going to give up on it.

I also started working up some new footwork, which I think might be cool.

Looking forward to another week of skating.

Session Report, July 1, 2015

Evening session at Allen skatepark flat area.

  • Landed (badly) a fakie frontside 180 fingerflip, but it felt good. Just need a little tweeking, and I’ll be landing it consistantly and well.
  • Came 1/4 flip from a double kickflip. It too is within reach.
  • 3rd night in a row of skating. Practice helps — I am skating well, and the “snap” is in all my tricks and new trick attempts.
  • Backwards Walk the Dog getting much better. 
  • Gonna keep working on that new fingerflip, get it wired and in the normal trick list, and then move on to the next on the list. 

New Tricks in 2015 #1

As of today (July 2, 2015), I have learned one new trick this year. But it’s a good one. Actually, it’s a good one in my mind, because I enjoy it, though only the informed will understand. Here it is.

Backwards Walk the Dog

I started working on this trick after seeing a very nice performance of it in a 1977 contest video of Doug “Pineapple” Saladino. Yes, it’s an old trick. I’ve always been able to do this trick a little bit, very badly. Because it felt so unnatural to me, I never really worried about it. However, I’ve come to see it as a sign of true footwork ability, so I wanted to learn to do it well.

I began working on it about 2 months ago. It felt horrible at first. The body English is weird, and it made me feel like a clutz. But I kept at it, working on it during every session. Last night I noticed that all the practice is paying off. My Backwards Walk The Dog is much better. Not totally fluid yet, but not too bad. Not so foreign feeling. So I’m adding it to the normal lineup of footwork to practice, and I have no doubt that it will get better and better.

Other tricks I’m going to learn

540 Shove-it. I’m determined to get this down. Tired of doing only 360s.
540 Big Spin. Same as above
Fakie kickflip to one foot
Double Kickflip
Consistant ten 360s
Varial fingerflip
Fakie 180 1 1/2 Fingerflip