b.loftin2's skateboarding journal


Episode 79: Contest, And A Friend’s New Blog

In this episode, I talk about an upcoming contest and an award that apparently I may get, and my friend Chris’s new blog about skateboarding as you get older.

The Twilight Sessions

My friend Chris has started a new blog on which to explore his journey as a skateboarder now over 50 years of age.

I’m very much looking forward to reading his thoughts on this matter. As I will turn 60 this year, such things are very much on my mind, and maybe his writings and thinkings will inspire some new personal insight for me.

twilightsessions.blogspot.com

This is my friend Mark. A great skater, at a great spot.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C5mdLbDpXFO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

It’s still hard to beat a board like this for just riding around.

Podcast Episode 78: A Little Skating

A brief report on my skating over the weekend.

Spots change

Before going to Pandemic Parking Lot to skate yesterday I went over to the Glenville ditch, which has been a spot I’ve enjoyed since I was about 14 years old. A few years ago they rebuilt the alleys on either side of the ditch. They really messed up the wall on one side. It is all still rideable, but one wall just isn’t as good, and they added a support wire for the telephone pole nearby on the other side. While the wire isn’t too much in the way, it still makes me feel like I’m going to hit it.

I’ll go back of course. The spot is still one of the better spots in town, and I’m glad they left it as good as they did.

A little combo

A short line I filmed for a little online video sharing thing that Waltz skateboards is doing – any combination of a couple of heel-side end-overs, a couple of monster walks, and a rolling forward 360 spin. I went into it with a walk-around and then a little end-over/360 spin combo. Board is my 8.8 Cockfight blunt-pops shape, Ace 55s, 92a 54mm OJs.

Truck/Wheel Combo Comparison

Comparison of truck/wheel combos.

Top: Ace 55 trucks (original version) with OJ 54mm 92a wheels - typical center-set newschool wheels. Bottom: Indy 159s, 54mm 93a Powell-Peralta Nano Cubics - side-set wheels with more coverage of the axle nut.

Essentially the same footprint from outside edges of wheels. Fits this 8.8" popsicle deck, and would work on a 9" deck as well. Probably too wide for a narrower board, even just a bit narrower. Both fit this board perfectly.

Other pic - comparison of outside wheel profile. The Nano Cubics, while they do offer some offset and protection of the axle and axle nut, don’t offer nearly as much as the many dedicated freestyle wheels on the market.

It will be interesting to see how different the Nano Cubics feel. Wider contact patch, which will get significantly wider as the wheel wears down. Much more so than a typical street wheel. Close to the same hardness on both sets of wheels, but the Powell urethane will feel a lot different. Also expecting to feel the lip of the Nano Cubics deforming as I skate, but not too bad.

I really have no need for an offset wheel for this sort of setup, but I wanted to try the 93a Powell-Peralta formula.

skateboard truck and wheel combination comparisonskateboard wheels

I have clued a few more people into the existence of this blog. I’m going to stop posting much skateboarding on Instagram, though I’m sure I’ll do some. It’s not like this is a secret blog or anything, but I just want a few select people to be alerted to its existence.

Well, I just made my travel arrangements for the U.S. Open freestyle skateboarding this summer in Los Angeles. A bit pricey, but I had committed to be a judge. Gotta support the U.S. scene if it is to thrive. Maybe Paderborn will have to be next year.

Paderborn?

Well, I’m still considering a trip to skate the Paderborn contest this summer. It will be happening in August, so even in Germany it will be hot, but not Texas hot. I’m hesitant just because it’s a long way to go for a contest, but that is where I like to see my friends from England and the rest of Europe. It has been nearly four years. I miss them.

I know I’m not really up for another road trip from England to Germany. I’ve done that twice. It is just too much after flying across the Atlantic and dealing with jet lag.

Here’s the thing. The years are going by. I need to do these things.

54mm Powell Nano Cubics vs. formerly 54mm Bones STF

Podcast Episode 77: Skating With Friends, New Wheels, And The Dutch Freestyle Open

A few comments on a few things.

An old pic

A few years ago my friend Dale took this pic (from my About page) at the Budda Bank (misspelling intentional), riding the board from two posts ago. I’ve always dug it. We were playing with wide angle attachments for our phones. I kinda like the lens flare. As previously noted, this is a crusty little bank spot. The kind I love.

Ugh

I have a couple of accounts on Bluesky that I used to follow a highly curated list of accounts about tabletop RPGs, Traveller RPG in particular, and science fiction. This morning I made the mistake of thinking “I’ll set up an account to follow random stuff” – one that would be seperate from my good accounts.

I immediately found that a non-curated feed there is 100% as bad as on the other site. Account deleted. Please, God, kill social media.

More thoughts on all-around boards

Years after I bought it, this 8.8" wide 15" wheelbase Cockfight pops still gets the job done. Obviously I have not used it constantly for the last seven years, but I always come back to it. The Ace 55 trucks fit it perfectly. It always feels super stable and while it’s a fairly large board it feels light when you pick it up and when you ride it. I put these 54mm 92a OJ wheels on it today.

This is a pretty good all-around board. It feels right in ditches and at skateparks, I can ride it for parking-lot-style freestyle. If I’m feeling particularly energetic I can do kickflips and 360 shove-its on it. The long wheelbase gives it a real nice flow. It has some inertia. I’m tall enough it frankly looks pretty good when doing footwork.

There is just something nice about being able to grab ONE BOARD when doing skating and feeling like I can do a little bit of everything on it, and feel nice and solid when going a little faster or when at a skatepark.

skateboard

Skated with my friend Paul for his 60th birthday two days ago. We went to a couple of skateparks. Always great to roll around with Paul. He’s a ripper.

Regarding my previous post.

I have often jokingly referred to my “stream of unconsciousness” skating.

There is nothing more pleasing to me than when I go out to skate and just flow around with no real plan, following where the board take me, and it turns out really well.

Let the board do the thinking

Related to the previous podcast post…

In addition to letting the board roll, I have come to appreciate letting it go where it wants to some extent. If you are moving in a nice way and the board is going there naturally, I think it often looks better and feels better if you let the board do a little more of the thinking and influence it rather than dictate. There is a balance between commanding it and letting it do its thing.

Podcast Episode 76: Let The Board Roll

In this episode, I just talk about my skate session from this weekend and the value of letting the board role as it’s intended to.

A line I’ve been working on. Yes, I’m fat.

Free on the internet always comes with a price

A few years ago Spotify bought Anchor.fm, which was a podcasting platform that a lot of people got into. Cloud-based recording and editing and hosting. Now Spotify is closing the Anchor app down and replacing it apparently with a poor substitute.

Yet another reason to not ever tie your stuff to a company like Spotify. If you don’t own your domain name and have easy flexibility to move things around and control your process you are in a bad position.

In closing - F Spotify.

Shadows

Most skaters skate what’s available. In my early teen years that meant a school parking lot and nearby ditch during the week, or the end of our alley where the curb cuts and sidewalks formed little skateable spots, or the alleys behind our houses where the driveways were banked and formed dirtbag snake runs. On the weekend I’d get one trip to the nearby skatepark. $5 for a 2-hour session. $5 was worth a lot more in those days.

In my late 30s and early 40s I thought having skateparks again would be the ultimate. For me, however, it is not. For many skaters a skatepark, no matter the quality, is what they have to ride. If you live in a place like Dublin, Ireland, it was my observation during my trip there last fall that you’d better have an indoor skatepark, as I didn’t find a single place that looked remotely skateable, and the weather is a bastard.

I still prefer naturally occurring skate spots. I’ve been lucky to live in places where there are good ditches for skating. That may be the only good thing about Texas, but to me it’s important.

Here’s another poorly shot image of my friend Dale at such a spot. Even on a bright day, skateboarding is best in the shadows.

Dale doing a sweeper at Buda Bank.

skateboarder

Podcast Episode 75: Random Ramblings

In this episode, I just talk about this blog, and some ideas about getting people to use blogs and websites rather than social media.