longboarding

The Ivory Yeti nears completion

“Wait, I thought it was done? Didn’t you post photos of it and state that you’ve been out riding it?”

I know what you’re thinking. And that’s sorta true. I did get the grip tape installed, and started hitting my street. But that’s about it. My legs were not ready to just get out and ride for great distances. They weren’t even ready to ride short distances! So I’m hitting the street almost every day, even if for just a ride around the block. My front foot needs a bunch of conditioning!

The Kracked Skulls Scimitar arrives as finished wood, but with zero decoration. I’m sure this is exactly the canvas most skaters are yearning to personalize and express themselves; myself included. My grip tape design was only the first step in achieving this personalization. The underbelly of my Scimitar also needed to reflect Trevor.

So, I tapped into my existing artistic expression, and decided to camouflage the whole thing! Longtime readers of my blog may recall that I tested this technique out with great success a few years ago, on my kids’ Nerf guns.

Obviously this will look fantastic on a skateboard! So I dug out those same spray cans of paint and started my plan. I never clear coated those guns, so I right away decided that a trip to Home Depot was necessary. Shopping for clear coat that wasn’t glossy was the first step. Yuck! I didn’t and don’t want glossy! There were several choices of matte and satin finishes in the spray paint section. While reading the labels I realized that something a bit more durable might be a better choice. That meant furniture paint. I found a spray polyurethane by Minwax, that I decided would be perfect for my purposes.

I set up in the garage, and stripped down the Ivory Yeti. With special attention to straight lines, I taped around the whole edge, to keep the camo relegated to the underbelly. I needed a little more tape for the base of the trucks, which I decided to leave installed.

My camo’ing process is simple. The same steps I used for the Nerf guns was applied here. I chose tan as the base color, and built upon that. This time, I went for a tiny addition, my initials. I masked them off by precutting some painter’s tape into very blocky versions of my initials, “TSC”. Rather than simply paint over the mask, I decided to use one of the camo steps. So I used the palm-like branch and the black paint to apply the paint for the initials.

I used the dark brown for the tiger stripes, and then went to work with the green and brown using the palm branch and the smaller pine branches. At this point, you’re done when you decide you’re done. Too little, and there are blank patches. Too much, and the whole thing becomes kinda muddy. It’s very subjective, however.

I gave it about 3 hours after I was done applying the camo paint before I put down the first coast of clear coat. Two more hours of dry time, and I applied the second and final coat. Then I went to bed.

Today, it’s killing me to wait, so ripped off the masking tape, and installed the Randal trucks. That’s not going to hurt anything!

I really should wait the whole 24 hours, meaning 11pm, before I ride it. I’m not sure if I have that self control. You’ll have to watch my Google+ stream, to see if I can make it.



Ready to shred? No.

Now that The Ivory Yeti is set up and ready to bomb some hills and slide to my heart’s content, am I?

The short answer is, no. But how do I get there?

Well I first had to set down some goals. In doing so, I also had to decide what I don’t want/need to do; like break bones or die. I really did start with all the things I don’t want to be doing, really ever. I don’t want to hit 30 mpg, bombing hills. Ever. I don’t really care to learn how to slide. Ever. I don’t want to be doing tricks that imply a learning curve that includes hitting the ground with various body parts.

Now that that’s covered, what do I want to do? I want to cruise, and increase my ability to ride and carve, for hours at a time. I want to set some longer distanced goals, and then achieve them.

Knowing this, my G+ friend Eric made some recommendations:

Cruising is a ton of fun, but learning how to handle yourself at higher speeds is a must, simply because it might happen.

When cruising, try riding one foot, turning on one foot, etc. Get familiar with it, you don’t need to do it with both, just do it with the foot that isn’t your braking foot. Explore your board, see how riding towards the nose or towards the tail effect the ride. Carve with your feet closer to the edge and see what happens.

This is the most awesome and practical advice! My pal James came over last night and showed me a few things that I expect will be quite helpful, and Eric’s words here fall right in line. You know, one thing that’s great about the skating community, is that there’s always someone better than you, willing to share with you some pointers to help you get to the next level. Love that! Too bad the Church isn’t always like that!

So what are my immediate goals? Well, first off I want to commit to riding every day. I can do it, even on work days! I want to get a simply path in my neighborhood that I can get out, and cruise. The layout of my neighborhood makes it easy to add another street as I get comfortable with an existing path. I plan to follow this method, until I’m ready to kick it up to my next goal; a one mile ride.