Updated: Jul 29
With day to day life getting flipped on its head earlier this year and everyone giving way to forced isolation one thing seemed to thrive (just like the virus). That activity was skateboarding. It may be hard to believe but a lot of skate shops were actually doing sales close to what they would do at Christmas time in the peak of lockdown. Why?
That would be due to that you only need a skateboard and concrete, that's it. With empty car parks easier to find than a packet of pasta these days it seems like a no brainer.
This being the case it has also given a massive rise in skating curbs and parking blocks. Its true that it was already back in vougue a while ago when shaped boards and rails made a come back. However this time it felt a little different. With skateparks closed and police patrolling the streets it seemed like skating a curb became the only way to get a quick shred fix. The general public went back to basics like cooking at home, walking everywhere, taking up gardening, learning a new skill etc So did skateboarding, with going back to skating curbs.
As Barker Barrett says, in Grossos love letters, "It's the first problem you encounter on a Skateboard." That problem being a curb. And what a great problem to have. Slappys look so easy but to do them properly and with skill is definitely not the case. Its also a great leveller to ability too. You can have guys that can kicky crooks, 540 on vert or hit massive rails that have no idea on how to slappy. Then a a guy in his 40's who is bigger framed and past their "skate prime" absolutely kill the curb dancing game.
Once you figure out what to do (make sure that front truck hits first then followed by the back for instance) they are so much fun. And what is the basic principle to riding a skateboard? Well fun has definitely been had recently at a sleepy old historic train station on the NSW south coast that has one curb. A bunch of guys that go by Bad Curb Club know how to make the most a 150mm high piece of concrete that is suppose to "stop your vehicle encroaching into the roadside."
While to the basic punter this may not constitute a spot, however this crew take great pride in it . Firstly it is so well seasoned with wax that you actually pick up speed mid slide or grind. Which makes your first attempt at hitting it as anxiety inducing as a trick down El Toro. Also they are in a constant battle with the maintenance workers at the train station in regards to digging out the garden bed behind the curb. It would go from finding dirt back in, then then next time some plants, then the next time wood chips. With neither party backing down digging out the garden bed becomes part of the warm up.
The Bad Curb Club are a great example of making the most of a situation, with the friends you have. There is no reason why this chunk of concrete at a south coast surf town shouldn't feel like their version of EMB, Love Park etc. That may seem like a stretch to those reading this, but I've witnessed first hand these guys learning new tricks and everyone of them been stoked as that SF crew in the 90's would of been watching Carroll and Sanchez fuck up that famed plaza. To have those heated Sunday afternoon session to get away from life stresses of work, relationships and a god damn pandemic are as important as ever. So if you have a tasty curb near by prep that thing with a rub brick, wax the shit out of it and organise a session with some friends. Your mental well being will thank you for it.