Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Collecting Wood.

I first entered the world of skateboard collecting about a year and a half ago, when I purchased my first re issue board, a Powell Peralta Cab mini street.  I made this decision independently and while it felt a little extravagant this was a board that I have always coveted, but never owned.  At this time I had every intention of setting it up to use, as such it was fully justifiable.  My decision was made, I ordered the deck and that's where it all began.

While the Cab was set up, to this day it has never been used.  And I am fine with this, more than fine in fact, for since this first re issue related purchase I have obtained many more, while my collection is fairly slow when compared to other peoples, it is something that I extremely proud of nonetheless.  They are simply beautiful things to own and I get a great deal of enjoyment from just looking at them.  I have no desire to make any money from them, I am in no rush to own each and every board that I once owned, or want to own.  They are something that I treat myself to every once in a while, a fun purchase in a world of bills and mundane consumerism.  It isn't easy to describe the exact feeling of getting a new board, for it is partly the aesthetic element of the shape, the graphic and overall look and feel of it, a degree of nostalgia also entry in to it.  But there is something else too, a feeling of buying something incredibly special to me.

Since making my first board purchase, I have discovered that there are many, many people (mainly guys, of a similar age to me) doing just the same.  I follow quite a few groups on Facebook, and a couple of friends have the same enjoyment for old skateboards too.  It seems to me that there are many collectors who are obsessional about the whole thing, chasing holy grails, different colour ways, and entire series of boards. This is great and I would do the same if I hade both the space, not to mention the financial resources to do so.  But since I have neither of these things, not right now at least I am more than happy to admire other peoples collections, gaining inspiration to get a new one of my own every once in a while.

Aside the pleasure that I gain from buying boards I have also begun skateboarding again too, albeit in a very small way.  This was after all the whole point of buying that Cab in the first place, but rather than use an old style board, I made the decision to get something new (I think the main reason for doing so is that I simply wouldn’t want to use an old one, for fear of damaging it).  I don’t go all that often, and to be honest the prospect of injury scares me quite a lot, so I am not what you would call committed.  That said I love doing it, I found that once I had gained some confidence it all came back and in no time at all I was riding a small bowl and having a whole heap of fun doing it.  I tend to pick my times so that I get the places to myself, and in doing so it feels like surfing without having to wait for waves or hassle.  I can take as many runs as I want when it’s quiet, and not have to think about my lack of ability, I am doing it purely for the joy that I get from riding a skateboard on smooth, transitioned concrete.

Anyway, the point of me writing this was to share the fact that I am so super stoked to have gotten back in to something that I loved so many years ago (a quarter of a century, no less), but put on hold for a heap of reasons as presented by life. I along with countless other people around the world are having a second go at skateboarding and I am immensely happy to be a part of this movement.  One of the main reasons I stopped (aside having a healthy fear of pain) can be attributed to the perceived stigma that was attached to skateboarding, ie a gown man can’t possibly be seen on a skateboard.   I now know that the main part of this notion was imagined, rather than real. That said, it suddenly feels acceptable to skate, and to talk about doing so to those who don’t, or never will be a part of this world.  I have to say that I really enjoy doing so.

A whole new scene has emerged off the back of collecting boards and to be honest this fascinates me.  For in my view it really does seem as though this latest carnation of skateboarding is a natural progression of the culture whereby those who formed the scene the first time around, are now having another go at I,t and in doing so are shaping the culture again. Okay this emergence is happening in a fairly small way, but fundamentally we are taking ownership of the culture that we helped to grow all those years ago.  I love the fact that at the time I bought that Cab because it just felt right, so many others were doing the same thing.

I will continue to collect boards, and will ride too, for as long as it gives me the enjoyment that it has done thus far I will count myself as being very much a part of the culture that went so far to define me in my youth.

Photos will follow, when I get the time to take some decent ones!